Self Help for Social Anxiety

Do you feel anxious or self conscious during social situations (e.g. parties; eating in public; or one to one conversations)?

Do you find it hard to participate in the things you want to because of your shyness?

Do you tend to avoid speaking to people when you can?

Do you worry that people think badly of you in social settings?

Do you worry that you have nothing interesting to contribute to conversations?

Do you worry that you are the centre of attention and everyone can see how anxious you are?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ you may be experiencing symptoms of social anxiety and you may find this workbook helpful.

This workbook aims to help you to:

recognise whether you may be experiencing symptoms of social anxiety.

understand what social anxiety is, what causes it and what keeps it going.

find ways to reduce your social anxiety.

Do I have symptoms of social anxiety?

If you are socially anxious, it is likely that you will experience some of the symptoms described below.

Feelings

Anxious / on edge

Vulnerable / under the spotlight

Self conscious / out of place

Embarrassed

Physical Symptoms

Face goes red (blushes)

Butterflies in stomach / stomach churns

Heart races

Voice goes shaky / body trembles

Sweat

Dizzy / light headed

Breathing changes

Thoughts

I have nothing interesting to say, I’m boring

Everyone is staring at me

People can tell how anxious I am

I’ll stammer / I’ll blush

I mustn’t look anxious

I look and sound stupid

Behaviour Patterns

You avoid social situations

You make a quick exit from social situations

You stay in the background or hide away

You stay quiet to not make a fool of yourself

You always take a friend with you

You drink alcohol for courage beforehand

If you have ticked a number of these boxes, you may be experiencing symptoms of social anxiety. However don’t be alarmed, this is very common and there are things you can do to help. You will find some useful strategies in this workbook.

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is the term used to describe a high level of shyness. Of course everyone feels shy or anxious in certain social environments, but for some people it can be a little more extreme. When this is the case it has a very debilitating affect on their lives and stops them doing the things they would like to. For example it may affect their confidence to go to college or work and impact on their confidence to make friends and enjoy their hobbies.

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