The Scoop on Social Anxiety

The Scoop on Social Anxiety


Anxiety is defined as an intense feeling of worry. Anxiety can strike in psychological and physiological ways. Anxiety can look like worrying about the future. For example, you may worry about test results, job performance, marital satisfaction, business success, etc. It is normal for us to worry about important events and significant people in our lives. But anxiety is different from normative worries as it is more pervasive, making it difficult for us to have healthy relationships, perform work duties and meet other responsibilities of daily living. Unhealthy anxiety levels are marked by feeling uneasy, uncertain, out-of-control, and grave concerned. On a physical level, an individual may experience muscle tension, sweating, tremors, and a racing heart. There are several types of anxiety, but this article will discuss how to identify and reduce social anxiety.

Social anxiety is similar to general anxiety, except this type only occurs in social settings or when social interaction is necessary. In the case of social anxiety, worrisome thoughts are usually related to being judged or negatively perceived by others. In teenagers, social anxiety can look like the fear of being clumsy or silly in front of others. Teenagers' most common physical symptoms are blushing, sweating, hoarseness and tremors in the legs, arms, and fingers. Preteens are also anxious about eating in public, playing musical instruments, using public urinals (male teens), and fear blushing—and fingers.

Not only does anxiety affect what you think about, but it also affects your daily experience. Social anxiety can turn a simple event into a complex social enigma. People who suffer from anxiety deal with bothersome thoughts and exasperating physical symptoms. It is possible that the presence of physical symptoms further triggers mental anxiety. Ider the following symptoms: tremors in the extremities, racing heartbreak while resting, and randomly sweating; these are all symptoms that others can observe. The presence of these noticeable anxiety symptoms causes more fear and the false idea of, 'now, I am definitely being judged.'

So, Remember that people with anxiety fear negative outcomes and being negatively perceived by others. What do you do? How do you stop yourself from worrying and reacting on a physiological level? The answer is to reduce your anxiety beforehand. There are various approaches to reducing stress, and here, we will briefly highlight a few. The first tip is to find a cognitive-behavioral therapist. A cognitive-behavioral therapist will work with you to see why you are anxious in the first place. Where did you ever get the idea that things will go wrong? How did you come to believe that others are thinking negatively about you? When did you start to see yourself as clumsy or weird? Answering these questions is a powerful tool for understanding why we become fearful in the first place. Cognitive-behavioral therapy will help you sort out your thoughts and fears and place them in their proper places.

The second method is to practice acceptance rather than avoidance. Trying to restrain anxiety forcefully causes a lot of mental/ physical fiction and can make you feel even worse. When a concern arises, the best thing you can do is brace yourself for impact. You know how anxiety feels, and you may even know your triggers. When you anticipate peaks in fear, prepare yourself and practice acceptance by reaffirming that you can handle this, that anxiety will pass over soon, and that you are ok, you're just dealing with stress.

The last method to highlight is finding distress tolerance and grounding techniques that work for you. The role of these skills is to help you tolerate stressful episodes and remain in the present moment. When anxiety arises, a person's first response is often to avoid or suppress it; neither method is helpful to the body or the person. Find activities that effectively reduce your anxiety, and start to do them BEFORE pressure rises. Some examples may be exercise, taking a walk, playing a quick puzzle/ problem-solving game, talking yourself through it using encouragement, getting some alone time, talking to a friend, deep breathing, journaling, etc. An overly simplified example is: if presenting PowerPoints at work makes you anxious, try playing a game of Tetris or talking a walk BEFORE your next PowerPoint presentation. This method is similar to emptying a cup before it overflows, except you are engaging in stress-reducing activities before your anxiety peaks.


We specialize in treating a range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, addictions,  trauma, motherhood, life changes, postpartum, child therapy, post traumatic trauma, and mood disorders. We help clients in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, and Sandy Springs, Georgia.  


Towler Counseling LLC

8046 Roswell Road Suite 101 C Sandy Springs, GA. 30350

Phone: 404-580-7150 or 770-800-7362