managing social anxiety

Woman with Social Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

By definition, anxiety is the body’s response to stressful situations, and this manifests itself as a constant feeling of apprehension about upcoming events. While it is perfectly reasonable to be anxious ahead of a job interview, client presentation, etc., prolonged anxiety – over six months – is detrimental to your health. Intense and debilitating fear escalates to an anxiety disorder.

Regrettably, proper diagnoses of anxiety disorders lack in many sufferers, and if you are among them, please take an online anxiety test. Vertical Health will make a determination based on your scores. Anxiety is inextricably linked to other forms of disorders such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article zeros in on social anxiety disorder and how to manage it.

 

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

As can be deduced by the name, social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is an overwhelming feeling of being criticized, disapprovingly evaluated, or cast off in a social or performance scenario. People with social anxiety make irrational conclusions about how others perceive them, so they prefer to avoid social situations. The intense fear of social situations must interfere with someone’s life in order for it to be considered a disorder. The Anxiety and Depression Association of American (ADAA) surmises that 15 million adults have a social anxiety disorder and it mostly begins at the tumultuous teenage years. If you notice your teen struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or troubled behavior, they could benefit from receiving mental health services in Utah and an addiction recovery center in SLC, Utah to help them cope.

Tips for Managing Social Anxiety

No matter your age, if you are grappling with a social anxiety disorder, here are four ways of coping so that you can reduce the panicky fear and function optimally:

1. Examine Yourself

The first step in dealing with social phobia is taking stock of your life and pinpointing from where your troubles stem. Were your parents or guardians too critical of you as a child? Are they racked with anxiety and are they unpredictable? Their demands and insistence on perfectionism may have driven you to judge yourself and anxiety started creeping in gradually negatively. Taking a closer look at your background will help you understand where anxiety-provoking thoughts emanate from, so they are not just part of nature.

2. Therapy Sessions

Anxiety counseling may be the last thing on your mind especially if you prefer to keep things to yourself. If you have bottled up feelings for far too long, you may now feel like experiencing the uncomfortable, tense, and anxious feelings in social situations is a normal part of life. Dealing with social anxiety is not a matter to take lightly; seeking professional assistance from a therapist experienced with social anxiety disorder is important to help you start your recovery. Therapy presents an opportune moment to see things from an outside perspective, to voice those inner thoughts that have gone unnoticed, and stop the mental autopilot. You can find a qualified therapist in Midvale or Salt Lake City, Utah to help you lift the yoke of harsh judgment.

3. Comfort Zone

People racked with social phobia avoid social contact, and when forced to, distress follows. A comfort zone was created and nurtured from years of battling social anxiety, and the patient must push beyond it. Social anxiety treatment involves challenging yourself to let go of fear associated with performance and interpersonal interactions but in piecemeal. For instance, ask your boss for a chance to deliver a client presentation or attend a sundowner with colleagues and see what the fuss is all about.

4. My Anxiety Plan (MAP)

In a combination of working with a mental health professional, there are at home strategies you can use to support your therapy work. Another practical approach to ridding yourself of social anxiety is utilizing tools to evaluate and challenge these worries, then modify undesirable behaviors. The aim is not to eliminate or escape anxiety – seeing that there are many triggers of anxiety throughout life – but to expand your tolerance or threshold to it. My Anxiety Plan (MAP) is one of the most useful tools you can use whenever faced with unwanted thoughts and sensations that trigger a new tide of worry. The MAP is divided into different sessions and their corresponding activities:

Part 1:

  • Learning how anxiety affects self
  • A scientific explanation of anxiety
  • Fighting back unwanted sensations and thoughts

Part 2:

  • Practicing relaxation through breathing exercises
  • Relaxation then listing fears and ranking them
  • Complete building fear ladder

Part 3, 4, and 5.

Worry not, the above exercise doesn’t happen overnight, and there is no deadline. Take your time at each step as undue pressure is counterproductive. This tool also comes with relapse prevention material to help you cope if worry is getting the best of you again.

Gain Control Over Your Social Anxiety with Anxiety Counseling in Salt Lake City, Utah

If you live in Utah and suffer from social anxiety disorder, you don’t have to suffer any longer. Next Level Recovery has a team of compassionate and friendly professionals experienced in treating mental health disorders in SLC, Utah. By seeking social anxiety disorder treatment in Utah, you will learn how to manage the symptoms that have been interfering with your life so that you can LIVE your life without anxiety taking over. Free yourself by calling Next Level Recovery today and let us help you launch a steady recovery path. Your mental health is important and well worth investing in.

Download PDF