Causes of Socail Anxiety and Social phobia
Next time you are in a social situation and feeling self conscious or anxious, take a moment to really pay attention. Notice what’s going on in your mind. In many instances social anxiety is caused by a strong reaction to constant worry and self-criticism.
That’s right, as a hypnotherapist I have come to know that what brings us down, causes anxiety and negativity, is our inner critic. We criticise ourselves when we feel anxious, we then become insecure, worried we are not good enough.
We may even berate ourselves for not being more confident, prettier, funnier, smarter and so on. Feeling inadequate or inferior at work or in social situations can develop into a social phobia.
The inner critic and negative self talk, make social phobia much worse. The more we do it the more powerful the inner critic gets. The more we compare ourselves to others, the less we measure up.
- “You have been criticising yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself instead and see what happens”. Louise L Hay
A friend recently told me how her work colleague became extremely anxious in social situations, in fact she developed a full blown social phobia. Apparently it started at a work Christmas Party; she was casually walking down some steps, lost her balance and fell. She ended up in a heap on the floor, not injured, but very embarrassed. Her dress was flung awkwardly revealing her undergarments and pantyhose. Later someone told a joke causing her to feel self-conscious, ashamed and clumsy. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she was able to just let it go, be over and done with it.
But no, that’s not the end of the story. She apparently re-lived that humiliating moment in her mind, many times. Over and over again. Each time telling herself that she should have been less clumsy; she should have done this to prevent falling; and that to make sure her dress was neat; to check and double check every step. She was so hard on herself, could not forget and forgive herself. For her, the shame and humiliation became deep, debilitating and stopped her from socialising.
Hypnotherapy can help you overcome social phobia and anxiety
We all need to look at ourselves with greater compassion and understanding. We need to stop worrying so much about what other people think. Learn to become your own best friend. Wouldn’t it be nice to talk to oneself in a supportive way. We could say to ourselves; “Don’t worry so much”, we could say; “We did the best we could”. But sometimes, these things are easier said than done. As a hypnotherapist I know that sometimes we could do with some help. Hypnotherapy can help us engage with ‘inner self talk’ in a far more positive way.
Give yourself a break, stop criticising yourself. We could all do with help from hypnotherapy to set the wheels in motion to free us from self-blame and relentless criticism. Find help to stop putting yourself down, be kind to yourself, then your self-image will improve.
Hypnotherapy has been of help to many people; to reduce social phobia, anxiety, stress and worry; to sleep better; to have better relationships with oneself and others.
Written by: Katherine Ferris, Clinical Hypnotherapist