Managing social anxiety after long periods of isolation

Dr Anil G D, Specialist Internal Medicine, Aster Al Raffah Hospital, Sohar

According to National Institute of Mental Health, “Social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia) is a mental health condition. It is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school and your other day-to-day activities. It can even make it hard to make and keep friends.”

7 ways to deal with social anxiety:

  1. Nonverbal communication: Improving your nonverbal communication skills is another area in which you can employ self-help strategies if you live with social anxiety
  2. Verbal Communication: Communicate your needs in a calm and relaxed way that respects the needs of others.
  3. Assertiveness: If you are not able to cope with the workload or you feel the need to express your feelings, be assertive in raising your concerns. Manage your tone so as to not come across as rude or ill-mannered.
  4. Emotional Coping: Fear and negative thoughts are two of the most common emotions when you have social anxiety. Allow yourself to identify ways in which you can manage your emotions in a safe environment such as through meditation or journaling.
  5. Deep breathing: Take long, deep breaths whenever you feel too anxious, in any given situation. This will allow your mind to calm down and you will be able to think better.
  6. Reducing Negative Thinking: Given the current situation, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed with the negative news around us and be burdened with negative emotions. Steer away from such news and perhaps take a break from social media and focus on channeling your thoughts in a positive direction.
  7. Facing Your Fears: Identify the top 10 situations that you would usually avoid. For each situation on the list, break it down into a series of steps, in increasing order of difficulty and practice overcoming the fears, one step at a time.

Aster’s Serenity App can act as your friend in coping with extreme anxiety, stress or any sort of mental impact.