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Social anxiety disorder: What is it and how to overcome it

Social anxiety disorder can be a challenging condition to live with, but it is not insurmountable. With the right strategies and support, individuals can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

India TV Health Desk Edited By: India TV Health Desk New Delhi Published on: April 14, 2023 15:30 IST
Social anxiety
Image Source : FREEPIK Social anxiety disorder: How to overcome

Social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterised by intense fear or discomfort in social situations, leading to avoidance of such situations or enduring them with significant distress. The symptoms of social anxiety disorder can be overwhelming, making it difficult for individuals to function in their daily lives. However, with the right strategies and support, it is possible to overcome this disorder and lead a fulfilling life. Here is how to overcome:

Seek help from a mental health professional: A therapist can provide support and guidance in identifying triggers, developing coping strategies, and addressing underlying issues that may be contributing to the disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective forms of therapy for social anxiety disorder. The primary objective of CBT is to recognize unfavorable thinking patterns and behaviors and substitute them with optimistic alternatives.

Lifestyle changes: Exercise has been shown to be an effective way to reduce anxiety, as it releases endorphins that improve mood and reduce stress. Regular exercise can also help individuals feel more confident and comfortable in their bodies, which can be beneficial for those with social anxiety disorder.

Practice mindfulness meditation: This technique includes concentrating on the current moment and acknowledging one's thoughts and emotions without any evaluation or criticism. Mindfulness meditation can help individuals with social anxiety disorder to develop a more compassionate and accepting attitude towards themselves, reducing negative self-talk and improving self-esteem.

Challenge negative thoughts and beliefs: Often, those with social anxiety disorder may believe that they are being judged or criticized by others, even when there is no evidence to support this belief. By challenging these thoughts and replacing them with more positive ones, individuals can reduce their anxiety and improve their self-confidence.

Finally, it can be helpful for individuals with social anxiety disorder to gradually expose themselves to feared situations. This process, known as exposure therapy, involves facing one's fears in a controlled and supportive environment. With the help of a therapist, individuals can gradually expose themselves to increasingly challenging social situations, building confidence and reducing anxiety over time.

By taking these steps, individuals can reduce their anxiety and improve their quality of life.

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