I know that social anxiety can be devastating. I struggled for years, ‘knowing’ that this was me forever. But, there are ways to beat it and you can start right here.
When I first started out on my quest to crush my own social anxiety, I took the Liebowitz Social Anxiety test.
My initial score was 86 (Severe Social Phobia). I took the test again while writing this post and scored 42 (You do not suffer from social anxiety). This test is a great reference, but, it bases it’s results on an overall score. My social anxiety is a million miles from where it was, but it still kicks me in the ass sometimes 🙁
Although I’ve had the benefits of studying relevant subjects (Psychology, CBT, etc), there’s plenty of simple things you can do to make big in-roads to beating it yourself.
Below, I’ve listed 5 things that you should remember if you suffer from SAD.
1. You are definately not alone
When anxiety strikes you feel like you’re the only one who has it. Like no one suffers the way you do. But, SAD is the third largest psychological disorder (after depression and alcoholism). And it’s estimated that about 7% of the population suffers from some form of social anxiety.
2. Social Anxiety Disorder is treatable
One of the most successful tratments for SAD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT works by changing the way you think and behave. It helps you make sense of your anxiety, by breaking it down into smaller parts. Then using a toolbox of exercises and tasks, gives you the information you need to make the changes necessary.
3. Don’t keep your social anxiety a secret
Almost all of us feel anxious about the thought of confessing to other people that we have social anxiety. But, telling someone you trust can be suprisingly liberating.
You won’t have to worry about trying to conceal your nervousness in the future. It’ll probably explain why you sometimes act the way you do. And you may well find that some of the people you tell suffer a bit of social anxiety as well.
If you’re not sure how to go about telling someone, there’s a great post by Kel at AnxiousLass.com, to help you out with that.
BTW, she has a practical hands on guide, complete with printable worksheets and bonus material over at her site.
It’s perfect if you’re finally ready to take your life into your own hands and gain control over your Social Anxiety, or even if you’ve already made some changes but need that extra push.
You should definately go check it out 😉
4. Think positively and stop avoiding
When you constantly avoid something, the anxiety surrounding it grows. I know it can be scary to face uncertainty, but forget negative thoughts, concentrate on your past successes and remember to use positive self-talk.
5. Mindfulness and Meditation works
A recent study of MBSR for adults with generalized SAD showed reduced anxiety, negative self-view, and conceptual-linguistic self-referential processing along with increased self-esteem and positive self-view.
*MBSR is Mindfulness-based stress reduction
Obviously, if you need any help with anything mentioned above, you can either leave me a note in the comments, or send me an email.
As always, Be Brave 🙂