If you’ve ever been to a party or large social event and felt afraid of being judged, out of place, afraid to talk to new people, or worried about embarrassing yourself, you’re probably familiar with the term, “social anxiety.” Social anxiety or social phobia is an unrelenting fear that can negatively impact your day-to-day life, relationships, and self-confidence if it’s not addressed, so here are 5 things that can help you get your social anxiety under control.
Going to see a psychologist doesn’t make you weak or crazy. Let’s move past this stigma because everyone can use some psychotherapy.
Sometimes getting everything off your mind and out into the open helps relieve anxiety more than figuring out the cause of it all, and a psychologist will be there to listen to every bit of it -judgement free.
A psychologist can help you organize and compartmentalize your thoughts and feelings, and give you strategies to cope and work with them on your own.
In order to get medication to treat your social anxiety, you’ll need to meet with a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
Medication can help with managing overwhelming feelings of distress, and give you a chance to enjoy time spent in social settings, without having to worry about the fear usually associated with it.
While it’s a great way to ease the stress, medication shouldn’t be used indefinitely. Work out a plan with your mental health professional to cycle on and taper off of your medication. The goal is to eventually be able to cope with your feelings without it.
Alternative medicines such as cannabis have been shown to effectively treat things like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Talking to a licensed medical marijuana doctor is usually just a phone call away.
If you’d like to learn more about how medical marijuana is used in this way, check out this article on Veriheal.
3. Stay In The Moment
This isn’t always easy to do, but it can help more than you may know! Keep your attention off of yourself and on others around you. Keeping the focus on others gets you out of your head, and gives you a chance to be friendly and outgoing instead of shy and closed off.
Staying out of the spotlight will minimize social pressure and the potential for triggers.
The fear of being judged, talking to new people, or embarrassing yourself all starts in your mind, so keep your attention on what’s in front of you -not what’s inside you!
4. Keep a Journal
Sometimes therapy isn’t a viable option, and even if it is, journaling is one of the best tools to begin doing the inner work necessary to overcome social anxiety.
Journaling gets your thoughts and fears out of your head and onto paper. Sometimes just writing down what you’re feeling and why you think you feel that way can help you see the negative thought cycles you get trapped in.
Documenting your thoughts and feelings everyday in this way will allow you to keep track of your thoughts and fears so you can look back on them later on with a different perspective.
Don’t just write down the negative either, you can learn just as much from your positive thoughts as you can from the negative, so get it all down in your journal!
5. Stop Overthinking
Whether it’s a comment someone made in passing, or a nasty look you think someone gave you, overthinking things can cause loads of unnecessary stress, making it impossible to enjoy social gatherings.
Reality is often much simpler than you think. That comment probably wasn’t directed at you, and that person probably isn’t constantly aware of their own facial expression (who is?).
So instead of telling yourself to stop overthinking (which can result in overthinking), just remind yourself to think simpler.
Overthinking is caused by fear, so get to the root of that fear and face it with the love and acceptance you deserve!
Social anxiety can leave you feeling like you don’t belong anywhere, but if you work on yourself by talking to a therapist, journaling, and using alternative medicine if necessary, you can start to feel open and sociable again.
Just remember to stay present, think simply, and love yourself along the way!