anxiety, fear, stress

Social Anxiety and Emotion Regulation

Social anxiety has been suggested to affect 12.1% of people over the course of their lifetime and ranks as the fourth most common mental health disorder (Dryman & Heimberg, 2018). Social anxiety is often diagnosed with other problems such as major depression and is “…characterized by excessive fear of being negatively evaluated by others and acting in ways that will be embarrassing” (Dixon et al., 2019, p. 119). Problems with emotion regulation have been suggested to be a major contributor to the development of social anxiety. Difficulty identifying, understanding, and accepting emotions in particular are elements of emotion regulation which those with social anxiety struggle with (Dryman & Heimberg, 2018). Current research suggests that increasing client’s adeptness with utilizing emotional regulation strategies can assist in mitigating the impact of social anxiety (Dryman & Heimberg, 2018).

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Dixon, M. L., Moodie, C. A., Goldin, P. R., Farb, N., Heimberg, R. G., & Gross, J. J. (2020). Emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder: Reappraisal and acceptance of negative self-beliefs. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 5, 119-129. doi:

Dryman, M. T., & Heimberg, R. G. (2018). Emotion regulation in social anxiety and depression: A systematic review of expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal. Clinical Psychology Review, 65, 17-42. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2018.07.004