The conversation about mental health is slowing coming out of the shadows and more and more people are feeling able to admit that they are struggling with issues such as social anxiety. The good thing about this is that the stigma surrounding the topic is beginning to be broken down and seeking out help for your issues is not looked on as negatively anymore.

If you feel as though you have a problem with anxiety in social situations, then the best thing you can do is find methods that will help you to not only work through your issues but to tackle it head on when presented with it.

This guide is going to help you to navigate how you might be able to treat social anxiety and give you some ideas of the practical things you can look into to help you become more confident in yourself and become a sociable person once again.

A problem shared is a problem halved

One traditional method of dealing with a whole variety of mental health issues is talking therapy. There are benefits of talking therapy including getting a deeper understanding of what could be underpinning your anxiety, reduce the severity of your symptoms, and give you an outlet for any frustration or sadness you feel around being anxious a lot of the time.

When you have a better understanding of something, you can remove some of the fear. Being anxious in social situations such as parties and at work isn’t always rational, and once you can truly understand that, you can begin to move forward.

Trying something new to conquer your fears

Of course, talking therapy is only one of the options that are worth exploring as you begin to confront your social anxiety. The way that you might need to deal with your mental health could well be a million miles away from the way others will need to do it, so exploring your options is key.

At Oxford VR, virtual reality (VR) technology is being used to allow patients to explore their fears in a safe environment but in a realistic way. It works because therapies are designed to trigger the same psychological and physiological responses as a real-world situation. The effect of this is to carefully put the patient into the situation that they fear and help them find ways of practically dealing with their fears by finding their own unique ways of coping.

Challenge yourself

As you enter therapy, a good idea is to look up ways to try being more social so that you can give yourself little challenges to test the water and see how your therapy is working out for you.

Try asking a friend to get a coffee with you in a public place with you one day and see how it feels. Then, try and build up to bigger social gatherings like parties and bars.

Keep a record

Finally, there are loads of remarkable ways to track your mental health, such as bullet journals and charts, and this is a fantastic way of seeing how far you have come with therapy.

Another benefit of this is that you can start to see what the triggers for your anxiety are which is incredibly useful information to have when working with a mental health professional to work through your struggles.

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Last Update: Monday, 28th January 2019