Social anxiety can be crippling to your social life and limit what you do on a daily basis, but you can take steps to rid yourself of social anxiety and make a real difference. Social anxiety is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school, and other day-to-day activities.
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It can even make it hard to make and keep friends. If you’ve always been shy and suffered from mild social anxiety, but isolating yourself from people and situations which make you uncomfortable can definitely make the situation worse. Here are 6 steps to rid yourself of social anxiety.
Face your fear
If you don’t face your fears, they will always be present. Going out to social occasions such as parties and other events may seem scary, but the more you do it, the more accustomed to it you will become. It’s sort of like the first day in a new job – after you’ve been there a few weeks you feel comfortable! Start small and face the easiest fears first, such as going out alone to buy a coffee or striking up a conversation with a stranger at the bus stop. It will get easier!
Do not beat up yourself
It’s tempting to let the negative voice in your head take over, and if you’ve cancelled yet another social occasion you might be beating yourself up over it. Don’t be so hard on yourself! You’ll face your fears at a time that’s right for you. Tell yourself it’s ok to stay in and spend time on your own, but that you’ll make the effort to go next time.
Break it into stages
Break things up into manageable stages. For example, when you arrive at a party, focus on getting a drink. Then focus on finding somewhere to sit or a place to stand. Then find a group to talk to. By breaking things down, they become much more manageable and less scary!
Talk about your fears
Joining a social anxiety meetup group is a great idea, and if you live near a big city, there’s sure to be one in your area. Talking to people who are experiencing similar fears can help you to overcome your trepidation – you may actually find out that you are one of the less anxious people in the group!
Meditation is great for anxiety of any kind, and one-minute meditation can be used whenever you’re feeling anxious. Either close your eyes or focus on a spot in the distance and let everything float away for 60 seconds, concentrating on your breathing and emptying your mind. This is a great way to stop negative thoughts, slowing down your breathing and making you feel instantly calmer.
Try something new
Many people feel anxious trying out new things, but taking up a new hobby can actually be good for those suffering from shyness and social anxiety.
See Also: How To Deal With Driving Anxiety