450: Social anxiety makes it challenging to go out with friends
In this week’s episode we’re talking about how social anxiety can make it very challenging to leave home and meet with friends or attend social events, and how you can support yourself or find the right help in feeling more calm and confident socially.
Points covered in this episode:
Social anxiety is an intense fear of being judged by others at work, school, and day-to-day activities. Many of our listeners even dread going out with their friends and often cancel because they get so worked up before having to go out in public.
Concerns about going out include:
Being embarrassed and showing it by blushing, sweating or shaking
Accidentally offending someone
Being the centre of attention
Common situations that social anxiety sufferers struggle with:
Speaking in public
Making eye contact
Using public restrooms
Going to parties
Eating in front of other people
Going to school or work
How Social Anxiety Feels
The experience may vary from person to person, but if you have social anxiety can trigger physical symptoms like:
dissociation (a feeling like you’re out of your body)
a racing heart
feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach
and feeling shaky or hot
What helps social anxiety?
Social anxiety can be a very difficult form of anxiety and one that can quickly escalate if we don’t get support. Let’s look at what helps.
Know that you are not alone
Although it’s seldom mentioned, many people around you at gatherings and events are also struggling with varying degrees of social anxiety
Try talking to a trusted friend or close group of friends
You may be surprised and relieved to find that someone else in your close circle of friends feels the same way
Explore you anxiety to see where the triggers are for you
Here’s an exercise to try: think about a social event you’d like to go to if you felt completely at ease, calm and confident
Note down what stands between you and feeling fine
Social anxiety can vary from person to person, knowing your own triggers will help you move forward.
For example, do you feel shy about talking to new people? Do you worry about your appearance? Does your mind run away from you with all thoughts of what might go wrong? Do you find crowds or noise too much?
Or is it something else? Note your thoughts down to gain some clarity. Once you know where your social anxiety is most triggered you can begin taking steps to support yourself.
Bach Flower Remedies can be gently supportive for social anxiety
Rescue Remedy is a calming combination remedy you can keep with you at all times and spray under your tongue, or into a bottle of water.
There are also some individual remedies that are helpful:
Mimulus: helps when you can name your anxiety and you know what’s bothering you. It’s also helpful for feeling shy.
Aspen: helps when you feel vague unease and anxiety, you may feel shaky and can’t put your finger on why, yet the anxiety stays with you constantly.
You can find out more about Bach flowers at bachcentre.com
Social anxiety can feel very isolating but you are not alone. Consider reaching out for help to a trusted friend or someone experienced in offering anxiety support.
An anxiety coach can help you explore and diffuse your anxiety triggers and share calming techniques with you to help you feel more at ease in any social situation.
Find out about Anxiety Slayer Breakthrough Coaching Sessions here