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What Does Social Anxiety Feel Like?

We've heard the term 'social anxiety', but what does social anxiety feel like? We meet many clients suffering from social anxiety, so we have developed this blog to help you understand what you're feeling and why you're feeling it.

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What Does Social Anxiety Feel Like?

What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety is an issue where your fear or discomfort in social situations makes it difficult to interact with other people. It can manifest itself in a range of symptoms, ranging from mild nervousness to severe panic attacks. People with social anxiety disorder often feel isolated and unable to participate fully in what’s going on around them.

What Causes Social Anxiety?

There are many theories about what causes social anxiety. It could be a combination of genetic, environmental, and cognitive factors. For example, people with social anxiety may have experienced bullying or traumatic events as a child that caused them to become anxious in social situations. It could also be linked to low self-esteem, perfectionism or the tendency to catastrophize (thinking the worst will happen without any evidence).

What Does Social Anxiety Feel Like?

Social anxiety can affect people in different ways, but there are a few common symptoms that people experience.

For many people, the physical symptoms of social anxiety can be overwhelming. It may start with a feeling of being on edge, or being highly self-conscious in any situation that involves other people. Your heart rate rises, your palms sweat and you feel shortness of breath. This can lead to feelings of panic and fear as well as difficulty thinking straight, concentrating or even speaking up.

Physical Symptoms of Social Anxiety

When you're in a social setting, your body can respond with physical symptoms that indicate your anxiety. Your heart may beat faster, your breathing may become shallow, and you might even start to sweat. You might feel light-headed or dizzy or have stomach discomfort or nausea. It’s common for people with social anxiety to experience what’s known as “fight or flight”—the feeling of wanting to escape the situation at hand.

Emotional Symptoms of Social Anxiety

On the emotional side, people with social anxiety often feel embarrassed, judged and inadequate in social situations. They may also fear what other people think about them and what they might say about them behind their backs. They may feel like everyone is looking at them or watching what they do, and this can lead to self-consciousness that can make it difficult to speak up or participate in conversations.

Dealing with Social Anxiety

Now we have discussed the question "what does social anxiety feel like?", we can now look to treatments. The good news is that there are various forms of treatment for social anxiety, all of which can help you overcome these situations.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation, can help to reduce the physical symptoms of social anxiety. Taking a few moments to slow your breathing and focus on what's happening in the present moment can be very calming.

Identifying Negative Thinking Patterns

Negative or irrational thinking patterns can also contribute to feelings of social anxiety. Learning cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) strategies can help you identify these thoughts and challenge them with more realistic alternatives.

Hypnotherapy for Social Anxiety

Hypnotherapy works by allowing an individual to enter into a relaxed state of consciousness where they are more open to suggestions. In this state, individuals are more likely to accept positive messages and beliefs about themselves, which helps them overcome their fear of social situations and interactions.

Hypnotherapy allows us to identify the causes of your social anxiety and develop positive coping strategies that can help you interact with others more confidently and calmly. By helping you to recognise what triggers your fears, hypnotherapy will also assist in building up your resilience so that you are better prepared for social situations and feel less intimidated by them.

Hypnotherapy sessions often involve talking through the individual’s thoughts, feelings and experiences of social anxiety. This allows us to gain a deeper understanding of what has previously caused these anxieties and what may be keeping them going today. We then work together to develop positive coping strategies which can be used in future situations where they might experience fear or apprehension – such as attending important events or job interviews. These techniques can include breathing exercises, visualisation and cognitive restructuring, all of which can be used to manage the symptoms of social anxiety.

Contact the Self Image Institute

We hope that this blog has helped you to understand "what does social anxiety feel like?". If you are suffering from social anxiety and would like to learn more about our treatments, then get in touch with us today!

At The Self Image Institute, we provide hypnotherapy treatment for a variety of mental health conditions such as anxiety, stress, and smoking addiction and even help with dieting. To learn more, explore our website or contact us today at 07534 448713 or We would love to help you with any challenges you face and overcome them together.

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