How to Defeat Social Anxiety
Many people may be suffering in silence since social anxiety disorder is frequently misunderstood and really hard to spot, sometimes because people may think some other thing that’s not social anxiety is wrong with you.
Unlike the majority of you think… It’s about a lot more than being timid and be unwilling to speak up in large crowds, if you’re going through it I’m certain it has even the ability to completely dominate and obstruct your daily existence if you don’t take good care of this situation, am I right?
Here’s some interesting data… according to Anxiety Care UK, social anxiety is a widespread and stressful illness that affects up to 40% of the population.
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Now I’m going to continue by sharing with you some gold nuggets, meaning, valuable information, take note.
1. Challenge your Negative and Anxious Thoughts
It may appear like there is little you can do about how you feel or think at times, however, there are a number of things that can assist you to go through the process and make it less painful and easy-going.
Reducing the symptoms of social anxiety can be as simple as challenging your attitude and negative ideas. Begin by noticing the nervous thoughts that arise naturally when you consider social situations.
After that, breathe, take a moment, and then examine and question these ideas and why they’ve been created in the first place, after, ask yourself some of these questions at that same moment:
- How and when did these feelings of social anxiety usually arise? (e.g. when in an event? meetings?…)
- How they usually affect you? (e.g. you start sweating? breathing fast?…)
- To calm yourself, what usually works for you?
Now, if you’re looking for something simpler and faster… I recommend you to examine why you think this way and if your first reaction is truly reflective of how you feel or whether you’re simply expecting the worst.
Once you’ve spotted the trigger that caused this reaction, changing your way of thinking is the next step, and I’m going to be totally honest with you since my intention objective is to help you and anyone going through this kind of problem.
It takes time and it’s a long process with no quick fixes, but fortunately, our mind is a strong tool that can make things easier for us if we learn to manage it and understand its process, meaning, changing damn is achievable!
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2. Be mindful
Mindfulness and mindful meditation allow you to be present and aware of your thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental and positive manner.
Researchers discovered that meditation had an influence on activity in certain regions of the brain in a study published in the journal “Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience“.
In this experiment four 20-minute mindfulness meditation courses were held for participants with typical high levels of anxiety, and guess what… they discovered that mindfulness training reduced anxiety levels by up to damn 39%!
So now you know an effective and easy proven method to reduce your social anxiety & stress, meditation is a good way to go.
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Recommended read: How to overcome your fears
3. Visit a Coffee Shop
Visit a coffee shop?… hell yeah!
Simple but yet really damn effective! It’s as easy as taking your tablet or laptop to your nearest local coffee shop if you love viewing movies online or catching up on your favorite TV show meanwhile chilling.
Or else, do something you enjoy and are at ease within a setting that would normally make you nervous when you’re around people (like reading some comics, watching funny videos and smile, calling a friend, the list goes on…) this way you’ll be pushing your boundaries while maintaining the familiarity and comfort of being able to focus only on what you’re used to doing when you’re alone.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to challenge yourself while remaining in your emotional comfort zone.
4. Make a Hierarchy of Exposure
Identify and rate the level of anxiety you experience in each social situation.
For example, a score of 0 indicates no anxiety while a score of 10 indicates a full-fledged panic episode. Make a note of how you think you would react in each circumstance, no matter how little or major.
Another good example… from asking a stranger on the tube for the time to stepping into a room during a party it’s crucial to write down your predictions on a piece of paper as fast as possible so that when the time comes to experience it, you’ll remember how you expected to feel at that moment.
Also, I recommend you to reinforce your feelings with positive emotions, also called “neuro-linguistic-programming” meaning, if you change the sentence “I feel anxious” for the word “I feel motivated” you’ll react in a different way than if you were using the sentence “I feel anxious”.
5. Don’t Put Too Much Emphasis on Yourself
When you’re in a scenario that makes you feel extremely and uncontrollable nervous, it’s difficult to stop the constant mental chatter, am I right?
We frequently focus inward, on ourselves and how others will see us, and believe me… it’s a foolish thing to do and you’ll only create limiting beliefs within yourself, thus, creating and expecting a bad outcome.
I’ll give you an example…
The typical fear when you enter a room and everyone will be staring at you and criticizing you in some way, remember this?… this isn’t correct and is not a way to go through life.
Stop worrying about yourself and what others think of you and start putting yourself and your opinions at first.
Concentrate on the people around you, strive to be present, and form true connections, because no one is perfect, strive to stay in the moment, and pay attention to what is being said.
6. Reduce Anxiety by Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
The mind and body are inextricably intertwined, and how you manage your body has a huge influence on the rest of your life, including your anxiety levels.
Usually, things like small adjustments in your lifestyle might help you gain self-confidence and manage better anxiety symptoms. For example, if you’re drinking through the day 3 or 4 cups of coffee you’re overexposing yourself to the effects and side effects of the caffeine.
What can you do about it?… easy, by avoiding consuming coffee or caffeinated drinks after a particular hour, you’ll start feeling way better and less stressed, the key here would be to avoid or restrict your caffeine consumption.
Remember, energy drinks are stimulants, which can make anxiety symptoms worse.
Make physical activity a priority in your day and aim to be active at least once a day; even a quick stroll during your lunch break is a good way to get it in.
Another thing… ALCOHOL.
Alcohol should only be used in moderation; while it may seem to relax your nerves, it might actually increase your chances of having an anxiety attack, mind that the next time you want to approach someone but rely on the effects of the alcohol to make your move.
My best advice for you is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and getting enough good sleep.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more prone to anxiety, and your mood suffers as a result. According to a new study, sleep deprivation might really trigger anxiety disorders.
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7. Talk with Others
You will ideally begin to feel more secure during discussions once you have overcome your social anxiety and shyness I’m totally certain about it.
Talking to someone may be difficult at first, and knowing what to say can be much more difficult, I know, even an uneasy silence might feel like it lasts a lifetime at times, but listen to me…
talking to individuals one at a time will help you a lot in becoming less nervous, it’s just a question of practice and never giving up attitude, challenge yourself and question your mindset through these challenges till you find the best mindset and way of thinking for you.
8. Face the Fear
Face your anxieties as the ultimate step.
If you don’t expose yourself to circumstances that make you uncomfortable, you’ll never be able to overcome social anxiety I guarantee you that, you won’t be assisting yourself or fostering personal progress if you use avoidance as a coping mechanism.
Exposure therapy, or addressing your anxieties, has been demonstrated in several trials to be beneficial in treating anxiety disorders. However, research suggests that exposure should be done in moderation and with caution.
As a result and my best advice from this chapter is… start with a social contact or activity that just marginally increases your anxiety and gradually increases it!
Remember, social anxiety is not forever, social anxiety can be beaten and manageable, social anxiety is nothing more than a word unless you let it become into something else than just that.
I hope my advice was of help and you’re able to defeat your social anxiety, remember, the key is on you and on never ever giving up.
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Enjoy your life and remember anxiety is not the problem, the problem has always been within us and within our limiting and negative beliefs, be and remain positive!
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