Social anxiety disorder (SAD) can make your life miserable. Being afraid of socialising or taking a risk can narrow your life.
Feeling nervous in some social situations is normal such as speaking in public or meeting new people. But people without social anxiety face their fears and push through them for a full, rich life. When you have SAD, experiencing everyday normal situations can cause major anxiety. You may feel as if others are judging you which makes you feel embarrassed or self-conscious.
Living with social anxiety will cause you to avoid situations and people because of irrational fear. Sure this may be based on past memories and mistakes, but there is no guarantee these will happen again. You can learn lessons from the past and make different decisions.
Social anxiety can affect all parts of your life, including work, family, friends, intimate relationships and all sorts of situations. It colours all parts of your life in a murky shade of grey which tends to become self-fulfilling prophecies. When you see everything in a negative light, whatever you think or see or worry about will eventually become your reality.
But it does not have to be that way. Following are some of the ways that social anxiety changes how you think about and see the world. Is this really how you want to live the rest of your life?
Social Anxiety Narrows your View of the World
Think about it. How do you see the world? Is it in a positive light filled with opportunities or is it a place best avoided?
When you have SAD, it tends to narrow your view of the world. This can be in the context of not leaving home as often, choosing to work in a situation where there is minimal requirements to be creative or interact with others, and you may choose to have a select few or no friends. You do this because it makes you feel safer. But really, the cost is extremely high. Eventually you will realise how many opportunities you let pass by because you let SAD control your life.
But it is not too late. You can always start trying to make changes today so you have no regrets later in life.
What you Believe about Yourself
Research shows that self-criticism, shame and low self-esteem play a large part in SAD. So if you have SAD you are likely to see yourself negatively. You may have a high level of negative self-talk that affects much of your life.
Examples of your thoughts may include:
- I am useless..
- Nobody likes me.
- Everyone judges me. It is not fair.
- People look down on me
- My anxiety is impossible to control.
Does any of this sound familiar?
When you continually talk to yourself negatively this affects the decisions and choices you make.
Your Attitude to Other People
Do you fear strangers and see other people in a negative light? When you feel detached and view the new people you meet negatively, it is hard to make new friends. It is also difficult to trust people and receive support.
People not affected by SAD see:
- Meeting strangers as the potential to make new friends.
- People generally as friendly and welcoming instead of as judgemental and dishonest.
- Friends as people to spend fun times and share life with, to rely on for support and for comfort when needed.
It is all too easy to judge people based on how some people treat you. Not everyone is like this. And your body language will betray your fears and thoughts which will influence how others treat you.
When you are scared of meeting new people, they will pass by you. And if you push them away, they will go away. How you behave reflects the way you feel. So if you act disinterested and treat others as unfriendly, then that is the way people will treat you.
But you cannot live a happy life without some people to enrich it.
The Way you See the Future
When you have SAD there is also a risk of developing depression. And if this occurs, it can cloud how you see your future.
Depression gives you the feeling that nothing will get better and you will always feel miserable. It can make you feel hopeless and that there is no real future. You may think there is nothing you can do to improve your life when you have depression along with SAD. This can make the future look bleak and you may lose hope.
You have a choice. Even though it is difficult, you can either see the future as bleak and empty. Or imagine a future that is rich with positive experiences. Remember. What you worry about is usually what you manifest as your reality.
Negative Memories of the Past
New research shows that the memories of people with SAD became more negative over time. And this can mean that how you view your memories can contribute to developing SAD.
What negative memories do you have that caused you to develop SAD? Can you pinpoint moments in time that have left you feeling so anxious? When you have SAD, the negatives outcomes of the past can cause your fear and you focus on past mistakes. Not just the major ones, but the minor ones too. By focusing only on the negatives it will eat away at your confidence and self-esteem.
Leave the past where it belongs — in the past. Move on. Sure, learn lessons from the past but avoid letting them dictate the decisions you make today.
