We all have probably talked about anxiety, we have discussed social anxiety, talked about how it’s important to recognise and acknowledge the issue. And, of course, about the signs of anxiety and how someone from our immediate circle of acquaintances might be suffering from it.
After all the discussions, motivational excerpts and solutions, it’s time we talk about some pragmatic coping mechanisms for this common and disguisable disorder.
Before starting, let’s understand what exactly is social anxiety in simpler terms? ANXIETY, in general, involves an extreme feeling of fear, apprehension, nervousness, uneasiness and worrying. Social anxiety, on the other hand, involves all of the above symptoms, but, in case of social situations.
Now, this is not about the disorder, it’s more about how to come out of its grip. And for that very reason, you need to firstly come to terms with the fact that it’s okay to have anxiety. Some amount of fear of social settings and just mere socialisation is fine. It’s only when it gets to the point where it starts interfering with your personal and professional life is when you need to do something about it. You can’t eradicate it completely, but you can at least stop it from destroying the important aspects of your life. Take the first step now with the ways mentioned below!
Maintain a journal. You don’t have to be a writer to maintain a journal. Write about anything, everything that causes you anxiety, particular people, a task, anything. Jot down your experiences and describe how it was when you felt its familiar shiver risen up inside you. Writing about it will give you a medium to let that negativity out of your system. Also, making it easier for you to actually realise what particular situations trigger your anxiety. With that realisation, with time, you might also find the solution amongst your scribbles.
Yes. Imagine. Feel stupid while doing so but imagine how a particular situation in the future would go about, in your head. More like how you would want it to reel in reality. Picture yourself calm and contained in a situation which might have chances of triggering the toxic feelings of anxiety. Adapt the same trick in cases when the past experiences threaten to cloak you in fear or nervousness. Imagine yourself just as calm and collected as you wish you were back then. You can’t go back in time and fix all the anxiety induced turmoil but it will definitely make you feel a little better about it.
Social anxiety and self-consciousness go hand in hand. Being self-conscious is just a symptom of social anxiety. Have you ever noticed what exactly causes you social anxiety? Social situations. People. But most of the time, it’s when you get looked at, stared at, judged. When people look at you, you tend to get self-conscious. What will she/he think of my hair? What will they think of me if I don’t speak well? What if they judge? I am sure she doesn’t like me. Self-consciousness. Which is closely related to self-esteem.
You deter from social situations sometimes because people might talk to you and judge you which would make you self-conscious and in turn lower your self-esteem. You see the problem is not even in the people. It’s our tendency to over-think that gives rise to all of the above issues. Whether they judge you or not, you end up doing that yourself before them. If you are well aware of your dark and gold qualities and come to terms with them, love them. Then you wouldn’t ever feel any less confident. It’s just a matter of knowing yourself, loving yourself and embracing your qualities.
Talk to someone. Anyone, about it. AND, DON’T EVER BE ASHAMED ABOUT IT. It is NOT an ABNORMALITY. It’s normal and extremely common. These issues are universal. So, talk to someone about it. Make them understand. Tell them what and how you’ve been experiencing. Talking to someone wouldn’t mean they are supposed to give you a solution. It is not for some sort of a remedy in return. It is just about letting it all out. To feel lighter and maybe in the process you’ll learn how to control the issue!
THINK OF THE CONSEQUENCES. IT WON’T KILL YOU.
What worse could happen upon having a social anxiety attack? Embarrassment? Failure? Yes, but at least it won’t kill you. You’re still alive and breathing. So what if you failed something because of your anxiety and became a laughing stock, you can definitely work on it again. Life isn’t over yet. So walk over all the failures and embarrassments and start over again.
And again, don’t forget to KICK every toxic one who comes in the way, into the GUTTER (Not literally).
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Pursuing Masters in Literature and hold a keen interest in the subject of psychology. I live on books, writing, art, cooking and binge watching TV shows. Expressing thoughts on universal topics is my hobby, though one thing is for certain. I write better than I talk.