Treating social anxiety

How Arakan Martial Art can help with Social Anxiety

Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is a condition that causes crippling fear and anxiety and prevents people from living what’s considered a ‘normal’ life.

People who suffer from social anxiety often find themselves in overwhelming stressful situations that make them feel:

  • Overly self-conscious
  • A persistent and chronic fear of being judged by others
  • Extremely uncomfortable when being watched (such as giving a presentation or talking in a group)
  • Hesitant to talk to others
  • The need to avoid eye contact
  • Crippling fear or panic stopping them from being able to perform a task or communicate with others

Physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness
  • Crying
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and stomach issues
  • Inability to catch your breath
  • An ‘out of body’ sensation
  • Inability to focus or concentrate

Social anxiety prevents a person from being able to live their life and causes them to often avoid situations considered ‘normal’. People with social anxiety will often avoid social situations, pursuing relationships and goals and often have a hard time understanding how others handle these situations so easily.

People with social anxiety often suffer from :

  • Low self esteem
  • Negative thoughts
  • Depression
  • Sensitivity to criticism
  • Poor social skills that don’t improve or even get worse over time
  • A sense of ‘missing out’ on activities that they see others enjoy

There is no single cause of social anxiety disorder. In some cases in can be genetic, in some cases it can be caused by another disorder (such as Autism) and in some cases it can be caused by trauma. It could also be linked to having an overactive amygdala – the part of the brain that controls your fear response.

How do you treat social anxiety?

There are many ways to treat social anxiety and these ways differ depending on how severe the disorder is. As with any disorder, it’s best to talk to your doctor as untreated social anxiety disorder can lead to depression, drug or alcohol abuse, social and work problems and a poor quality of life.

The most common treatment for social anxiety is behavioural therapy.

Behavioural therapy includes a type of therapy called exposure therapy. This works by gradually exposing you to situations that are uncomfortable and working through them until you feel comfortable. During this process, your brain is learning that the situation you were afraid of is not so bad (or maybe even fun) which then builds resilience and allows you to move on to a slightly more challenging situation.

By building resilience through exposure therapy, you can train your brain to cope better with stressful situations and, like any muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

One of the best ways that someone can build resilience is through training Arakan Martial Art. When training, it puts you in a state where your mind is focussed on the present which many people refer to as ‘mindfulness’. This is a scientifically proven way to calm anxious feelings and build new neurological pathways that can help you cope with stressful situations in future.

Learning self defence is also one of the greatest ways to build self confidence as it helps you develop a sense of empowerment and control over your life which are skills that most people with social anxiety struggle to obtain.

One of the great things about Arakan Martial Art is that we cater for people with all different needs. As someone with social anxiety, you may find that a group class is too much but a private lesson is perfect as it’s one on one and modulated specifically to your needs and abilities.

For many people with social anxiety, the thought of joining a group of people to learn a new skill such as self defence may be too much which is where our private one on one lessons are perfect. By participating in private lessons, you will build resilience, self confidence and reduce anxiety which can be a path out of social anxiety disorder and towards a better quality of life.

As you become more confident and feel more empowered, you have the option of attending group classes when you and your instructor feel you are ready.

If you or a loved one is suffering from social anxiety then why not give the Arakan Martial Art private lessons a try? It could be just the thing you need to have a better quality of life!

I am a student in Sydney. Aaron Moses is my instructor. Being a business owner with employees myself, it is always good to hear when your clients are happy with the service being provided. I have to say I started Arakan in feb 2018 only doing one day a week. Now just five months later I training 3hrs a week. I would have to admit a lot is due to Aaron’s motivation. 

When I started in feb I was still smoking and doing almost no exercise. With Aaron’s always positive attitude and motivation I haven’t had a smoke for 4mths. I also now am running and doing regular exercise. I am fitter than I was in my 20’s or 30’s. 

I look forward to every lesson and just feed off Aaron’s can do attitude. 

I am not a person that usually does this and didn’t want to make a big deal about it. But I really feel that management there and especially Rob needs to know how good of a job Aaron is doing in Sydney. 

My life has improved so much since starting Arakan training. 


Michael Cooper


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