In social situations, we can feel awkward and unsure how to react. These feelings are natural, but they might also hinder your ability to make friends. Do you often find yourself feeling anxious in new group interactions? If so, it’s likely because you have social anxiety.
It’s a complication many people experience at some point in their lives, and in this article, we’ll explore how common it is. But more importantly, we will also look at five proven ways to overcome social anxiety.
Stop Obsessing about Past Mistakes
While it might seem like a good idea to constantly remind yourself of how you messed up in the past, doing so can only reinforce feelings of anxiety. By thinking about what went wrong, you’re telling yourself that you’re imperfect and can’t do things right.
Skip the constant self-analysis and instead focus on improving the situation moving forward. You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it. For example, if you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming business meeting, don’t dwell on the mistakes you made the last time you had a meeting. Instead, think about the steps you’re going to take to ensure a better outcome.
Develop a Strong Sense of Self and Worth
Social anxiety often stems from a lack of self-worth. If you constantly feel inadequate and unworthy, you might be hypersensitive to any criticism or judgment directed your way. To help overcome your social anxiety, you must first strengthen your sense of self-worth.
For example, if someone asks you to join a group activity that doesn’t interest you, don’t say yes to please them. If someone offers you unsolicited advice, don’t feel obligated to take it just because they’re more experienced than you are. Instead, make choices that are in line with your values and priorities.
Another way to ease your social anxiety is to try mindfulness exercises. This form of meditation encourages you to focus on your bodily sensations without judging them as good or bad. This can help you better manage your anxiety and be less critical of yourself. If you’re unsure where to start, find a video online that will teach you how to do this.
Practising mindfulness regularly can not only help you overcome social anxiety but also reduce your stress level, improve your mood, enhance your creativity, and improve your sleep quality. It’s also a great way to connect with yourself and others, particularly in a group setting.
Talk to Yourself
Another way to help overcome your social anxiety is by talking to yourself. This might sound a bit strange, but it’s a therapy technique used since the early 1900s. By talking to yourself, you can help alleviate feelings of anxiety when you’re in a social situation.
Plus, you can say things you wouldn’t say to someone else. For example, if you feel like you’re about to make a fool of yourself, you can say something like, “It’s okay. You’ve done this before, and you’ll be fine.” You can also gently remind yourself of your strengths and positive traits. Keep these things in mind to help you ease your social anxiety.