Going out, socializing and making new friends or mingling with your old friends can be indeed great fun. However, for some of us, these tasks are not as simple as you might feel they are for you. In case, you too suffer from a condition referred to as social anxiety, situations such as the ones mentioned here can be much more than mere butterflies in your stomach or mild nervousness. They can be a significant source of your fear, self-doubt, hesitation, anxiety, and distress. In case, you feel that you are the only one who is struggling with such emotions, be assured that many people go through a similar turmoil. It is entirely reasonable to suffer from social anxiety. Do not consider yourself as a weak or abnormal person. Anxiety is the number one reported mental health issue and anxiety therapy could help. Many people just don’t talk about it, so we get the idea that everyone else is so confident and self-assured. That is not the case. Remember many people will struggle with anxiety at some point in their lives. So you are not alone, and you also deserve fulfillment and happiness in life.
When anxiety and stress are making you stay away from social situations and avoid pleasant experiences, you should know how to manage it and come out mastering your emotions. Here are 5 top tips to bring down social anxiety. Try them out since they can help you to regain control, experience more happiness and feel more relaxed.
Start challenging your fear
You need to invite yourself to come out of that comfort zone and face fear boldly. While it may be quite a scary thing to do so initially, you will feel more rewarding rather than surrendering and succumb to it while staying away from social situations. Don’t wait for your nervousness to be gone. Walk into it slowly. Being hesitant and nervous is still okay, and know that anxiety takes time to dissipate. However, if you start avoiding people, places, and friends, you can never win this challenge. Begin the process with something simple, which you know you may handle better and then gradually work on more robust challenges.
Rethink and challenge your thought process
Many people just think about themselves. That does not mean they are egoistic or snobs. In fact, just think about the insecurities faced by them. You will be surprised to know that several people who appear outwardly confident and self-assured may also be fighting hesitation and self-doubts like you. Thus, even when you feel anxious what others might be thinking about you in a gathering or a party, many of them may also be going through a similar dilemma. It makes sense to change the way your thought process runs. You need to challenge your thinking about why you feel anxious about a particular social situation. You can then evaluate and assess your concerns honestly, but remember when you do this be kind to yourself. Look at it from a place of curiosity.
Channelize your focus and attention on other people
Your thought process could be controlled by anxiety so make sure that you redirect your thoughts elsewhere. For instance, you can make new relationships and try to engage people who are around you. Ask open-ended questions to these people and pay attention to what they say. Make them feel at ease by nodding when they speak, encourage them and keep smiling. Unintentionally, you could get to know a few interesting, kind and genuine people this way.
Have a check on your breathing
Your breath is a great way to calm your body and nervous system. You start breathing very fast every time anxiety comes over you. It may even reach the level of hyperventilation at times. So mindfully slowing your breath can have the opposite effect. Since you were most likely already anxious and stressed to start with, you could make an effort to calm your body earlier in the day using meditation and mindfulness exercises. Meditation helps you avoid other symptoms like muscle weakness, sweating, heart palpitations and lightheadedness.
Opt for professional help for social anxiety
In case you have tried going through the path of self-help but did not get good results, do not worry as there are other choices. Today, modern medicine provides some useful and excellent options with marginal or no side effects. In fact, modern medicine and natural remedies can be both used together so that your life is improved. Anxiety Therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown in research to have a reliable positive outcome. A research study publishes in the Journal of Anxiety therapist long beach show that participants maintain positive results up to three years after anxiety therapy.