Six Steps to Overcoming Social Anxiety

Everyone can relate to feeling anxious before giving a presentation or participating in class. Social anxiety in teens is the third most common psychological disorder and a common problem in today’s society. Social anxiety in teens also accounts for thirteen percent of youth that meet diagnosable criteria for this disorder. Unlike the normal feeling of “stage fright”, teens with social anxiety disorder experience a much greater fear of being judged and negatively evaluated by their peers.

Physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder may include:
• Blushing
• Profuse sweating
• Trembling
• Nausea or abdominal distress
• Rapid Heartbeat
• Shortness of breath
• Dizziness
• Feelings of detachment and loss of self-control

A recent article by Psychology Today suggests these six steps to help eliminate social anxiety in teens.
1) Contrast Your Expectations: Anxiety can occur in any situation. The next time you attend a party, have to speak in class or a meeting, or work up the courage to do something you usually avoid, contrast your expectations with the experience. Think of what you’re worried about and then afterward, ask yourself if that’s what happened.
2) Volunteer to play a role. If you’re attending a big event and the thought of interacting with people makes you anxious, ask whoever is in charge how you can contribute to making things run more smoothly.
3) Put yourself out there. Attempt to make steps that challenge your fears. If you’re a client who suffers from classroom anxiety, push yourself by asking a question in class.
4) Ask questions. Many people feel awkward in social situations because they feel they have nothing to say. One helpful technique is to ask open-ended questions
5) Participate in extracurricular activities. Many people suffering from social anxiety find themselves without a social circle or strong friendships. A simple way to make friends is to take part in extracurricular activities that interest you. Think about what you like to do or enjoyed doing as a kid. Based on what you come up with, insert yourself into recurring group activities or meetings. Try to avoid large groups where you can’t make genuine connections.
6) Seek help. A behavioral therapist can help you to begin to overcome your struggles with social anxiety. Don’t feel ashamed. Social anxiety in teens is a common issue that anyone can overcome.
If you’re ready for a change blueFire, a wilderness therapy program for teens, can help. For more information on blueFire, please call (844) 413-1999.

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