Social anxiety can be one of the more crippling forms of anxiety and stress that exists. However, like most forms of mental illness, there are ways to cope with the symptoms when they arise, especially when they become too strong. Here are a few steps to help you cope with social anxiety one day at a time.

Deep Breathing

When most people think about deep breathing, they often resort to thoughts of meditation or of Lamaze breathing for women in childbirth. Practicing this technique outside of those two instances can have the same, calming effect, though. By breathing slowly, with deep inhales of breath, the body is prompted to do two things. First, it takes in more oxygen, which satisfies a need for the brain to operate under stress. Second, it also cues the body’s heart rate to s...

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If you suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD), you’re probably well aware of all the evil little ways in which your negative thoughts eat away at you during the day. On the road to overcoming SAD, one of the most important things you can do is learn to predict the exact patterns of how it affects you personally. Once you’ve got SAD’s game plan figured out, you’re in a much better position to formulate your own powerful counter-moves!

Everyone’s experience with social anxiety disorder will be a little different - but to get you started, I’m giving you 3 of my own killer strategies for shutting down SAD before it has the chance to hijack your brain.

1. The Post-Socialising Worries

This is a big one for me.

What happens - and you may be familiar with this yourself - is this:

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You feel a bit sick as your stomach tightens and your heart starts pumping like a machine gun. Your breathing becomes shallow and your muscles tense. The rest of the people at the dinner party are oblivious, chatting nonchalantly and enjoying their meals. Why does your body seem to be gearing up for an epic battle when there's no real danger in sight? This blog post briefly discusses the neurobiology of social anxiety, by taking a look at what actually happens in the brains and bodies of those who experience it.

What is fear, anyway?

If you have Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), then you'll be familiar with the physiological signs of fear, some of which were mentioned in the introduction to this article. The fact that you experience this fight-or-flight response indicates that your pri...

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There’s a good chance that we’ve all experienced feelings of nervousness and anxiety in response to real or perceived threats at one time or another. For most people, these feelings are absolutely normal as the brain is hard-wired to caution you at times of danger. However, for those of us with social anxiety, these feelings can be all-consuming, impairing our ability to enjoy life as we’d otherwise like to.

One of the most detrimental effects of social anxiety is its ability to isolate you; triggering feelings that make you feel fearful and unworthy of company. People with social anxiety might notice their anxiety increase during social interactions, even during times that are enjoyable and positive. Worse still, feeling immobilized and powerless against their feelings, they suffer...

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When it comes to coping with social anxiety, many sufferers do not realize there are many ways to maintain a sense of calm during high times of stress. Instead of focusing on various stressors at the root of anxiety, here are four ideas that are simple for sufferers to remember when social anxiety really hits hard.

Read Something Entertaining

Reading is a great distraction. It allows people to be transported to another realm, even if the travel is both mental and temporary. Sometimes, removing the self mentally from a stressful situation just for a few moments is one of the best ways to calm down, thus allowing the self a moment to analyze a situation without being overly emotional.

Make Use of Some Drawing or Writing Materials

Like reading, writing and drawing both have the abi...

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