Overcome social anxiety
This is what I’ve been learning over several weeks –
Everyday events can be extra challenging. You might feel a lot more self-conscious and more scared than other people do in social interactions and may suffer from low self-esteem.
But don’t let this keep you from living your life to the fullest.
There are several ways to overcome social anxiety.
- Breathing control – Anxiety can cause changes in your body that make you uncomfortable. For example, your breathing might get fast and shallow. This can make you even more anxious. You might feel tense, dizzy, or suffocated.
- Sit down in a comfortable position.
- Relax your shoulders.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose for 4 seconds feeling your lungs as they fill with air.
- Hold your breath in for 2 seconds and then slowly let it out through your mouth for 6 seconds.
- Repeat this several times until you feel relaxed.
- Muscle Relaxation – Flexing and releasing groups of muscles in your body and keeping your attention on the feeling of the release.
- Prepare – Plan ahead for social situations that make you nervous. This can help you feel more confident. Try to prepare for what’s to come.
- Negative thoughts – They can cause you to misread things like facial expressions. This could lead you to assume people are thinking things about you that they aren’t.
- Think of all the negative thoughts you have in specific situations.
- Write them down.
- Write down positive thoughts that challenge negative ones.
- Negative thought: “This situation makes me so anxious, I won’t be able to deal with it.”
- Challenge: “I’ve felt anxious before, but I’ve always gotten through it. I’ll do my best to focus on the positive parts of the experience.”
- Your senses – Sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste – your senses can help calm you down in the moment when you’re feeling anxious. Looking at a favourite photograph or smelling a certain scent can do the trick.
Nobody’s perfect, and everyone feels embarrassed at one point or another in their life. Overcoming social anxiety is by no means easy. You’ll have times where you think negatively and slip back into old habits. If you’re feeling run down or tired, you may find yourself feeling more anxious than normal, but it doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
Just take a minute, focus on the present, and practice the techniques you’ve been working on.
You are not alone