Thoughts to Help you Overcome Social Anxiety
“When I talk, I sound stupid.”
“No one likes me.”
“No one cares about me.”
“I should have done better. I am a failure.”
Do thoughts like these ever come to your mind? If so, you may be struggling with social anxiety. While everyone feels anxious sometimes, severe social anxiety comes with overwhelmingly strong negative feelings about yourself and how others see you. It can affect your day-to-day routine and dominate the way you think and act. It is also common for people with social anxiety to have automatic negative thoughts that are unrealistic to the situation at hand.
Automatic negative thoughts are negative, cynical, and complaining thoughts that pop up in your head out of nowhere. They can be self-fulfilling and often lead to a decrease in your quality of life, inability to enjoy the moment, depression, and social avoidance and alienation. Automatic negative thoughts can be difficult to recognize, especially if you have had them for your entire life. While automatic negative thoughts can be a difficult thought pattern to break, you can feel better! By choosing to go to a social anxiety counselor, you can learn to identify automatic negative thoughts and how to replace them with positivity.
Signs That it’s Time to Seek Counseling for Social Anxiety
Feeling shy around new people or uncomfortable in a group of strangers happens to people with and without diagnosable social anxiety. Feeling so anxious or panicked that you avoid work, school, or other parts of your daily routine, however, usually, mean that something more serious is going on. If you persistently have any of the following signs and symptoms of social anxiety, it may be time to seek out a counselor:
- A crippling fear of being judged
- Avoidance of social gatherings
- Paralyzing fear or anxiety while socializing with people you don’t know
- Physical symptoms such as shaking, sweating, or stammering
- Extreme anxiety in anticipation of an event that requires interacting with others
- Criticizing how you acted after a social situation
- Always expecting the worst possible outcome
- Avoidance of everyday experiences such, work, school, dating, or making phone calls
Replacing Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones
Combating the negative thoughts that arise due to social anxiety is difficult to do on your own. It involves being aware that your way of thinking is unrealistic and using positive affirmations to replace negative thoughts. A counselor trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you to learn how to use positive affirmations to replace the negative thoughts that contribute to your social anxiety. Positive affirmations target negative subconscious beliefs, challenge these beliefs, and replace them with positive self-talk:
Automatic negative thought: “I have nothing to say in social situations.”
Positive affirmation: “I can hold a conversation and have a lot to offer.”
Automatic negative thought: “I am going to mess up this presentation.”
Positive affirmation: “I have done this before and I know I can do it again.”
Automatic negative thought: “No one wants me around.”
Positive affirmation: “I am loved and cared for.”
With years or a lifetime of negative thoughts, though, replacing them with positive affirmations – or even recognizing them – can feel impossible. If that’s the case for you, an experienced social anxiety counselor can help you get on the path of a happy life.
Counseling Can Help with Social Anxiety
As a St. Petersburg, FL area counseling center, we understand social anxiety. In fact, we have counselors who specialize in treating anxiety. We know that anxiety disorders can be crippling and that no two people have had the same experience.
Our therapists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based psychotherapy techniques to help you find relief from your social anxiety. Our highly skilled mental health counselors will work with you to develop an individualized plan with personal goals and interventions.
When treating social anxiety, our goal is to get to the core of the underlying issues and triggers that are causing your anxiety. Through the therapeutic process, your counselor will help you identify triggers for your social anxiety. Your counselor will then help you understand your negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. You’ll gain an understanding of why you seem to fall into this cycle of anxious thinking. Next, your therapist will help you to replace irrational and unrealistic beliefs with healthy thinking and positive affirmations.
Don’t let your anxious thoughts control your life anymore. Call McNulty Counseling today and take back the life you deserve! 727-344-9867
Blog Posts Related to Anxiety
Because anxiety treatment is such an important part of what we do, it is often the subject of our mental health blog posts. Some topics our therapists have written related to anxiety include: