Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia is a problem of intense fear of certain social situations – especially situations that are unfamiliar or in which you feel you will be watched or evaluated by others. If you feel there is nothing can help you get rid of social phobia, in reality, there are many tips on how to overcome social phobia allowing you to manage your problem. This article will provide you with 15 tips that lead you to change the way you think, perceive, and feel about social anxiety. Here they are:
How To Overcome Social Phobia – Top 15 Must-Know Tips
1. Adjust Your Attitude
You can do this with two options. One is changing your current expectations of your behavior and modifying the distorted perception relating to others’ thoughts about you. Just try to replace your self-critical thoughts with positive ones. Let go of all judgments about what is the “right” way to be. For instance, when having to face with your self-criticism, you can think that “no one else is perfect” and “This is not the end of the world” or “You do not have to be either”
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2. Learn To Control Your Breath
When people become anxious, they tend to breathe rapidly. In fact, overbreathing leads to the imbalance of the oxygen and carbon dioxide level in your own body. This results in the condition of dizziness, enhanced heart rate, muscle tension, etc. Therefore, it is important if you can learn how to breathe properly when facing with anxiousness. Try to slow your breathing down in order to bring your physical condition back to your control. Besides, you can practice some breathing exercises to keep calm if you are in the center of others’ attention.
3. Face Your Fears
If you want to learn how to overcome social phobia, the most helpful thing you should do is to face with the social situations you are afraid of rather than avoid them. If you do not face with your fear, you just make the fear grow increasingly. In fact, the more you avoid a feared social situation, the more frightening it becomes.
Avoidance might also prevent you from doing things you want to do or reaching certain goals..
4. Challenging Social Anxiety One Step At A Time
If you think that your feared social situation cannot be solved, then you are wrong. You can do it by taking one small step at a time. That means you should start with the situations that you can take control of or handle, then move up to the harder, more challenging ones steadily. This will help you increase your confidence and build up your coping skills because you move up to the “anxiety ladder”.
5. Build Better Relationships
Actively seeking out and taking part in supportive social environments is one of the effective way on how to overcome social phobia or social anxiety disorder. You can refer some great manners to start interacting with new friends or others in positive ways:
- You can join in a social skills or an assertiveness training class.
- Or, you can volunteer doing something you love- everything that can allow you to concentrate while engaging with a group of like-minded people.
- Work on your communication skills. Or in other words, you can develop their communication skills by learning the fundamental skills of emotional intelligence
6. Look At Your Surroundings
According to studies, those people who are considered as socially anxious people usually focus inwards, not outwards, especially on their emotions and feelings. Therefore, it obviously makes sense if they can focus outward, they can lower their social anxiety. When facing with social anxiety, if possible, you can make a note listing the situation you are in such as the colors of the walls, pictures on the walls or the outfits of others.
7. Change Your Lifestyle
Admittedly, changing lifestyle cannot make a huge difference in your social phobia problem; however, it can assist you in treating and improving your condition. The following tips can help you decrease your overall anxiety levels as well as place a successful background for your treatment.
- Avoid or limit caffeine such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, caffeinated soda, and chocolate because they can increase your anxiety symptoms.
- If you are in a great party and you are tempted by others, then you had better drink moderately. Lower the amount of alcohol intake can help you lower the risk of having an anxiety attack and keep calm your nerves.
- Quit smoking. The nicotine substance in cigarettes is considered as a powerful stimulant that can lead to higher levels of social anxiety.
- Get adequate sleep. If you lack of sleep, or are in sleep deprived condition, then you will be more vulnerable to anxiety. Taking rest properly and adequately will help you stay calm in social situations.
8. Learn How to Face With Criticism
The majority of those people who are socially anxious ones have some symptoms related to “assertive defense of the self”. They tend to be critical and judgmental themselves; thus, it is necessary if they are able to cope with rejection. Learning how to build up assertiveness skills and assertiveresponses to criticism is important for them to control their problem for good. Once learning these skills, they will able to transfer them from theory into the real world step by step. It requires from learners so much effort as well as patience. Yet, once did it, you will be totally in your control.
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9. Take A Walk
This is a simple yet not less useful tip in hundreds of tips on how to overcome social phobia fast. Walking allows you to breathe and be more focused into your own body. It helps you get used to being in your body, and it is even better if you are walking in the sun and getting fresh air. As recommendation, you had better walk at least 10 minutes per day.
10. Stop Playing Mind Reader
Well, this suggestion may seem odd. If you actually could read minds, you would not have a phobia of what others think about you. All you need to do is focusing on what is happening around you rather than what others may be thinking. For instance, in a conversation you had better focus on what others are saying rather than what they are thinking.
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11. Talk About Your Social Discomforts With Someone You Trust
Holding your problem inside just makes your condition worse. Sharing with someone who likes you about your condition might be quite powerful. Supportive people may give you the perspective and insight into a blind spot you may not be able to fully appreciate on your own. They may also give you the support and encouragement you need to begin tackling these challenges.
12. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. Comparing yourself to others just makes you feel good once you are doing better than everyone else. They might be someone who is more socially adept, more confident, or has a larger circle of friends. But, in contrary, if you continuously compare yourself with others who are better than you in different aspects, then you only make yourself more disheartened. Instead of comparing yourself to others, begin trying to improve yourself. The yardstick of your achievement is how you are doing now compared to one year ago. Not how you compare to others.
13. Stop Projecting Failure
It is better for you if you can stop thinking about what you do not want to happen. What you need to do is to start thinking about what you do want to happen. The more you think you will fail, the more likely it happens.
And, the surest way to ensure failure is to expect it. For example, if you are going to have an upcoming presentation, visualize yourself as a confident speaker. Or, if you are going to a party, imagine being the social butterfly. They might not happen, but at least you have given yourself an opportunity. Predicting failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
14. Take The Time To Connect With Yourself
We surround ourselves with a lot of distractions that we hardly ever allow the time to introspect in order to really connect with who we are as a person. It is necessary for everyone to spend time on actually going within and understanding their inner space of being and developing their self-awareness. When you begin connecting with yourself, you will automatically clarify all the patterns/beliefs in your mind that are not congruent with who you are. It also helps you clear up the presence of “conflicts” within you, makes you become more alignment with your “individuality”, and allows for the manifestation of congruent realities with who you are.
15. Practice Socializing
Practice, practice, practice!
You should practice being confident, practice talking to strangers in the grocery line, at work, in a charity event, and where ever you go. It will help you increase your confidence as well as your motivation to socialize more and more.
Well, the process of learning how to overcome social phobia might require from you much effort, time as well as patience. I hope that these tips on how to overcome social phobia introduced in this article will be helpful for you.
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