It’s normal to not feel comfortable in any and every scenario. But, social anxiety is more than feeling uncomfortable from time to time. Rather, it’s experiencing overwhelming anxiety in social situations that can become socially debilitating. Fortunately, there are a few things that people who are living with social anxiety can do. There are ways to deal with social anxiety in everyday life that can reduce the severity of symptoms.
Some healthy and effective ways to deal with social anxiety can include:
One helpful thing to do in social settings in order to take some pressure off is to focus on the things that are happening around you. This can assist with changing your thinking – rather than focusing on yourself, you can work towards focusing on the people around you and what they’re doing and saying. Furthermore, it can be useful to remind yourself that in most cases, no one is focusing on what you’re doing or saying as much as you initially think. So, try to keep your mind on conversations, what’s going on around you, and being in the moment.
Coping techniques like relaxation methods can help to manage stress and anxiety in times of social anxiety. These can include breathing techniques, meditation, and leaving a social setting for a bit in order to better relax. Using these techniques can help get you back into the right headspace and manage bodily reactions to social anxiety so that you can better manage stress in these situations.
When we dwell on our anxieties about social situations it can make anxiety worse when actually being in social settings. Therefore, it can be helpful to confront the negative thoughts and feelings you have about social situations. Ask yourself why you may feel anxious about being around others or in certain situations. And, if these feelings or thoughts are actually accurate compared to the situation. It can also be helpful to challenge your thoughts and work toward changing them into positive ones. For example, if you feel anxious about seeing friends in a social setting, it may be helpful to think about how it is positive to be around your friends regardless of where you are meeting.
Another way to combat social anxiety is to prepare yourself for going out in public before you go. This can mean taking care of your personal needs and utilizing stress management coping tools before you leave the house. It can also mean practicing what you’ll do if you feel overwhelmed, like who you’ll talk to about how you’re feeling or even an escape plan.
Finally, the best way to manage social anxiety is to get professional help. Therapeutic tools and professional assistance can help to teach you how to utilize helpful tools in managing debilitating levels of anxiety. For example, the programs and services available at Yellowbrick Program help to offer support to emerging adults who may be living with overwhelming anxiety and disorders such as social phobia. Find out more about how we help emerging adults with a variety of mental health conditions at our facility location in Evanston, IL from our website.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.