Believe it or not, social anxiety can hinder your life in many ways. If you have social anxiety or if there is someone around you suffering from it you would know that fear of public speaking is common in them. Not only does it increase the fear of being surrounded by people but the fear of dealing with certain situations increases as well. Worldwide millions of people suffer from various social anxiety symptoms and various mental health disorders.
I know, it is certainly not easy to open up to others about your social anxiety due to the fear of being judged. Social anxiety is not only one of the biggest blockers in properly communicating about our emotions but also is a hurdle in our personal and professional life.
You must have observed whenever you try to talk to someone about your social anxiety issue, all the anxieties that are hidden at the corner of your head come into play. We become more confused and a continuous thought of what is social anxiety? How to control social anxiety fast? How shall I explain my social anxiety to others, it keeps coming into your head making anxiety worse for you?
Due to social anxiety, we have a tendency to become anxious about our relationships, we tend to bottle up our emotions and eventually we avoid open discussions. Doing this can only spices up your anxiety and depression, making things worse for you in your personal and professional life.
Invisibility is Not the Answer
When symptoms of social anxiety appear, becoming invisible would be your first basic instinct as a “self-defence mechanism”.
Have to talk or give a presentation in front of a large number of people? You hope they disappear or can’t see you. Have to go to a social gathering or market? You hope to sweep invisibly through the crowd.
When there is any occasion that includes a large number of people, you subconsciously think that “being invisible” is the key to cure your social anxiety. Even various studies have suggested that when an experiment where people thought they were invisible, cured their anxiety.
But, being invisible is not the answer. It’s like escaping reality hoping it to be a social anxiety treatment.
If you want to know how to overcome the fear of public speaking, coping with social anxiety and want to get help in overcoming social anxiety step by step, then this article is for you.
Here is the list of simple tricks and tips to overcome social anxiety in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. While these tips may not be an alternative for professional social anxiety treatment. But, self-help is a good starting point in order to overcome social anxiety symptoms at home.
How to Overcome Social Anxiety
Here are some of the best ways to manage your mental health and social anxiety.
1. Get Yourself Out From Your Zone
You would feel that you are continuously in a rut if you suffer from a mild to moderate level of social anxiety. Now you must be thinking about how to overcome this feeling. The answer is simple. Do something.
It would be definitely tempting to avoid social gathering or anything that triggers your social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, what is important is to help yourself out of this situation properly. Now, you must be thinking about what this would mean? Right?! It simply means to do things and to go to places such as social gathering that make you uncomfortable. Going out of your comfort zone is definitely going to help. But, at the same time, you need to properly prepare yourself to be able to handle the situation properly.
2. Reach Out for Help
You don’t have to feel shy about asking for help. Never delay asking for help until you are in a complete mess. If you are too shy to reach out to a psychiatrist, you can reach out to help anonymously on the mental health helpline. Doing this would be less intimidating as you would be talking to a stranger. But, this would ultimately allow you to consult a professional counsellor. All you need to do is to take the first step and it’ll be perfectly fine with time.
3. Start Writing a Journal
One of the simple and effective ways to manage social anxiety is to pen down your thoughts. Writing not only helps you detox your thoughts, but it also helps you keep a check on yourself that how much you have improved. Writing helps you to maintain track of your thinking patterns, old and negative habits and can help you recognize if you are falling back into the dark pit of your thoughts.
4. Set Goals for Yourself
Whether you want to achieve something in your life or overcome social anxiety symptoms, setting a goal for yourself is important. Penning down your goals makes them measurable and real. Having a goal not only helps you in deciding where you would be ending up but it’ll set a benchmark for you that where you are standing. You can also opt for some self-assessment quizzes or exercises available online to check your social anxiety.
This will help you in deciding where you are at the moment, how much you have improved and what you need to do to help yourself out.
5. Cheer for Yourself
You might not be confident enough to speak in front of a public or a large number of people. But, I am sure, there must be something, in which you are good enough. So, all you need is to recognize your talent and feel proud of yourself for your achievements. You might face more challenges, there would be days when you feel low. But, learn to congratulate yourself, cheer for yourself, be happy for your small achievement and with time, you would feel better.
6. Start with Saying “Yes”
What if you are into a rut because you kept saying “No” to everything, just because you were shy or insecure? So, instead, start saying “yes” next time. If you are invited to a party, gathering, or a hangout plan with friends, just say “Yes”. You might feel anxious at first, but with time, it will be okay. So, the next time you are being asked out, make an effort to join the people.
