Sunday, 20 October 2019

Five Things To Start Doing If You Have Social Anxiety

An event pops into your inbox. You feel excited and put it in your calendar. Yet as the days draw closer, you start to feel that panic. Does that sound familiar? If so, you might suffer from social anxiety. Me too! But I got fed up of letting it beat me. Instead, let's look at things to start doing if you have social anxiety.



Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy. - Norman Vincent
Peale.

Social anxiety can manifest in many forms from anxiousness about public speaking or going out in public. It can mean you have problems making small talk, eating in front of others also can trigger worry and unease.

Social anxiety can be severely limiting for people, as we are in essence social beings. You may avoid social events or at it's extreme avoid going to work, or getting involved in a romantic relationship for fear of rejection from a potential partner.

Personally, I found that my social anxiety was heightened by events or situations where I had to meet new people. Not great as I was a supply teacher and blogging also presents some amazing opportunities at events.

I would end up in a state of utter panic in the lead up to an event. Sometimes to the point, I just couldn't go. One time at the Professional Beauty Show, a lady asked my address. I had got myself so worked up, I just couldn't remember where I lived! I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

This week I went to two events. Admittedly, only one was alone. If though, I think back to even a few months ago, I would have struggled. Well, I still struggled, but I got myself there, and after the initial nerves, I totally enjoyed myself. I also met up with some lovely people who made it feel such a delightful experience. Thank you, Abigail Kathleen and Afshanesque.

Here are a few things you might want to start doing if you have social anxiety.

1. Push yourself out of your comfort zone

The first thing to start doing if you have social anxiety is to

What can you do to push yourself out of your comfort zone?

There were times that I was so anxious that I couldn't even go to the local Sainsburys alone. It was made worse by the fact that I was a supply Teacher. I spent my time dreading the phone ringing about work. Not the best job when you have social anxiety. Yet, if I could answer the phone and go on a longer-term placement, I felt good. And with each assignment, my confidence grew.

2. Prepare yourself

Get out everything you will need the night before. Then do a bit of self-care to relax your mind.

Prepare your route. I am forever getting lost when I have somewhere new I need to go. I get in such a panic about what is going to happen when I get there, I can't focus on what Google Maps or Citymapper is telling me. Although, be prepared for the unexpected. I was all set, and the Central line wasn't running! Plan your back up too.

3. Practise your social skills

Observe yourself.

What do you do when you feel social anxiety strikes?

I wring my hands, laugh nervously and talk rubbish (although, if you know me I tend to speak nonsense anyway!).

I know you will feel a bit silly at first, but who is going to know! Smile in the mirror. Notice your habits and be mindful of how to calm yourself down.

The event the other day was the #LibertyLivingHealthy Wellbeing event and made me realise how powerful mindfulness can be, and I took away some great techniques.

Lady looking in a mirror in a post about five things to start doing if you have social anxiety

4. Have something to talk about

One of the triggers I find in social situations is that I freeze when it comes to talking. My mind just goes completely blank.

Hands up, I hate small talk and gossip. I haven't got a clue what went on in Love Island or whatever is the most popular tv chat. So I'm quite limited in what I think I can talk to new people about.

One thing I find helpful to start doing if you have social anxiety is to have a list of topics you feel comfortable talking about.

I've started up a mental bank of things to talk about and hopefully strike a conversation. Especially for that awkward part when you first meet a group of people.

Don't forget to ask questions. You want the other person to talk too. That way, you have time to breathe.

Just be honest that you feel nervous. Chances are there will be someone else there who will be worried too.

Group of people together having a glass of fizz in a post about five things to start doing if you have social anxiety

5. Reward yourself

Don't forget to reward yourself. No matter how big or small the achievement.

Even if it was because you lasted half an hour at an event. You went! Next time you can aim to stay for an hour. You can do it!


How do you deal with social anxiety?

Lots of love, 
Helen x


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4 comments

  1. I can't quite express just how helpful this is Helen! I suffer from social anxiety quite bad at times and it often runs plans so I will definitely be referring to your post when I can feel it coming up, bookmarking!

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

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    1. Aww thank you so much Jordanne! That's so kind. Anxiety needs to do one doesn't it x

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  2. Abigail Kathleen24 October 2019 at 16:13

    Yay! Such a helpful post, so lovely to meet you! It's a comfort to meet someone who suffers with the same anxieties.

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    1. Aww thank you! It was so lovely to meet you too xo

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