Handling Social Anxiety: Three Life Hacks
If you suffer from social anxiety, you may find seemingly simple, everyday tasks incredibly challenging and difficult. They leave you crippled with fear about the outcome of every problem, the reactions of others, and making simple decisions.
Left untreated, social anxiety can be an incredibly debilitating condition that can have an extremely detrimental impact on your daily life. It can even result in some sufferers being afraid to leave their house and enjoy a normal life.
While severe cases may require treatment from medical professionals, there are a few hacks you can use to help you navigate the world while battling social anxiety.
What Is Social Anxiety?
According to experts, social anxiety involves fears of being judged or negatively evaluated by others. This can result in feelings of inferiority, embarrassment, depression, self-consciousness, and low self-esteem.
While it is normal to feel anxious in some situations, social anxiety amplifies this to the point of debilitation and can cause severe restrictions on daily life.
How Can I Handle Social Anxiety?
In some cases, the only solution to help social anxiety is to seek medical treatment from an experienced professional. They may be able to prescribe medication or treatment to help.
There are, however, a few hacks you can use to help you handle your social anxiety and make the most of everyday life.
Social anxiety creates strong emotional reactions, and deep breathing can really help with these. Breathing deeply helps your body feel more relaxed. This, in turn, can help reduce anxiety.
Count the number of breaths you take in a minute before you try the exercise and take note of this number. Next, focus on inhaling in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, breathing from your stomach rather than your chest.
Aim to inhale for three seconds and exhale for three seconds, feeling the tension leave your muscles as you breathe out. Breathe this way for 5 minutes, and then count your breaths per minute. You will probably see that the number has been reduced.
Practice this a few times each day so that you are intimately familiar with the exercise. Then use it to help you calm down in social situations.
A large portion of social anxiety is fear of the unknown. Staying organized can help alleviate your fears. Arrive early to meetings to ask questions ahead of time, plan your route in advance to reduce the stress of being late, and write down any commitments or appointments ahead of time.
It can be tempting to use alcohol as a crutch to help you alleviate anxiety, but this is a short-term solution. In some cases, alcohol can result in you feeling more anxious, and can exacerbate insecurities and worries you have.
● Alcohol is also addictive, so try to avoid using it to deal with social anxiety. This is a path that could lead to more problems than it solves.
Social anxiety is an unpleasant condition and one that can cause real disruption to daily life. While the hacks above are not a complete solution, they can help you regain some control of your life and move forward with more confidence.