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How to overcome social anxiety with hypnotherapy

Overcoming social anxiety with hypnotherapy

Social anxiety is a term that describes a state of feeling shy, nervous, or awkward when meeting and interacting with other people. It can be anything from a mild fear to a full-blown panic at the thought of attending particular events. Social anxiety can get in the way of making meaningful friendships, making the most of business and networking opportunities, and generally making the most out of life. 

As humans, we crave connection with others. However in this day and age, with technology replacing a lot of human interaction and more and more people working from home, it can be difficult to find regular opportunities to make friends, especially later in life. It also means you may not be practicing the social skills required to connect with others, so when those opportunities do arise, you’re so awkward and nervous that you may clam up.

When I treat clients for social anxiety, there are two main elements we look at:

1. The internal issues. The internal issues include everything that’s going on inside you. For example: 

  • The beliefs you have about yourself (Do you feel worthy of other people’s attention? Are you confident in who you are? Do you trust other people? Do you expect to be rejected? And so on.) 
  • The thoughts you’re running in your head. (Are you overthinking every social interaction? Are you second guessing everything you say? Are you constantly criticising yourself?)
  • How you manage feelings of fear and anxiety when they arise. (Are you able to sit with uncomfortable feelings and move forward anyway? Do you have tools to regulate your nervous system?)
  • Your ability to be authentic. (Are you able to express your true self with honesty and openness? Are you genuinely interested in other people? Does your energy invite connection?)

2. The external issues. These are more practical matters that look at how you are behaving in the external world.

  • Do you know how to start a conversation and then keep it going?
  • Are you aware of your body language and the messages you are subconsciously sending other people?
  • Do you regularly place yourself in situations where you are likely to meet likeminded people?
  • Do you know how to progress a casual acquaintance into a potential close friend?
  • Can you read social cues and are you responsive to the signals being sent by others?

When you address both the internal and external factors, you are setting yourself up for the best chance of creating a fulfilling and engaging social life. 

When I treat social anxiety in my hypnotherapy programs, we illuminate the unhelpful underlying internal patterns you have been running, and then start to rewire your beliefs and thoughts to free you from these patterns. We then install new beliefs that increase your ability to be confident, relaxed and socially engaging.  Together we also identify and address which social skills you may be lacking, and find ways for you to gently practice these skills in real life! 

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