Symptoms of social anxiety
By Aneesa Moidoo, Psychologist
“Can you help me understand why I often feel extremely anxious and uncomfortable in social situations? I’ve noticed that I become really self-conscious, my heart races.
What could be causing these symptoms, and is there a solution to help me feel more at ease in social settings?” It sounds like you may be experiencing symptoms of social anxiety.
Social anxiety can manifest as intense anxiety or fear in social situations, often accompanied by physical symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, trembling, and difficulty speaking.
It can be challenging to deal with, but there are effective treatments available.
People who struggle with social anxiety often experience increased feelings of uneasiness and fear in situations where they expect to be watched, evaluated or criticised by others.
Thoughts like what if people see me doing things that are socially inappropriate or embarrassing in front of others,(which is a holding on to an unrealistic standard of self ) leaving you feel inadequate.
You may also expect others to be watching your every move and formulating negative judgments about your looks, actions, or speech, making you highly self-conscious and feel as if you are in the spotlight.
Ultimately, all these feelings and ideas boil down to a fear of people disliking, dismissing, or ignoring you because of your perceived social inadequacy.
These situations include when giving speeches, in public meeting, attending job interviews, participating in class discussions or even doing activities like eating out in public, or using public restrooms.
When you find yourself in social settings that cause you anxiety, remember that there are things you can do to make things easier on yourself.
Take a deep breath; inhale gently, hold for a brief pause, and then exhale slowly. It’s a simple method that can help you feel more at ease.
Question yourself whenever you have self-doubting ideas, such as believing you’re not good enough. Look for evidence that invalidates these beliefs, and use your wisdom and reasoning to demonstrate that these worries are frequently irrational.
Instead of assuming what other people are thinking of you, the greatest approach to standing out in social situations is to be yourself. Make positive affirmations in place of those negative ones.
For instance, if a friend extends an invitation to a gathering, it is because they enjoy having you there.
Consequently, tell yourself “My friend invited me because they want me to be there.” Furthermore, it’s totally fine to take a quick break if the tension ever becomes too much. Step aside for a time.
Then, when you’re ready, come back. You can feel more at ease in social settings by taking these easy, considerate measures. You can handle it!
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Daily Tribune)