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What to do if you have social anxiety

 What to do if you have social anxiety

You have been invited to a party; it could be a neighbourhood block party or an informal event organised by one of the colleagues at work. Despite several apprehensions, you go to that party, putting a forced smile on the face, and try your best to fit in. But, ultimately, all your attempts fail as you cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the surrounding. It gets worse when the host starts some kind of group activity, and you are obliged to participate in it.

Inability to talk or interact with people due to an intense and persistent fear of being watched or judged causes social anxiety. Also, this is a common problem that usually starts during pre-teen to teenage years and impacts a person’s life significantly. In some cases, the problem subsides as people get older, while others seek professional help to overcome the issue.

Lack of confidence is one of the significant difficulties people suffer from due to social anxiety. Consequently, this negatively affects their personal and professional relationships, as they falter to communicate effectively. Furthermore, it creates a sense of low self-esteem within the individuals. Hence, whenever they try to do anything, they hesitate frequently because of underconfidence.

Here are some of the ways through which you can build confidence if you have social anxiety:

Positive self-talk

When you are in a social setting, you can practice a simple exercise if you are overwhelmed with nervousness or uneasiness. Firstly, take a deep breath and say a few positive statements to yourself. While it may sound silly, in reality, it does work wonders to your state of mind when you say positive things to yourself.

We depend upon others to uplift us most of the time, but why should we rely upon someone else for our happiness?

It is better to take charge of your life, and one of the primary steps should be to do things that make us happy rather than expecting others to make us happy. Similarly, when negative thoughts consume your mind, try to motivate yourself by saying positive things.

Think about your achievements

Do you know what is one of the biggest mistakes we make in life?

One of the biggest mistakes we constantly keep making is comparing ourselves with others. Nine out of ten times, people are miserable when they measure their accomplishments against someone else’s. In addition, they fail to realise that everyone’s life is different; therefore, their achievements are of various magnitudes.

So, instead of being hard on yourself, you can be proud of whatever you have achieved so far. Acknowledge the tenacity and hard work that brought you so far; these little moments of realisation will enable you to pursue greater things in life.

Fix your posture

The way a person presents themselves creates an impression on others. So while walking into an office or a gathering, do not slouch or walk with your head looking down. Instead, step with your head held high and look straight ahead; this indicates confidence.

social anxiety

Get yourself out there.

For the longest time, you might have avoided any situation that requires social interaction; and you have already observed the outcome of it. Now, it is time for you to try something new; no, you don’t need to get on stage and give a speech or perform in front of strangers.

However, you can try to get yourself out there; you can join a hobby class or do voluntary services. This will allow you to interact with people, albeit you have to prepare yourself to handle the situation properly and not ignore everyone.

Setting goals

If you have been suffering from social anxiety for a long time, it will not go away in a day or two. But you can take small steps towards overcoming it; you can set S.M.A.R.T goals (S- Specific, M- Measurable, A- Achievable, R- Relevant, T- Time-bound). Do not pressurise yourself into doing something extremely out of your comfort zone; you can start by taking one step at a time. For instance, if you have always avoided talking to your neighbours, you can break the ice by talking to them.

Mahesh Mohan

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