Are you struggling with shyness or social anxiety?
We all feel shy from time to time. However, some people feel extremely shy or anxious, to the point that it starts interfering with their lives. Since most aspects of life involve interacting with others, extreme shyness or social anxiety can become debilitating if left untreated. It can lead to social isolation, as well as trouble participating in work, school, or leisure activities. Oftentimes, people try to cope with social anxiety by avoiding the things that make them feel nervous. While this tends to decrease anxiety in the short term, it actually increases anxiety in the long term. It also results in a smaller and smaller “safety zone”, thereby reducing what the person feels capable coping with, along with their self-esteem.
- Feel nervous in social or performance situations? E.g., meeting new people, going to social gatherings, being the centre of attention, or being observed while working or performing a task?
- Do you worry that others will notice how anxious you feel, and that they will think negatively of you for showing signs of anxiety? E.g., blushing, sweating, shaking, stuttering, having a panic attack, or not knowing what to say
- Are there places or activities that you avoid due to fears of being judged, criticized, embarrassed, or humiliated?
- Is it hard for you to do things in public when others may be watching, such as reading, public speaking, eating, writing, using public washrooms, or eating alone at a restaurant?
- Do you have “safe” places, people, or routines that you use to reduce your anxiety?
- Does anxiety keep you from doing things you would like to do such as trying new things, asking for help, saying “no” to others, dating, making friends, or performing at work?
Social Anxiety Treatment can help you to:
- Learn about what leads to and maintains your shyness and social anxiety
- Learn to identify and disengage from your critical and self-defeating thoughts
- Learn strategies to cope with anxious feelings so that you can effectively engage in social situations
- Practice social skills in a safe environment
Why is Social Anxiety Treatment important?
Although seeking help might feel anxiety provoking, not seeking help will keep you feeling stuck (and anxious). Shyness does not need to run your life. The world is waiting for you to join in.