When you search “how to treat social anxiety,” over a million hits come up. “Why do people even go to therapy?” You probably wonder to yourself.
Well, here’s the deal. We all know that we can find almost anything off of the internet. Countless DIY’s and self-help books are out there, and yet, billions of people are still going to therapy. Why is that? Simple.
Change isn’t as easy as you think.
Yes, we can read about a lot of things in the books, but it usually ends up being nothing more than a nod and “ohhhhhh, I see.” But knowing and willing to change are completely different things. I don’t doubt that you have been suffering from anxiety for a very long time. I also don’t doubt that you’ve wished countless times that you could just be “normal” and lead “normal” conversations like every other “normal” person out there.
The thing is, you can! But it will take some time and effort… and more help than just one page of techniques for you to “try out.” And this is where I come in.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social Anxiety is most commonly known as experiencing fear (or anxiety) when you have to perform in public, speak in public, or interact with other people. There are MANY reasons for why an individual might have social anxiety, but the most common one is fearing judgment from others. Regardless of how you got here, your heart begins to pound, your palms turn sweaty, your cheeks turn bright red as blood comes rushing up your face, your arms tremble a little, and the absolute worst of all– your mind goes completely blank.
These symptoms may leave you utterly embarrassed and hopeless in school settings or working situations. How in the world can we function if our body is always acting up like that? Well, let me go a little deeper.
Why does my body react?
As all of you know, your mind and body are connected. Without your brain (the master control center), you would not be able to move or decide on anything. We were built with a fight-or-flight response system, in which our body releases adrenalin and temporarily turns off our digestive system so that we can focus on escaping threats that we are facing. When we face a bear, for example, our brain raises alarms and will activate this system, enabling you to run faster than you’d ever thought it was possible. With individuals who have social anxiety (or any anxiety), however, their brain signals the system to activate as IF there were a threat, even if it really isn’t. So there’s a bit of a miscommunication there… and how do we fix it?
As mentioned above, our body basically reacts to what our mind perceives as a threat. But one important thing to remember is that they are connected, meaning that while your brain can convince your body to freak out, you can also use your body to convince your mind to calm down. By utilizing relaxation techniques that are designed to settle down your heart rate, your physiological response begins to calm down, thus convincing you that you are safer than you thought. Only with a calm piece of mind can you really begin to challenge the false threats that are in front of you. The FREE downloadable guide in our shop provides you with a couple different coping skills that are taught and used in therapy with clients who are experiencing the same thing.
CBT is a method that is used in therapy to help reframe our thinking processes. A lot of the times, it is our minds and the beliefs that it creates that make us fear. EVEN IF THOSE BELIEFS ARE FALSE! Therefore, CBT is proven through research to help restructure ways of thinking, ultimately facing the root issue and alleviating ways to handle situations that used to make you anxious.
A lot of what I talked about in this article are probably things you can read up on when you search google. But without proper structure, you won’t really get anywhere. That’s why I designed a step-by-step guide for you to follow, from learning coping mechanisms to utilizing worksheets and other activities to work on reframing your thoughts. With a timed-structure guide, you no longer have to worry about mixing up or mashing up different methods that google tells you to do. Instead, you get the same techniques that are used in therapy, but without the cost.
To download our free guide or to purchase the 6-week guide, click here.
Have questions? Contact us! We’d love to chat with you.