Social anxiety is defined as “the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.” Imagine such feelings day in and out, especially for things and in situations that are perfectly normal for others.
An individual with SA would find it overwhelming difficult to handle themselves in social situations. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 7.1 percent American adults have social anxiety, with the incidence being higher in females at 8 percent compared to males at 6.1 percent. Unfortunately, SA can degrade quality of life, making the affected individual feel depressed and lonely.
People battling social anxiety are not invisible but they often get overlooked. This leads them to develop self-worth and esteem issues which increases during the holiday season. However all is not lost. People with SA can enjoy the holiday season without crushing their confidence. Here are a few tips that can help one get through festivities at office, friends’ and home.
Plan quiet time: Ensure that the day is not packed with too many activities. A day with breakfast with colleagues, then an afternoon shopping for Christmas gifts, catching a movie and then having a dinner with family is not what one’s ideal day should look like. Instead, plan just one meal with a group and spend the rest of the time in one-to-one sessions or completing meaningful chores at home. This would give one a breather and allow them to relax between the parties.
Take a mindful walk: If the party is getting too much to handle, go to the balcony or take a walk to get a breather. This will give one time to calm down and reconnect with oneself. Focus on how good it feels to walk on the ground or breathe in the fresh air. Actively let go of all thoughts about what is happening at the party and concentrate on the self and how it feels.
Visualize the day: When one visualizes the event or the day at hand, it reduces their fear of the unknown. Get as much information as possible and be prepared for what to expect.
Make time for enjoyable activities: Attending parties and other events is one thing, but do not forget to take out time for self. One must take out half an hour to one hour to do what one really likes, be it yoga, swimming, walking or reading. This can be therapeutic and would help get through the rest of the day.
Seeking medical help for social anxiety
If none of these tips work, then getting in touch with a professional mental health expert would help. As each individual is different, they would require a different treatment plan. After studying the medical history of an individual, the therapist can suggest a comprehensive plan that would include a behavioral therapy and learning social skills to cope with and manage social situations. Cognitive restructuring helps people identify situations that cause anxiety and provide courage to handle the matter at hand confidently. Deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques also help ease the symptoms.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an anxiety disorder, it is imperative to seek professional help. Medical Concierge of California offers a variety of evidence-based treatment plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number (877) 636-0042 to connect with the best mental disorder treatment center in California. Alternatively, you can also chat online with our medical representatives for accessing information pertaining to anxiety disorders treatment in California and other parts of the U.S.