You are all set to host a presentation. Your palms are clammy, your heart racing, and your throat parched. As you approach the presentation area, your mind begins to get fuzzy. You mumble something and then go completely blank. As you stand there staring blankly at a room full of people, you realize what a jackass you have made of yourself. This is what social anxiety is. Almost all of you have had anxiety attacks at some point of your lives. Overcoming social anxiety is necessary for an individual to succeed in life, as not doing so can create plenty of cracks in relationships at home and in work. Social anxiety at work can affect your career prospects, and anxiety in public places, such as airport and restaurants can affect your capability to meet new people and make friends. Most importantly, anxiety at special occasions such as a party, a night out, or family vacation, can severely damage your bonds with people who are most vital to you. Fortunately, with a little bit of conscious effort, one can overcome this social phobia. The below-mentioned tips will help you to overcome your social anxiety and deal with your stress in a better way.
Overcoming Social Phobia
Control Your Reactions
The biggest problem with any social anxiety disorder is the reaction it causes in our body. It leads to increased heart rate, a racing mind, shakiness, sweating and other reactions triggered by some deep-seated fear. It is quite simple to overcome these reactions through learning techniques such as yoga, meditation, and self-hypnosis.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
Instead of letting the fear of embarrassment or humiliation overwhelm you in social settings, you can prepare yourself with some scenarios to ensure that you are ready for any challenging situations. If you are prepared for worst things, which might happen and you know what to do or say in those moments, you will naturally get the confidence to remain calm and manage the situation.
Face Your Fears
Social fears do not stem from a lack of social skills, but from a sense of insecurity and lack of esteem. To overcome this, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone. Test yourself. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations like speaking in front of your peers or complimenting someone. By doing so, you will easily beat your apprehensions. Soon you will realize that your social fear has vanished.
Be Engaged Socially
You can participate in assertiveness classes, volunteer for an event, which keeps you in a social setting, and try to build relationships with people you normally would not. You can also be part of an online support group, talk with other likeminded, and learn about their triumphs and struggles. This will give you the confidence, which you require to break the self-imposed barrier of fear.
Develop A Positive Attitude
The way you think make a strong influence on the way you feel. The realization that only you can control the way you think and the manner those thoughts control you, is an important step to defeat social anxiety. When thoughts like ‘they will make fun of me’ or ‘I am going to fail’ comes to your mind, try replacing them with more realistic and calmer thoughts. Try telling yourself that you are capable, confident and wonderful enough to fight those negative thoughts. Positive visualization and affirmation will also help to motivate you along the road and boost your self-esteem.
Try Adjusting Your Attitude
You can adjust your attitude on fronts, such as, changing the unrealistic expectations of your own behavior. Ensure you change the indistinct perception that others will condemn you if you are not perfect. Practice replacing the self-critical thoughts with more supportive ideas such as, “Most people can handle it when someone makes a mistake,” “It would be nice if this had turned out differently, but it’s not the end of the world,” “No one else is perfect. I don’t have to be either.”
Try To Speak Up
Ensure you always talk in a reasonably louder voice and do not be scared if your statement overlaps the previous speaker a bit. Frequent eye contact is a key factor in modern communication. A relaxed and an alert posture are more amicable than one that is quite rigid. It is good to be updated about contemporary events, which make you seem like a friendly character. If you have a specialized interest, try to talk more about it so that beginners as wells as experts can understand you. You can also collect amusing stories or jokes to tell.
Be An Inquisitive Listener
Never hesitate to ask questions. For instance, ask questions which cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ like those that start with ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘what’, and ‘when’. In social gatherings, never hesitate to approach another person who looks shy.
Practice Diversion Techniques
Practicing diversion techniques will help you to concentrate on something else when your anxiety starts to build. It also acts as a helpful resource that you require to come out on top at a social gathering. You can start reading a book or get engaged in a hobby, which you are enthusiastic about. If you are engaged in a chosen diversion, you will not get time to think about your worries and will feel confident talking about it. People will notice your interest and reward you with positive reinforcement. All of this will increase your self-confidence and you will find yourself actually enjoying the social situation instead of running away from it.
Ensure not to let anxiety keep you away from things and people you value in your life. Learning to overcome anxiety will open innumerable doors of opportunities for you. If you implement the techniques and learn to treat the anxiety with a demonstrated anti-anxiety regiment, you will find more contentment and greater pleasure in life.