With the holiday season in full swing, the invitations to social and professionals gatherings have many people coping with increased social anxiety. Most everyone has likely felt insecure or anxious in social situations at some point in their lives. However, the rise of social media has promoted a rise in social anxiety. We are too often comparing ourselves to others, leading to more insecurity and self-doubt. Social anxiety is based off of a perception that we are somehow deficient in our appearance, social skills, or personality. When social anxiety becomes severe enough to impact our daily lives, it becomes a clinical condition.
Think about the posts you make on social media. Most likely, your posts and pictures are chosen to paint yourself in the best possible light. How often do we all retake pictures to ensure we have the best angle of ourselves to post? How often do we exaggerate our happiness to show that we are truly living our best life? How much of this is actually true? When we compare ourselves to others on social media, either consciously or sub-consciously, we promote our own insecurities when in fact we are all likely feeling the same way!
So how can we combat social anxiety? The first step is to free ourselves from our inner monologue by realizing a simple truth: no one thinks about us as much as we think about ourselves. No one is judging us as harshly as we judge ourselves. Think about it: do you judge others when you’re out at a social gathering as much as you judge yourself? Most likely you are too caught up worrying about your own appearance, social skills, and general personality to be focused on anyone else.
Here’s the solution: to turn your attention outward. Focus intently on what others are talking about, the atmosphere in the room, anything but yourself and your own insecurity. This will help to dissipate the anxiety and allow you to be more authentically you. Also, practicing positive affirmation before going to a social gathering, and reminding yourself that anticipation of the worst possible outcome is often not the reality, will help to control anxiety and allow you to enjoy your social life!
For more information, check out the link below, and reach out to Main St. Psychiatry if social anxiety is preventing you from being you and fully enjoying your life and this holiday season.
Original article found at: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/26/17467744/social-anxiety-psychology-mental-health