How To Get Over Social Anxiety
People often ask how to get over social anxiety. The key is to start small but face your fears, by doing so the anxiety goes away after a while. Imagine you have a beautiful garden with hundreds of different flowers and a perfectly mowed lawn. Having a perfect garden takes time and effort.
It is not an easy thing to maintain. If we did not go out and work on the garden every day the grass would get long, the flowers would wilt and the weeds would grow through. You are like the garden. You can be the beautiful garden but you have to tend to your fears and not run from them.
Philosophies in How to Get Over Social Anxiety – An Overview:
The Caged Bird
Remember the caged bird, it needs constantly reminded to keep quiet, cover it over with a blanket. It is not a helpful bird with its daily mutterings. Eventually it will stop its mutterings and you will be able to let the bird fly away. At the moment it is too happy muttering in its cage. Your anxieties unless you face them will stay like the bird, constantly grinding you down, craving attention and reassurance. Tell your inner mutterings that you are not going to listen to them any more.
Recognize your Thinking Style
I would like to tell you about the different styles of thinking, we are not all the same and when looking at how to get over social anxiety we need to address this. I would like to take each one separately but as you read them ask yourself which one is you. You may feel you fit more than one thinking style but you will likely have favorites for how your brain process and handles information best. These are some of the main thinking styles.
Black And White
Do you think in an unconditional way, for example if you were trying out for the local sports team and you did your best, whilst waiting to find out if you made the final cut by not feeling you did your best would you feel a total failure. At one moment during the twenty minute trial you let yourself down and although overall did well you are a failure for the one moment. In looking at dealing with social anxiety this would be a negative automatic thought, an unhelpful thinking style.
If you went to the Mall and spoke to a cashier who you considered cold or unfriendly would you assume that she must always be like that, or have a hot thought of it must be me, people are always like that with me.
This is over generalizing and in looking at how to get over social anxiety is an unhelpful thinking style. Hot thoughts are your immediate thoughts in an event. If in a situation you write down your automatic first thoughts one will stand out as being the main thought.
This needs underlining as your hot thought. Try and write these down for a situation you face in the next few days. Beginning to see your unhelpful thoughts (the causes of social anxiety) will help you fix your thinking errors.
Do you find yourself focusing on particular negative aspects of a situation or event and ignore the positives. Only hearing the negative when a huge amount was actually positive is an unhelpful thinking style. For example, you are a teacher working an adult education and after the lesson you are told to hand feedback forms out to your class for them to assess the lesson. When everyone leaves you sit reading the forms, such wonderful positive comments but buried among them is one form that has unhappy feedback. This negative comment is the one you make sure you tell your partner about when you get home.
Jumping to Conclusions
Do you find yourself assuming the negative when there is actually no evidence to support it? Can you mind read or tell fortunes, if you can then jumping to conclusions might be appropriate but otherwise it is not a positive thinking style in looking at how to get rid of social anxiety. By mind reading I mean, do you assume what other people are reacting negatively to you, you need to question your thinking and ask yourself; how do you know that? Check out supporting facts with an open mind, brainstorming can help to analyse a situation or event.
Magnifying and Minimizing
Do you find yourself using this unhelpful style in life? Do you exaggerate the negatives and underestimate the positives. Focusing on the worst possible outcome is not a helpful thinking method, you can learn to escape this style when addressing how to get rid of social anxiety.
Thinking with Your Emotions
When considering how to get over social anxiety using your emotions to help you reason can be unhelpful. Feelings and facts often get confused when using this thinking style. You can find yourself in an emotional and often irrational whirl. Decisions that are purely emotional, based upon automatic thinking are not helpful to you in thinking how to get over social anxiety.
By concentrating on what you think should be in a situation will simply cause you stress. What you do in life, what you choose to do and then do could help. What you should do would make you ultimately miserable. You can only do so much. ‘Should’ and ‘need’, can be unhelpful words. There is nothing you should do; you need to listen to do what you want to do. ‘Should’ thinking can mean always keeping other people happy before looking after yourself.
Correcting Your Thinking in How to Get Over Social Anxiety
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