3 Quick Tips For Dealing With Social Anxiety

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Social anxiety is more than just shyness, it’s an overwhelming fear of social situations which can be debilitating for some people, making school, work or socialising really difficult. Do you worry about speaking to new people? Hate going to parties? Dread social events or fear you’re going to embarrass yourself? Then you may be suffering from social anxiety. If you’ve been staying in more because of the pandemic it can also increase your levels of social anxiety, and it can feel overwhelming to start going out again. Read on for some tips on how to help.

1. Talk About It

The main treatment for social anxiety is talking therapy. You might consider talking to your GP to see what options are available in your area. A counsellor would allow you to work through your anxieties and help you find healthy coping strategies.

Talking about it to friends can also help. Try thinking through your anxieties with them, or writing down what seems to trigger you in social situations. See if you can challenge any irrational beliefs that may have about going out.

Seeing things from a different perspective can be helpful and another person can help you with this. Take a look at my post about How Metaphor Can bring Insights in Therapy for some ideas.

2. Routines

Adopting healthy routines like making sure you have regular sleep, eating well and getting some exercise can help you be better prepared to deal with the anxiety.

Try writing down what you would like your daily routine to look like. Include time for regular nutritious meals, getting outside and plenty of sleep. Also include some downtime just before bedtime to help you wind down. Our brains and bodies crave habit and routine and this can leave more energy for the things we may struggle with.

3. Mindfulness

Mindfulness can take many forms. In essence it is focusing on the here and now, rather than worrying about the future. Therefore mindfulness can help to ease your social anxiety by calming the nervous system and allowing you space to relax.

Check out my 3 mindful moments for some quick mindfulness tips.

A note about neurodivergence

As a neurodivergent counsellor, my clients often come to see me with social anxiety. Although all these tips above can still be very helpful, for autistic or ADHD individuals for example, it can run deeper. When you’ve had years of masking, miscommunications and rejection sensitivity, social anxiety can be the result. Often in these cases, building up a more positive neurodivergent identity and finding people you can feel comfortable around are incredibly important. Being aware of how your neurodivergence affects you in social situations can help too (e.g are you overstimulated in certain environments) – and accepting that maybe there are times you don’t need to push yourself. For more on this see my other blogs around neurodivergence or look at our website for information about our services.

Amy is a counsellor specialising in neurodivergence and the founder of Newglade Counselling. She has created a team of neurodivergent counsellors who work online and face to face around Canterbury, Kent. Amy also provides parent support sessions, clinical supervision and delivers training in therapy and neurodivergence. For more information about our services contact us here

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