Contrary to popular assumption, social anxiety is not the same as being an introvert; being quiet in social circumstances or preferring to mingle in small groups are not signs of the condition. Even though extroverts are typically talkative and gregarious and enjoy meeting new people, they can nonetheless experience anxiety or jitters when doing public speaking or other group activities.
DESCRIPTION OF SOCIAL ANXIETY
A typical form of anxiety condition is a social anxiety disorder. When confronted with circumstances where they might be observed, judged, or evaluated by others, such as speaking in front of an audience, interacting with strangers, dating, participating in a job interview, responding to a question in class, or having to interact with a cashier in a store, a person with a social anxiety disorder experiences symptoms of anxiety or fear. Commonplace actions like eating or drinking in public or using the restroom can also make people feel anxious or afraid because they worry about being rejected, judged, or humiliated.
How to Overcome Social Anxiety Fast
You’re not alone if you feel uncomfortable interacting with others after a few years of social withdrawal. It’s also completely normal to occasionally experience feelings of overwhelm or being out of your element in large crowds, as well as feeling more anxious than usual when leaving the house to socialize.
Here are a few other strategies for how you can overcome social anxiety.
#1. Public Speaking Exercises
Finding ways to practice public speaking is a good strategy for those who have mild-to-moderate social anxiety disorder, such as when it’s not causing you panic attacks. Try joining a club that focuses on practicing and perfecting public speaking.
#2. Consider CBT as a treatment option
The type of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy entails altering your way of thinking,
The best technique to deal with social anxiety is to think and feel about a scenario, which can then help you change your conduct. With social anxiety especially, you want to discover patterns of thinking that cause you to avoid social settings — like if a person always expects the worst outcome or if a person is preoccupied with the fact that someone might see them blushing, sweating, or stammering.” You want to teach them to challenge these expectations and switch to a more constructive self-talk style.
#3. Slowly Expose Yourself to Situations That Make You Anxious
Work up from simpler to more complex social situations while utilizing relaxation techniques to identify the social circumstances you are most uncomfortable in. Start by going out with a friend alone if you have a fear of large gatherings and have been staying away from group activities, she advises. Work your way up to going out with only a few pals, then. Before attempting to enter a restaurant, a bar, or a party where there would be more people, repeat as necessary until you feel more at ease. With the assistance of a therapist, you can also concentrate on situational exposure. Exposure therapy is a sort of treatment that a licensed psychologist can offer, just like cognitive behavioral therapy.
#4. Ask for Assistance From Those Who are There for You
Admitting to the people in your life that you experience social anxiety and may require assistance can be humiliating or humbling. However, it might be quite helpful to let a friend or family member know you might need some additional support. People are going to feel more at ease if they’re in a social environment with someone that they’re close to. “Having a companion when you enter a social event for the first time might be useful, especially if someone has been very alone recently.
The key to providing support is encouraging an anxious individual to gradually gain more independence. Those who experience more widespread social anxiety eventually find it uncomfortable to order dinner or go shopping alone. You should strike a balance between offering assistance and encouraging someone to do it themselves.
Bring them up in the conversation if you’re a friend or family member of someone who struggles with social anxiety. “You would assume, ‘Oh, Juli probably has something she would like to say about that. That really interests her. you may help them by assisting them in emerging from their shells.” However, make careful to first confirm with the person that doing so is acceptable. “If you have social anxiety, you might not like being forced to speak up in front of others. Beforehand, discuss with that person how they prefer to handle specific situations.
#5. Be Honest with Yourself
Even if you’re the only one experiencing anxiety, it’s simple to spiral while you’re out in public and focuses on everything that seems to be going wrong. “In the now, you must put your attention elsewhere and tell yourself, “This is probably anxiousness. They can’t read my thinking. I have no idea what they are really thinking about me,” Dr. Potter claims.
Of course, this is easier said than done, so she proposes employing a method called “five senses,” which can assist you in regaining perspective and remaining present. “Check in with all five of your senses to help you become more aware of the outside world. Avoid unpleasant internal feelings and bad ideas. You then attempt to refocus by asking yourself, “What are they really saying to me? What else is happening at the moment? How do I see? What sound do I hear? What am I feeling?
#6. Search for the Bright Side and Practice Self-Kindness
It’s quite natural if your social anxiety isn’t dissipating as quickly as you’d want. It’s possible that you moved too quickly and need to practice other social situations more before you’re ready for the one you’re having trouble with, or you need to practice relaxation and distraction tactics more so you can handle that circumstance the next time.
Tips on How to Overcome Social Anxiety
Listed below are few ways that can enable you overcome social anxiety:
#1. Regulate Breathing
Uncomfortable physical changes might be brought on by anxiety. For instance, you might start breathing quickly and shallowly. Might as well feel even more worried as a result. You can experience tension, vertigo, or suffocation.
You can control your breathing and other anxiety symptoms by using specific techniques. To start, try these:
- Take a seat comfortably with your back straight.
- Let your shoulders relax.
- Place your chest and belly in the same hand.
- Take a slow, 4-second inhalation through your nose. Your hand on your stomach will rise, whereas the hand on your chest shouldn’t move much.
- Take a deep breath in for two seconds, and hold it for six seconds before gently exhaling.
- Carry on doing this again till you feel at ease.
#2. Exercise or gradually Relax Your Muscles
According to research, engaging in physical activity like running can help you manage your anxiety. Also useful is progressive muscular relaxation. This entails tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups in your body while focusing on the sensation of the release.
