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Overcoming Social Anxiety and Starting to do the Things You Love

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5 MIN READING

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Starting to do the Things You Love

If you have social anxiety, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle with this overwhelming fear of being in social situations. Social anxiety can severely affect our lives, the intense shyness we can feel when we’re meeting people and doing every day activities (or even preparing for them) can be crippling and prevent us from doing the things we’d really otherwise love to be doing.

Our self-confidence and self-worth both take a tumble and normal activities like going out with friends, going on a date or attending a party can seem unattainable. Even using the telephone can feel like a gargantuan task.

If your social anxiety is getting the better of you, you can speak to your GP in confidence about being referred for a type of therapy called talking therapy with a psychologist. But there are other things you can do to help overcome social anxiety and begin doing the things you want to do.

Self Help Tips for Social Anxiety 

Although self-help is unlikely to help completely cure your social anxiety (according to the NHS), it can help you manage it better and even act as a first step towards seeking further help. Here’s how:

  • Try not to worry about what others think. This is perhaps one of the biggest concerns if we have social anxiety, that people will think we’re incompetent or that they’re watching our every move. This worry makes us feel embarrassed and we might sweat, blush and feel extremely uncomfortable. The reality is, other people are probably thinking about making sure they’re doing things right or acting accordingly themselves, rather than being critical of you. They may also be suffering social anxiety themselves. You’re probably not as outwardly fearful as you think, and others probably won’t notice. Try to focus on what’s going on around you, rather than how you fit into the situation.
  • If you’re berating yourself for a situation, conversation or event that you think went badly, take some time to really think about it. Did you really stumble over your words like you think you did, or behave in the ‘embarrassing way’ you perceive in your mind? The chances are you didn’t and you’re being unreasonable with yourself. Thinking more realistically will help you feel more at peace and can help to boost your confidence.
  • Over time, try to break down what happens when you’re suffering from your social anxiety. What triggers it, how it makes you behave and what, if anything, makes you feel better. Gradually introducing activities you’d normally avoid, at your own pace, can be extremely empowering and could help bolster the idea that you’ve been unnecessarily critical of yourself and that you can find enjoyment in certain things.

Be gentle with yourself and congratulate yourself for anything you do outside of your comfort zone. However small you think they may appear to outsiders, they’re enormous for you and you deserve to celebrate them. Good luck.

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