Across the United States, social anxiety disorder affects over 15 million people.
If you’re struggling with this type of anxiety, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not the only one dealing with it.
Are you trying to figure out how to manage social anxiety? Read this article to learn tips for managing social anxiety effectively.
Understand Anxiety is Natural
The first thing you should do when trying to manage your social anxiety is to understand that anxiety is a natural thing that happens.
Everyone experiences some kind of anxiety at some point in their life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a disorder. Anxiety is a normal, human response to danger that we might perceive.
Anxiety is just your body and mind getting ready to fight or flee and produces adrenaline. In some instances (and in short doses), this can be useful.
However, when anxiety starts to happen constantly and it starts to take a toll on your life, that’s when it starts to become a disorder.
Anxiety disorders can happen due to nurture and nature. It can run in families, and some genes make you more predisposed to it.
The first step in managing it is acknowledging it for what it is.
Write Down Some Goals
You should also try writing down some goals that you want to achieve.
It might be overcoming social anxiety or starting your own business, but whatever it is, it’s important to get it down on paper. When you put them down on paper, it makes them more measurable and real.
Writing down goals will also help to show you how far you’ve come and how far you have left to go.
This is a great way to become self-aware, and when you’re self-aware, it’s easier to start to manage your social anxiety. However, while you do this, make sure that you aren’t comparing yourself and your goals to others.
This can be very discouraging if you feel like you’re not progressing as far as your peers.
Work on Verbal Communication
One aspect you could start working on now to ease your social anxiety is your verbal communication.
While learning how to do body language is important, you should also make sure that you know how to start a conversation and keep it going. You’ll have to focus on listening to people and not the string of anxious consciousness in your head.
You can learn all of these through self-help strategies as well.
For example, you can join a group of people who are having a conversation. You can make a simple comment on what they were talking about.
Exposing yourself to all kinds of different communications and groups of people can help to ease your fears and anxieties.
Anxiety is the fear of the unknown, as in you don’t know what’s going to happen in that social situation. However, if you have enough interactions, practice, and expose yourself to all different kinds of interactions, you’ll feel more confident and less anxious.
Focus on Breathing
Another thing you should try to work on is to focus on your breathing.
When you start to feel anxious, you may stop breathing or hold your breath without even realizing it.
To ease the anxiety, you can try mindful breathing. Start breathing slowly and deeply from your abdomen. This is a way to force your body to calm down and feel it.
There are many different meditations or guided breathing that can help you focus on it if your mind is racing.
You should even try working on this breathing technique when you’re not anxious. That will make it easier to do when you do become anxious.
Find a Support Group
If you are feeling alone, you can always try to find a support group.
Support groups are great because you will really understand that you’re not alone, and then it’s also a great way to help manage your social anxiety. When you have to sit in a group of people and talk about your problems, this is a great way to overcome it.
It can also be helpful and encouraging when you hear others tell stories of their struggles and what they did to overcome it.
Whether it be online or in-person, there are all kinds of ones that you can join.
Be Okay With Discomfort
Another important thing with managing anxiety is that you have to learn how to be okay with being uncomfortable.
Sometimes you will notice the anxiety, and sometimes you won’t.
Most people like knowing what’s going to happen and feeling like they have some control over it. However, that’s not always going to be the case.
You have to be okay with not knowing how people are going to react all the time.
Tell Them You’re Nervous
Lastly, when in doubt, just explain to people that you’re feeling a little bit nervous or anxious.
Everyone who speaks in public gets nervous from time to time. However, one of the best ways to shake that feeling is to just let them know what you’re going through.
They may even appreciate you for being vulnerable as well.
Discover More Tips on Managing Social Anxiety
These are only a few tips on managing social anxiety, but there are many more out there.
Managing social anxiety can be difficult at first, but don’t lose hope. Even the worst storms don’t last forever.
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