Now we’re all getting back into the full swing of life, all types of anxieties are affecting much of the population. From your comfortable pandemic work routine being tipped upside down to that social anxiety when meeting up with people in person again. anxiety is back in a big way.
One of the consequences of social anxiety is isolation. Fearing the judgment or rejection of others in a social context, millions of people with social anxiety tend to deal with the issue by avoiding social events. While this might make coping with the issue easier at times, it can have negative repercussions on a person’s life satisfaction.
With that in mind, here are four tips to keep in your arsenal for beating social anxiety.
Avoid negative coping strategies
When finding themselves in an unavoidable social situation — such as an office event — many people try to blunt the symptoms of their social anxiety through negative coping strategies, particularly drinking alcohol. While the first glass or two of wine may indeed seem like the best antidote against compulsive worry, drinking too much will likely end up making anxiety worse.
Many of us also use excessive alcohol consumption as a crutch while dating, but not to worry! Here are some sober dating advice tips if you want to try a different approach.
Face your fears, don’t hide from them
Another go-to for people who experience social anxiety is to avoid engaging in social situations by checking social media or doing other activities on their smartphones. A study looked at data on 367 young adult participants who were smartphone users. It found “significant positive correlations” between excessive smartphone use and the presence of social anxiety.
Although it may seem counterintuitive and even scary at first, it is far better to face social anxiety face-on. This seems overwhelming but gradual exposure to increasingly complex social situations makes this transition easier. You don’t have to throw yourself in the deep end all at once.
Reframe your understanding of the stress you are experiencing
Understanding how your body responds to certain stressors, such as public speaking, can help lessen stress in uncomfortable social situations. Your body is bound to react when facing a social situation: understanding that these are natural, yet false alarms that we all feel can help you feel more at ease when you need to do something that usually brings about anxiety.
Think about others to help yourself
Distract yourself from your social worries and negative thoughts by doing something nice for someone else. According to a study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion, selfless acts could help people who have social anxiety to feel more at ease in social situations, turning the negative narrative in your head into a positive one.