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« Social anxiety: What is it? by Rachel Green »

Written by Rachel Green.  The smart emotions coach: Helping people manage their emotions & become resilient, whatever life throws at them. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. She has used meditation to cure herself of panic attacks.

Social anxiety: What is it?

Social anxiety is the FEAR of social situations, social interactions and meeting people. It can touch all aspects of a person's life.

Social anxiety is accompanied by high levels of anxiety and associated symptoms, such as sweating, blushing, shaking, pounding heart, diarrhoea, dread, insomnia and negative thoughts.

The anxiety may be almost constant. This is because the social anxiety symptoms typically occur when people are having to negotiate social situations and when thinking about them both before and afterwards.

Being the centre of attention, being looked at or feeling as though they are being singled out can be gruelling for someone with social anxiety. They may be concerned about making a fool of themselves, blushing or having their anxiety discovered.

What happens when you have social anxiety?

Social anxiety can, amongst other things, lead to social isolation, loneliness, a loss of friends, avoidance of social situations, rejection of social invitations, over reliance on alcohol or other drugs, limited career options, and a severe awkwardness when meeting people.

In its severe form social anxiety can require treatment by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist experienced in treating social anxiety disorders.

If you want to try meditation to ease your anxiety I recommend our "Happy not hassled" MP3 recordings to you. The meditations on there are the ones I used to help me overcome my panic attacks.

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NB: Any information contained in this article is not provided as an alternative to the obtaining of psychological advice from an appropriately qualified practitioner. Rachel is not a psychologist, Dr or psychaitrist. If you, or people known to you, may have social anxiety disorder please seek professional help and do not rely on this for the diagnosis or treatment of any psychological problems.