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2460 Burton St SE #101, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
In Person and Online Therapy Sessions Available | (616) 309 0737
2460 Burton St SE #101, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

3 Ways to Overcome Your Social Anxiety

By nature, humans are social creatures. We crave connection and relationships with other people, whether that be our friends, family, or a romantic partner. Of course, that’s not to say we don’t value our alone time, as well. Even though we look for connection, that doesn’t mean we won’t struggle with it.

Many people throughout the world struggle with social anxiety. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong with them. Alternatively, it’s just something that causes them to experience anxiety, especially when they are in a large group or are meeting new people. Dealing with social anxiety, at the very least, is a frustrating experience that can be hard to manage.

Maybe, no matter your situation, you can’t help but feel sick to your stomach and on edge during social interactions. Or, you overthink everything you might say because you fear people will judge you.

Here are some tips to deal with social anxiety that will help you manage it and ease tension.

1. Be Mindful

One of the best ways to combat anxiety of any kind is to be mindful of what is going on in your body and mind. When you are being mindful of what you are experiencing, you will be better equipped to help yourself manage social anxiety.

Complete a body scan to understand how anxiety is impacting you. Is your heart racing? Do you feel clammy? Is your mind racing? Understanding what is happening inside of you can be a great way to manage it before your anxiety spirals out of control.

From there, you can implement mindfulness techniques such as:

  • Deep breathing exercises or boxed breathing
  • Going for a walk or moving to a less crowded area
  • Write in a journal before your social event. Writing out your thoughts can help you clear your mind of them, which will help you worry less.

2. Slowly Try New Things

traveling woman taking a photo

Many people with social anxiety struggle with trying new things or going to new places. While you may not be able to replicate every situation exactly, slowly exposing yourself to new situations can help.

Begin by stepping out of your comfort zone and grabbing a coffee on the way to work. Or, try to make small talk with a cashier. There’s no singular or right way to handle social interactions that cause you anxiety. Don’t push yourself too hard, though. It isn’t a race. Even if you only try one new thing a week, you’ll still make progress on combatting your social anxiety overall.

3. Go Easy On Yourself

People who struggle with anxiety, in general, are often hard on themselves. It’s common for someone to grapple with thoughts such as, “I’m not worthy,” or “I am doomed to mess up.”

Our inner critic always seems ready to rear its ugly head and strike at a moment’s notice. It has a very convincing way of telling us all the negative things, even if they aren’t true.

Sometimes, social anxiety is fueled by the idea that, somehow, we are going to mess up. That we will embarrass ourselves or the people we are with. While that inner critic voice may be loud, it’s within your power to tell it to be quiet.

Go easy on yourself. Give yourself the grace and understanding to know that social anxiety is more common than many are led to believe. That being social, for some, isn’t something that just comes naturally, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Overcoming social anxiety, no matter how old you are, takes time and practice. It won’t be an overnight transformation, but by doing little things each day, you will learn to combat these feelings so they don’t impact you as much.

If you want to learn more about combating your social anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out. Anxiety therapy can be a transformative tool that will help you on your journey.

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