How to Know if You Have Social Anxiety
Last Updated on July 2, 2021 by Anita Hendrieka
Everybody feels a little nervous from time to time. Everybody has experienced that prickly feeling of walking into a new social situation and thinking, “I wonder what everybody else thinks of me?” So, if you feel a little anxious in social situations, you’re not alone! But if those anxious feelings are starting to get in the way of the life you want to live, it’s possible that you’re experiencing more than everyday jitters. You might be living with untreated social anxiety and that can have a serious impact on your mental health. (Not to mention your ability to travel!) In this article, we’ll learn more about social anxiety and how to know the difference between common nervousness and anxiety.
What is Social Anxiety?
Feeling nervous is a normal part of the human experience; everybody can relate when you describe a stressful situation and say, “That made me so nervous!” But if you’re feeling an overwhelming sense of nervousness that doesn’t seem to go away, that’s anxiety and it might be time to get help! Social anxiety is a serious mental illness that is characterized by feelings of intense discomfort and unease in social situations. Because social anxiety makes you want to avoid social situations, you might feel very isolated or alone. But you might be surprised to know that social anxiety actually affects 15 million American adults! So, if you’re struggling with anxiety, the good news is that you’re not alone!
What Are The Symptoms of Social Anxiety?
The symptoms of social anxiety can be different for everyone, but at the core, social anxiety is characterized by the feeling that you are unsafe in social situations. So, common symptoms might include:
- Feeling like everyone is watching you
- Feeling like everyone is laughing at you or judging you
- Excessive worry about what to say in social situations (such as ordering at a restaurant or hailing a cab)
- Worrying that all your friends secretly dislike you
- Worrying that everyone is talking about you behind your back
These are just a few of the common symptoms you might experience if you’re struggling with social anxiety. So, if you have these worries in your head on a constant loop, it’s no surprise that anxiety can make your world feel really small! It’s hard to break free and enjoy your life if your head is an endless nightmare. And that’s especially true for travel. If you’re interested in a career as a travel blogger, putting yourself out there, having new experiences, and asking strangers to take your picture are all common experiences. But if your anxiety is preventing you from enjoying the life you want to have, you might find it difficult– or even impossible– to do those things.
For many people, their experience with anxiety can be so severe that they often skip work or school to avoid the situations that trigger an anxiety attack. And the same can be true for travel bloggers! If you find yourself cancelling trips or avoiding writing blogs, these are big red flags that your anxiety is trying to control you.
How Can I Get Help For Social Anxiety?
If you’ve tried to talk to family and friends about your anxiety, you may have been met with platitudes like, “Just think happy thoughts!” or “Shake it off!” But neither of those comments are helpful and they won’t actually enable you to beat your anxiety. “Shake it off” is more easily said than done and that’s not how treating anxiety works! The only real way to beat social anxiety is to seek help from a licensed mental health professional. That might sound overwhelming, but this isn’t a journey you have to take on your own! You can take a simple first step by completing the Social Anxiety Test from Mind Diagnostics.
This free and confidential test will walk you through a list of questions that will help you assess your symptoms. When you’ve completed the questions, the test will provide you with some resources that can help you move forward. You’ll be presented with some information about your results and what they mean, along with the contact information of a therapist near you. If you decide to take the next step and connect with a licensed mental health professional, they will be able to provide you with a personalized treatment plan that can help you move forward and reclaim control.
Social anxiety can make you feel alone but you don’t have to let it hold you hostage. You can take back control by seeking help today!
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