Social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that causes a person to have intense fear and worry in social situations. This can manifest itself as fear of speaking in public, of being judged, of making mistakes, and fear of interacting with unfamiliar people. The anxiety means that they may also experience physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, trembling, and difficulty speaking.

People with anxiety in social settings often feel like there is a constant spotlight on them! Scary right? Psychologists refer to this as having an imaginary audience. It can feel like everyone else’s eyes are on them at all times when they are around other people. This perceived spotlight adds a lot of pressure to speak, look and act a certain way. In reality, these people are not walking around with a spotlight on them and there are many tips that can help the individual feel calm and confident in social settings.

To cope with social anxiety, it is important to practice healthy habits. For example, exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and drugs. It can also be helpful to talk to a therapist or counsellor who can provide guidance and help you develop strategies to manage your anxiety. Additionally, learning relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness can help reduce the physical symptoms of social anxiety. With the right supports in place, individuals with social anxiety can learn to live their lives with greater confidence and less fear.