When you are suffering with social anxiety disorder, many questions haunt you including, “What caused this to happen?” and “Why me?” Because social anxiety disorder is such a wide spread psychological problem, medical science and the psychiatric community has been working hard to track down the causes of social anxiety disorder. As we all know, if you know what might be causing an illness, that is the key to coming up with a cure.
Many of the causes of this debilitating disorder have their origins in childhood trauma. The best treatment for those emotional wounds suffered early in life is therapy. The good news is that psychologists are well equipped and knowledgeable about social anxiety disorder so they are well equipped to help you beat this problem. Another common cause of the disorder originates in chemical imbalances in the brain. The obvious treatment for this kind of problem are medication under the strict care of a good doctor. The chemical causes of social anxiety disorder are an area of medical science that is still being researched and the knowledge base that the medical community has is constantly growing.
But the one cause of social anxiety disorder comes from lifestyle And this is the area that you as the person who is suffering with the disease can take action yourself to minimize or eliminate the symptoms of social anxiety disorder or even potentially eliminated it from your life entirely. What research has discovered is that in many cases, exaggerated social anxiety may come from false signals coming from what is called the “fight or flee” instinct that is in all of us.
“Fight or flee” is that surge of energy you feel when you are in danger. All living things have an instinct when they are confronted with danger to either strike out at the danger to destroy it or to turn tail and run with the age old self encouragement of “feet don’t fail me now.” That is the flee part of fight or flee. Seriously though, when your mind perceives danger, adrenaline kicks in and you instinctively try to assess which of those two options to utilize. It is an instinctive reaction to danger that you see in animals when they become alarmed. So “fight or flee” is not a bad thing because it is necessary for survival.
When we are living a reasonable and healthy lifestyle, this instinct works correctly in the proper contexts when it is supposed to get you out of trouble. But for many of us, our lifestyle is not always healthy. Many of us get too little sleep, work too many hours and do not eat or exercise the way we know we should. The results of abusing ourselves, even for a noble cause like work, are more severe than just grumpiness and putting on a few pounds. Without the right food, rest and a chance to get away from stress, the fight or flee instinct begins to deliver false readings from normal situations that are not the least bit life threatening.
When the instinct that we have for our survival begins to sense danger in everyday situations, that will result in extreme reactions such as social anxiety that is far more severe than normal shyness or mild nervousness at a new social situation. Because our survival instincts become exaggerated under stress and without adequate healthy diet, exercise and rest, it causes a panic reaction to social stress that is too severe. Anxiety results which can lead to all of the harsh and debilitating symptoms that we recognize as social anxiety disorder.
There is an old phrase that goes, “Living well is the best revenge”. There may be no more appropriate use of that concept than in fighting back against social anxiety disorder. By putting some extra emphasis on better living habits, you are literally taking away the cause of your social anxiety. Get enough sleep. Eat better. Spend more time with family and get some exercise. You know what should be done.
The excuse that you cannot do those things because of work stresses pales when you consider that social anxiety disorder can shut you down so severely that it can threaten work, family and your social life completely. In that way, taking care of yourself is the a step that is all about taking care of your job and your family. By simply living a healthy life, you eliminate the cause of social anxiety disorder entirely. In doing so, you will have made a tremendous step toward living a better and more healthier life. Everybody in your life benefits from that.