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4 Tips for Managing Social Anxiety

By: Kristina Murr

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Interacting with other people can be easy for some. But for others? Not so much. And it’s not always because of shyness. Sometimes it’s about something stronger, more severe. Shyness is temporary. But when you experience real fear, when you constantly worry whether you’re being watched or judged by the people around you, then you’re experiencing social anxiety.

Social anxiety is a real and serious issue, one that makes it hard to live in this world. It follows you every time you go outside, every time you interact with just about anyone. And you don’t have the option to avoid interacting with others at all. You have to learn to manage it, but how do you even begin to go about that? It’s not easy.

1) Get Grounded

Ignoring anxiety doesn’t make it go away, no matter what the anxiety itself is about. Instead, it can make it worse, can make it stronger until waiting it out seems impossible.

It starts with acknowledging it’s there in the first place.

You can do this through different methods. Maybe you sit with your thoughts for a moment. Or maybe you prefer journaling, so you pick up a notebook and a pen and write down all your worries until you feel better. It doesn’t matter how you listen to your anxiety, as long as you find something that works for you.

2) Face What Scares You

Once you’ve acknowledged your anxiety, the next thing to do is face your fears. Anxiety makes us want to avoid them forever, but that only makes things worse in the long run. The more we avoid things we’re afraid of, the less likely we are to ever face them. If you keep running away from the situations that make you anxious, you’ll never get better at handling them.

That’s why it’s important to put yourself out there, even when it’s scary. Social situations can be terrifying, that’s true, but the best option you have is to face them. You won’t be able to cope with your anxiety until you do. This doesn’t mean you have to dive in all at once. Rather, you can work up to it.

3) Do Practice Runs

It’s true that you have to face what makes you anxious, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it without preparation. This isn’t an all-or-nothing situation. You’re allowed to start slow and build up to bigger things. In fact, it’s preferred.

Instead of joining a new club or a class, sit in on a single meeting or lesson and see how it goes. If being late to an event is what makes you anxious, that’s fine. You can always go to the place where the event is being held a day or two before. You’ll know exactly how long the trip takes and, best of all, you won’t get lost because you’ve been there before.

4) Seek Support

The most important thing to remember is that you’re not in this alone. There are many people who deal with social anxiety in the world. You might know people who struggle with the same thing. And even if you don’t, that shouldn’t stop you from reaching out for help.

Talk to people you trust. Friends and family members are your best allies in this. Even if they don’t know what it’s like to struggle with social anxiety every day, they can help you cope. But they won’t know how until you talk to them. Social anxiety is different for everybody, after all.

And, of course, you can always turn to professional help if that’s not enough. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, counseling can help you manage social anxiety better than anything else.

If you are looking for anxiety counseling in Marietta, GA or online anxiety counseling in Georgia, email us at hello@awakencounseling.com or call 678-310-0358.

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