What is Social Anxiety?
If you have social anxiety you might feel extremely self-consciousness in social situations, due to a fear of being embarrassed or judged by others. If you are socially anxious then you might be tempted to avoid social situations. Everyone experiences shyness from time to time. especially in new situations. However, if you have social anxiety you will notice that it is impacting you so much that it is holding you back from doing the things in life that matter to you.
Self consciousness or heightened, inward, self-focus of body sensations is at the core of social anxiety. Our greatest fear is how we think we appear, or how we might be judged by others. Some of the thoughts that people experience when they fear being in social situations include ‘they will laugh at me’, ‘they know I’m embarrassed’ or ‘I look like an idiot’, ‘what if I stammer’ or ‘look ‘awkward’? Social anxiety can often accompany difficulties with self-criticism and low self-esteem.
How can CBT Therapy for Social Anxiety help?
CBT treatment for social anxiety helps you to understand what causes your social anxiety and how it has become a vicious cycle in your life. It addresses the triggering thoughts and beliefs that maintain your social anxiety. You will learn skills to help you to shift from an inward self-focus on the strong sensations of anxiety in your body, and instead to be able to focus outwardly on what is happening in the world around you. This will helps to challenge your beliefs about how you think you look to other people in social settings. It will also help you to see social situations as less threatening so that you can slowly begin engage in the world and with others in ways that will help you to build your self-confidence.
Coming to CBT therapy is a courageous first step if you have social anxiety. At Suaimhneas Cork CBT Therapy and Mindfulness, you will find a safe, supportive, non-judgemental space where your experience of social anxiety is respected and understood.