In certain situations, everyone gets anxious. Social anxiety disorder, also known as social fear, can make everyday life more difficult. It is possible to feel more anxious and self-conscious than others in social interactions.
Fear shouldn’t stop you from living your life to its fullest. These seven tips will help you feel better and make it through the day.
1. Take control of your breathing
Anxiety can lead to changes in your body that cause you discomfort. Your breathing may become faster and more shallow. This could make you more anxious. This can make you feel dizzy, tense, or suffocated.
You can slow down your breathing with specific techniques and also manage other anxiety symptoms. These are some of the steps you can take:
- Place your back straight and sit down.
- Relax your shoulders.
- Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
- For 4 seconds, breathe slowly through your nose. So For 4 seconds, the hand on your belly should rise while the one on your chest should not.
- For 2 seconds, hold your breath and then let it out slowly through your mouth. This will take 6 seconds.
- Continue this process until you feel comfortable.
2. You can try progressive muscle relaxation or exercise
You can feel more confident if you plan for social situations that might make you nervous. Some cases can make you feel anxious, and you might want to avoid them. Instead, prepare for the future.
If you are nervous about going on your first date or feel like you won’t have much in common with the other person, you might try reading newspapers and magazines to find some topics to discuss. Do some relaxation and breathing exercises before going to a party or other function to calm you down.
Avoid getting too involved in significant social situations. So that you are comfortable eating out in public, schedule restaurant meals with your friends and family.
Make eye contact at the grocery store or street and try to smile. Ask people about their favorite places and hobbies if they start a conversation.
As you become more comfortable, you can take on more significant tasks. Be patient with yourself. Social anxiety is something that takes practice and time.
It doesn’t mean you have to confront your worst fears immediately. You can cause more anxiety if you take on too many things too quickly.
5. Keep your eyes on you
You can shift your focus to what’s going on around you and not what’s in your head. This can be done by listening to what’s happening around you and reminding yourself that others can’t see how anxious you are by just looking at you. People value genuineness and interest from others, so be present and a good listener.
6. Negative Thoughts can be redirected
These thoughts could be about people and situations. They may even be automatic. They are usually wrong most of the time.
They can also cause you to misunderstand facial expressions. You might think people are thinking about you in a way that isn’t true.
- You can do it by simply using pen and paper.
- Consider all the negative thoughts that you may have about certain situations.
- Note them.
- Write down positive thoughts to challenge negative thoughts.
Here’s an example:
- Negative thought “This situation makes it so anxious that I won’t even be able to cope with it.”
- Challenge: “I have felt anxious before, but I’ve always been able to get through it.” I will do my best to keep my eyes on the positive aspects of this experience.
7. Make use of your senses
Your senses can calm you down when you feel anxious. Some people find that looking at a familiar photograph or inhaling a particular scent helps calm them down.
Try listening to your favorite song, chewing gum, or cuddling with a pet the next time you feel anxious about social situations.