- Defining social anxiety
- The implications of negative thinking and low self-esteem in social situations
- Challenging negative beliefs and taking a positive approach
- How hypnosis can help
Are you experiencing social anxiety?
A certain degree of anxiety would be natural in certain social situations. You may be asked to give a work presentation or agree to a blind date.We would expect our response to events like parties and eating out to be more relaxed.
However, it can become problematic if our anxiety is consistently high in a range of social situations. It may affect our ability to attend events and enjoy them. When this anxiety continues for several months or longer, it can be classified as social anxiety disorder.
When our anxiety levels are excessive; fear of social situations may set in weeks before the event. Our ability to participate may be compromised. We may develop physical symptoms like blushing, trembling and feeling nauseous. Speaking may become challenging; we may start to stutter or talk in a very quiet voice.
Social anxiety may be predominant in families and be accompanied by other anxiety disorders such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) or experiencing panic attacks. Depression may also be an issue.
In an attempt to deal with social anxiety; we may resort to alcohol or drugs. In turn, reliance upon and addiction to these substances may take hold. We may associate having a drink with being able to cope in social situations or taking drugs as the only way we can enjoy ourselves around others.
Negative thinking and low self-esteem
Social anxiety can result in excessive self-criticism. As a consequence, we are likely to assume that others are going to react unfavourably to us and make negative judgements.
A more balanced assessment of the social environment and oneself can become hindered by anxiety fuelled thoughts. This may involve imagined worst case scenarios, such as a fear of not being able to talk, sweating heavily or making a fool of oneself.
Low self-esteem can feed negative self-evaluation. We may believe that we are socially inadequate. As a result, we might compare ourselves to others in unhelpful ways.
Negatively forecasting the future can create excessive worry and may lead to disrupted sleep. We can become trapped in a vicious cycle of thinking negatively and feeling anxious, which then encourages us to continue with negative thinking.
Challenging negative beliefs
If we struggle with social anxiety; our beliefs can be at odds with the people around us. This can make it difficult to step back and take a more objective viewpoint. If we have just given a good talk, we might struggle to accept positive feedback, even if it is repeated back to us and is from a wide range of sources. It may be hard to for us to accept compliments and feel worthy of them.
We may ruminate after attending social events; focusing on our own perceptions of how others may have viewed us or judged us. This evaluation can be skewed and stem from our fear thoughts. For example; we may assume everyone has noticed us sweating and trembling, when, in reality, they haven’t.
By standing back and seeing the wider perspective; we can get out of our own way and begin to challenge our beliefs. We might ask ourselves ‘would my negative thoughts hold up if I took them into a court room?’
A more positive and balanced approach
Solution focused hypnotherapy can help reduce anxiety around social events so you can look at both sides and take a more balanced perspective.
When we are responding less from fear and more from our intellectual, sensible mind; we can be open to exploring the positive aspects. In this way we can begin to challenge unhelpful beliefs that may not account for where we perform well in social settings.
Hypnotherapy can help you to process negative experiences from your past so that you are in a different place in your thinking. It encourages you to keep intellectual control and override unhelpful responses; even if these responses have become a pattern of behaviour.
By entering into a trance state, the mind can relax and open up to the possibility of positive change, where you can safely explore how you would like to respond in social situations. Taking a solution focused approach supports actively moving towards your clearly defined goals, step by step. As you begin to notice the changes you are making, you begin to feel better. This, in turn, continues to calm fearful ways of thinking and makes it easier to continue thinking and behaving in those ways you envisage for yourself. Clients often attest to how enjoyable and relaxing the hypnosis part of sessions is. In this trance state we can access the subconscious mind, which can be incredibly helpful in achieving positive change.
The exciting potentials within neuroplasticity
I am forever excited by neuroplasticity! In other words, this means we all have the potential to rewire our brains and change the way we think. All of us can therefore tap into this amazing ability. Because of this, we can take responsibility for our brains! Solution focused hypnotherapy can help us achieve this.
A little bit about me
Emma Victoria Tranmer MA (Hons) PGCE HPD DSFH Member of the AfSFH Clinical Solution Hypnotherapist
I specialise in helping people overcome anxiety and stress related issues. Hypnotherapy transformed my life for the better and I subsequently enjoy helping others do the same. Working as a hypnotherapist is therefore incredibly rewarding.
My love of learning means I am always looking at ways to further my own professional development. Hypnotherapy can help with a wide range of issues and I see clients with varied challenges like sports performance, addictions, phobias, disturbed sleep, panic attacks and depression.
Book an Appointment
You can take positive steps to help you attain a more hopeful perspective. Move forward in your life can become easier as a result. In addition, hypnotherapy can help you discover the tools and inner resources to do this; step by step.
I offer an initial consultation where you can meet me and find out more about what I do. This will also give me the opportunity to understand where you are in your life right now and what you would like to achieve. There is no charge for this.
There may be something else that you, or someone you might know, is struggling with right now. Give me a call on 07550 098029 to discuss in strictest confidence.
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