According to recent statistics, it is confirmed that at least 12% of adults encounter social anxiety or social phobia at least once in their lives. In fact, this is a condition that has surpassed the typical boundaries of shyness that can directly affect your day-to-day chores. So, in this comprehensive episode, I will educate you on five pragmatic ways to overcome social anxiety.
You can actually practice some simple, effective ways to get over social anxiety without seeking the help of a therapist. Try these methods on a daily basis:
- Start slow- identify your fears
- Practice mindfulness habits
- Make little changes in your lifestyle- socialize more
- Draw the focus away from yourself
- Practice everyday situations with someone trustworthy
If you are looking for a way out of your stressful life, Keep reading to be enlightened about your possibilities to escape social phobia.
05 Practical Ways To Overcome Social Anxiety
Feeling nervous or excited to meet new people or to be surrounded by a crowd of people is absolutely normal for all human beings. But, for some people, the problem begins when they feel these overwhelming feelings consuming them over time.
For them, the fear of being judged negatively can be so intimidating. And ultimately, they will undergo unfavorable situations where they fail to do their daily tasks successfully. The perk of being a person with social phobia can be even life-threatening for them if ignored.
Thus, if you think that you are not yet ready to meet a therapist or seek expert advice, use these self-practices that will definitely help you with getting over this situation.
01- Start Slow- Identify Your Fears
When you know you are trapped in some sort of situation, rushing things will never end up with good results. That is why starting slow always works!
In what situations do you feel most anxious when you are in society? Is it when you have to walk into a hall with a group of people or inside the elevator with others?
Since you are already combatting your consciousness, the capacity of your mind isn’t enough to store the details of each and every situation that your social anxiety triggers. Therefore, write them down in a manner of hierarchy. You can set your fears on a scale and rate them 1-10.
For example, assume that you get anxious until you get physically upset when you have to walk into the study hall. If this is what makes you most anxious in your daily routine, write it down under number 01.
Take the next situation, as you don’t feel like lifting your eyes for your neighbors. You don’t really feel anything terrible, but you still feel that they’ll judge you for some reason- then, this should come somewhere below number 05.
Note down these situations and study them—question yourself why you really feel so bad in such circumstances. When you start interrogating your thoughts, your mind will ultimately fight back these negative feelings.
While you write them down, imagine how you would face those situations. Tell yourself that smiling at a neighbor is not something for them to judge. Think about how good they would feel.
No matter how big or small the situation is, allocate some time from your day and start to analyze at least one situation and how you would react each day.
02- Practice Mindfulness Habits
There are plenty of mindfulness habits if you need to practice, and you don’t need to do them all. In fact, practicing mindfulness has multiple benefits, especially in terms of overcoming anxiety and improving personal development.
The acts of mindfulness usually include:
- Practicing gratitude
- Practicing compassion and empathy
- Training mindful body movements (physical exercise like yoga, dancing, cross-training, biking, running, etc.)
- Maintaining a journal
- Practicing being aware of how you feel
- Practicing to live in the present
- Reduce social media exposure and be away from digital devices like mobile phones and laptops as much as possible.
- Listening to music, drawing, or painting
Investing your leisure time practicing one or two of these mindful habits will significantly impact your life. Especially meditation, maintaining a journal, practicing being aware of how you feel, and training body movements would be one hundred percent resulting habits.
03- Make Little Changes In Your Lifestyle- Socialize More
My sole intention was to share some effective yet simple practices that will bring a huge shift in your life. In essence, small changes you make in your daily routine will give unexpected results to overcome social anxiety.
It would be a great help if you could get adapted to an anti-anxiety lifestyle. In fact, experts suggest that the way you treat your body has a tremendous influence on managing the symptoms of anxiety. Hence, practicing good health habits like eating healthy, cutting down on caffeine, and getting good sleep can essentially help you to overcome anxiety.
In addition, increasing your engagement or socializing more with optimistic people is virtually something that could give good results. You can plan little dinner or lunch outs with your friends or colleagues who understand and give you positive vibes. Try not to get drunk with them as much as possible since alcohol can make things go worse.
When you are around people you can feel comfortable with, you will start to discern that you are gradually communicating and connecting with others- which is indeed a good sign!
In fact, exposing yourself to smaller communities helps you with situational exposure. This will eventually alleviate your apprehension about moving, facing, or talking with people.
04- Draw The Focus Away From Yourself
When you are anxious, you literally can’t stop the constant mind discussion. This is the most challenging part since social anxiety can develop as long as self-attention grows.
In fact, drawing focus out of yourself in an anxious situation isn’t something that can be practiced overnight. You should train your mind slowly to focus on others more than yourself in such circumstances.
Let’s take the same example as before. Imagine that you walk into the study hall and feel that everybody’s looking at you and they are waiting to judge you. You will be unknowingly drawn to a secluded world and feel lost. This is why you should fight back.
Whenever you feel embarrassed or fear being judged, slowly draw your attention to other people around you. Think about them. Tell yourself that they have their own business rather than focusing on a single person and judging you for no reason.
Look at them, smile, and admire their outfits. Try to make a connection and be present. Do this over and over again until you feel you are slowly becoming a part of the crowd.
05- Practice Everyday Situations With Someone Trustworthy
This is simply role-playing, where you imagine real-life situations that trigger your anxiety. Since you can’t possibly do this alone, you can ask one of your family members or the closest friend who understands you very well to help you.
You can keep practicing the real situations like your visit to the restaurant, using public transport, events in your workplace/ college, etc. Ask your partner to ask you normal questions like “What would you like to order?” as in the restaurant. Or come up with a scene where you’ve been asked questions in college or asked to do a presentation at your workplace.
Be honest and act naturally about how you would respond to such situations. These acts can include the situations you already faced and the situations you might encounter ahead of time.
Practicing and preparing will make you feel more comfortable facing them in the future. Since you know what’s coming ahead of you and the way you need to react, you will be less anxious and stressed.
Life evolves, and so does the world around us. Just because you know that you have a problem evolving with the world, that doesn’t mean you need to stop. In fact, social anxiety is something that you can get over with the proper practices and effort. If you ever feel that you don’t need a therapist or are in the initial stages of social phobia, our tips will unquestionably help you with your anxiety issues.