Believe it or not, many famous people also suffer from Social Anxiety. Howie Mandel, Whoopi Goldberg, Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Lawrence, Britney Spears, and Adele are a few celebrities who have admitted having this condition.
The issue with Social Anxiety is that you feel like you are the only one in the entire world who is suffering with it — in other words, you feel alone.
You are not alone!
In fact, Social Anxiety affects some 15 million American adults and usually starts in our teen years. Suddenly, we see ourselves as inferior to others – scared that our imperfections are all anyone can see. This sudden feeling produces a strong desire to not go anywhere for fear of being judged.
Ack! Does that sound like you or someone you know? I get it – because I had it too. Like many teens, I felt a pimple meant everyone was looking at me. If my outfit didn’t match everyone else’s, or my hair wasn’t looking perfect…and the list goes on and on; because nothing about me felt comfortable. If I could have hopped out of my skin, I would have.
There is good news, though, because there are ways to conquer what feels like a giant monster inside you that is controlling your thoughts and feelings. You want to go to that gathering, the New Year’s party, your work event, but it feels as if a ball and chain is holding you back.
Let’s cut the chain!
There is a wonderful December 14th NPR article when by Juli Fraga, Holiday Parties Make You Squirm? Here’s How to Conquer Social Anxiety, that gives many suggestions on how to stop Social Anxiety. One way she describes is to have a friend with you when attending activities that make your anxious and that you come up with a “magic word” that will let your friend know you are ready to leave. The article chose the word, “circus”. I am not sure how you weave the word “circus” casually into a conversation, but you can come up with a word for your that will notify your friend, “I’m out of here.” Of course, you are counting on your friend to be willing to leave the party at that time.
Another way to deal with Social Anxiety is to realize you are overly focused on yourself and those things that you judge to be your flaws. It helps if you take a step back and realize that you are not alone. I can pretty well bet that there are going to be a number of other people at the gathering that are also feeling that their flaws are showing.
Still another way of dealing with the pain of Social Anxiety is to learn techniques to tolerate it. The NPR article suggests that learning to tolerate the feelings rather than fleeing can help you realize that it is just your thoughts and not reality.
There are a variety of therapies…
that will work, such as Cognitive Therapy. There are also medications that can help ease the pain and allow you to feel more at ease. (A therapist or doctor can prescribe these for you.)
As a hypnotherapist, I have seen many clients overcome their Social Anxiety through hypnosis and coaching. Within my practice, I also incorporate breathing techniques and stress reducing exercises. I also suggest yoga, meditation, and exercises in mindfulness. If a client can add a pet to their home, this also helps. Riley is my helper for my anxiety and she also helps many of my clients with their anxiety while in my office. Belly rubs feel good to her and provide that wonderful bonding of touch for my client.
you do not want to allow your Social Anxiety to isolate you. As humans we must have interaction with other humans. We need touch, laughter, sharing. Please, do not allow your Social Anxiety limit your joy for life.
Come and see me for a free 30-minute Discovery Session and together we can see if hypnosis and coaching will help you remove the ball and chain holding you back from sharing yourself and enjoying life!