Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is an intense fear of social situations. It can prevent you from attending social events or going out in public, and it can make it hard to work with your coworkers and clients or do well in school. But don’t worry, a social anxiety psychologist can help you find ways to overcome it. Here are five of the best ways to fight back against your fears and get on with living the life you want to live.
1) Talk to a therapist
I am a social anxiety psychologist, and I specialize in using cognitive behavioral therapy to help people with their anxiety. One of the most common questions that I get asked is How do I overcome my social anxiety? Here are five ways you can try:
1) Practice self-compassion.
2) Get out there and practice facing your fear.
3) Learn about how your brain works and what it’s doing when you’re feeling anxious.
2) Take medication
While medication is not a cure for social anxiety disorder, taking medication can help you manage the symptoms and get relief. Medication is only effective if it is taken as prescribed. If you are taking medication, always check with your doctor before making any changes or stopping treatment. For some people, there may be a period of trial-and-error until they find the right dose or combination of medications that works for them.
3) Join a support group
Joining a support group is one of the best ways to combat social anxiety. This can be as simple as joining a Facebook group, following an Instagram account, or attending a local meetup. Whatever your preference may be, connecting with others who have been in your shoes can help you feel less alone and give you the courage you need to keep going.
4) Do exposure therapy
Exposure therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that involves gradually exposing the individual to the situation they fear. This type of therapy can be highly effective in overcoming social anxiety, as it allows you to change the way you think and feel about the object or situation. For instance, if you are afraid of public speaking, exposure therapy would involve gradually giving a talk in front of progressively larger groups.
5) Change your thinking
The first step in overcoming social anxiety is by changing your thinking. If you think about how much time you spend worrying about what people are thinking about you, then it can be hard for you to go out and enjoy yourself. The truth is that people don’t care nearly as much as we do. And so, the first step of overcoming social anxiety is by reminding ourselves that people are not judging us as harshly as we judge ourselves.