5 tips to manage social anxiety at jury duty?

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This blog answers: What are the tips to manage social anxiety at jury duty? What are the triggers of experiencing social anxiety at jury duty? What is social anxiety? What are the signs and symptoms of social anxiety? How to manage social anxiety using self-help techniques? How to manage social anxiety using other methods?

What are the tips to manage social anxiety at jury duty?

Some tips to manage social anxiety at jury duty are:

Consult a professional

Individuals who have been summoned for jury duty and also experience social anxiety can consult their health care professional, particularly their psychologist or therapist to help them calm their nerves before the jury duty or also ask them for an application that can act as evidence for their mental health condition.

Have company

Another way to manage one’s social anxiety while going for jury duty is to take along a company with you to the court who can talk on behalf of you if required and inform them about your mental health condition in the worst scenarios.

Have a proper meal

One’s eating habits might also contribute to an individual’s social anxiety directly or indirectly. When an individual fails to maintain their food timings it might lead to fluctuations in their blood sugar levels.

These fluctuations might make an individual feel jittery which in turn triggers their anxiety.

Hence maintaining a proper schedule and diet is important for various reasons not just for energy but also for maintaining one’s mood.

Individuals must take a good breakfast or a healthy meal before going to court to stay full and avoid feeling jittery.

Have your medication

Individuals who have been experiencing chronic social anxiety must be very particular about their medication and their dosage. Before leaving for jury duty individuals must ensure that they have taken their medicines as prescribed by the practitioner.

Though medications are not a one-stop solution for social anxiety they can help to calm an individual relatively during jury duty which can help them make it through the situation.

Avoid contact

Those individuals who aren’t comfortable encountering others can try and avoid it as much as possible during jury duty. This can also be done with the help of a company that individuals might take with them to court who can do the speaking whenever possible and necessary.

Anxiety weighted blankets

Another possible management technique for social anxiety for someone summoned for jury duty is to use anxiety-weighted blankets which are a significant tool for those having the condition. These anxiety blankets help to improve individuals’ sleep allowing them to have a good restful sleep.

Light therapy

Light therapy can be one way of increasing the melatonin production in an individual’s body which in turn helps them to sleep better at night and have a positive mood the following day. An Amber light lamp can aid in reducing the time individuals take to fall asleep and improving their sleep quality.

What are the triggers of experiencing social anxiety at jury duty?

Some triggers of social anxiety at jury duty are:

  • Giving eye contact to other individuals
  • Meeting significant others and having a conversation
  • Ask to initiate a conversation in public
  • Fear of embarrassment or humiliation in front of the jury
  • Being observed by the other members of the jury
  • Becoming the center of attention at the jury duty

What is social anxiety?

Individuals experiencing social anxiety might feel uncomfortable being in social situations to an extent that it hampers their daily functioning, it’s sometimes referred to as a social phobia.

Individuals consider public spaces as potential spaces of humiliation and embarrassment. Social anxiety affects how a person Interact with the world around them.

Social anxiety can be differentiated from shyness. In that shyness does not affect an individual’s daily life and functioning, moreover shyness is short-lived.

On the other hand, social anxiety is persistent and negatively impacts various aspects of an individual’s life like their ability to work productively or even develop or maintain close bonds with people outside their family.

 What are the symptoms of social anxiety?

The symptoms of social anxiety can be both physical and psychological.

The most significant physical symptoms of social anxiety are:

  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Lightheadedness or feeling dizzy
  • Increased heart rate

The psychological symptoms that individual experiences during a social anxiety attack are:

  • Excessive and intensive worry about the social situation
  • Worrying days or even weeks ahead of an important social event
  •  Trying to camouflage themselves in the background or the need to avoid the social situation on a whole
  •  The need for intoxication to face a social situation
  •  The constant worry of being observed by others 

In addition to these individuals with social anxiety may avoid social interactions such as asking another person a question when in doubt, potential job interviews, shopping, using public services like transport or washrooms, carrying out activities in public such as speaking or even eating in that matter.

 

How to manage social anxiety using self-help techniques?

Lifestyle changes

Apart from therapy and medication what works best to manage social anxiety is certain lifestyle changes. These may include:

  •  Regular exercises
  •  Having a balanced diet,
  •  Socializing and talking to people about their anxiety,
  •  Journal writing to express and understand one’s feelings and
  • Avoiding alcohol or drugs.

