Social Anxiety

Nao
Nao
Jun 7 · 3 min read

Many individuals perhaps know about the feeling of being uncomfortable and nervous in social situations. There may be instances that you have clammed up when meeting new people or your palms have gotten sweaty just before you present a big presentation. Walking to a room full of strangers or speaking in public is not thrilling for everyone however; most individuals can successfully get through this.

If you are suffering from social anxiety though, stress of these scenarios is much to handle. You may avoid social contacts because the things that other individuals consider as normal such as making eye contacts or small talks make you feel so uncomfortable. All the aspects of life not only social can begin to fall apart.

What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder, also referred to as social phobia is a common mental disorder suffered by millions of individuals all over the world. However, if you have social anxiety, note that there is hope.

Social anxiety is also defined as the fear of being evaluated and judged negatively by others leading to a feeling of inferiority, inadequacy, embarrassment, self-consciousness and depression. If an individual becomes anxious in social scenarios however seems better when they are alone, social anxiety might be the problem.

When Does Social Anxiety Happens

Individuals suffering from social anxiety disorder can experience this condition in many different ways. However, the following are situations that individuals tend to have trouble dealing with:

· Speaking in public

· Talking to strangers

· Making eye contact

· Dating

· Using public restrooms

· Entering rooms

· Attending parties

· Eating in front of many people

· Starting conversations

· Going to work or school

Other Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Individuals suffering from social anxiety disorder commonly experience emotional distress when:

· Being the center of attention

· Being teased

· Being watched while doing something

· Being in interpersonal relationship whether romantic or friendships

Physical Symptoms

There are physical symptoms and signs that sometimes accompany this condition such as:

· Fast heartbeat

· Blushing

· Sweating

· Trembling

· Nausea

· Upset Stomach

· Dizziness

· Difficulty in breathing

· Muscle tensions

Causes of Social Anxiety

Just like other mental health disorder, social anxiety arises from complex interactions of environmental and biological factors. The possible causes are:

· Inherited Traits

Social anxiety sometimes run in the families but it is not clear how much this condition can be due to inherited traits.

· Brain Structure

Amygdala, a structure in the human brain is responsible in controlling fear response. Individuals with overactive amygdala have delicate fear response resulting in increased anxiety during social situations.

· Environment

Social anxiety can be considered a learned behavior. Some individuals may develop such condition after embarrassing and unpleasant social scenarios. In addition, there might be associations between the social anxiety condition and parents who model such an anxious behavior or more overprotective and controlling of their kids.

Essential Elements to Overcome Social Anxiety

The very first element to overcome social anxiety is awareness and understanding. Sufferers should have a commitment to carry through some cognitive behavioral therapy even if the process seems challenging and repetitive. Participating in social anxiety therapy groups also helps working on issues causing social anxiety gradually and slowly.

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Nao is an emotion diary platform to overcome negative feelings. Nao is designed to create positive feedback loops based on cognitive science.