May 28, 2008

Overcoming Social Anxiety

Until recently little was known about social anxiety by psychologists or how to treat this debilitating problem. Most people feel occasionally shy only temporarily yet when you feel extremely anxious, worried and uncomfortable to the point where you avoid social interactions it can cost you to miss opportunities and experiences. It can also take an emotional tool leading to feelings of loneliness and depression.

Cases of extreme shyness can cost individuals their careers and marriage. Extremely individuals may even turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their problems. Here's two things you can do to gradually get your life back.

1. Control Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts can cause you to make irrational decisions in social situations such as making false assumptions about how people perceive you. Try to figure out why these come up when you're faced with a social situation. Many times negative thinking is linked to other problems such as low self esteem and low self-confidence. Remember what others people think of you is not nearly as bad as what you're thinking about yourself.

2. Stop Avoiding Social Situations

Individuals with social anxiety will go to great lengths to avoid social situations. You need to gradually expose yourself to more social situations. Turning down invitations to gatherings, avoiding others, even crossing the street to avoid an acquaintance is behavior that will prevent yourself from making any progress of overcoming social anxiety. Avoidance behavior may seem like an easy way to deal with social anxiety but it only makes you're your anxiety worse in.

With cognitive changes such as keeping negative thoughts in check and behavioral changes such as gradually exposing yourself to social situations you can overcome your social anxiety. It may take a few weeks or even months but with time you can conquer your social anxiety.

You can find more out about social anxiety at Google Books