mobile hero image
hero image

Social Anxiety


Social anxiety is a fear of social situations that can be long-lasting. The anxiety experienced is usually distressing and have an impact on general wellbeing. Social anxiety can affect everyday activities, confidence, relationships, self-esteem and work. At one time or another, it’s natural to feel anxious or shy in a social situation, however social anxiety is more than just shyness and represents a feeling of anxiety about a social situation before, during and after the interaction or event. If you are experiencing social anxiety it’s common to feel nervous about a range of activities such as: meeting strangers, starting a conversation, talking on the phone, eating out, meeting friends, or any activity that may involve a social interaction. Often people worry they will perform in some sort of unacceptable way and fear they will be judged by others.

Five Tips

  1. Try to limit your avoidance if you can. Whilst it can make you feel uncomfortable accepting invitations to events which you normally try and avoid, it can be helpful to try and build up your surrounding networks and maintain relationships with those close to you as these can be important sources of support.
  2. Physical activity and exercise can help to ease some of the common symptoms of anxiety.
  3. By being mindful of your diet and sleep and engaging in regular exercise, you can help to improve your overall mental wellbeing which can build resilience and resources. It’s important to look after yourself.
  4. You may find writing down your thoughts or worries about social situations, associated feelings, and how you would like things to be different (goals) helpful. Writing distressing thoughts and feelings down can help us understand them and gain some space from them. Often exposure to social situations, although anxiety provoking, can overtime help us manage anxiety more effectively as the experiences we have can shift any worries about being in a social situation.
  5. There is no one way to treat social anxiety. If self-help isn’t working, reach out for additional help or support from a friend, family member, or healthcare professional.


up arrow


up arrow

How to get help

up arrow

Social Anxiety - Five facts

up arrow

Our therapists specialising in social anxiety

Because we are online we can work with the Best therapists from across the country. Every HelloSelf therapist is an accredited psychotherapist who is both HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) registered and a member of the BPS (British Psychological Society).

Every HelloSelf therapist is interviewed and checked by our team & Clinical Director. We pride ourselves on working with the best Therapists in the UK, and our assessment process ensures we provide only the highest standards for our members.

Ms Kirstie Wright

Since qualifying as a CBT Therapist I have worked as a CBT Therapist in both primary and secondary care and supervised people carrying out Low Intensity CBT Interventions.

See more

Dr Nicky Hartigan

I have over 15 years’ experience working therapeutically with adults experiencing a range of mental health problems, in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

See more

Dr Annemarie O'Connor

I have over ten years experience of assessing, understanding and treating a range of diagnoses and psychological difficulties.

See more

Want to know more?

Whatever you’d like to achieve through therapy, the friendly and caring team at HelloSelf are here and ready to help.

Are you using medical insurance?

How would you best describe your main problem?

Have you had previous treatment for this problem?