How to Deal with Social Anxiety (20 Tips)

In this article, we will give some tips that can help you deal with social anxiety.

You will also find some treatments for it, as well as necessary information about what social anxiety is, its symptoms, and causes.

Tips to Deal With Social Anxiety

Here are some tips that can be helpful for you to deal with social anxiety:

  1. Try self-help using special workbooks for overcoming social anxiety; Here, we have listed some of the best CBT books you can use to improve anxiety.
  2. Practice deep breathing techniques before the social anxiety-provoking situation, also when you get anxious;
  3. Practice progressive muscle relaxation;
  4. Make a list of the situations that cause anxiety, writing according to severity of anxiety – from situations causing low anxiety until the ones causing severe anxiety;
  5. Notice, realize and appreciate positive sides of your life and your achievements, which you may disqualify because of anxiety;
  6. Face your fears;
  7. Try to be more social;
  8. Practice being assertive;
  9. Change your lifestyle to prevent anxiety;
  10. Interact with positive people, avoiding negative ones;
  11. Meet new people;
  12. Use your talents and interests to become more social;
  13. Share with a close and trustful person your worries;
  14. Visualize what you want;
  15. Get enough sleep;
  16. Join a support group;
  17. Spend time in nature;
  18. Do something nice for someone; studies showed that it effects on mood positively;
  19. Focus on surrounding instead of focusing on yourself; otherwise, your anxiety can deepen;
  20. Practice grounding techniques, using your five senses. Name things you can smell, taste, touch, hear, and see at the moment to calm down.
  21. If you have social anxiety, you should try Kratom herb, it’s useful for anxiety and pain relief, social anxiety and euphoria. Check the Best Kratom for Anxiety.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) or social phobia is a persistent, irrational fear of performing any public actions (for example, public speaking), or actions accompanied by attention from outsiders: fear of the views of passers-by on the street, fear of being in society, inability to do something when observed from the outside, or other factors.

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Social anxiety disorder has physiological and emotional symptoms.

Physiological symptoms:

  • Blushing;
  • Trembling or shaking;
  • Dizziness;
  • Sweating;
  • Nausea;
  • Upset stomach;
  • Increased heart rate;
  • Dyspnea;
  • Muscle tension;
  • Feeling hot or cold;
  • Insomnia;
  • Headaches.

Emotional symptoms:

  • Excessive concentration on oneself and anxiety in daily social situations;
  • Intense worry some days, weeks, or months before a specific social situation;
  • Fear of being embarrassed;
  • Fear that you will get anxious and people notice it;
  • Fear of being criticized and judged by others;
  • Excessive fear to meet new people;
  • Total isolation from social events;
  • Derealization or depersonalization.

Social Anxiety Causes

The causes of social anxiety can be psychological and/or biological factors.

Psychological factors

In phobic disorders, avoidance is seen as the reason for maintaining the disorder, because it is impossible to obtain corrective experience and, therefore, one cannot get used to stimuli that cause anxiety.

Because social situations cannot be avoided consistently, David M. Clark and Adrian Wells (1995) based their cognitive model on three factors that make them responsible for maintaining social phobia:

  • More self-awareness;
  • Protective behavior;
  • Other processing before, during, and after the social situation.

Theories of cognitive psychology are focused primarily on the role of fears that affect the processing of information.

People with social fears tend to see themselves more negatively and worry more.

Social contacts are perceived more negatively than they are.

The basis of the disorder is negatively distorted self-esteem, which is a condition of the disorder. (Hackmann, Clark & McManus, 2000, p. 605).

Psychoanalysis suggests that various conditions contribute to the development of anxiety.

It claims that fear is the ego’s response to impending danger. Both traumatic experiences and repressed psychological content can cause fear to respond to oneself.

However, theories of attachment theory are also included in modern theories.

Separation is especially crucial here; the defense security model is used as an explanatory model.

Psychoanalysis distinguishes between different types of fear.

Depending on the psychoanalytic theory that needs to be distinguished, the causes of fear are seen for different reasons.

Particular importance is attached to the fear of shame in connection with social phobia.

This describes the imminent danger of being exposed or faced with humiliation and rejection.

At the same time, it serves as a defense against grandiose and exhibitionist desires, to look especially useful in the eyes of others, and to be able to express oneself as a particular person.

These desires are reflected, creating a real fear of the social situation and avoiding it. A deficit in the self-concept leads to excessive compensation.

Shame influences should also be considered in connection with the overwhelming traumatic experience of helplessness and concrete shame.

In another context, the fear of shame can be understood as a real fear of signaling, which should protect against rejection.

Biological factors

Twin studies (studies with identical twins that grew separately) suggest that genetic predisposition is one of the reasons.

If one of the twins has social phobia, then the likelihood of developing another is also 30-50%.

This probably depends on the influence of the environment, whether the disposition manifests itself.

Scientists at the University Hospital in Bonn have been studying the (genetic) causes of social phobia since 2013.

Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Social anxiety disorder or SAD can be treated by prescribed medications and/or psychotherapy.

Medications:

  • Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Ativan, and Valium;
  • SSRIs, such as Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, and Prozac;
  • SNRIs, such as Pristiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor;
  • MAOIs, like Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate;
  • Beta-blockers, such as Tenormin and Inderal;
  • BuSpar;
  • Vistaril.

