How to deal with social anxiety at work - NewBalancejobs
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How to deal with social anxiety at work

What’s social anxiety at work?

Social anxiety at work is a mental health condition in which social interactions during the course of your working day cause irrational anxiety, fear self-consciousness, and embarrassment.

If you’ve ever had the feeling of fear of interaction, mostly uncomfortable in social situations, nervousness, and sweaty palms before presentations, maybe just clammed up during meetings with new clients or constantly have this feeling of been judged and evaluated negatively and as a result, sometimes leads to avoidance, There’s a high chance you’ve social anxiety at work.

What Does It Feel Like?

The experience of anxiety in the workplace may be different for everyone, but if you have social anxiety at work and you’re in a stressful situation, you might have physical symptoms like:

  • Muscle tension
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • “Out-of-body” sensation
  • Stomach trouble and diarrhea
  • Inability to catch a breath

You may start having symptoms and getting anxious immediately before a big presentation, or you might spend weeks worrying about it. Afterward, you could spend a lot of time and mental energy worrying about how you performed.

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Understanding Social Anxiety at work.

There are different degrees of social interaction and how they can affect each person with social anxiety differently. The most important place to start when researching how social anxiety at work affects people is to see if you have any of the symptoms. When doing so, it’s important to utilize sound resources to determine what the best approach to treatment may be for you.
The following feelings experienced in social situations during work are symptoms of social anxiety at work that may be referenced during diagnosis

  • Depression
  • Inferiority
  • Inadequacy
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear
  • Humiliation

These feelings are common in those that experience social anxiety at work, whether specific or generalized and are typically brought felt in situations such as:

  • Meeting new clients
  • Interpersonal relationships with their colleagues
  • Having “all eyes on you” during presentations.
  • Being evaluated while completing a task
  • Having someone evaluate or criticize their work.
  • Being the center of attention while entering the office
  • Speaking in public
  • Making eye contacts

Social anxiety at work is very common among employees, so if you have it, there’s hope. The tough part is being able to ask for help.

Tackling social anxiety in the workplace

For every problem, I believe the first step towards a solution is identifying the problem, so identifying your fears and how you’re affected by social anxiety at work is the first step to managing it effectively.

Identifying those situations that causes you the most anxiety at work is a splendid place to start then practice those situations continuously until they cause you less anxiety, you can begin with small steps by setting your daily or weekly goals in situations that aren’t too overwhelming. The more you practice, the less anxious you’ll feel.

Although social anxiety generally requires help from a medical expert or qualified psychotherapist, you can try some of these techniques to handle situations that are likely to trigger your symptoms:

  • Practice stress reduction skills
  • Get physical exercise or be physically active on a regular basis
  • Avoid stressful situations & triggers
  • Get enough sleep
  • Practice presentations with people you’re comfortable with before the set date.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Limit or avoid caffeine
  • Participate in social situations by reaching out to people with whom you feel comfortable

At first, being social when you’re feeling anxious is challenging. As difficult or painful as it may seem initially, don’t avoid situations that trigger your symptoms. By regularly facing these kinds of situations, you’ll continue to build and reinforce your coping skills.

Treatment of anxiety

There are two proven ways in which anxiety can be treated.

  • Therapy
  • Medications

It may be hard to seek help for a condition such as this but it’s advisable you do. The combination of therapy & medications can change your outlook and help effectively manage your situation better.