Is Fear Holding You Back?
- Are you constantly afraid of being embarrassed or judged? Maybe you have a hard time going out in public because it feels like everyone is staring at you.
- Do you struggle at work? Are you are afraid of giving presentations or speaking in meetings?
- Have you avoided events that you wanted to attend because you were afraid of being around people?
- Do you sometimes feel that you can only talk to people if you are drinking alcohol?
- Do you just want to feel confident?
Understanding Social Anxiety (or Social Phobia)
Social anxiety (also known as social phobia) is very common, but it can be hard to believe since it may look to you like everyone around you has their lives together. Rather than understand that many people feel anxiety and fear in social situations, you may feel like you’re inadequate and compare yourself unfavorably with those around you. In addition to the negative thoughts, worries and fears that come with social anxiety, you may experience physical symptoms as well. You may find yourself sweating or blushing or have shallow breathing or a racing heart. You may come to associate things such as increased heart rate with anxiety, and end up getting more nervous when you feel them. Or, you may worry that others will notice your sweating or blushing and get even more anxious. These are all symptoms of social anxiety.
Unlike normal shyness or introversion, social anxiety can have crippling effects on your life. You may have experienced stage fright or fear public speaking, meeting new people, important events or just making small talk. For many people with social anxiety, days feel perilous. You might begin your day feeling confident, and then a challenging interaction causes a chain reaction of worry, fear and anxiety. Or, you might spend days dreading an upcoming event, or social interactions such as a meeting, party or a situation where you will meet new people. You might feel like you are the only person who is struggling in social settings or that there’s something wrong with you that cannot be changed. The good news is that you can experience relief. Social anxiety disorder is not only common, it’s also very treatable.
Social Anxiety Treatment Can Help You Navigate The World With Confidence
In social anxiety therapy, one of our experienced, skilled and understanding therapists can help you work through your anxiety and related issues in a safe place. Facing your fears with the help of a compassionate therapist can make managing social anxiety much easier.
Treatment for social anxiety starts by helping you to identify and examine your beliefs about yourself and the world. You may have ideas about who you are and how the world sees you that make you feel like you’re not good enough. Understanding these beliefs is the first step in changing them. Your therapist can teach you skills that will make it easier to cope with your fears and negative emotions, such as calming your breath and body when you begin to feel anxious. You can practice these techniques in the safe space of therapy, which can make it easier to effectively calm yourself when anxiety heightens.
Learn Skills to Overcome Social Anxiety Symptoms in Therapy
When you are worried about how others see you, it can be hard to form relationships, and you may also feel bad about yourself. In sessions, you can explore ways to connect with the people in your life and learn how to build relationships with new people. Your therapist can also help you build self-compassion and see yourself in a more positive light. When you are able to build strong relationships with yourself and with others, your connection to the world becomes richer and deeper.
In social anxiety treatment sessions, your therapist can also help you challenge fearful beliefs and negative thoughts through cbt for social anxiety. Anxiety often happens in a chain reaction, and when you learn the steps in the anxiety process, you can disrupt it. For instance, once you notice the physical symptoms (i.e. blushing) that precipitate an anxious response (i.e. thinking “everyone is staring at me.”), you can catch it before it gets out of control.
You can learn the social skills and coping strategies needed to manage all the symptoms of social anxiety—physical, mental, and emotional. With social anxiety therapy, you can begin to engage and feel more comfortable in social situations that once seemed impossible. When you get into the habit of avoiding something, it reinforces anxiety. But with guidance, support and effective treatment through cognitive behavioral therapy, you can train your brain to overcome fear and avoidance, which opens up new and freeing possibilities for engaging with the world.
You may feel that social anxiety disorder treatment could help you relate to others without fear, but still have some questions or concerns.
I’m worried that I won’t get better.
Social anxiety can make you feel powerless, helpless and hopeless. And, the fear that you can’t get better is actually a symptom of anxiety, not a fact. In reality, social anxiety treatment is very effective. It may take time, but your therapist can work with you to combat the negative beliefs you have about yourself and help you see yourself in a more realistic, positive light. When you have begun to experience yourself and the world without judging yourself or thinking that others are judging you, you can experience your world in richer ways. Just by beginning the therapeutic process, you are allowing yourself to believe that change is possible.
Talking with people makes me anxious enough as it is. The thought of seeing a social anxiety therapist makes me even more nervous.
We understand. Going to see a therapist can be scary no matter what, and if you are struggling with social anxiety, talking to a stranger may feel terrifying. It takes a lot of courage to open up to a stranger, and our therapists want to make sure that you feel safe. Our therapists are all familiar with the challenges of social anxiety, and we understand that it may be difficult for you to even walk in the door. That’s okay. Therapy can become a model for dealing with people. Our compassionate, experienced therapists will slowly ease you into the process, starting with changes that feel manageable, helping you deepen self-compassion, and building up to overcoming more challenging fears. We also offer online therapy if that is a more convenient way for you to get started.
I’ve heard that social anxiety treatment is costly and time-consuming. I’m worried that it may not be worth it.
Social anxiety treatment is an investment in yourself and your mental health and overall well being. While your social anxiety may tell you that you are not worth it, or that you can’t treat social anxiety, the truth is that you can get better and you deserve to. Treating social anxiety disorder takes time, patience and practice. It is not a quick fix, but your therapist can help you learn skills that can impact your life immediately. We will build up your confidence by practicing skills that you can use in the real world. We believe that your life and relationships are worth taking the time for. You deserve to feel relaxed and comfortable in the world.
Learn skills to overcome social anxiety disorder step by step. While we use effective treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, we customize a therapy program to fit your unique needs. Therapy for social anxiety can help you live a life no longer controlled by anxiety.
Give us a call at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online. You can also contact us to find out more about anxiety treatment in Houston.