How to Cope with Social Anxiety - Tips and Tricks

November 20, 2022

How to Cope with Social Anxiety - Tips and Tricks

With plans being set to enjoy the cool weather and events centred around social gatherings, many individuals might feel nervous about meeting new people or putting themselves out there. If you are anxious to the point that you dread such events, you might have social phobia or social anxiety disorder.
People who go through social anxiety tend to feel extremely self-conscious in day-to-day social situations. The source of this uneasiness could be the fear of embarrassing themselves by saying or doing the wrong thing, or that of being judged by others.
According to scientists, genetic and biological factors too, might play a role, as problems with neurotransmitter systems might lead to an imbalance in hormones like dopamine and serotonin which are brain chemicals that regulate mood. Environmental factors and negative experiences might have led to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where social anxiety might be one of the symptoms.
While it might seem daunting, there are ways to cope with having social anxiety. Read on.

Keep a journal

Writing your thoughts can be therapeutic, and keeping track of life’s events can help release the stressors and help you feel better.

Go to social events with someone you trust

The company of a friend for emotional support can never be underestimated. Be sure to attend events where you don’t know anyone with a trusted friend who can keep you company and ease you into interacting with others.

Try cognitive behavioural therapy

Actively try making changes about what you feel about a situation, which can help you modify your behaviour. Train yourself to identify those patterns of thinking that cause you to get anxious about social situations and adopt a more positive way of thinking.

Slowly but steadily introduce yourself to anxiety-causing situations

Identify the social situations you are afraid of and work your way through them, from easier situations to more difficult ones. You can also work on situational exposure in the company of a friend to gain more confidence.

Practice acts of kindness

Since social anxiety involves the fear of disapproval or rejection, performing acts of kindness can help decrease your fears around social interactions and make interacting with others easier in time.

People with extreme social anxiety might need medical intervention or counselling. Do note that it is possible to fluctuate between different levels of anxiety. Be sure to take it one step at a time, and if things get too overwhelming, do seek the help of a professional.

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