Social anxiety is an intense fear of social situations. Unlike shyness, it can be debilitating, potentially preventing a person from going about day-to-day activities.
Social anxiety can be different from person to person – some people may be terrified by situations such as public speaking, while others may fear any kind of social situation involving strangers. Beating any kind of social anxiety is possible with the right amount of determination.
Here are just a few ways that you can start challenging your anxiety.
Get yourself out there
If you constantly turn down social situations, you’ll start to make your anxiety worse. The best way to fight any form of anxiety is to tackle it head-on. You don’t have to throw yourself in the deep end, but you should at least try to take baby steps.
Joining social clubs, tagging along to events with friends and challenging yourself to do small tasks on your own like making an appointment by phone are all ways in which you can overcome your social anxiety.
Arrive early to social events
Turning up at a party when everyone is already there can be terrifying for some people with social anxiety – especially if you don’t know most of the people there. Turning up early allows you to get used to the environment with less people and talk to people one-on-one as they arrive instead of having to mingle.
Practice your social skills
Many people feel that they lack the social skills to cope with social situations. Taking time to learn and practice skills can make you more confident in social situations. You can do this by observing characters in movies, watching Youtube videos and reading books and guides.
There’s nothing unusual about doing this – some of the most successful business owners and celebrities are constantly swotting up on their social skills. Small skills that many people lack and can work on (even people without social anxiety) include remembering people’s names, asking questions and slowing down one’s speech
Embrace your strengths and flaws
Many people with social anxiety feel that they have to be perfectionists. Learning to accept and joke about your flaws can help you to feel more comfortable in social situations. Embracing your strengths is important too – don’t be afraid to speak about your passions, share your knowledge and show off your achievements.
Try herbal relief
There are many forms of herbal medicine that can help with anxiety. Ashwagandha is one example of an herb that is renowned for its anxiety-relieving properties. Cannabis works for some people – you could bring a preroll case with you to help you calm your nerves wherever you go. Chamomile tea is also known for its calming effects – you could try calming your nerves by drinking a cup before you go out.
Know when to seek out therapy
If your social anxiety is severe and it is preventing you from carrying out important tasks, it could be worth seeking out a therapist. A good therapist will be able to find a personalized strategy for helping you to overcome your anxiety.