Do you have that one friend who seems to burst with confidence and thrive in social situations? Well, believe it or not, the most confident people around can become nervous and anxious at new social situations and the thought of overcoming social anxiety seems impossible. That being said, we are social creatures and crave the acceptance of other human beings, but sometimes the fear of rejection can be just too much.
Social Anxiety is a term which seems to have been thrust into the limelight over recent years. With the best efforts psychologists, Social Anxiety is becoming easier to identify, but still is a very serious issue which can have a disabling effect on those who suffer from it.
Overcoming Social Anxiety
It’s very important to consider that it isn’t just you experiencing these feelings. Social Anxiety actually doesn’t stop you from going to places, parties or events; all it is capable of doing is making the experience uncomfortable.
If you suspect you could be suffering from Social Anxiety whether mild or severe, fear not, this article will equip you with the toolkit necessary to alleviate this pesky burden.
1) Challenge Your Thoughts
Most of our concerns and thoughts which create Social Anxiety are in fact imaginary and don’t exist in real time. When you feel the fear approaching, try challenging your thoughts and ask yourself the question, could I be possibly over thinking this? I believe you will agree with me in the fact that the most common answer to my previous question would be “YES”. So, next time you dither and start to panic, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself that magic question, could I be over thinking this?
2) So What?
Whilst this approach may be considered risky, it is a sure fire way to begin curing your fear of social situations. What if the worst case scenario came true? What if what you feared the most actually happens? What would your next step be?
So what if I embarrass myself?
So what if I get rejected?
So what if I have to contribute to a conversation?
The point is if you rationalize the situation and answer the question to your worst case scenario; the reality isn’t that daunting. Most of us over think the worst case scenario but never consider the outcome if it came true.
Life will go on. Embarrassment and rejection will not kill you. Whilst I appreciate the fear of the unknown can be intimidating, one month down the line the anxiety you previously experienced will be completely irrelevant.
3) Shift Your Focus
This hack may seem a little obvious, but those that suffer from Social Anxiety will be the first to agree that when you are in a state of panic it can be extremely difficult to control your mind and thoughts. We become triggered by the situation we are in and often can feel overwhelmed with what may be happening around us. When this happens, try to get in touch with your human senses and become purposely conscious of your surroundings. Try to experience the feel of the chair you are sat on, the taste of a crisp from the packet on the table or listen to the conversation your friends are having.
By gaining a grasp on our surroundings and becoming conscious in the moment, we feel comfortable and start to become more relaxed and calm. A very important hack to the next time your thoughts start to race, you will not be disappointed.
Whether you suffer from mild or severe anxiety, there is hope out there. Commit to the three hacks highlighted in this article and support yourself through curing Social Anxiety. You can overcome this, and we will be here for every step of your journey.