Top 5 tips on how to deal with social anxiety

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Living with social anxiety hasn't been easy and with age, it's something I've learnt to deal with and improve over time. I'm a lot more comfortable in social situations now, and I think that's a mix of self-confidence and learning how to deal with social anxiety as a whole.

Top 5 tips on how to deal with social anxiety

Whether you suffer from social anxiety or are have recently been diagnosed, here are the top 5 tips on how to deal with social anxiety.

Realising and understanding your triggers

With any form of anxiety, there is always something that triggers you off to feel anxious. As they say, anxiety isn't the cause, it's the symptom and that's why it's so important to realise what is triggering you, to help deal with your anxiety.

The best way to do this is that every time you feel anxious socially, note down when you started feeling anxious and the things that made you anxious. Then, you'll be able to tally up the things which are causing your anxiety and figure out ways to tackle this, and what you're able to do in those situations to make you feel better.

Gradually ease yourself into social situations

You're not going to be socially confident overnight, like with anything, dealing with social anxiety can take time. The first step with anything social is doing what you're comfortable with, whether that means only hanging out with your best friend or your mum. Then, from there, slowly give yourself the push. This could mean adding more people to the group to hang out with, saying yes to a big event, making that phone call, or speaking up in a meeting.

If you set yourself little goals regarding your social anxiety, gradually you'll build up the confidence to do things and be okay with socialising, and feel more comfortable with your anxiety and how to deal with it.

Plan as much as you can beforehand

Anxiety is all about staying in control and that's why planning and staying organised is one of the best things that can help you deal with anxiety. Obviously, when it comes to social anxiety, it's a lot harder to control what can happen and what the social situation will be like. However, there are things you may be able to plan beforehand which can help you stay in some level of control and potentially, not trigger off your anxiety.

For example, if you're planning to go out with friends, whether it's drinks or a meal, try and go somewhere that is familiar to you or a place that you've been to before. This way, you'll have the safety of something familiar and happy to you, that can help ease how you're feeling. You can plan an outfit that you're vibing in, bring someone along that'll make you feel comfortable or simply, read the menu before you head to the restaurant. Little things like this can put your mind at somewhat ease before you head out on your social venture.

Always have a code P plan

My friends and I came up with the 'code P' idea years ago where basically if we're on a bad date, we can text each other 'code P' and they will ring us to get us out of there asap. However, the same kind of principle can be applied here. With anxiety, it's always good to have a 'get out' plan for any type of anxiety as that way, you will feel safe. And with anxiety, it's so important to have that safe element.

With your social anxiety and the plans or things you're doing which will trigger you, you need to put things in place that'll be a 'code P' plan for you. This could be having someone to call to get yourself out of there, having a code word with your friends to know you're not comfortable, or simply driving to the venue so you always have a mode of transport to get home.

Praise yourself for your accomplishments

It's important to praise yourself with anything in life, especially when it comes to anxiety. Anxiety is hard to live with, it's a constant voice that questions everything you do, and that's why you need to be your own cheerleader for the little things. Smashed that phone call? Amazing. Didn't get panicky at a social gathering with friends? Well done. Went on a spontaneous date? You're incredible. All these things, you need to praise yourself, the same you would your best friend.

By praising yourself, it'll give you more confidence to push yourself with your social anxiety. And, over time, you'll then find yourself in situations you never thought you would be in. I used to be absolutely terrified of talking to new people, making phone calls, or ordering in restaurants. Now, these things come a lot more naturally to me as over time, I've built the confidence to do all of those things so they're not a big problem the way they once were. 

Time, praise, confidence, and determination will help you deal with your social anxiety. It's a long road but once you take the chance to try, you'll get better and better and I'm so proud of you for doing it. Anxiety is up and down and some days are harder than others, but always look back on the journey you've made and you'll realise how far you'd come.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

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