“I Believed A Lie And Spent Tremendous Willpower And Energy Simply Trying To Be Normal And Accepted. Don’t make The Same Mistakes I Made.”
Social anxiety can be defined as anxiousness that affects the person in anticipation of a social event or during or after that event. Social anxiety can be quite pervasive for some affected individuals. The core of social anxiety consists of fear of evaluation, and such worry and anxiety causing evaluation can be both positive and negative.
Listed below are 5 ways to beat social anxiety:
1. Practice proper breathing techniques: Breathing deeply just before social situations that trigger anxiety can be helpful. It is also important to practice deep breathing and other breathing techniques on a daily basis, and not just during social anxiety causing events. Daily practice will cause deep breathing to become automotive; subsequently the people that don’t hyper-focus on breathing can instead pay attention to conversations.
2. Begin indulging yourself with self-help books and manuals: Self-help books are a great way to beat social anxiety on your own. They often act as supplement to medications and other kinds of coaching and therapy.
3. Create and expose yourself to a hierarchy of fears: This exercise involves writing down a list of all the behaviors/things that trigger social anxiety in the order of intensity levels. Then carry out the behavior which is the easiest to do and which causes the least amount of anxiety. Once you have mastered the behavior and eliminated associated social anxiety, move to the next easiest anxiety-triggering behavior. Continue moving up the list till you have gained control of all behaviors.
4. Have a rational outlook and objective goals: Fearful thoughts tend to fuel the associated social anxiety and also weaken the resultant performance at an event. Hence try and avoid unrealistic negative or positive thoughts and keep a rational outlook to social situations so you can once and for all beat social anxiety.
For example, negatively thinking that your performance in a play will be abysmal is unrealistic and irrational if your acting has been appreciated in the past. If you have prepared well, then the rational thought should be ‘I will try my best.’ Also, positively thinking that that the girl you like ‘will’ say yes to a date is unrealistic. The rational thought in this case would be “she ‘might’ say yes.”
“People with social anxiety often tend to discard their work as not being good enough because anxiousness can discount positive feelings about self, and instill unwarranted doubts.”
Creating objective behaviour goals can help avoid this. Objective behaviors are those which can be noticed and observed by all. It is not dependent on whether you are sweating, nervous, or blushing, etc., or the reaction of others to your behavior.
The objective is only to carry out the specific behavior. For example, if you have to say 3 lines, then the objective is to say the 3 lines. That’s observable. Engaging in objective behaviors can help beat social anxiety.
5. Reach out to a coach/mentor: If social anxiety is preventing you from living a healthy and fruitful daily life and if all your ways employed by you do not help to beat social anxiety, then it is best to consult a mentor, especially an anxiety disorders specialist who has been in your shoes (very important). One of the best professional therapies for social anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy which aims to change both cognition and behaviour.
Have You Beat Social Anxiety, Or Are Currently Dealing With This Challenge? Share Your Experiences Below In The Comment Section.
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