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5 Ways You Can Deal With Social Anxiety

social anxietyIf the idea of a “meet and greet” makes you cringe, if you frequently avoid social events due to fear, or if you feel a rush of panic when you walk into a crowded room, you may be dealing with social anxiety. Don’t worry — it’s actually a very common condition. Lots of people have social anxiety from time to time, and there are some things you can do to remain calm during your next happy hour, networking lunch, or social event. Keep reading for the top five ways to get past social anxiety!

How To Overcome Social Anxiety: 5 Steps

They’re called coping skills: sneaky tricks for helping you deal with a stressful event. When we’re talking about social anxiety, they’re what can reduce your heart rate, increase your confidence, and help you glide through any social situation.

#1. Set One Goal

Let’s say it is a networking event that’s got your anxiety skyrocketing. Why not set one manageable goal? It’s often the easiest way to start. For example, I will talk to one person at this event. When your focus narrows to a single (attainable) objective, it’s easier to enter the situation with confidence.

#2. Make Eye Contact

Other people are more likely to start a conversation with you if you look approachable. You can accomplish this by maintaining a neutral, pleasant expression, making eye contact, and smiling. It’s easy to frown without realizing it — especially when you’re nervous. Take some time to be mindful of your expression, and watch your approachability increase.

#3. Observe the Area Around You

“Grounding” is another exercise that can help with social anxiety. It brings your focus to the present moment, instead of concentrating on your feelings of nervousness. You can try grounding by looking around the room and making conscious observations of what you see. This technique can be especially useful for calming nerves as you enter a room.

Hint: Be careful to use non-judgmental language while you’re grounding. Example: “The walls are a light grey color,” rather than “That lamp is ugly.”

#4. Talk To Yourself (No, Really)

Sometimes, easing social anxiety is as simple as giving yourself a quick pep talk. Remind yourself that you really do have a lot to offer, and think of a few concrete things you bring to the table. Tell yourself that other people are probably feeling the way you’re feeling, too, and that even if you do say something wrong, it will still be OK.

#5. Focus On Your Success

Perhaps most importantly, you should always focus on your success! If you put yourself out there and make an effort, you’ve taken a big step towards overcoming your social anxiety, and you can build on this success at your next event. Dealing with social anxiety is definitely something that gets easier with more practice — remind yourself of that.

Still Need Help? Counseling for Social Anxiety Helps

If you feel like you need extra help dealing with your social anxiety, talk therapy can help. Contact Kristen Hardin LPC to discuss your need for counseling for anxiety in Burleson today!

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