Updated: Nov 26
Throughout the last 18 months, many people were craving a return to normal, and to be able to re-engage with their social lives again. But while the lockdown measures have been lifted, COVID-19 has not gone away, and it can be a challenging time for anyone who suffers from social anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is one of the most common mental disorders, so if you have it, there’s hope. We have a look at some tips to help you manage your anxiety and cultivate a healthy social life.
Be available for social opportunities
It can be daunting to expose yourself to social environments, but with practice and exposure, you will be able to observe and adapt to a wide range of human experiences.
Try to make yourself more available to hang out with friends, club events and volunteering opportunities. You will meet a lot of different people, which may seem scary, but you’ll soon see you have a lot more in common than you thought. Socialising with like-minded people will soon become effortless, and help you expand your social circle.
Shift your mindset
Our fears of judgement and embarrassment are typically irrational and can be blown out of proportion. Try to remove yourself from wanting to be liked by everyone, and instead ask if you even like those people. It will take the pressure off from trying to behave and say everything perfectly, and put you in more control of your emotions. I teach clients a technique called ‘Movie Scene’ - instead of you being in everybody else's movie – make them in yours… Be the director of your life, behind the camera and push your focus of attention outwards instead of on yourself - clients report this really helps!
Take deep breaths
In those moments when you can feel your heartbeat racing, anxiety soaring, and you’re unable to speak, simply take a moment to relax and lower your heart rate by taking deep, slow breaths until you feel calmer and centred again.
Use power poses
A little of ‘faking it till you make it’ can go a long way, and looking the part can help manifest your confidence through good posture, and holding your head high as you enter a room. It’s a power pose that will help boost your self-esteem and help you feel more comfortable when interacting with people. A good, confident posture will also elevate people’s opinions of you.
If you’re looking for online mindfulness therapy for anxiety, then get in touch today.