How To Overcome Social Anxiety & Feel Better About Yourself

It's natural to feel nervous in social situations, but social anxiety is more than just being shy.

Social anxiety (or social phobia) can be so severe that it's almost crippling. It can prevent you from getting ahead in your career, having successful relationships or even having a normal life.

Social anxiety can have both physical and emotional symptoms.

Physical symptoms of social anxiety often include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Blushing
  • Muscle tension

Emotional symptoms may include:

  • Intense feelings of fear when interacting with people you don't know
  • Difficulty making eye contact
  • Fear that you’ll be judged by others
  • Worrying about doing something that might be embarrassing or humiliating

Do you experience any of these symptoms when you are in social situations, or do you find yourself trying to avoid situations in an attempt to escape feelings of nervousness or inadequacy?

If so, read on! Below are ideas, suggestions and solutions to social anxiety.

Overcome social anxiety and solve your problem, click here.

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      • Seek professional help.

        If you’ve tried these strategies listed below, but you’re still having moderate to severe social anxiety, it may be time to see a therapist or medical doctor. This is especially true if it is having a negative impact on your life.

        • A therapist can give you additional strategies for dealing with social anxiety and a doctor can prescribe medication that can help.
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        • Learn to face your fears.

          Putting yourself in a social situation forces you to deal with your anxiety and allows you to find ways to cope with your fears.

          • For example, consider doing some volunteer work. Although you’d be working side-by-side with strangers, they’d be like-minded individuals with a common goal. This would make it easier to interact with them.

          Look on the bright side.

          Try to see the good in every situation you face. If you're in a social situation that you're afraid of, face your fears head-on. Chances are that you can find something about the situation that makes you smile. Once you get into the swing of things, your fears will shrink.

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          • Challenge negative thoughts.

            Learn to recognize when negative thoughts are creeping up. Think things through logically and avoid giving into overly critical thoughts.

            • For example, perhaps you get very nervous when meeting someone new. You might think that you’ll look foolish or say something to humiliate yourself.

            • When this happens, stop and think it through logically. If you say “hello” to someone and ask them a few questions to get to know them, are they really going to think that's foolish? People will probably find you articulate and intelligent.

            • Think about what you want to say to someone before you say it.
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            • Learn to control your breathing.

              When people get nervous, it's very common for their breathing and heart rate to increase. Consider trying this breathing exercise:

              • Find a comfortable chair to sit in. With your shoulders relaxed and your back straight, place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.

              • Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose and hold it for several seconds. When you breathe deeply the hand on your chest will move very little, while the hand on your stomach rises.

              • Exhale slowly, letting the breath out of your mouth and pushing out as much air as you can.

              • Repeat this process until your heart rate drops and feelings of nervousness subside.
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              • Practice makes perfect.

                If your social interactions are few and far between, you limit your chances of success in these situations. Instead of avoiding social situations, start by seeking small, less intimidating opportunities to practice social interaction.

                Give it time.

                Most of the time, the anxiety you feel around new people subsides. The awkwardness you feel from the new place and unfamiliar faces will, in time, give way to interesting encounters and fascinating conversations if you give it a chance.

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                • Be yourself.

                  Remember that people generally want to get to know the real you. Most people you meet will be just as nervous as you are. Make others feel at ease by being yourself and asking questions about the other person. As they open up to you and the conversation gets rolling, you'll feel more and more comfortable.

                  • Remember that people are less concerned about your flaws than you are. Social situations can be overwhelming when you try really hard to be perfect. Sometimes you'll make mistakes. Even embarrassing mistakes can cause you and those around you to feel at ease if you learn to laugh at yourself. And, most people will understand if you make a mistake. They're just as intimidated.
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                  • Join a group or club.

                    Groups and clubs are great places to practice social interaction with others who share the same interests that you do. Many groups exist, and you're sure to find one or more that cater to an activity or subject matter you're passionate about. This makes conversations easy as well.

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                    • Bring a friend.

                      A good way to be more comfortable around strangers is to have someone with you that you already know. If your friend is more outgoing, he can help you easily integrate into existing groups and conversations.

                      • If possible, find someone you already know who's in the group and hang with them. Odds are good that they'll talk to others and include you in the conversation.

                      Find someone like you.

                      One of the biggest challenges shy people face in new environments is feeling like they don't belong. It can seem daunting to fit in when your mind is telling you all the reasons you should be embarrassed. But if you look for someone like you, you can rest easy knowing that you're both nervous so you can help each other to adapt to the social pressure you both feel.

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                      • Talk about things you like.

                        A funny thing about conversation is that you never struggle to talk about things you're passionate about. Look to integrate yourself into groups that are already talking about things you like, and the event will go much more smoothly.

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