Picture this: you’re walking into a party, event, dinner, etc. and there are more people there that you don’t know than people you do. Your hands start fidgeting, your mind is racing with questions, and you’re trying to decide if you should just leave right then and there. This is social anxiety. Social anxiety can range from having a fear of social situations, a fear of public speaking, a fear of being judged by others, and so much more. Even things such as eating in front of others, using public restrooms, or walking into somewhere new can cause uneasiness and lead to anxiety. Of course, social anxiety is different for everyone and how each person handles it can range.
We’ve put together a few tips on how to handle social anxiety better and not feel so overwhelmed.
Get Out There
It can be tempting to want to stay home when dealing with social anxiety. However, getting out of the house can be beneficial in the long run. Sometimes just doing simple things that may make you uncomfortable can slowly start to help. These things can be anything from going to a new restaurant or café, accepting invitations to events you wouldn’t normally go to, etc. Sounds simple enough, but following through can be difficult. Step out of your comfort zone, but know how to handle the situations properly.
Change Your Thought Process
Research shows that a top coping tip for social anxiety is to rework your thoughts. Understanding how you respond to stress can decrease the amount of anxiety you have in an uncomfortable situation. These triggers or warnings your body is giving you are natural, but understanding them can help. Change your thought process to know that not all stress is bad. Not all of the warnings that our body gives us need to be acted on.
Anxiety can be triggered by other things going on in your body as well. If you are not healthy and physically active, anxiety can come as a result. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising are all things you can do to make sure your health isn’t triggering your anxiety.
Write It Out
Keeping a journal of your day and your goals is helpful in so many ways! Not only can you get your thoughts in order on paper, but you can eventually look back and see your progress. When you review your progress, you can see your thought processes, changes, habits, and triggers. Journaling is also a great way to relieve stress.
Practice Deep Breathing and Meditation
When a stressful situation is soon to come, practice different meditation exercises. One form of this is deep breathing. This will help you get calm before the anxiety even begins. Practicing this every day can get you in the habit of performing these exercises and be overall beneficial to your mental and physical health. Breathing exercises can be trained for different types of situations, whether negative or positive.
What are some different tricks that help you to cope with social anxiety? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
Alyson Pittman is a contributing writer for WBD and a JR marketing associate for Excite Creative Studios, an Atlanta-based creative agency.
Alyson graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. She was in multiple organizations at KSU where she held leadership positions. As a part of the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Alyson held the Social Coordinator position and planned/promoted large events.