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My So-Called Life With Social Anxiety Disorder

My So-Called Life With Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety affects me every day, whether I'm grocery shopping or socializing. Here are a few steps I've found helpful in coping with daily social anxiety.My life with social anxiety disorder (SAD) isn’t much of a life. When faced with strangers, I avoid physical proximity, eye contact, and small talk. Though normally well-spoken, the attention of others causes me to stumble over my words. Thoughts of job interviews or parties send me into a panic. I am often frightened when faced with a crowd. Daily life with SAD is unnerving and often unpleasant.

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Social Anxiety and Performance Anxiety Aren’t Your Directors

Social Anxiety and Performance Anxiety Aren’t Your Directors

Social anxiety and performance anxiety share a theme. Knowing the similarity can help you conquer social and performance anxiety. Try this anxiety-reducing tip.

Social anxiety and performance anxiety both involve a great deal of fear, worry, and dread. When it comes to anxiety in general, that’s not unique. All types of anxiety disorders involve some type of fear, a whole lot of worry, and an overarching sense of dread. It’s the nature of the anxious thoughts and emotions that define a particular type of anxiety. With social anxiety disorder, the apprehensions largely involve fear of being judged or embarrassed in social situations. In this, social anxiety is a close cousin of another type of anxiety: performance anxiety. Understanding their relationship will help you reduce both social anxiety and performance anxiety.

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Social Anxiety, Dread of Meeting New People

Social Anxiety, Dread of Meeting New People

People experiencing social anxiety can feel dread when meeting new people. Learn three tips for lowering social anxiety and dread so you can meet new people.

When it comes to meeting new people, social anxiety instills in its sufferers a sense of dread. Having to meet new people can sound alarms and ignite warning fires in the minds and bodies of those living with social anxiety (Extroverts Can Experience Social Anxiety, Too). In response to the fires, fire walls within the brain pop up, sealing off areas like rational thought and peaceful feelings so that all attention is funneled to the fire. The fire is a signal of danger—of stranger danger—and it makes us dread meeting new people. What we often don’t realize is that we are in charge of the alarm, the fire, even social anxiety itself. You don’t have to forever dread meeting new people. 

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Is Social Anxiety Ruining Your Fun?

Is Social Anxiety Ruining Your Fun?

Undoubtedly, social anxiety interferes with life and can ruin your fun (Social Anxiety: A Spectrum from Shy to Avoidant). Living with social anxiety means being on edge, unable to relax or let our guard down. Experiencing social anxiety means living in fear of doing something embarrassing or being judged as incompetent, inadequate, “less than.” Social anxiety creates racing thoughts that are relentlessly self-critical. The anxiety, fear, and sheer exhaustion of all of this can make us shy away from people and social situations. In doing so, is social anxiety ruining your fun?

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Social Anxiety and Jumping to Conclusions

Social Anxiety and Jumping to Conclusions

Living with social anxiety and jumping to conclusions is like perpetually bouncing on a crowded trampoline: We must be watchful so we don’t cause harm to others; we must avoid bumping into, and thus annoying, others; we know if we do it wrong we will surely ruin things for everyone; and we jump, jump to conclusions that we’re being judged negatively. Social anxiety is exhausting (Social Phobia [Social Anxiety Disorder, SAD]). You don’t have to remain stuck on the social anxiety trampoline, jumping to conclusions that you are somehow lesser than others. To stop jumping to conclusions and soothe social anxiety, to find some peace of mind, you must understand some of the effects of social anxiety. 

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Anxiety and Social Media Addiction

Anxiety and Social Media Addiction

I think that it is all too easy to laugh off anxiety and social media addiction as being part and parcel of an entitled generation who are hooked on the instant gratification of likes and comments (The Science of Social Media Addiction). However, often the overuse or misuse of social media can reflect an ocean of unhappiness below the surface, breaking through in tiny drips. Anxiety and social media addiction are often related.

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Anxiety, Criticism, and Conquering Self-Doubt

Anxiety, Criticism, and Conquering Self-Doubt

Sensitivity to criticism is part of anxiety, especially social anxiety, and leads to self-doubt. Learn to correct the thoughts that cause self-doubt. Read this.

The words “anxiety,” “criticism,” and “self-doubt” can be synonyms, closely knit word triplets. Those mere words indicate that anxiety has many effects that tend to make life difficult. One particularly annoying effect of anxiety is sensitivity to criticism. Feeling crushed by criticism is an effect of anxiety, in general, and social anxiety, in particular, where the fear of being judged or of embarrassment can be immense. When anxiety and criticism are overpowering and lead to self-doubt, take heart. There are ways to conquer self-doubt. with with anxiety and criticism 

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Social Anxiety, Shoulding, and a Beginner’s Mind (Shoshin)

Social Anxiety, Shoulding, and a Beginner’s Mind (Shoshin)

A concept known as shoulding contributes greatly to social anxiety, and an entirely different concept called shoshin, or beginner’s mind, contributes to the fading away of social anxiety. Social anxiety involves fear and worry that we’re doing everything wrong; thus, we should be acting, feeling, thinking differently so people don’t judge us negatively. Social anxiety prejudges so much of our lives. Before we even interact with someone, we often assume that we’re inadequate, that we should be better. Practicing a beginner’s mind (shoshin) can help stop the shoulding and reduce social anxiety. 

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Extroverts Can Experience Social Anxiety, Too

Extroverts Can Experience Social Anxiety, Too

While social anxiety is often thought to be something for the introverted among us—after all, they tend to be quiet and reserved—extroverts can experience social anxiety, too. In fact, introversion and extroversion are aspects of personality have no bearing on social anxiety. Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder, a mental health challenge that can be faced by anyone regardless of personality type. Therefore, extroverts can, indeed, experience social anxiety, too.

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Slow Anxiety and Racing Thoughts With This Meditation

Slow Anxiety and Racing Thoughts With This Meditation

Anxiety causes thoughts to race through our minds. Tuning into the senses helps pull us away from racing anxious thoughts and into the outer world.

Anxiety brings with it a seemingly endless list of struggles and frustrations. A very common frustration and, for me, incredibly bothersome is anxiety’s loud, unrelenting hyperactivity. The feeling of hyperactivity is sometimes related to anxiety’s racing thoughts.

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