Many people are afflicted with social anxiety, a prevalent mental health issue. It's the anxiety of having people assess or evaluate you poorly in social circumstances, and it can be very stressful and restrictive. Going to the grocery store, speaking in front of a group, or even just meeting new people might feel scary and overwhelming when you have social anxiety. This blog will discuss some of the most effective methods and advice for conquering social anxiety so that you may begin leading a more contented and self-assured life. There are numerous solutions, ranging from self-care and lifestyle adjustments to therapy and medication.
There are several ways to overcome social anxiety and regain control of your life, including counselling, medication, self-care, and lifestyle changes. So, if you're prepared to start down the road to a life free of social anxiety, keep reading!
What is social anxiety?
If you happen to feel discomfort or anxiety in public very frequently, then you might be suffering from a social anxiety disorder. Some symptoms of social anxiety can be a severe aversion to engaging or conversing with strangers. Fear that people will see that you're tense. Fear of experiencing unpleasant physical side effects, such as blushing, perspiration, shaking, or a wavering voice. This is known as social anxiety, and there are many ways one can overcome social anxiety. Following are a few symptoms of social anxiety.
Social anxiety symptoms
It's common to experience anxiety in certain social settings. For instance, giving a presentation or going on a date can make you feel butterflies in your stomach. But when you have a social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, you constantly worry about how others will react to you in social situations and feel self-conscious and embarrassed. The following are some symptoms of social anxiety you need to be aware of:
- Fear of encounters where you could receive unfavourable judgement
- Worry about making yourself look bad or humiliated.
- severe anxiety while engaging or conversing with strangers
- Fear that people may notice that you appear worried
- rapid heart rate
- nausea or a stomachache
- Having trouble breathing
How to deal with social anxiety
Even though it may be challenging, it is advised that you overcome social anxiety because it can significantly affect your life. Your work, friendships, love life, or even family connections may suffer inadvertently as a result. When you pass on opportunities, they can have a huge impact on you. Isolation can make people depressed because it prevents them from having fun, enjoying themselves, and feeling connected to others. Following are some tips for you to overcome social anxiety;
Get yourself a therapist
Contrary to what some may believe, shyness, or feeling unpleasant and nervous around new people, is not the same as social anxiety. Being a mental health problem, social anxiety can sometimes be difficult to treat yourself.
Although there are many things you can do to overcome social anxiety and discomfort, seeking professional help is always a smart place to start.
Take small steps
It's okay, to begin with, trying to make little adjustments while trying to overcome social anxiety. You're not required to approach everyone you meet and offer to lead a meeting.
Here are a few tips to overcome social anxiety:
- Avoid using the self-checkout at the store and try to strike up a conversation with the clerk instead.
- To ask a question in class, raise your hand.
- laud the attire of a student or coworker.
Be kind to yourself
Even if you're the only one experiencing anxiety, it's simple to spiral while you're out in public and focus on everything that seems to be going wrong. You can utilise a method known as the "five senses" to acquire perspective and overcome social anxiety. "Check in with all five of your senses to help you become more aware of the outside world. Avoid unpleasant internal feelings and bad ideas, is advised. You can then attempt to refocus by asking yourself, "What are they really saying to me? What else is happening at the moment? How do I see? What sound do I hear? What am I feeling? This method to overcome social anxiety will take time but will help reduce your stress and overall help in dealing with social anxiety/
Figure out triggering situations
Not every person with social anxiety experiences it in the same manner.
Any situation where you worry that people will judge you, such as placing an order at a restaurant or leaving the classroom during a lecture, can make you feel nervous. On the other hand, if people don't want you to speak up or voice your opinions, you could feel most at ease just being in their company.
You can start your search for answers to overcome social anxiety by identifying the reasons and times when you experience them most frequently. List the circumstances that make you feel the most uncomfortable and that you find impossible to confront first. These could consist of the following:
Introducing yourself to a person you're attracted to during an interview for a new job or at a meeting with a professor to seek advice.