Psychotherapy:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (or CBT);
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (or ACT);
  • Psychodynamic therapy.

An effective treatment option is cognitive-behavioral therapy, especially a combination of cognitive-behavioral group therapy with exposure.

A gradual getting used to those social situations that cause the patient anxiety and in which he/she should take specific actions.

A significant role in restoring communication skills in patients who have long been shying away from social contacts is played by behavioral therapy training and role-playing games.

Cognitive methods help the patient restore self-esteem and relate to the reaction of others to his/her behavior.

The patient forms new mental attitudes when assessing situations that trigger anxiety and getting rid of physical symptoms.

Relaxation therapy may also be used.

Recommended books and sources

  1. Overcoming Social Anxiety & Shyness (How to Deal With Social Anxiety)
  2. How to Deal With Social Anxiety – Overcome Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Step-by-Step Self Help Action Plan to Overcome Social Anxiety, Defeat Shyness and Create Confidence
  3. Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness, 2nd Edition: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques (How to Deal With Social Anxiety)
  4. Overcoming Social Anxiety: How to Be Yourself and How to Stop Being Afraid of Social Interaction
  5. Video – 3 Ways to Beat Social Anxiety! | Kati Morton (How to Deal With Social Anxiety)
  6. HFNE “Social Anxiety Support”
  7. HFNE “Anxiety is Ruining My Life (Help!)”

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQs about the topic “How to Deal With Social Anxiety.”

Can social anxiety be cured?

Social anxiety can be cured as treatment can be used medications and/or psychotherapy. Before trying to cure it, you should know better what it is; social anxiety disorder (SAD) or social phobia is a persistent, irrational fear of performing any public actions (for example, public speaking), or actions accompanied by attention from outsiders; for example, fear of the views of passers-by on the street.

What helps with social anxiety?

Medications and psychotherapy can help treat social anxiety. It is recommended to use prescribed medications, like benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, or Valium), SSRIs, MAOIs, Beta-blockers, BuSpar, or Vistaril. What about psychotherapy, the most efficient therapy for social anxiety is considered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Is social anxiety a disability?

Social anxiety can be considered a disability if it is severe, as it can be impossible to work for people with severe social anxiety. Social anxiety is a persistent, irrational phobia of social situations. CBT and medications can treat it.

Is social anxiety genetic?

Social anxiety is genetic, according to some studies. The serotonin transporter gene “SLC6A4” is linked to social anxiety disorder, basing on that researchers claim that social anxiety disorder is a disorder driven by genetic and environmental factors.

How can I treat social anxiety at home?

To treat social anxiety at home, you should try the following tips:

  • Try self-help using special workbooks for overcoming social anxiety;
  • Practice deep breathing techniques before the social anxiety-provoking situation, also when you get anxious;
  • Practice progressive muscle relaxation;
  • Make a list of the situations that cause anxiety, writing according to severity of anxiety – from situations causing low anxiety until the ones causing severe anxiety;
  • Notice, realize and appreciate positive sides of your life and your achievements, which you may disqualify because of anxiety;
  • Face your fears;
  • Try to be more social;
  • Practice being assertive;
  • Change your lifestyle to prevent anxiety;
  • Interact with positive people, avoiding negative ones;
  • Meet new people;
  • Use your talents and interests to become more social;
  • Share with a close and trustful person your worries;
  • Visualize what you want;
  • Get enough sleep;
  • Join a support group;
  • Spend time in nature;
  • Do something nice for someone; studies showed that it effects on mood positively;
  • Focus on surrounding instead of focusing on yourself; otherwise, your anxiety can deepen;
  • Practice grounding techniques, using your five senses. Name things you can smell, taste, touch, hear, and see at the moment, to calm down;
  • Try self-help using special workbooks for overcoming social anxiety.

Do you have social anxiety?

You can know you have social anxiety if you experience its physiological and/or emotional symptoms, which are:

Physiological symptoms:

  • Blushing;
  • Trembling or shaking;
  • Dizziness;
  • Sweating;
  • Nausea;
  • Upset stomach;
  • Increased heart rate;
  • Dyspnea;
  • Muscle tension;
  • Feeling hot or cold;
  • Insomnia;
  • Headaches.

Emotional symptoms:

  • Excessive concentration on oneself and anxiety in daily social situations;
  • Intense worry some days, weeks, or months before a particular social situation;
  • Fear of being embarrassed;
  • Fear that you will get anxious and people notice it;
  • Fear of being criticized and judged by others;
  • Excessive fear to meet new people;
  • Total isolation from social events;
  • Derealization or depersonalization.


Conclusion

Summarizing the article “How to deal with social anxiety,” we can say that if you struggle with social anxiety, which makes your social life, and life in general difficult, you should use prescribed medications and go to psychotherapy sessions (in particular, CBT sessions).

You can also use the given tips to reduce your anxiety symptoms by yourself in case you cannot go to therapy for some reasons.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Course

  • With over 50,000 participants, this anxiety course may be just what you need to regain control of your life.

Light Therapy

  • Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

References

  1. Furmark, Thomas. Social Phobia — From Epidemiology to Brain Function.
  2. Treating Social Anxiety Disorder (How to Deal With Social Anxiety)

Was this post helpful?