7. Start with Saying “No”
Are you someone who feels more of a pushover? Do people have unrealistic demands towards you, your time and treat you poorly? Do you feel that you are being taken for granted? Even if you are being treated like this, do you feel that you don’t have the power to stand up for yourself? Now, to cope with your social anxiety, you need to be more assertive now and start saying “No”. You don’t have to say “Yes” to everything. Don’t go or attend anything that you don’t want. If you can’t communicate about what you truly want then others would be only left with mere guessing.
8. Start Paying Attention
Just because you are suffering from social anxiety, doesn’t mean that you should ignore the signs. Your feelings and thoughts would be so overwhelming that you won’t realize how these things are taking place. You need to slow down, focus, examine your thoughts and feelings; especially the pessimistic and negative ones. If you do this exercise, you’ll realize how fruitful it can be.
9. Read a Book
If you haven’t read a book, that’s probably you haven’t found your favourite book yet. You can either opt for any self-help book for your social anxiety or any motivational book to help you improve your social anxiety. Educating yourself will never hurt you. You can read a book about real people, their struggles and how they get better with their anxiety. These books will give you more insight into the life and help you make a change in your life.
10. Take Yourself on a Trip
Going out and taking yourself on a trip, as simple as it may sound, is quite effective. A change of environment and scenery can help you more than you can imagine. Even if it’s a solo trip. You can take a few days or weekends off and engage yourself in different social setups and local cultures.
11. Stop Trying Hard to Be Perfect
Social anxiety and perfectionism are directly linked with each other. You don’t have to make everything perfect. Enjoy the imperfection for you are human. If you keep trying hard, you’ll forget to enjoy your life. Make your life worthy of Living. Make sure that you are properly managing your sleep and eating a healthy nutritious diet.
12. Be Yourself, Change for Yourself, Not for Others
Your social anxiety triggers when you try to be someone else when the happiness of others matters more than oneself. If you are trying to change in order to impress others then you are doing it the wrong way. Changing yourself in this perspective is not going to last forever.
13. Be the Best Advocate For Yourself
Nobody can play your role better than yourself. Nobody can be you. Whatever you do in your life, it’s going to affect you. Analyze your social anxiety disorder so that you can make better decisions for yourself. Help and guide others, who are feeling the same situation as you. You need to take time out for yourself. Nobody would do that for you. People are not mind reader and nobody will be able to understand you the way you do for yourself.
14. Cherish Your Time Alone
Everyone behaves differently toward a social anxiety disorder. Some people who suffer from social anxiety disorder are naturally introverted. They feel better when they spend time alone rather than among different people. Time alone or for oneself is actually not only a self-choice but is also healthy as it helps us gather our thoughts and manage social anxiety.
15. Celebrate for Yourself
It’s not fun if you are not going to reward yourself for helping yourself out from the rut. You need to validate your efforts and reward yourself with something. It can be a meal, a new book, a vacation, a dress or anything that you have been dreaming of.
16. Start Appreciating What You Have
Being grateful for the things that you have is another way to deal with social anxiety. Even if you think, there is nothing you have, you need to ask yourself. There is definitely something you would be grateful for. So, take time and you need to express gratitude for what you have. It is an effective therapy. Just don’t let negative thoughts take control of you.
17. Spend Time with Nature
Being in nature, give you a calming effect. If you are mostly indoors, you need to come out of your comfort zone and break up your monotonous routine. Go out for a walk. You’ll clearly start to feel how rewarding it is. It will leave a positive impact on your mental health.
18. Eat and Sleep Well
Your mental health has a direct link with what you eat and how you sleep. Eating unhealthy foods or skipping meals, likewise not having adequate sleep or insomnia will only make your social anxiety disorder worse. Get a hold of the reins of an unhealthy lifestyle. Take a stand for yourself and your health.
19. Don’t Wait to Be Rescued
If you think that there would be something magical and your life would change like a fairytale then thinking this won’t change anything. You need to get up and take responsibility for your things and amend them accordingly. You need to stop wishing for someone to come and magically help you. If you can’t help yourself, nobody will do it for yourself.
20. Don’t Shy Away from Seeking Medical Treatment
Last but not the least, sometimes whatever you do, the results are not that helpful. So, you need to reach out to a good psychiatrist, psychologist, or counsellor. Your doctor will either give you supplements for social anxiety or give you therapy that will help you with your condition.
Remember that everything takes time, so is the case with your social anxiety. No matter what you do, overnight, you won’t change from being socially awkward to a social butterfly. You need to be consistent and never give up. Every journey starts with small steps and with sheer focus on the goal. So, don’t worry and don’t quit either. Focus on yourself, your goal and your actions and consistency will help you achieve it.