Practice acts of kindness
In a 2015 study, doing little deeds of kindness for four weeks helped 115 college students to overcome social anxiety feel and less inclined to avoid social situations.
Even though the connection between compassion and social anxiety may not be obvious at first glance, it makes sense.
Generally speaking, social anxiety includes some level of rejection or disapproval fear. However, if you've just done something kind and kind, like offering to pick up your neighbour's grocery order or bringing a sick coworker their favourite soup, the person you helped is much more likely to have favourable thoughts towards you than negative ones.
Look for a silver lining
It's quite natural if you have not overcome social anxiety as quickly as you'd want. You may have moved too quickly and need to practice other social situations more before you're ready for the one you're having trouble with. You must also practice relaxation and distraction tactics more to handle that circumstance the next time. Just be grateful that you are at least practising small things.
It frequently appears like a fantastic idea to overcome social anxiety and feel more at ease in social situations by having one or two drinks. Undoubtedly, a little alcohol can make you feel more at ease, but it can also heighten your anxiety and make you feel worse.
If you frequently drink to control your social anxiety symptoms, you can eventually reach the point where you can't socialise without it. Additionally, you could find that drinking more is necessary to achieve the same results.
Try developing awareness of when you drink, how much you drink, and how it makes you feel. This method is known as mindful drinking.
Challenge negative thoughts
You probably spend a lot of time considering how those social situations you just mentioned could go wrong, You might be concerned with
- accidentally using crude or harsh language
- addressing someone incorrectly, falling or spilling something on yourself laughing, sneezing, or coughing when other people are around getting unwell in front of them
- These things do occasionally occur, and they can undoubtedly be uncomfortable in the near term. Though it could be unsettling to picture oneself in a similarly unpleasant circumstance, try to maintain perspective.
Even if you do commit a minor social error, it doesn't necessarily indicate that other people will think less of you. In reality, they might recall an instance in which they were in a comparable situation and instead give understanding and compassion. You might even meet a new buddy by bonding over uncomfortable prior experiences.
Try realistic thinking, a strategy for confronting and swapping out unhelpful thoughts when you want to overcome social anxiety. You can attempt this by posing some straightforward inquiries to yourself about the scenario that's concerning you and offering sincere, objective responses.
Try cognitive behaviour therapy
Among the several psychotherapies available, cognitive behavioural therapy is a useful method to overcome social anxiety because it involves changing how you feel and thinks about a situation, which can help you change your behaviour. As a PhD psychologist explains, "with social anxiety especially, you want to discover patterns of thinking that cause you to avoid social settings — like if a person always expects the worst outcome or if a person is preoccupied on the fact that someone might see them blushing, sweating, or stammering." You want to teach them to challenge these expectations and switch to a more constructive self-talk style.
Watch out for subtler types of avoidance
Okay, so you already know that avoiding social events altogether won't help you overcome social anxiety much. However, you'll also want to avoid strategies that keep your participation inactive. For instance:
- You stay busy in the kitchen during parties, washing dishes and making food.
- You encourage the other person to talk about themselves while you are in a conversation.
- You avoid eye contact with others in a gathering by remaining on the periphery and engrossed in your phone.
When you show up without truly interacting with the group, you could feel safer, but this won't help you overcome social anxiety. People might not reject you, but until you genuinely try to communicate with them, they won't actually get to know you.
Although letting go of these counterproductive coping mechanisms may initially seem difficult, most individuals find the end reward of healthier relationships to be well worth it.
It takes time and work, but it is possible to overcome social anxiety. The most crucial thing is always to be kind to yourself and never give up, regardless of whether you decide to work with a therapist, take medication, or try self-help strategies. Keep in mind that development is frequently gradual and incremental and that setbacks are an expected part of the procedure. However, with the correct assistance, materials, and tenacity, you can overcome social anxiety and begin leading a more certain and satisfying life. To become a happier and more self-assured version of yourself, don't be afraid to ask for help, try new things, and appreciate the journey. You'll discover that the anxiety and worry associated with social situations disappear with patience and perseverance, and we hope you'll handle life's difficulties with elegance and ease.