Relieving the AnxietyFor most people open communication is relatively easy and conversation usually flows with ease, but for those who suffer communication anxiety, speaking to others can be a dreaded event. They also feel very uneasy with compliments and do not like being the center of attention.
One way to ease the anxiety is to practice socializing with a small group of friends. Hold conversations and ask for their honest feedback. You can also practice communication skills in front of your mirror. Stand in front of a mirror and pretend that you are engaged in a form of social communication. Watch yourself and say positive things such as "I have alot to offer this conversation." Practice this two to three times daily and continue with the positive thoughts about yourself.
When you first encounter a conversation, take deep breaths in and out for about 10 seconds to help induce a calm feeling. Taking deep breaths helps to expel air out of your lungs and allows fresh air in. This also increases blood flow to the brain, which increases the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.
In a journal, write down your beliefs about communication and the irrational belief system associated with talking to others. Create two columns: on one side write down your fears associated with communication and on the other write down your irrational beliefs and why communication causes you anxiety. Examine this list before you venture into any social situation.
Before entering a situation that entails communicating, check in with yourself and think positive thoughts about who you are and what you have to offer to any given social situation. You can also practice saying positive things to yourself, like "I like who I am" and "I am just as intelligent as the next person." These statements can be very powerful and help to instill an enhanced positive self-image.
If the communication anxiety continues without any relief then it might be time to consult your physician to discuss the possibility of adding anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax or Klonopin. These are not the preferred course of treatment due to the possibility of addiction, and using medication does not cure the underlying problem. However, medication is useful in extreme cases of communication anxiety. Communication anxiety is often a form of social anxiety. Many times people freeze up and experience extreme forms of panic and fear when engaged in open communication. The symptoms individuals experience are very real, but there are steps you can take to alleviate this type of anxiety.