I’d like to give you some tips on how to deal with social anxiety. It can be difficult to get out there when you have this. My oldest has this, and we’ve started doing these to help ease her mind. It takes time. You can do this.
1. Identify your safety behaviors and work to eliminate them.
Some people who suffer from anxiety hold onto things that they think if they stop doing then they won’t be safe. Not true. I know I’ve done this. It can be something like avoiding eye contact. Holding a glass tightly saw that people won’t see your hands shake, wiping your hands so that people won’t notice you are sweating, rehearsing verbatim exactly what you will say, and talking very fast. The problem with safety behaviors is that they are like the training wheels on a bicycle—they make you think that the only way you can get through these experiences is by using the training wheels. The more you let go the more power you have over the situation.
2. Changing the way you talk to yourself. Self-talk.
This right here can be one powerful thing. Start small. Replace the negative thought with a positive one. Instead of saying, “I’m going to say something stupid.” Say “I’m smart and can a to add to the conversation.
3. Practice doing what makes you anxious.
This one can be scary. It’s taking you out of your comfort zone for sure. It doesn’t have to be big at all. Start small. Say your nervous about going to party. You start thinking you’ll trip or someone will notice how anxious you are. Stop and replace the thoughts with something like this. I can do this. People can’t tell my inside thoughts. I’m safe. Keep practicing by going out more and more. If anxiety comes on roll through it. Let it roll and don’t give it power.
4. Practice relaxation techniques. If you’re struggling to feel comfortable in new social situations, learn ways to relax yourself. Meditation and exercises like yoga and tai chi are techniques you can use to calm down and prepare yourself to face your challenges calmly.
- If you carry tension in your muscles, tighten your whole body for three seconds (including your hands, feet, jaw, neck, etc), then release. Do this two more times and feel the tension leave your body.
- Learn to recognize your body overreacting to feelings of anxiety and immediately practice calming yourself in those situations.
- Use breathing techniques.
People who suffer from social anxiety often find themselves in situations where their panic gets the better of them and they have difficulty breathing. In this situation, one of the best ways to regain control and calm your mind is just to focus on your breathing.
- Inhale deeply through the nose for six seconds. Feel the breath moving down through your chest, into the pit of your stomach.
- As you breathe focus solely on the movement of air in and out of your body.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth for another six seconds. Repeat this exercise until you begin to feel calm again.
I hope some of these tips will help you or a loved one. Do you have any tips that’s helped you with social anxiety?
*Some tips came from http://www.wikihow.com/Overcome-Social-Anxiety*
Allyson is a published author, blogger, wife and mom to 4 kids. Three of her children are on the autism spectrum. She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. On her blog you can find her writing about being an author, her faith and family. She resides in Missouri with her loving husband and four wonderful children, and three cats. She’s addicted to knitting and coffee.