Affecting around 12% of the American population at some point in their lives, Social Anxiety Disorder(SAD) makes it hard for people to interact with their peers. It is one of the most common mental disorders that go undiagnosed,affecting people of all age groups and ethnicities.
If you think you’re experiencing some symptoms of SAD, or have recently been diagnosed with it, learning more about your condition, what to expect from it, and how to manage it can help.
Self-Help Strategies To Help With SAD
The usual treatment plan for Social Anxiety Disorder involves a combination of cognitive-behavior therapy, medication, and self-help.
Self-help is important, because it allows the patient to apply what they’ve learned during therapy and try to understand their actions, reactions, and reservations on their own.
It also gives them first-hand, controlled practice of how to handle certain situations on their own, and in their own way.
Self-help strategies involve different activities, like relaxation exercises, thought reprogramming, and controlled exposure to uncomfortable and unsettling situations.
Here are some activities that can aid in the emotional recovery process.
Keep A Journal
Keeping a journal puts your improvement into perspective by showing you how much progress you’ve made.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings regularly also helps you recognize patterns in your behavior and your thought process. Another thing it can help you with is making it easier to recognize relapses and the start of a downward negative spiral.
Write Down Your Goals
For a person living with a mental health condition, it’s important to have a visualization of the goals of therapy, but in small, bite-sized, time-spaced pieces.
This will prevent the person getting overwhelmed when looking at the big picture and the entire treatment plan.
Practice Social Skills
Some people aren’t gifted with the natural ability to start and engage in smooth, fluent conversation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop the skill.
Effective conversation, just like any other skill, can be adopted, learned and improved. Practice how to introduce yourself to new people, maintain healthy eye-contact, and learn how to give and receive compliments.
Emotional Healing From Within
Even though anxiety disorders like SAD can have many causes, and it would be wrong to assign a single cause to them, sometimes, negative childhood experiences and unmet human needs can make a person withdraw from interacting with other people overtime, and making them socially anxious.
If you think this might be the major cause of your SAD, it may help to know that recovery is possible. With reframing, it is possible to go deeper into your emotional infrastructure, and give your unsatisfied needs a brand new context.
To try out reframing, you can easily download NIKU, an app available on both the Apple App Store and the Google PlayStore. This app functions as an online psychological counselor or a life coach, helping you look at life with a fresh, new perspective.