How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Overcome Social Anxiety
Hypnotherapy for social anxiety will help you live a full life. Enabling you to attend necessary engagements without fear. And join activities you know you’ll enjoy, but don’t do due to the fear of situations that involve other people.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is a worry about yourself around other people. You might worry about new people and familiar faces. It is a normal human feeling to worry slightly before trying something new. Meeting new people or even going somewhere with familiar faces, which is not a typical part of your life. However, those with social anxiety worry excessively before and after the event. Often the feelings of anxiety will stop you going to something you would enjoy without this fear. For some people, completing everyday tasks necessary for life, such as supermarket shopping or using a public toilet, becomes too much. The thought of doing so becomes so daunting that you opt out totally. If you have practical capabilities, you will find a workaround, such as online shopping. If you don’t or cannot, life is extremely difficult. Social anxiety bubbles on the surface every now and then for most people. If the feelings start to affect your life negatively, see if you can find the strength to ask for help, as there is support there for you.
How to know if you have Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, has a diagnostic criterion for an official diagnosis. Social anxiety occurs in or about a social situation in which you have exposure to possible scrutiny by others. For example, social interactions, performing in front of others, or times when others will observe you. Your main fear is that you will act anxiously, or show symptoms of anxiety that will receive negative evaluation. To receive an official diagnosis, you must almost always experience fear or anxiety in social situations. And you either avoid or endure the event with intense fear or anxiety. The fear or anxiety that you feel is out of proportion to the actual threat of the situation. The fear or anxiety causes you significant distress, or impedes your life, and lasts for at least six months, and is not attributable to any other disorder.
What is the cause of Social Anxiety?
Most people with social anxiety disorder first notice symptoms between 8 and 15 years old. Social anxiety often originates from shyness. Sometimes it develops after a specific, traumatic experience, such as vomiting in public or bullying. Social anxiety is less likely to develop in adulthood. If it does, it’s generally after a particularly stressful or embarrassing event, or even after a life change, that causes feelings of a need to adapt behaviour.
An interesting form of social anxiety is taijin kyofusho, occurring mostly in the Japanese population. It is a strong fear that your body parts or functions displease, embarrass, or offend others. My blog post here gives more information on the cause of social anxiety.
How to Overcome Social Anxiety?
You might wonder how to deal with social anxiety every day. Perhaps you need to get some last-minute bits for dinner, but find yourself unable to get out of your car. So, after sitting in the supermarket car park for twenty minutes desperately trying to muster up the courage to open the door and get out, you simply turn round and drive home. Making do with toast for dinner again. Maybe next time you make it to the door, but the feeling of terror you experience makes you turn and walk quickly away whenever you try. You feel desperate to live a ‘normal life’.
Hypnosis for social anxiety will help you manage the anxiety and find ways to reduce it or even eliminate it completely. Hypnosis is a wonderful tool that you can use, along with mindfulness, to help your body return to a calm state. During your hypnotherapy sessions, your hypnotherapist will help you understand why you experience social anxiety. Together, you can consider whether some therapy to explore previous experience will benefit you. With your hypnotherapist, you can create tools to live your life to the full even when you experience anxiety, and tips to reduce the physical manifestations of anxiety. For example, when your exhale is longer than your inhale, you slow your heartbeat. So, as you trick your body into feeling calm, your mind follows.