Almost everyone gets nervous or anxious from time to time when they are speaking in public or in a social gathering. However, for some people, anxiety becomes so frequent that it begins to take over their lives. Here, in this article, we will be discussing about a few tips to overcome social anxiety.
Social anxiety, as it is simply put, is the fear of social situations. A person living with social anxiety can be frustrated. He or she might feel like their mind has an ability to instantly jump a million steps into the worst case scenario.
The signs of social anxiety include finding yourself worrying about other people's reactions, experiencing extreme nervousness and anxiousness in social situations, feeling really insecure about everything you say, feeling paranoid, avoiding social situations, feeling overly judged, and so on.
So, here are a few tips for overcoming social anxiety that you can get started with.
1. Start Sharing Your Thoughts
Hiding or suppressing your anxiety can actually produce more anxiety. The most important step to overcome social anxiety is to start sharing your experience with family and close friends. Many people are ashamed of their anxiety and are reluctant to share about it. It's okay to share your mental health illnesses with your loved ones.
2. Your Thinking Isn't Real
Anxiety starts controlling you, when you think it's real. It's really important to keep in mind that social anxiety feeds on thoughts that emphasise danger and negativity. You will experience symptoms like sweating and fast heartbeat from this kind of thinking. So, start thinking on positive thoughts.
3. Shift Your Attention
Anxiety has its own way of grabbing attention. It will make you feel self-critical and you will suddenly notice rapid heartbeats. Instead, you can try and focus your attention on what it is you may be doing. For example, if you are speaking to someone, listen to what they are saying.
4. Face Your Fears
Avoiding social situations will not help you. Facing your fears will allow you to work towards a more challenging situation and will give you coping skills. If you are scared of meeting new people, go along with your friend and introduce yourself.
5. Let Go Of Safety Behaviours
People often stare at their phones, wear sunglasses to avoid making eye contact or leave the room to lessen anxiety in social situations. Next time, to overcome your social anxiety, resist the temptation to take out your phone or flee the room.
6. Stop Trying To Be Perfect
No one is perfect in this world, and once you start accepting this fact, it will be better for you. There are many who will dislike you and also there will be people who will like you. It's not necessary that everyone has to like you.
7. Feel Less Anxious By Living Your Life
To feel less anxious, go out with your friends, or start travelling to different places. These little things will build your confidence, leading to less anxiety down the road.
8. Know That Making Mistakes Are Okay
Are you feeling under the pressure to say exactly the right thing and charm everybody with your words? You need not think much about charming everybody, instead be yourself, it's okay to be yourself. Making mistakes is a part of the human nature.
9. Challenge Your Inner Critic
Certain things will make you doubt yourself. Challenge your inner critic and think of what you are afraid of. Talk back to your inner critic with logic and redeem yourself.
10. Don't Make A Strategy For Socializing
A recent study showed that when people with social anxiety drink, they feel more comfortable in social situations. Drinking to cope social anxiety might work, but overusing it will lead you to getting drunk later on.
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