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Shyness and social anxiety are common problems that affect both men and women.  Most of us feel shy or anxious in social situations at a certain point in our lives.  This can be a much more serious problem for some people however, who find that their lives are made very difficult by their problem.

 

Do I suffer from social anxiety? 

People who experience social anxiety fear that other people will think badly of them and often believe that they are not as good as others.  This makes social situations very difficult or impossible for them.

 

What causes social anxiety? 

Social anxiety is something that very many people experience in a mild form but some people find themselves more seriously affected by it.  It is not a sign of any more serious physical or mental illness, but can be extremely distressing.  It is often related to ‘low self esteem’ or a poor opinion of yourself, which may have begun in childhood.  Some people seem to be naturally more anxious and have learned to worry.  Others may have had stressful life events that have led them to feel like this

 

How can I stop thinking that everyone is looking at me? 

Research has shown that people with social anxiety tend to show an increase in ‘self processing’ in situations where they feel anxious.  

This means that they concentrate a lot on their own body, their own thoughts with the negative images and views of themselves and have a strong negative image of how they look to others. 

Take things one step at a time.  

You will need to practise regularly to manage thoughts and physical symptoms of anxiety using the skills you have learned in the other sections.  You will gradually learn that you can cope and feel comfortable in social situations.  It is worth remembering that many other people feel anxious in social situations too, it just doesn’t show.  You are not the only one.

 

How can I reduce my physical symptoms

In order to reduce the severity of physical symptoms it is useful to ‘nip them in the bud’, by recognising the early signs of tension.  Once you have noticed early signs of tension you can prevent anxiety becoming too severe by using relaxation techniques.


Try some Relaxation Techniques to help


Relaxation techniques including deep muscle relaxation, controlled breathing, distraction techniques and mindfulness can all help reduce anxiety. Click here to read more.




Courses we provide that can help you


Silvercloud

SilverCloud is an exciting online therapy programme proven to help with stress, anxiety, low-mood and depression. There are a range of programmes, including extra activities and ideas from mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy. The programme is flexible; use it anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. You can even access it on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Click here to read more