Social anxiety is a painful experience. Being short of breath, sweaty, and fearful is no fun. Knowing your triggers can help reduce anxiety and activate a game plan to get yourself through an event with as little discomfort as possible, but sometimes being social is unavoidable. Here are some pro tips for being social when you feel anxious.
Pro Tip #1. Protect Your Senses- Being anxious affects all the senses. Sometimes over stimulation of the senses can trigger anxiety. Do what you can to protect your senses during social situations. Wear sunglasses and wear layers in case you get heated. Use headphones to play soothing music or listen to meditations. Do whatever you need to protect the senses that tend to become overstimulated.
Pro Tip #2. Sit Beside Someone- Being face-to-face can feel overwhelming to people with social anxiety. Try to sit side-by-side when possible. The non-threatening stance can help avoid panic or overthinking.
Pro Tip #3. Use a Mantra- Consider a soothing mantra you can recite when you feel anxious. Pre-plan a statement or phrase to recite inside your mind when you feel overwhelmed.
Pro Tip #4. Tapping- Tapping is a resource therapists use to console and redirect anxiety. Consider learning this technique to help alleviate anxiety in social situations.
Pro Tip #5. Small Doses- Be mindful to engage in social connection in small doses. Take a moment to yourself in the bathroom or outside to recharge your batteries and disengage for a moment then return to the social gathering refreshed.
Social anxiety is tough to manage when you don’t have tricks up your sleeve. These pro-tips will help you work through some of the anxiety and make it possible to engage with others without feeling overwhelmed.