What are the 4 tips for teachers with social anxiety?
This blog answers questions about: What are the 4 tips for teachers with social anxiety? What is it like for teachers to have social anxiety? What are some self-help techniques teachers with social anxiety can adopt? What are some therapy options for teachers with social anxiety?
What are the 4 tips for teachers with social anxiety?
Some tips that teachers with social anxiety can use to carry on their life and career smoothly are:
- Plan ahead
- Plan around their social anxiety
- Build relationships with students
- Time to rest and reset
Many teachers can be very anxious with their teaching career especially if it is a new experience. Adding to their anxieties are a lack of curriculum and required materials for the classes.
Planning ahead would help teachers with a new experience to get over their initial week jitters more easily. Many teachers will realize that planning ahead might contribute majorly to reducing the amount of stress that they might experience while in class or before going to class
Planning can involve making notes of lesson plans a week ahead or even revising their lesson plans quite in advance.
Planning also gives teachers a sense of confidence and control over their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Controlling other possible triggers of social anxiety might be difficult for many teachers however having control over their preparation and resulting confidence is feasible.
Planning is not only restricted to lesson plans but also might involve one’s outfits which can be a major cause of social anxiety for many teachers.
Teachers who worry about being talked about due to their dressing sense can plan their outfits much in advance such that they are more confident and secure when in it.
Plan around their social anxiety
One of the major mistakes many teachers might make while teaching is trying to compare themselves with other teachers that they look up to rather than being their authentic selves.
Comparing oneself with others in the same profession can be a cause of social anxiety in many teachers. A simple solution to this could be teaching in a way that makes a teacher excited, creative and aid in carrying out in-depth discussions to have a sense of sync with their job.
Teachers can also plan around their social anxiety by speaking to other teachers and receiving suggestions that could help reduce their anxieties.
Build relationships with students
The primary and ultimate contacts of teachers are their students. Most of their social anxiety roots in the fear of being judged by their students.
When teachers, can build a mutual and respectful relationship with their students this fear of judgment decreases in turn decreasing their social anxieties.
It might be a task to have the entire class or entire bunch of students that teachers interact with to like them individually. However, trying to build a positive connection with the students overall might be easier and achievable using various strategies.
Some of the strategies like sharing perspectives arguing over similar areas of interest, being a helping hand, and being flexible with their teaching patterns when needed can aid in forming a positive and respectful relationship with the students.
Time to rest and reset
In addition to using various teaching methods and other tools to get closer to students, teachers might also have to work on themselves and bring about some changes which can be a major source of their anxiety and barriers to smooth functioning.
Bringing about sudden changes in any of their personal elements might not be an overnight task hence teachers with social anxiety must be easy on themselves and bring about changes or reset themselves gradually over time such that it does not lead to heightened levels of anxiety in the process of decreasing it.
What is it like for teachers to have social anxiety?
Many teachers might experience social anxiety. They often skip social events such as assemblies, cultural events, insignificant meetings, and decreased interactions with other coworkers and students.
Many teachers with social anxiety might fear the way they look, the way they teach, the way the students question them regarding lesson-related or unrelated topics, and their potential competitors.
However, it cannot be denied that many teachers who have social anxiety perform significantly well in their professions with the help of a few self-help and therapeutic strategies.
Experiencing social anxiety can not be the reason for teachers to end the profession that they are passionate about. Rather approaching and actively seeking help to get their anxieties into control to continue with their teaching is a more favorable approach to their problems.
What are the symptoms of social anxiety experienced by teachers?
The symptoms of social anxiety experienced by teachers can be both physical and psychological.
The most significant physical symptoms of social anxiety are:
- 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
What are some self-help techniques teachers with social anxiety can adopt?
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.
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 they’re not familiar or confident with.
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.
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.
What are some therapy options for teachers with social anxiety?
Some of the ways to manage or treat social anxiety are:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Teaching is one such profession that can entail various events and circumstances that might be a cause for anxiety for many teachers and for those who are predisposed to social anxiety.
Teachers who are determined to stay with their profession and continue their passion do realize that without using self-help strategies of regulating their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors staying in the profession can be difficult due to the nature of high interactions with the students and coworkers.
Frequently asked questions
Can you be a teacher with severe anxiety?
Studies indicate that many teachers or other staff in the related professions experience anxiety related to their jobs. However, severe anxiety concerns can be brought under control with various therapy and treatment options.
Can you be a teacher if you are introverted?
It is believed that many teachers can be introverts. They might not be seen in school assemblies or take up leading roles but might play a very important role in other domains.
Is it normal to fear teachers?
Many students might report being fearful of their teachers. This is considered very natural and crucial in some situations.