How to Deal With Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is something most people probably deal with in some point in time.

It’s the feeling of fear and being nervous when going into a social situation. It’s the times where you think, “What if I have to make small talk?” or “What if I don’t know anyone who’s going to be there?”

Whether you deal with extreme social anxiety, or only feel it from time to time, I’m here to offer some helpful tips on how to work through it.

1. Breathe.

I know it seems simple, but taking a step back from the situation and taking a few deep breaths can really help.

If you take a moment to focus on your breathing rather than the situation you are worrying about, it can help take away some of your anxiety.

The great thing about the Internet is that there are tons of breathing exercises that you can research and test out to see which works best for you.

2. Try to put things into perspective.

When you are dealing with social anxiety it is always important to try to put things into perspective and look at the bigger picture. If you are worried about people thinking you are weird, they aren’t worth your time.

In the end, remember that one person not liking you, or one embarrassing moment does not define you. None of it will matter in the long run. Just be yourself and have fun.

3. See a therapist.

In situations where social anxiety is extreme, it may be in your best interest to work with a therapist.

For example, if social anxiety is stopping you from doing things that you need or want to do, it may be best to talk to someone. Seeing someone who specializes in this area will definitely help you in the long run.

Moreover, therapists will know what is best for you and your personal situation. They will be able to give you the best advice and tips because it is what they have studied and learned to do.

4. Seek out social situations.

This may seem like a weird tip for people with social anxiety, but facing our fears is the only way to really overcome them.

Think about it: the more we avoid something, the more fearful we become of it and the more we think about it. If you start putting yourself in social situations, over time, they will feel more normal to you.

5. Remember that it’s not going to happen in a day.

If you are reading this and thinking that your social anxiety is going to go away when you wake up in the morning, I hate to say it, but it usually doesn’t work that way. Overcoming anxiety and your fears will take time.

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It’s all about baby steps and taking things day by day. Start by setting a small goal and eventually working your way up to bigger ones.

Though it will take some time, don’t give up! You might mess up and some days it may be harder than others, but it will get better.

Image: iStock

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