You can relax by practicing yoga. Some of them include deep breathing, which can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure. According to studies, practicing yoga for a few months can help reduce general anxiety. In fact, even one lesson can help with anxiety and mood.
#3. Get Ready
You can feel more secure if you prepare ahead of time for social situations that make you uncomfortable. Some situations could make you feel want to stay away from them because they give you anxiety. Instead, make an effort to get ready for the future.
If you’re going on a first date and worried that you won’t have anything in common, for instance, try reading magazines and newspapers to come up with a few conversation starters. Do some breathing or relaxation exercises to help you relax before you leave the house if attending a party or business event brings on symptoms.
#4. Begin Small
Avoid rushing into important social encounters. To get acclimated to dining in public, plan restaurant dinners with friends or family. Make an effort to make eye contact and say hello to folks you pass on the street or in the grocery store. Ask someone who strikes up a conversation with you about their interests or preferred vacation spots.
As you become more comfortable, you can progress to increasingly difficult activities.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Fighting social anxiety requires patience and practice. You don’t have to immediately confront your greatest phobias. Taking on too much too soon may actually make you feel more anxious.
#5. Remove Yourself from the Picture
Instead of focusing on your thoughts, try to pay more attention to what is going on in the world around you. You can accomplish this by paying attention to what is being said or by telling yourself that others probably can’t tell how worried you are just by glancing at them. Concentrate on being present and be a good listener since people like it when others act sincere and interested.
#6. Respond to Unfavorable Thoughts
These ideas may even be automatic and may be related to particular persons or circumstances. They are typically in error. However, they could make you misinterpret things like facial emotions. You might come to believe that people are thinking things about you that they aren’t because of this.
To accomplish this, you can just use a pen and a piece of paper:
- Consider all the unfavorable ideas you have in particular circumstances.
- Put them in writing.
- Compose a list of encouraging ideas that counter negative ones.
- Here is a general illustration:
- Unfavorable perception: “I’m so concerned about this issue that I won’t be able to handle it.”
- Obstacle: “I’ve experienced anxiety before, but I always overcame it. I’ll try to concentrate on the good aspects of the experience.
#7. Use your Senses
Your senses—sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste—can help you relax when you’re feeling anxious. Some folks find that viewing a favorite image or inhaling a particular perfume works. Try your favorite song, a tasty piece of gum, or cuddling with a pet the next time you start to feel nervous about a social event.
How to Overcome Social Anxiety Without Alcohol
Few ways to practice how to overcome social anxiety without the help of alcohol
The overpowering sensations of nervousness in a social scenario can be greatly diminished by taking a moment to gather yourself and calm down. I know this is frequently easier said than done. Stress can be reduced and panic can be avoided through deep breathing and/or meditation. A fantastic approach to finding five minutes to practice deep breathing and calm the racing thoughts of an anxious mind is to excuse yourself to the bathroom. Another popular and excellent approach to calming one’s thoughts and gathering yourself before going back to a social environment is through the practice of mindfulness meditation.
#2. Don’t Make Irrational Objectives
You can’t expect to be completely anxiety-free, and trying to do so will only lead to failure. You can’t expect your problems to be resolved instantly! Reduce your expectations and instead concentrate on tiny, attainable objectives that together will lead to a greater overall accomplishment. It will be simpler to interact with people in social circumstances without being unduly focused on your own anxiety levels if you realize that a little bit of nervousness is natural and acceptable.
#3. Pose Inquiries
It can be beneficial to change the subject of conversation to others because people with social anxiety disorder are preoccupied with what other people think of them. What is the easiest approach to accomplish that? Ask inquiries! It not only draws attention away from yourself, but it also makes you appear engaged in the other person and the topic at hand. Focus on questions that require more than a simple “yes” or “no” response.
#4. Select Social Settings Free From Alcohol Consumption
Avoiding places that serve alcohol can seem challenging at times, but if you have trouble resisting temptation, this can be a useful tactic. Spend time with folks engaging in activities that don’t at all require drinking. For instance, instead of going to a bar or restaurant, you can meet up with your pals in a park for the afternoon. You can also decide to spend more time with others who acknowledge your alcoholism and will refrain from drinking in your presence.
#5. Become at Ease With Who You are
It takes a lot of effort and self-awareness to achieve this. Being at ease displaying a less-than-ideal image of yourself in social circumstances might give the impression of confidence to others. Anyone expecting yourself to be perfect all the time is unreasonable. One step in overcoming social anxiety is accepting one’s minor errors.
You can get support from resources at an addiction recovery clinic if you or a loved one is battling alcoholism.
How to Overcome Social Anxiety FAQs
How do I get rid of anxiety without drinking?
Stress can be reduced and panic can be avoided through deep breathing and/or meditation. A fantastic approach to finding five minutes to practice deep breathing and calm the racing thoughts of an anxious mind is to excuse yourself to the bathroom.
Does stopping drinking help social anxiety?
Many people with severe social anxiety claim that drinking makes them feel more at ease and gives them the freedom to behave more freely. As a result, it is not unexpected that many people who suffer from social anxiety disorder turn to alcohol for solace.
How can I relax socially without drinking?
Methods for Socializing Without Drinking
- Create a signature non-alcoholic beverage of your own. …
Have a defense prepared. …
- Don’t drink and drive. …
- Grab a coffee or a meal. …
- Try engaging in more fun activities. …
- Instead of focusing on what you lack, consider what you do have. …
- Attend meetings. …