Everyone gets nervous at some point in life. It’s quite common to feel anxious when you have to make a presentation at work. However, if you end up faking an illness on the day to avoid doing it, this could be the first sign of something bigger than shyness. Social phobia is the distress felt when you are in a public place. It’s when you are incredibly self-conscious and afraid of doing anything that others can observe, judge, and comment on.
Socialize with your Pet, Grab your ESA Letter Now!
How to Tell Whether You Have Social Phobia
You may have social phobia if you have encountered the anxiety of:
- Eating in a public restaurant
- Using public washrooms
- Public speaking
- Performing in front of a crowd
Thankfully, social phobia is treatable. Your doctor may prescribe medication as a first-line option. Additionally, they may recommend getting an emotional support animal (ESA). This is because of the numerous health benefits of ESAs that you don’t get from medication.
Keep reading to find out how your feline or canine buddy can help you overcome social phobia.
An ESA Can Help You Make New Friends
So, you just moved to a new state and are still trying to get the hang of your new surroundings. If you have social phobia, then you understand how hard it can be to make new friends. Having an ESA such as a dog means that you will need to take it for regular walks.
Most people get excited at the sight of a happy dog wagging its tail. As you take your ESA on walks, don’t be surprised when strangers come up to you. Luckily, pets are great ice breakers. A conversation about your pet helps to relieve your anxiety.
Before long, you’ll be having a discussion about your dog that’ll perhaps turn into a weightier conversation. Before you know it, you will have made new friends. Several studies have found that pets can help improve the lives of people who have social phobia.
A 2015 study found that pets played a massive role in new human relationships. The researchers realized that more than 80% of the interviewees got to know their neighborhood members while dog walking. Also, pet owners were more likely to form friendships than those without pets.
Your ESA Can Provide Social Support
Making new friends is nice, what’s even better is meeting people that can offer social support. Your ESA can help you get these four forms of social support:
- Appraisal – meeting people who can give you valuable advice
- Informational– getting useful information
- Instrumental– practical favors
- Emotional– affection as well as empathy
In the same study, pet owners mentioned receiving various forms of social support. For instance, some said that their friends would feed their pets when they were away. Others said they would discuss life issues with people they met through their pets.
ESAs Bring Solace to People With Social Phobia
Leaving the house is inevitable. Also, it would suck if you couldn’t go to your favorite restaurant or go to your local market for some fresh groceries. Having an ESA with you helps you to focus on your pet and not your fears. One thing to note is that not all restaurants will allow you to enter with your ESA.
Therefore, it would be best to go to pet-friendly areas or carry an ESA letter.
If it’s an emotional support dog (ESD), you will realize how quickly you can lower your anxiety and stress levels. Also, your reactions are better when you have your companion dog with you. ESDs offer holistic healing to people who have social phobia.
Having an ESA Means Not Giving up on Your Life Goals
One of your 2020 resolutions may have been to lose a few pounds. Unfortunately, due to social phobia, the thought of stepping into a crowd is enough to make you lose heart. An emotional service dog can motivate you to take walks or go for runs in public areas.
Also, for some people, social phobia can affect their ability to perform at work. If you live in New York, then you must know that employment laws do not cover emotional support animals in the workplace. Fortunately, some employers allow their staff to bring their ESAs if they meet particular requirements. Having your ESA as you prepare your work presentation can very much boost your confidence.
Having an ESA Gives a Boost to Other Treatments for Social Phobia
As mentioned earlier, your doctor will likely recommend taking medication. Additionally, they may propose cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The latter is more complicated as it involves restructuring your thoughts. Even though it’s useful, it can be very costly for some people.
ESAs are beneficial for people who can’t afford other treatment options. Their therapeutic benefits can help improve your social phobia significantly.
Stay Healthy with your ESA Pet!
If you have social phobia, your excessive fear of public spaces can make it a daunting task to live comfortably. Social phobia affects not only your social relationships but also your ability to perform at work. If this is the case, an emotional support animal is just what you need to better your quality of life.