Helping Yourself Through Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can be a terrible thing, if you let it. While helping yourself through it will not be easy, it’s simply something you’ve got to do.

stress response

Learn To Breath With Total Deliberation

It may sound cliche, but breathing has a major impact on brain and body function. When you breathe deeply and deliberately, you can lower your speeding heart rate and create an opportunity to regain control. Practice your breathing in a calm and familiar place, so that you are prepared to call upon it during situations of high social anxiety. Deep breaths will help you focus your thought process onto something more positive and bearable.

Develop A Support System

Everyone needs a network of support, but those who deal with the pressure of social anxiety really need someone to depend on. Maybe a sibling or close friend would agree to take your calls when you’re feeling the most overwhelmed. Reserve the dialing for the times you are most overwhelmed, then let them talk you down from the heights of anxiety. It’s important to feel safe wherever you go, so if you have a confidant at work or have known the friendly doorman at your apartment building for years, depend on them. You don’t have to confess all your feelings and anxieties, just say hello and make small talk. The interlude will calm your nerves and provide you with a feeling of comfort. Make sure you’ve got somebody to lean on during the most severe bouts with anxiety though, because nobody should have to go through that alone.

Take Baby Steps

When you deal with social anxiety, every little thing can seem huge and insurmountable. Experts recommend that you learn to take life a little more slowly, while still making forward progress. Write down a list of things that cause you the most stress in order of severity. Take the item that’s least difficult and prepare yourself for dealing with it. Expose yourself to it in small doses, getting better at dealing with it each time. You will gain more confidence in yourself with every encounter and once your feel accomplished with one area, get ready to take on the next!

Practice Controlling Your Thoughts

When someone is anxious, their mind runs off in a thousand different directions, usually ending up on the worst case scenario. This is how anxiety perpetuates, leaving you feeling completely helpless and ready to run. Start telling yourself that you are indeed over reacting. Coach yourself through the situation with positive thoughts that remind you that you are the one in control.

Speak With Your Doctor

When social anxiety becomes overwhelming, it can ruin your life. You have difficulties simply speaking with people you know, so unfamiliar events like job interviews, gatherings with large groups and meandering anywhere out in the world can become impossible. If you find yourself facing this situation repeatedly, it may be time to talk to your doctor. You could benefit from some form of therapy or a prescription. This doesn’t mean there’s something terribly wrong with you! It means only that you are human and in need of a little help. Don’t keep the problem to yourself or try to hide it; you deserve to be able to live and enjoy your life.

Helping yourself through social anxiety will take time and practice. Start now. The sooner you begin to address the underlying problems that are taking over your life, the sooner you will get control of them.