How you See Today
As social anxiety hits you, it is difficult to focus on anything else. Imagine you are about to give a work presentation and are sitting in a conference room with your colleagues before it starts. Do you:
- Have a clear mind about the presentation you are about to give?
- Feel relaxed and able to talk normally with your colleagues?
Probably not. You are likely to be feeling anxious, scared of embarrassing yourself and a whole host of other negative emotions. You may even experience a panic attack that can send your emotions spiralling.
Social anxiety prevents you from thinking straight and drains your energy. Do you really want to continue to live this way? You do not have to. You can reclaim your life if you seek help.
Your Attitude to Opportunities
How do you see the opportunities that cross your path? Do you even see them at all? Or is it too difficult to feel positive about opportunities because it means stepping outside your comfort zone? You may see opportunities as another possible disaster.
Is your life fraught with a long line of lost opportunities?
You can turn this around. Be prepared to try new things and to take calculated risks. It opens your world to a whole new realm of positive possibilities.
Tips to Help you Cope
Now you understand how social anxiety affects how you think, you can work on taking back control. Change the way social anxiety makes you think about the world and the way you relate to the people around you.
Here are some tips to help you:
- Instead of seeing strangers as a threat, see them as potential new friends who can enrich your life.
- What is one opportunity you avoided and regret because social anxiety took over control? Now is the time to have the courage to reach for it. Or find a new opportunity that will enhance your life.
- Maybe you have depression as well as anxiety and this can make life so much harder than it should be. See your doctor for help. Depression does not need to be part of your life, it is treatable.
- What are your biggest regrets? List them. Now give yourself a clean slate by crossing them out. And go out and turn those regrets around.
- Do you have panic attacks that make your life a misery? Talk to your doctor about options or seek therapy to help get them under control.
- Try practicing meditation or yoga to help control your social anxiety.
- Make an attempt to identify what events in your past could be triggering your social anxiety. Work through these with your therapist so you can move forward into a happier future.
- Seek help from a doctor or therapist. Online or alternative treatments may even help. This will help you to devise strategies to help you deal with social anxiety.
Blissiree Pty Ltd
Social anxiety is difficult when you cannot control it. It can affect all parts of your life and your relationships if you let it. In fact, SAD is difficult to deal with especially if you have depression as well. But sometimes all it takes is to change your perspective. This is not always easy without help.
You may often wish you could handle your social anxiety just like those who seem to be calm all the time. But if it is out of control, you may need to seek help to break anxiety’s hold on you. Until you do something to change the way you see yourself and the world, anxiety will continue to negatively impact your life.
The Blissiree Pty Ltd is pioneering a new technique. A natural treatment that may help you cope with the symptoms and triggers of anxiety. It only requires for you to relax. Highly trained facilitators help you learn to recognise the triggers and how to manage them to give you a new perspective. This may help you take back control of your life. And you may notice an improvement after the first session. With some simple changes to your life, a new way of looking at things and with practice, you may learn to put social anxiety behind you.
If your social anxiety is out of control, it is time to turn it around. Time to do something positive. Seek help. Take back control. You do not have to go through it alone. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start taking good care of your mental health. And get back to enjoying life.
If social anxiety causes you to struggle with everyday life, reach out to our professionals. When you are not coping, contact us. We can talk to you about how to get your life back on track. But if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spa. Book in today for my special introductory offer of just $49 (private health rebates apply) so you may turn your life around. We aim to help you cope with any mental health challenges and the anxiety that affects your life. Our facilitators may alleviate the effects of anxiety so you see yourself in a better light and start enjoying life again.
Let me Help Alleviate the Effects of Social Anxiety Disorder
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people for more than a decade. My aim is to help manage and cope with excessive anxiety so you may start to feel better. This may give you a new hope for the future. A future filled with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years so you can start living life to the fullest.
Book a free 25-minute telehealth consultation with Blissiree Pty Ltd founder, Terri Bowman. Or discover a seamless way that may help you manage your emotional and mental health by becoming a member. It will give you access to more than 75 audio programs that may help you to live an inspired life.
What are you waiting for? Try us now. You have nothing to lose.