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Social Anxiety: Symptoms And How To Overcome It

If you are wondering what are typical social anxiety symptoms and how to overcome it, you are on the first step to recovery. Once you know what the problem is, there is a solution.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety, or social phobia, is a debilitating fear involving social situations, especially one in which the sufferer feels that they may be watched, evaluated or cannot escape. Social anxiety can escalate to where even thinking about social situations can bring on anticipatory anxiety and avoidance of social situation.

The fear of public speaking is an example of a specific social anxiety whereas someone who avoids most or all social situations would have a generalized anxiety disorder. No matter which category you fall into, there is help available.

Typical Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Typical physical symptoms of anxiety experienced by one who has social anxiety may include blushing or turning red in the face, feeling faint, light-headed or dizzy, upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea, accelerated heartbeat or palpitations, trembling or shakiness, especially in the knees and feeling tightness in the chest or shortness of breath.

Typical emotional symptoms of anxiety include racing thoughts that lead to physical symptoms when in public or when thinking about an upcoming social situation, extreme fear of being evaluated, judged or scrutinized, a sense of doom when out in public, fear that other people may see how nervous you are or fear of embarrassing yourself in public.

Overcoming Social Anxiety

There are several techniques and things you can do to cope and overcome your social anxiety.

Challenge Negative Thinking

The first step in overcoming negative thinking is identifying your line of negative thinking that brings on your physical symptoms and learning to rewrite the narrative in your head. If your case is mild, self-help books or online techniques may be enough to help you overcome your anxiety.


There are many different therapies available to help with social anxiety. Cognitive behavior therapy is the most common and has had the most success with social anxiety. CBT therapy is based on the belief that what you think affects how you feel and how you feel affects how you think. By changing how you think or learning to cope with physical symptoms, you can change the behavior that induces your anxiety.

Breath Control

Learning breathing techniques can immediately prevent your anxiety from turning into panic and the more in control you feel of your symptoms, the less fearful you will be of them. There are several deep breathing techniques you can try to see which one is most effective and comfortable for you. One popular technique, which prevents hyperventilation, is known as four-seven-eight breathing. It simply calls you to breathe in for a count of four, hold it for a count of seven and then slowly exhale for a count of eight. This can be repeated three or four times to help lessen the physical symptoms of anxiety.

It is important to learn both the physical and emotional social anxiety symptoms and how to overcome it, so that you can move on with your life without fear controlling you.