Take control of your breathing

It is normal for anxiety to bring about changes in your body, for instance, increased breathing. these changes often make an individual feel uncomfortable.

One can take control of this discomfort by carrying out a few simple steps such as holding one’s breath for two seconds and slowly letting it out through their mouth.

Repeating this step several times until one feels relaxed. This is most effective when one sits down in a comfortable position with their back straight.

 

Carry out progressive muscle relaxation

Research indicates that certain activities such as walking, or jogging can help in killing anxiety. Another effective technique to kill anxiety is progressive muscle relaxation.

Progressive muscle relaxation involves flexing and releasing a group of muscles in one’s body which helps to maintain their attention on the feelings of this contraction and relaxation.

Prepare ahead of situations

It is best advised that people who experience social anxiety must plan ahead of these situations that make them nervous to increase their confidence.

Start small

to kill social anxiety people must start small. In that individuals must avoid big social situations and start with the situation that they are compatible with.

For instance, one can start by going for lunch with friends and family members rather than with a set of individuals that whom they’re not familiar or confident.

Push back negative thoughts

One very effective way to kill social anxiety is to focus and work on one’s negative thoughts actively.

Think about the negative thoughts that one has about a particular situation and write them down. Following which the person is required to write down positive thoughts that challenge the negative ones.

Sensory awareness

One’s senses can help them calm down while they feel anxious in any situation. For some people trying to look at photographs that give them a sense of happiness or using a particular scent that can help to distract them from the negative thoughts and reconnect with more positive ones can help to kill the anxiety at the moment.

How to manage social anxiety using other methods?

Like other physical conditions, even social anxiety has different approaches for its management and treatment. Some people might only need a single type of treatment while others might require a combination of approaches.

Some of the ways to manage or treat social anxiety disorders are:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular situation that they usually fear in a graded manner.

It usually starts with exposing the individual to a situation that is least triggering when the individual gets comfortable with this situation introduced or exposed to them with each session individuals become comfortable with a real-life situation that is otherwise anxiety-provoking.

Group therapy

As the name suggests group therapy usually involves two or more individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same condition or fears they might not feel left alone or isolated.

This kind of therapy also helps in developing and maintaining social skills or techniques to interact with people in other social settings.

 Prescribed medication

Social anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health professional. There are different types of anxiety medications each with its benefits and side effects.

Online therapy 

Individuals with social anxiety can also seek therapy online. This would involve interacting with the therapist one-on-one over an audio or video call. 

Some individuals with social anxiety might be more comfortable seeking help through this mode than others while in a different case some might prefer face-to-face therapy sessions. 

Conclusion

Jury duty in itself can be very stressful and challenging for many individuals due to the fear of humiliation and embarrassment. Hence experiencing social anxiety for those who have a history of anxiety disorder in jury duty is normal. 

However, individuals must take responsibility for their condition and also the jury duty by taking good steps for their anxieties through therapy and self-help techniques

Frequently asked questions: What are the tips to manage social anxiety at jury duty?

Can you be excused from jury duty due to anxiety?

There are possibilities of being excused from jury duty due to one’s anxiety concerns if their condition is considered as a disability. However, this does require a certificate from the respective practitioner as a source of evidence.

How can I get excused from jury duty?

Several reasons can be an excuse from jury duty such as:

  • The type of job you do
  • Criminal records in the past
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Recent medical surgeries
  • If you are a full-time caretaker for someone with a disability

Can you get out of jury duty for being out of town?

Individuals can defer their jury service until a comfortable date if they are out of town for reasons such as illness or surgical procedures.

What happens if you ignore jury duty?

If individuals ignore the jury duty they could face fines or other serious charges unless they give a good reason for not attending it.

Citations

https://www.quora.com/I-have-severe-social-anxiety-and-was-summoned-for-jury-duty-what-do-I-do
https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/tips-for-living-with-social-anxiety
https://www.ourbetterworld.org/series/mental-health/support-toolkit/anxiety-schizophrenia-mental-health-conditions-explained?gclid=CjwKCAjwk6-LBhBZEiwAOUUDp-UzfypPfEgdAw2kWde-NTdqQRout3YeVuR6TR-zE1bjLWyq7kTEuhoCTSUQAvD_BwE
https://www.verywellmind.com/work-anxiety-4692762

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