It is completely normal to feel nervous in some social situations, but experiencing social anxiety is more than simply feeling shy. Social anxiety can be very dangerous and stop you from moving forward in various areas of your life from relationships to career. Social anxiety can have emotional and physical symptoms to include but not limited to:
- Fear that you will be judged by others
- Hard time making eye contact
- Rapid heartbeat
Do have these symptoms when you are placed in new social situations? Do you find yourself trying to avoid situations where you will have to deal with these feelings? If this is you try taking using some of these tips to help you deal with social anxiety.
- Learn to control your breathing. When people get nervous it is normal for breathing to become difficult and for heart rates to increase. Learning to control your breathing can help you feel less nervous. Try sitting in a comfortable, relaxed place take slow deep breaths and exhale slowly. Repeat this steps as many times as you need until you start to feel your nervousness be released.
- Challenge negative thoughts. When you find negative thoughts creeping into your mind, challenge them by thinking positively. Instead of thinking “I cannot walk up to a new person and ask them questions,” think “ I can walk up and introduce myself and they will openly answering my questions.”
- Face your fears. Stop running from your fears and learn to face them. Put yourself in a situation where you have to face those fears of dealing with other people. Try doing some volunteer work, you will be working with and helping people causing you to have to interact with them.
- Make positive changes. There are positive changes you can make in your life that will be helpful to helping you deal with anxiety. For example stop smoking, limit caffeine, and limit alcohol you drink all three of these contain stimulants that will make you feel more anxiety. So if you change your intake of these items you will naturally start to feel less anxiety.
- Seek professional help. If you’ve tried these strategies, but you’re still having issues with anxiety, it may be time to see a therapist or medical doctor. This is especially true if your anxiety is having a negative impact on your life.
For many people, the way to deal with social anxiety is to simply avoid situations that make them anxious. However, this can prevent you from going after the job you want, dating someone you’re attracted to, or making new friends. Instead, find ways to cope with your anxiety so you can live a happy and fulfilling life.