Top 5 Techniques to Help You Reduce Your Social Anxiety
Although it’s normal to occasionally feel anxious in social settings, social anxiety is more than just being timid. Social phobia, which is also called social anxiety, can be so bad that it makes it nearly impossible to do anything. It may stop you from advancing in your profession or having fulfilling relationships.
Social anxiety can have both emotional and physical symptoms.
Emotional symptoms might include:
- Overwhelming apprehension while interacting with strangers
- Fear that you’ll be judged by others
- Fear of being scrutinized by others
- Being concerned about doing anything that might be unpleasant or embarrassing
Physical symptoms of social anxiety often include:
- A rapid heartbeat
- Muscle tension
Do any of these things happen to you in social situations, or do you often try to avoid them because they make you nervous or make you feel bad about yourself?
Try Some of These Techniques to Cope:
- Develop breathing control. People’s respiration and pulse rates frequently quicken when they are anxious. Try this breathing exercise to start:
- Look for a chair that is cozy to sit in. Put one hand on your tummy and the other on your chest while keeping your shoulders relaxed and your back straight.
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, then hold your breath for a few seconds. The hand on your stomach rises while the hand on your chest moves very little when you breathe deeply.
- Exhale slowly, allowing as much air as you can to escape via your mouth.
- Repeat this process until your heart rate drops and feelings of nervousness subside.
2. Confront your negative thoughts. Recognize when your negative ideas are starting to creep in. Think things through logically, and resist the urge to think negatively about anything.
- For example, perhaps you get very nervous when meeting someone new. You might think that you’ll look foolish or say something to humiliate yourself.
- When this happens, stop and think it through logically. If you say “hello” to someone and ask them a few questions to get to know them, are they going to think that’s foolish? People will probably find you articulate and intelligent.
- Think about what you want to say to someone before you say it.
3. Learn to confront your anxieties. By forcing yourself to interact with people, you can learn coping mechanisms and deal with your fear.
- Think about volunteering, for instance. Even though you would be collaborating with total strangers, your shared objective would be to achieve similar goals. With them, communication would be simpler as a result.
4. Change your lifestyle for the better. You can better manage your anxiety by making some lifestyle modifications. Look at these instances:
- Quit smoking. Not only is smoking very dangerous to your overall health, but the nicotine in cigarette smoke is a stimulant that can increase anxiety.
- Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine is also a stimulant. Avoid drinking too much coffee, soda, or energy drinks to help you keep your anxiety under control.
- Monitor the amount of alcohol you drink. Many people like to have a drink to help calm their nerves before entering a social situation. However, alcohol can increase the risk of an anxiety attack.
5. Consult a professional. It might be time to contact a therapist or medical professional if you’ve tried these methods but are still struggling with anxiety. This is particularly true if your anxiety is negatively affecting your life.
- A therapist can give you additional strategies for dealing with anxiety and a doctor can prescribe medication that can help.
Many people find that avoiding stressful situations is the best way to deal with social anxiety. But doing so can stop you from pursuing the job you want, dating someone you like, or making new acquaintances. Instead, learn coping mechanisms so you can live a contented and joyful life.