When there’s uncertainty surrounding a situation or event, it can cause anxiety for many and especially when it has to do with socializing or interacting with others where fear of scrutiny is possible, this is known as social anxiety. Social anxiety is something that children, adolescents and adults can experience in their daily lives and is treatable through therapy and exposing ourselves to social interactions.
TIPS FOR OVERCOMING SOCIAL ANXIETY
1) Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques
There are different types of mindfulness activities that can help you be more present in the moment (i.e. mindful walks, eating, breath work, meditation, etc.). Having mindfulness in your toolbox can help you prepare for potentially anxiety inducing events, as well as help you stay mindful in conversation, instead of being in your head and letting your worries take over.
2) Identify Support People and Ask for Help
It’s okay to admit that you’re worried or anxious about an upcoming event or social situation, and it’s helpful to identify support people in your life that you can express these worries to, or come with you to the social situation. This can help in the beginning, even if your overall goal is to become less dependent on others over time. It can be helpful for those beginning exposures and can lay the groundwork for lessening anxiety. Practicing with a support person who brings you comfort can greatly help in building your confidence until you are ready to become more independent with social settings.
3) Gently and gradually expose yourself to anxiety-inducing situations
First and foremost, it’s important to identify social situations that can induce anxiety or fear. Starting with the lower stress scenarios and working your way to more difficult ones. Again, starting with the lower stress situations can help build confidence, to help you face your fears of more challenging social situations on your list. Practice, practice, practice! Check in with yourself and reflect on these exposure events have felt for you and what you have learned in the process.
4) Seek Therapy
A trusted therapist can help talk with you through your worries of underlying anxiety due to social situations. Therapists can help challenge maladaptive core beliefs, reinforce adaptive ones, and help with mindfulness training through a variety of different therapy modalities.
Here at Heartland Therapy Connection, our therapists use therapy modalities such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and more, to help with any social anxiety you may be experiencing! We also have a wide variety of topics of group therapies starting this January 2023!
Call or email us today at 816-287-0252 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!