Have you ever had that moment when you were around other people, and your brain started saying, “You look terrible…. That was a stupid thing to say…. Nobody likes me…. They are all looking at me…”?
We call that the “social anxiety theme song.”
It gets stuck in your head and keeps repeating every time you try to join in on conversations, meet new people, or go out in a public place. Approximately 31% of all adults will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life, per the Anxiety & Depression Association of America.
Let’s talk about why you may be dealing with anxiety, and where you can go in Atlanta and Alpharetta to see a caring counselor who can help you take back control of your thoughts – and mitigate your anxiety.
Why Do I Get So Anxious for No Reason?
We humans, are social creatures, and by nature, we want to fit into a social group. The very survival of our ancestors depended largely on their ability to get along with a group of other people.
We have an innate drive to belong. When this drive becomes overwhelming, it can develop into debilitating social anxiety. It can prevent someone from making friends, trying out new activities, making a phone call, returning an email, or even going shopping in a physical store.
One symptom of social anxiety is negative self-talk. That irritating and judgmental “social anxiety theme song” starts playing repetitively in our minds, and we start believing it. Individuals with social anxiety might worry about upcoming social events, avoid asking questions in public, worry that others notice that they are anxious, or even miss work or school.
Physical symptoms might include the following when confronted with a social situation:
- Frequent blushing, or blushing easily
- Excessive sweating
- Trembling or shaking
- Difficulty speaking
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Rapid heart rate
How Can a Therapist Help Me with My Anxiety?
Talking to a therapist can be extremely helpful in learning how to keep your social anxiety under control. The goal of therapy is not to never again feel any anxiety, but it is rather to learn what types of thoughts or behaviors might be increasing the anxiety.
A therapist will help you identify the thoughts that go through your brain, and ways to challenge or manage those thoughts. A thought is not necessarily a fact, it is just a thought. Therefore, therapists will often use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you identify cognitive distortions and learn coping tools to tame your anxiety.
Another type of effective treatment for social anxiety is Exposure Response Prevention therapy (ERP). In ERP, a therapist would help you identify situations or activities you avoid due to your social anxiety. The therapist would then help you come up with something called an exposure hierarchy ladder.
Starting with situations that are low on the ladder, you would create exercises to build your tolerance for anxiety. This type of CBT therapy gradually exposes you to uncomfortable situations while learning that you are indeed able to tolerate the anxious feeling.
Counselors and Therapists in Atlanta and Alpharetta, GA
If you experience any of the physical or psychological symptoms noted above, ask yourself, “Could this be the social anxiety theme song on replay in my brain?” If so, reach out to a trusted therapist. A therapist can teach you effective tools to implement in your life to tamp down your social anxiety.
You do not have to live a life ruled by anxiety. The therapists here at Atlanta Specialized Care can help you learn how to interrupt the theme song of anxiety.
Our counselors and therapists at Atlanta Specialized Care are highly trained and have years of successful experience in helping people conquer their anxiety issues. Call us today at (770) 815-6853 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to hearing from you.