How To Deal With Social Anxiety


Social anxiety (SA) is a common feeling that millions of people experience. It can range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating and completely overwhelming, but it’s important to know that there are many things we can do to help manage the symptoms and feel more comfortable in social situations. Here are 15 ways how to deal with social anxiety.

Recognize your triggers

If you can identify what makes you feel anxious in social situations, you can start to work on managing those feelings before they take hold. Are there certain topics of conversation that make you uncomfortable? Who tends to make you feel self-conscious? Situations where you feel like you’re being judged? Once you know what your triggers are, you can begin to address them head-on.

Work on your self-esteem

Unfortunately, the media has conditioned us to believe that there is only one way to be beautiful. For people who suffer from a social anxiety disorder, this “one way” of being can make them feel like they are never good enough or attractive enough to participate in society’s activities. Overcoming low self-esteem takes time and effort, but it can have a profound impact on overall happiness – which will certainly help with public interactions as well.

Don’t dwell on it

If you think about it too much, social anxiety has the potential to take over your life; this is why people who suffer from SA often complain about not doing certain things because they feel like everyone would avoid them if they were out in public. Try hard not to spend all of your time thinking/worrying about how anxious you are – remember that just because you have moments where you feel self-conscious doesn’t mean that those feelings will last forever. Sometimes our brains just need to be re-trained to stop seeing social situations as such a big deal.

Use positive thinking techniques

Every time you think about something negatively, try re-framing it into something more positive. This takes some practice at first, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work right away! But over time you’ll find that by automatically thinking positive thoughts, you’ll start to feel better about yourself and your interactions with others.

Practice relaxation techniques

Stress and anxiety can leave our bodies feeling tense and uneasy. Practicing relaxation techniques – such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation – can help to calm our minds and loosen up our bodies. This makes it easier to cope with stressful situations and can ultimately lead to a more relaxed state of mind.

Eat healthy foods

Just like exercise, eating healthy foods has a positive effect on our moods. When we eat junk food or processed foods, our bodies produce toxins that can make us feel stressed and anxious. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein helps to combat these toxins and leaves us feeling more relaxed and happy. Eating healthy is a good way to deal with social anxiety, and it has the bonus of being good for our overall health!

Exercise regularly

Like healthy food, exercise is a phenomenal way to improve mood and reduce stress. It can also lead to better sleep – which a lot of us could probably use more of! When we’re physically active, our brains release endorphins, which are hormones that make us feel happy and relaxed. Exercise regularly help manage your social anxiety symptoms and feel happier and more relaxed in general.

Exercise your face muscles

Tense muscles throughout the body can contribute to an overall feeling of stress and anxiety – just think how you feel when you’re clenching your jaw without knowing it! For people who suffer from social anxiety, this is especially problematic because we often tighten our facial muscles as a result of uneasiness or discomfort. Sometimes it even feels like those muscles are frozen in place. Try making faces in the mirror – scrunch up your nose, widen your eyes, make silly expressions with your mouth – whatever makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Doing this a few times a day can help to loosen up those muscles and ease the tension you feel in social situations.

Connect with others online

The wonderful thing about the internet is that it allows us to connect with people from all over the world who share our interests and passions. There are online communities for just about everything, so find one that relates to your anxiety disorder and join in! Not only will you be able to learn more about how other people cope with their anxieties, but you’ll also have an instant support system that’s always available.

Avoid alcohol and drugs

Drugs and alcohol are often used as a means of self-medication, but they don’t do anything to help our anxiety in the long run. They can often make things worse by causing us to feel more stressed, anxious, and out of control. If you find that you feel better or more confident when you drink, try replacing alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones so you can still have a good time without putting your health at risk.

Learn to love yourself

People who suffer from SA are often incredibly self-conscious and may even see themselves as unworthy of being loved by others. This is something we need to change – every single one of us deserves to be happy and fulfilled in our skin. Start by repeating positive affirmations about yourself throughout the day – for example, say “I am deserving of love” instead of “I’m not lovable.” You’ll notice that people with higher self-esteem tend to interact with others in an open and relaxed way, and this is something you can work towards.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on our thoughts and feelings as they happen. When we’re practicing mindfulness, we’re less likely to get wrapped up in negative thoughts or worries about the future. This can be a great way to combat social anxiety because it allows us to focus on the here and now rather than letting our anxieties take over.

Avoid caffeine and sugar

Just like alcohol and drugs, caffeine and sugar can often worsen our anxiety symptoms. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make us feel jittery and stressed, while sugar causes our blood sugar to spike then crash, leaving us feeling tired and moody. If you feel that your mental state is affected by caffeine or sugar, then try cutting them out for a week to see if it makes a difference in how you feel during social situations.

Set boundaries

It’s natural to want to please everyone all the time, but that isn’t always possible – and it isn’t healthy! Sometimes we have to stand up for ourselves and practice saying “no” when we don’t feel comfortable doing something. For example, a family member may invite you over for dinner on a particular night – knowing that you struggle with social anxiety – but you might not be available then. You can tell them honestly that another day would be better for your health and wellbeing, and they’ll hopefully understand.

Keep a journal of successes!

Sometimes it can be really helpful to put our victories on paper so we can see how far we’ve come. Keeping a journal of things like “I went to a party and didn’t panic” or “I had a conversation with a stranger and it went well” can help to boost our self-confidence and remind us that we’re capable of overcoming our social anxiety. Plus, it’s a great way to look back on our progress and see just how far we’ve come!

Conclusion

Social anxiety is a common symptom that affects many people. However, there are ways to deal with it and feel more comfortable in public. By using some or all of the tips listed above, you can start to make progress in overcoming your anxieties. Remember to be kind to yourself, and don’t give up. You can do this!

Leave a Comment