5 Effective Ways to Manage Social Anxiety

You may find life difficult sometimes if you feel anxious in social situations. Learn some strategies to manage social anxiety.

You may feel uncomfortable or nervous in new social situations when you have social anxiety. To learn how to feel more at ease in social situations, you can make advanced preparations to feel more comfortable. However, social anxiety is more than just feeling ill at ease. Social anxiety can become a full-blown disorder. The providers at Nurocoach explain more about how you can manage your social anxiety disorder.

What is social anxiety disorder?

There’s a difference between feeling nervous before a new situation and a full-blown social anxiety disorder. Everyone feels nervous sometimes. But having a social anxiety disorder means that you may allow your nervousness to dictate your behavior. Some of the things you may experience include the following:

  • Avoiding situations where you might encounter new people
  • Feeling exceptionally anxious before meeting new people, which can include feeling nauseous, sweaty, or shaky
  • Expecting the worst possible outcomes
  • Experiencing muscle tension or a fast heartbeat
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed

If you feel worse than a little nervous, you may have a social anxiety disorder.

5 effective ways to manage social anxiety

Although social anxiety disorder can be trying, you can learn effective coping strategies. Some of the most effective ways to manage social anxiety include the following:

1. Reducing negative thoughts

Many people with social anxiety have negative beliefs about themselves that they carry into new situations. You can reduce these negative thoughts by doing some of these techniques:

  • Think back to when you assumed people had negative thoughts about you, and your assumptions were incorrect
  • Many people assume that other people have negative thoughts about you, which can get attributed to other causes (for example, you may think that people around you are yawning because they’re bored, but they may be tired)
  • Go into new situations expecting them to turn out well; we often see the reactions we expect

One part of managing social anxiety is recognizing that other people aren’t watching you as closely as you assume they are.

2. Try exposure therapy

Many people with social anxiety disorder avoid situations where they have to encounter new people. But this often makes you feel like your social anxiety is valid when it is not.

Challenge yourself to go to a new social situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. Maybe go to a local group meeting that interests you or a book club reading. If you walk in and expect it to go well, chances are likely that it will be fine.

3. Practice your social skills

If you have a social anxiety disorder, you may not feel confident about your ability to make friends with new people. Some social skills you may need include asking people about themselves and focusing less on yourself.

You can feel more comfortable when you realize that people aren’t as interested in what’s happening with you as you assume they are. Ask people about what’s new in their lives and listen to them. You can ask people about what they do for work and whether or not they find it fulfilling. If they don’t feel fulfilled, you could ask them what they would do instead.

4. Ask people about themselves

One of the things that people with social anxiety don’t realize is that many other people are feeling just as anxious as they are. Sometimes, mentioning this may be a good icebreaker for opening a conversation.

People are often very willing to casually converse with strangers, especially if you ask them about something they find interesting. Ask people about their hobbies or topics they care about.

5. Practice your mindfulness skills

Your ability to remain mindful and aware of the present moment will help you in more ways than just managing your fears.

Developing a mindfulness habit, possibly through meditation or prayer, can help you to feel more comfortable in social settings. You can learn to stay more grounded.

Request an appointment online or contact the Nurocoach providers today if you are dealing with social anxiety disorder. We can help you learn more skills to manage it.