Five Treatments for Social Anxiety

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( — November 20, 2019) — Many people joke about having social anxiety. It’s normal to feel nervous if you have a job interview or are expected to do some public speaking. Severe social anxiety, however, is more serious and can be quite crippling because it makes even day to day engagement with people feel like a huge challenge. The good news is that it is possible to beat social anxiety with some simple therapies and coping measures.

1 – Metacognitive Therapies

Metacognitive therapy is the term used to describe a combination of therapies that address issues of anxiety, thought patterns and responses. The goal is to help people to stop ruminating in the run-up to the kind of event that makes them anxious, and to help them remain calm and balanced while in difficult situations. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology believe that they may have found a way to cure social anxiety using these techniques. The research is still recent, in Academic terms (December 2016) and needs further investigation, however almost 85 percent of those who participated in the study reported that they saw improvement in their symptoms as a result.

2 – Role Play and Exposure

Exposure therapy has been extensively studied as a method of helping people to cope with phobias. There are some researchers who believe that role play exercises can help with social anxiety in much the same way that exposure therapy helps with phobias. The idea is simple – role-play being in the situations that make you feel anxious or stressed until you have built up some confidence and no longer feel anxiety while in those situations. 

3 – Drug Treatments

There is a promising new drug called d-cycloserine which is being used to help people with social anxiety. Drug treatments are often used for those who do not respond to other treatments, or whose anxiety is so severe that they struggle to even make a start with cognitive therapies. However, drugs are controversial with many researchers feeling that they simply mask the symptoms and that they do not solve the problem. There is the risk of side effects with many drugs, so care must be taken to ensure that they are used properly and as a pathway to other, longer-term treatments.

4 – Exercise as a Mood Balancer

Do not underestimate the value of exercise as a way of regulating your mood and calming anxiety. Regular exercise can help to alter the way you perceive your surroundings. One study performed by researchers at Queens University found that after exercise people perceive the world as being less threatening. This shift in the way that a person views their environment can be life-changing for those who struggle to face social situations.

Exercise and relaxation techniques can work together to help people to cope better with stress and anxiety (  Even simply going for a walk can be enough to release feel-good chemicals which can have a lasting impact on a person’s mood. Exercise can relax threats and refocus a person’s attention in a positive way and relaxation techniques are useful for calming anxiety when attacks start.

5 – Use CBD Oil to Reduce Stress

CBD is something that is already quite popular among athletes as a recovery aid. It is known to reduce inflammation and promote repair and recovery. One often overlooked benefit, however, is that it can help to promote better sleep and reduce stress. The stress-reducing benefits can help to level out a person’s mood and reduce feelings of anxiety. 

For those who are struggling with mild social anxiety, or even those who have more severe social anxiety but who do not want to resort to drug treatments for fear of the side-effects, CBD oil could be a good option. Wild hemp CBD is THC-free, which means that it is not psychoactive and does not carry the downsides of cannabis. It is generally well tolerated with no lasting side effects, making it more friendly than traditional pharmaceuticals.

There are many other potential techniques for coping with social anxiety. Therapy is a good starting point for those who are anxious after having experienced a difficult or traumatic event. Whatever route you decide to follow with your treatments, know that you are not alone. Social anxiety affects around 15 million adults in the US alone, and more than one third of people who have social anxiety battle with the symptoms for ten years or more before they seek help.

Do not be one of those people who lets the condition affect their lives for so long. Help is out there for you and there are lots of avenues that you can take depending on whether you want to go a natural route, try therapy, or use traditional pharmaceuticals. You can take back control of your life.