How To Treat Social Anxiety Naturally

by Jason on March 14, 2012

It’s said that social anxiety disorder affects around 7% of the world’s population, and percentage that is shared equally between men and women. What some tend to assume about social anixety, or social phobia as it’s also referred to, is that it’s a disorder about people being extremely shy and uncomfortable in highly public settings. Now yes, bits and pieces of the disorder revolve around being anxious and timid in social settings, but in reality, social anxiety goes much further than that.

Many of those affected can show increased irritability when cornered or feeling “crowded” when they are in a room of ten people or at a stadium filled with 70,000. Or if they interact with a few people, they may feel they’ve upset the person or think they are being talked about behind the scenes. Those simple interactions will be played back in their minds over and over for days or weeks because their conscience is unable to put it to bed.

I know because I showed these same signs of social anxiety disorder growing up. I was as shy as could be, didn’t care too much for talking to strangers or meeting new people outside my comfort zone, and constantly thought people were always talking about me or misconstruing everything I said. And while I’m not 100% completely over it, I’ve come to terms with most of my symptoms, and in some cases, have been able to rid myself entirely of them. I never took any medications, but rather took baby steps towards opening myself up to people and highly public situations. There were a few ways I went about that, and I’d like to share a few of them in hopes of helping others achieve the same.

1. Open Your Communication: Whether it’s seeing a psychologist and opening up about more details or trying to branch out and introduce yourself to strangers at parties, extending one’s communication skills is key. Confidence-building gestures like eye contact, firm handshakes and not folding your arms when communicating are some of the most complementary pieces you can take away from each and every conversation. By listening and making great strides with how you interact with someone, it helps take the edge off worrying about what they think later on. And the more you work on it, the better chance worrisome emotions fade away.

2. A Social Job Environment: I was so hesitant to get a job in high school that my parents finally told me I had to get one if I wanted a car. I remember being a sacker at a grocery store, and it was good because I didn’t have to interact as much. It wasn’t until I got a job as a bus boy at a restaurant across the street where my interactions increased. They had to. I had to consistently talk to my coworkers, talk to diners, etc. At first, the timidness levels were almost maxed out. I was still shy, was always on edge and felt my managers thought I was doing a terrible job always (when the truth was they all loved my work ethic). But over time, I became more assertive, more willing to talk with strangers, and welcomed the challenges for each day forward. Working in a highly social environment like a restaurant was probably one of the best things to happen to me, because it allowed me to break out of shell.

3. Exercise Your Mind and Body: By working your thoughts and ideas in motion to a therapist or your closest confidants and just exercising in general, you’re fronting a two-headed success plan to curb your social anxiety tendencies for later on. By seeking out a therapist to discuss what triggers your attacks on a regular basis, you’re slowly cutting away some of the tension that starts the whole process. Seeking out counseling, whether through a professional therapist or by participating in clinical research studies, you’re challenging your social phobia by channeling stories and instances where you feel most vulnerable.

Even general exercising works more oxygen into your body, revitalizing your senses, actions and clears your head. Walking or running a mile every other day, doing yoga or Pilates, riding a bike, etc.–they collectively work to achieve a healthier you, which in and of itself, contributes to reducing stress and anxiety levels, and allows you better opportunities to go against the grain of your disorder.

In conclusion, there are a number of natural remedies to help overcome social anxiety. It may be a case of not allowing yourself new opportunities to shine in interactive situations, or it could be you haven’t welcomed professional help or leaned on your peers for support. Whatever the case may be, social anxiety disorders can be drastically reduced through natural situations.

About The Author: Kyle is a freelance writer and contributor for a KC clinical study company that has worked in clinical trials and methods for patients suffering from specific disorders.

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