Do you feel like you worry about everything? You're not alone. Over 8 million people…
Sometimes it’s when we’re surrounded by the most people that we’re at our loneliest. If you suffer with social anxiety disorder, the sheer amount of people in London and the busy lifestyle many of them lead, isn’t always helpful. Many people in London find it overwhelming and put off taking steps to overcome their anxiety.
If you find yourself avoiding social situations or feeling intense fear and anxiety when you are faced with them, you may suffer with social phobia. The condition can affect people differently but symptoms such as blushing, sweating and dizziness are common.
Here are a few tips to help you start to overcome social anxiety.
Recognise Your Triggers
Are there certain things that make you feel especially anxious? Perhaps it’s the tube or drinks with colleagues after work? Are there any situations where you feel better? Perhaps with a smaller group or somewhere quiet? London has a wide range of different activities, social settings and people. Start with those situations you find easiest and work your way up.
To overcome social anxiety you’ll need to start facing some of your fears. There are some things you can do alone to help you begin to prepare for these challenges. If you can learn to relax then this gives you something to draw on when needed. Meditation and yoga are extremely valuable tools to learn and are hugely popular with busy Londoners.
Change Your Thinking
When I help clients with social anxiety I encourage them to ease their symptoms by changing their negative thinking patterns. Whilst this can sometimes be hard to do on your own, recognising them in yourself is an important first step. Here are 4 of the most common:
- Assuming you know what other people are thinking and fearing their negativity
- Predicting the future and assuming a bad outcome then obsessing over it
- Catastrophizing and always thinking the worst
- Believing that everyone is focusing on you
In somewhere as busy as London it can be exhausting to believe that everyone is focused on criticising you. I work with clients to challenge these false beliefs and turn them into positive truths.
Seek Support with How to Overcome Social Anxiety
The great thing about living in London is that there are more people around to help and who share your concerns and experiences. There are lots of support groups, self-help groups meet ups and events that you can attend to share and support likeminded people. There are also many people in London who need help. Joining a community group, charity or volunteer session promotes looking outwards and often provides immense relief from self-reflection and anxiety.
If you don’t quite feel ready to tackle this on your own my central London hypnotherapy practice helps many people with how to overcome social anxiety in London. To learn more about how I could help you please do get in touch.