5 Practical Ways to Manage Social Anxiety

Jun 01, 2023
5 Practical Ways to Manage Social Anxiety
For some people, getting together with friends is a great way to relax and de-stress. But for people with social anxiety, the opposite is true. In this post, learn five simple things you can do to overcome anxiety and improve your quality of life.

About 12% of Americans experience social anxiety disorder at some point during their lives, with symptoms of fear, worry, nervousness, and even panic that surface during virtually any type of social situation. While medication and psychotherapy help many people overcome social anxiety, for others, these techniques prove ineffective in achieving meaningful results. 

At Revival Infusion Madison in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, certified registered nurse anesthetist Sarah Wilczewski, CRNA, APNP helps patients overcome social anxiety symptoms with ketamine infusions aimed at optimizing neural communication and activity in your brain. 

In this post, learn five steps you can take to get your social anxiety under control.

1. Learn relaxation techniques

Social anxiety causes a lot of uncomfortable symptoms, like:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

Learning — and practicing — relaxation techniques can help. Deep breathing can be especially effective because it can be practiced anywhere, even when you’re in the middle of being social. Check out the techniques on this website

2. Practice “simple” skills

Any new skill takes practice, and focusing on simple changes improves your confidence by making it easier to see your progress. Forget about tackling major goals, like public speaking (a common fear even for people who don’t have social anxiety). Even something simple, like making eye contact and saying hello, is a step forward.

Skip self-checkout, and try talking to the cashier who’s ringing out your grocery order. Keep it simple, like commenting on how busy the store is. Ask a question in class or chat with a coworker about a TV show, sports results, or the weather. Challenge yourself to do one task each day until you feel comfortable. 

3. Identify your personal triggers

Like other types of anxiety, social anxiety affects people in different ways. Take some time to write down your triggers — the events and situations that make you feel anxious. 

Then take the next step, and explore why those situations make you nervous. By developing a clear understanding of your own triggers, you may be able to identify simple solutions that can help.

4. “Catch” negative thinking patterns

When you have an anxiety disorder, fears and worries become second nature. Before long, those thought patterns lead to other negative thoughts, including feelings of low self-worth, low self-esteem, and failure — false beliefs that feed into your anxiety.

One of the most powerful ways to “short-circuit” that cycle (and feel more confident and more in control) is by recognizing negative thoughts when they occur and replacing them with positive thoughts. When a negative thought happens, challenge it by really considering whether it’s true or whether it’s just part of the negative cycle that keeps you anxious. 

5. Learn about ketamine therapy

Historically, ketamine has been used as an anesthetic, but more recently, the drug has found a whole new use as a therapy for treatment-resistant anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ketamine works by regulating the production of a chemical called glutamate that plays a role in mood and emotions.

Ketamine also supports communication among the nerves in your brain, helping you “unlearn” negative thought patterns and develop more positive reactions and behaviors. Another benefit: While traditional anxiety medications can take weeks to work, ketamine can help improve your symptoms in just a few hours.

If medication and therapy haven’t helped your social anxiety symptoms, ketamine could be the solution you’re looking for. To learn more about ketamine infusions, call 608-405-6824 or book an appointment online with the team at Revival Infusion Madison today.