Do you find yourself trying to avoid social situations? Do you get intense anxiety when you’re around people? While it is normal to be nervous or shy around strangers, you may feel physically ill or panic in these settings. These are common signs of social anxiety.
Some common symptoms of social anxiety include:
- Intense anxiety around people, especially new groups.
- Avoiding social situations.
- Using alcohol or other substances to build “courage” before engaging in social settings.
- You find it interfering with everyday life.
- Social settings cause you to experience panic, a pounding heart, sweating, shaking or upset stomach.
- You have been experiencing this for some time.
Many people find themselves caught in the habit of avoiding people, instead of interacting, as it is easier. This creates feelings of low self-confidence and makes it difficult to meet new people, make new friends, or approach a new love interest. In some cases, social anxiety can become severe enough to cause someone to lose relationships, miss opportunities and potentially even lose their job.
The good news is, we can help you learn ways to challenge yourself and be more comfortable in social situations. The best way to treat social anxiety is through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. Simply put, CBT aims to discover the thoughts feeding into the nervous feelings and negative behaviours and helps you find ways to address those feelings.
Many times social anxiety stems from fears of embarrassment. “What if I’m over/under dressed?”, “What if I screw up?” or even “What if I am too boring and have nothing to say?” We work with you to reframe these thoughts. “Sure, not many people dressed up but I still look good.”, “I put a lot of time and effort into this report; I am sure they will appreciate it”, “maybe I can ask a question to get the conversation started”.
Part of the strategy we employ in CBT is helping you address when your fears come true. We work with you to understand these scenarios, role-play through them, and develop solutions to solve them.
You don’t need to feel trapped by your social anxiety. Give us a call today and take the first step, in your journey, to a better you!
Still not sure? Learn more about our team!