6 Ways to Improve Your Social Anxiety
Most of us have been in situations where we felt uncomfortable or nervous in social settings. For instance, when you get called to an interview or it’s your first time meeting the person you like, you are most likely to feel edgy.
Social anxiety, however, is a disorder where the simplest interactions with other people can leave you feeling anxious, embarrassed, and self-conscious due to the fear that other people might judge you or scrutinize your actions.
The condition, which affects over 12% of American adults, can be highly disruptive. It may affect your relationships, school, work, and generally your daily interactions.
However, don’t fret. We share some useful tips to improve your social anxiety.
1. Work on Your Breathing
When you have social anxiety, you tend to feel overwhelmed and suffocated. You experience increased heartbeat rates, muscle tension, and dizziness.
Teaching yourself some relaxation techniques can be a big help. Start with a simple breathing exercise.
When you feel like you’re about to have an anxiety episode, pause, find a place to sit, and take a deep breath. You need to hold the air in and then release it slowly. Do this several times until you feel your body relaxing and your heartbeats slowing down.
2. Learn to Recognize Your Triggers
Some dark thoughts might creep into your mind, making you analyze and overthink everything. Most of the time, they are just assumptions that your mind makes up. When these thoughts make you question things, try to shun them back and think positively.
It’d help to figure out the things that trigger your anxiety because that’s the first step to understanding how to manage the condition.
One method you could use to manage your triggers is to write down how you feel. Write down the negative thoughts and experiences. Try to think about why these things affect you the way they do.
You also want to note down the positive thoughts and create personal goals you can work towards.
3. Try Out Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a system of psychological treatments to change how you think and feel about a particular instance.
CBT is effective for many conditions, and with time, the therapy helps you analyze and approach uncomfortable situations calmly and positively.
Applying the training you learn through CBT makes it easier to recognize the patterns that trigger anxiety in social setups.
4. Be Considerate to yourself
Try not to judge your reactions too harshly in social situations when you cannot seem to find the right words or when you start to feel nervous around people.
Also, know that you are not alone. Everyone has something they struggle with in their daily lives. Ultimately, no one is perfect, so try to be considerate of yourself. Accept how you feel and how the condition affects you.
It all comes down to accepting that you’re not to blame for what’s going on. You just happen to have a mental health disorder that you can work on and receive treatment for.
5. Seek Treatment
Social anxiety disorder can be treated. You don’t have to suffer in silence when there are ways you can get help.
Considering you’re dealing with a mental health issue, seeing a therapist would be a great place to start.
Alternatively, you could see a doctor and get put on medications that help with anxiety. If you prefer natural options, medical marijuana can help. Veriheal suggests learning more about the health benefits of cannabis if you wish to go in that direction.
6. Get Out There
It’s not a small thing, but overcoming that mental barrier that is social anxiety means facing your fears at some point.
You have to tell yourself that it’s either you win or still win. There’s no room for anything else.
Start small by talking to the people around you. Have small talks about things you are passionate about to get you comfortable. Don’t try too hard to the point another attempt scares you.
Exchange a few words with strangers at the coffee shop. They’ll go back to their lives, and you’ll go back to yours. What you said or how you said it wouldn’t matter.
Attend a party when you feel ready. Keep your conversations short, and try not to stay too long until you’re confident with yourself.
Social anxiety is a hurdle in your mind that you can overcome slowly. It may take a long while, but eventually, you will see improvement. Acknowledge your fears and work towards improving your social anxiety rather than ignoring it and hoping it will go away.
If social anxiety disrupts your daily life, it’s always recommended to seek professional assistance to help.