Social anxiety can be overwhelming. Dealing with it can even make you feel hopeless at times. But if you follow these five tips, life can become a little easier.
1. Talking it out.
I’ve found that the most effective way to suppress and nearly overcome social anxiety is to talk about it. It may be hard to speak about these feelings of anxiety with a friend or a family member, so talking it out with a professional is always a good way to go! Therapy creates a safe space for you to express your feelings of anxiety and even gain some insight about what you can do to conquer these feelings.
Setting goals and facing your fears head on may be scary and overwhelming, but if you do this enough, your social anxiety can be depleted. Try setting smaller goals for yourself. Your first few goals can start with having a short conversation with an acquaintance or asking someone for directions, and when you feel more comfortable, you can sett bigger goals like going out with big groups of people and talking to strangers. Putting yourself in uncomfortable situations and testing yourself can help you challenge yourself and make life a little easier in the long run.
3. Take a step back and breathe.
If you are setting goals and putting yourself in these uncomfortable situations, you may begin to feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Always try to take a step back to breathe and talk to yourself before going back or deciding to end that goal for the day. When facing your fear, it is always healthy to take a minute and remind yourself that you are okay and you are proud of yourself for trying to overcome your anxiety.
4. Wear something that makes you stand out.
Wearing something that makes you stand out can teach you a lot about yourself and your anxieties. Wearing a big sun hat or even something small like mismatched socks, will create an environment in which you can really get perspective on how people view you. Though you may feel insecure at first when you are in the public, after a few minutes you will realize that no one really cares and neither should you.
5. Focus on something other than yourself.
Focusing on your environment will help you focus on something other than yourself. Often times when we struggle with social anxiety, we are all we think about. Common thoughts can include “Why is everyone staring at me?” and “What if everyone thinks I’m weird?” Focusing on things like the color of the walls and the smell of the coffee in that Starbucks your at, can take the attention away from you. Doing this often enough, will help you realize that there is a world outside of your anxieties.