Social anxiety is more common than you think, and many people experience stress during social situations. So whether you’re presenting in front of a large group or your work friend asked you to attend a work event, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and many people suffer from the same anxiety as you. You can be anxious about social situations, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Yes, even the most talkative people can experience social anxiety. That’s not to say your anxiety isn’t negatively impacting your life, but it does mean that there are ways to overcome it and improve your quality of life to help you socialize a little easier.

What can you do to overcome Social Anxiety?

If you want to overcome social anxiety, you’ll need to address the fact that you have it. Many people let social anxiety prevent them from doing what they really want to do. For example, if you’ve noticed the people who step up and present to the bosses at work always seem to get promoted, you may want to get promoted but experience anxiety when presenting in front of others. Social anxiety can affect everything from your work life to your personal life and every relationship in between. Here are a few ways to overcome social anxiety:

One – Speak Publicly

Individuals with social anxiety typically have a fear of public speaking. However, facing your fears and finding public speaking opportunities is a great way to overcome this fear. Luckily, practicing public speaking is easy. You can ask your friends to come over for a presentation to help you get more comfortable with it since your friends typically don’t cause anxiety when speaking in front of them. Additionally, you can join online groups that allow you to practice and rehearse.

If you’ve never tried public speaking before, consider practicing with only yourself and a video camera. For example, you can put together a speech and record yourself to make the process easier when speaking in front of others.

Two – Consider Therapy

Many people suffering from social anxiety benefit from behavioral therapy, which helps you change how you feel about particular situations. With social anxiety, you can identify patterns that affect how you feel and may cause you to experience worsening anxiety or avoid social situations altogether. For example, if you have to speak in front of a group, you may start thinking about the worst possible outcome or fixate on small details no one else will. Behavioral therapy aims to help you stop thinking of the worst outcomes, allowing you to walk into social situations without lingering fear.

Three – Introduce Yourself to Social Situations

Gradually introducing yourself to social anxiety-inducing situations can help you overcome them in time. Remember, you can’t change your habits or way of thinking in a single day, so don’t expect to. Instead, it may take many months or years for you to overcome your fears. However, you can identify certain social situations that may trigger your anxiety and work your way up to them with easier scenarios. For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, you can start by speaking in front of a group of friends and work your way up to people at work until you finally feel calm enough to speak in front of your boss and other colleagues.

Four – Have a Support System

Most people feel more comfortable in a social situation if they’re with someone they trust. Taking a friend to social events can give you a way to ease anxiety, so having a support system is crucial. In addition, it can be helpful to have friends who push you to do more social activities, although you shouldn’t be pushed too hard. For example, if you experience anxiety in large groups, you can talk to your friend about hanging out in small groups and gradually building up the size of the group until you feel more comfortable around large groups of people.

Your friends shouldn’t let you continuously avoid events because it can worsen your anxiety. For example, if you stay home alone all the time, you may start to experience isolation or eventually have more things you’re anxious about because you haven’t done them in a while, like going grocery shopping or calling to make an appointment with your doctor. You must have balanced support that encourages you to do all the things you’re afraid to do so you’ll stop avoiding your anxiety to prevent it from overtaking your life.

Five – Consider Medication

When talking to a psychiatrist, they may suggest putting you on anxiety medication to help you overcome anxiety associated with social situations, especially if your anxiety negatively impacts your life. For example, if you’re too afraid to call someone on the phone or go to the store, you may need medication to help you get back out there and start taking steps to reduce your anxiety.

Six – Be Kind to Yourself

When you feel anxious in social situations, it can become easy to get fixated on your anxious feelings. However, you should focus on the fact that you’re experiencing anxiety, and it’s very likely nothing is going wrong, and no one even notices if you’ve done something you feel the need to judge yourself for. Being kind to yourself means going at your own pace, but you should stop completely avoiding social situations. Instead, try not to worry about how quickly you’re improving; sometimes, you may need to spend more time practicing before you can attend social functions.

Final Thoughts

Social anxiety can affect anyone and everyone, depending on the activity. For example, some individuals don’t like to hang out in large groups, while others avoid any public speaking opportunities. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with feeling anxiety about social situations, but you can take steps to improve how you feel about them. If your social anxiety is affecting your everyday life, it may be time to talk to a professional who specializes in social anxiety disorder and can help you learn ways to change the way you think about these situations to improve your overall quality of life.

Social Anxiety doesn’t have to be a constant in your daily life.

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