The term social anxiety is used when someone fears interacting with other people. The cause of such anxiety is different for different individuals. Social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder which is medically treated by psychotherapy and anti-anxiety medications. Alprazolam is a common anti-anxiety pill that is available at medambien. However, you must always consult your mental health professional before taking any medicine for anxiety relief.
People suffering from social anxiety find it difficult to go to job interviews, first dates, working meetings, conferences, family events (weddings and birthdays), and parties. As a result, they try to avoid social interaction as much as possible. Unfortunately, this may lead to unhealthy behaviour and isolation, both of which are detrimental to their physical and mental health. You’re not alone if social anxiety has affected your daily routine and lifestyle.
6 effective tips to reduce social anxiety
Usually, when someone has social anxiety, it is because of the fear of judgment. Most people with social anxiety fear attending parties, family events, work meetings, etc. They are afraid of speaking up in front of a group of people.
Fortunately, social anxiety can be managed by following certain helpful tips that are easy to do. Some of them are as follows:
- Prepare beforehand
Preparing yourself before a meeting, whether it is physical or virtual, always makes it a little easier to adjust and not feel overly anxious. Preparation may include practising your conversation in front of the mirror, wearing suitable and comfortable clothes, and putting items you need in the meeting all in one place. If you’re going to a physical meeting, put your files along with other necessary items like pens, a notebook, some snacks, and a travel-size moisturiser in your bag before sleeping. Place your keys, water bottle, phone, and portable charger somewhere that is easily visible.
If you’re going to have a meeting online, place your necessary items, including your charger, nearby so that you don’t have to get up and search for them during the session. For privacy reasons, you can also use a background to conceal the rest of the house during a video.
- Mirror practice
Conversing with yourself in front of the mirror reduces the anxiety and awkwardness you feel before speaking up in a gathering. You can practice common introductory dialogue with yourself and make it engaging by adding similar interests and exciting questions.
Additionally, you can practice the ideas you would like to convey to the audience or any questions about the topic. If you want to participate in the discussion but don’t know how to initiate it, consider the issue and note down potential questions before the meeting. For example, you have a presentation. You can rehearse the presentation in front of your family members, friends, or peers. This will significantly help ease your anxiety and make you feel comfortable while speaking in public.
- Don’t ignore your feelings
You shouldn’t disregard the anxiety and fear you feel prior to meeting someone. Ignoring your stress and burying your fears forcefully will only make the condition worse. Remind yourself that your fears are valid. This will help you acknowledge your feelings and search for the causes that make you feel this way. Finding out the root of your anxiety is the key to overcoming it effectively. For instance, if you get anxious before a meeting because of what people may think of you, try to find a solution by asking yourself questions like “Have I done anything bad to them?” or “How long has this person known me?”. Keep asking yourself questions so that your brain has to think of a reasonable response every time. This will help calm your nerves and not worry unnecessarily.
- Give yourself positive feedback
Review your performance after you’re done with the meeting. This will help you identify your personality’s weak and strong aspects. Write down any compliment or appreciation you received during the meeting. Don’t feel upset if you get criticised. Note it down as well. In reality, criticism is more important as it helps a person to improve. Positively use this criticism to strengthen your weaker points. So that the next time when you attend a meeting, you will be better and exude a more substantial presence than before.
Meditation is one of the most effective and universal ways to deal with anxiety. Meditation helps to calm your nerves. Try simple meditation techniques such as breathing exercises and reciting a mantra for 10 to 15 minutes before going to a meeting. This will help to clear your mind and relieve tension. Meditation also helps in increasing your focus and concentration. You appear more attentive and relaxed, which is often viewed as being confident and self-assured.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
If you think you need professional help for your anxiety, your healthcare provider may advise you to get CBT. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most widely used therapy for anxiety. This therapy is divided into two parts, i.e., cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy.
The first part of CBT deals with helping you modify your perspective and views in a healthy way. People with social anxiety often perceive their surroundings in a negative sense. They feel less optimistic about a given situation. Cognitive therapy helps them to realise the possibilities of alternative interpretations of that situation, which may be better for their anxiety.
The second part of CBT is called behavioural therapy. Here, you are taught to overcome the cause of your anxiety. You are placed in a situation which instils anxiety in you. It may not be easy at first, but gradually, it gets better.
You need to know that everyone has social anxiety to an extent. You can overcome your social anxiety by practising self-dialogue, meditation, and CBT. Whenever you feel anxious before meeting someone, remember to assure yourself you’re doing great. Proper guidance, along with professional medical support, can significantly impact your social anxiety and help you gain self-confidence, increased self-worth, and a calm mind.