Can you remember how you felt when you were asked to make your first public speech? I bet you might have felt like disappearing into the ground.
80% of people get nervous or shy when giving a speech or going for an interview. This is normal, and does not mean you have social anxiety.
Social anxiety is more than just being nervous while delivering a speech. A person with social anxiety disorder has a constant fear of being embarrassed in the public, so much so that they avoid situations that could result in said embarrassment.
The truth is, that irrespective of how shy or self-conscious you are, you can learn to be comfortable around people and enjoy your life.
A large number of people suffer from social anxiety without even realising it, so we have decided to discuss this disorder to create awareness and show how it can be controlled without taking any pharmaceutical medication.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder, also known as Social phobia, is an intense fear of interacting with people or in social situations.
Recent research has proven that social anxiety is the third most common mental disorder in the world. Most people with this disorder are afraid of making mistakes or being embarrassed while out in public. As a result, they avoid situations that will lead to this, no matter the cost. They are scared of situations even before they happen. In most cases, they are fully aware that their fear is unreasonable, yet they cannot overcome this fear on their own.
If not properly managed, social anxiety disorder can have a disabling effect on the daily lives of the people who suffer from the disorder. It can affect relationships, work, business and study.
Causes of Social Anxiety Disorder
Despite ongoing research, the exact cause of social anxiety disorder remains unknown. However, studies have suggested that certain factors can trigger an onset of social anxiety disorder, including:
Genetics: Genetics play a role in the development of social anxiety disorder. If a parent experiences social anxiety disorder, their children are at a higher risk of developing the disorder. The same goes for twins.
Environmental factors: Studies have also proven that children that grew up with parents that are overprotective or critical have a higher tendency of developing social anxiety when compared to children that grew up in a normal, supportive atmosphere.
Past experiences: Negative social experiences, such as intense humiliation or trauma, may lead to an onset of social anxiety disorder.
Alcohol: It has been suggested that alcohol use and abuse can worsen social anxiety.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety
Intense and crippling fear when being introduced to others, when criticized, when being supervised while doing something or when at the centre of attention are some indicators of social anxiety. Other signs and symptoms related to social anxiety disorder include:
- Immense fear of social events
- Pounding heart
- Stomach upset
Nutritional and Natural Supplements That Can Help Reduce Social Anxiety
L-Theanine: This is a natural supplement that effectively helps in controlling anxiety, with results usually visible within 15 minutes.
Balanced diet: We all know the body requires a healthy and balanced diet to function properly. If the body is not well nourished, it will showcase in every area of the person’s life, including their mental health.
Magnesium supplement: Magnesium supplements helps to reduce anxiety and stress and create an overall calm feeling. It also helps to reduce muscle tension associated with social anxiety.
GABA : GABA is a natural supplement that can be used to control social anxiety.
The good news is that social anxiety disorder can be controlled. In addition to the supplements listed above, the right attitude and holistic lifestyle can help a person reduce their social anxiety symptoms within a short period of time.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has been found to be extremely effective in helping to control social anxiety disorder.
Social skill training can also have positive results. Examples of areas where guidance on how to deal with situations would include introducing yourself or going to a busy shop.
Other holistic lifestyle changes that will help you be in full control of yourself are focusing your attention on others and avoiding the excessive strive for self perfection. We cannot be perfect, so if you are in the public, always learn to think of the good and not the bad, control your breath and prevent the negative thoughts of being judged or watched by others. You can also try socializing by visiting friends you are comfortable with no matter how small the group is. Another must-do in the fight against social disorder is to face your fears. Running away from events will never solve the problem but when you face your fears and work on it genuinely, then you are on the right road to rid yourself of social anxiety.