Where to Begin in Overcoming Social Anxiety

Things you Can Do Today to Reduce the Stress and Overwhelm

from Your RAFT Counseling Team

You have to mentally and physically prepare yourself for your weekly run to the grocery store.

At work, you tend to keep to yourself. You much prefer the glare of the computer screen to someone else’s eyes staring back at you.

You often meal prep and eat at home to avoid having to go out in public.

Just the thought of going out with friends or to a party causes your heart to start racing and a pit in your stomach.

You know that how you’re feeling is unreasonable, but you’re also not sure what to do about it. Not sure when to begin overcoming social anxiety? We have some tips!

Focus on Your Breathing

Anxiety can cause your breathing to change. Your breath may quicken and the breaths you take may be shorter compared to your normal breathing pattern. This can cause you to feel like you’re suffocating, which can only increase the anxiety that you’re feeling.

Focusing on your breathing can help slow down your breath back to a normal state and help with other anxiety symptoms in the process. There are many different breathing techniques out there. Try a few of them out and see what works best for you. Here’s one to start with:

  1. Sit down somewhere (it can even be the floor).
  2. Sit up straight while relaxing your shoulders.
  3. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
  4. Breathe in slowly for 4 seconds.
  5. Hold your breath for 2 seconds.
  6. Slowly release your breath through your mouth for 6 seconds.
  7. Repeat until you feel relaxed.

Move Your Body

Exercise can be a great way to help reduce your anxiety naturally. Exercise has been proven to be a natural stress reliever, as well as a natural mood booster.

Try to get your body moving for at least 30 minutes each day. You can move your body however you choose to do so. Just make sure it’s getting your heart racing and blood pumping.

Go for a walk outside. Hop on your bicycle or exercise bike. Head to the gym or try a new workout class in your community. You can also sign up for a yoga or meditation class.

Practice Makes Perfect

It may be a scary thought to think about putting yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable, but growth doesn’t happen if you’re constantly in a state of being comfortable.

You don’t have to immediately throw yourself into a large party. Start small and work your way up to something bigger. Go to a coffee shop instead of making your morning coffee at home. Call up a friend and ask if they want to grab lunch or dinner at a restaurant.

Lean on your friends for support. You can tackle this together so you feel more comfortable in the moment. These small steps will help build confidence. Give yourself enough time and practice before moving on to something larger. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. It will take time, but it will get easier with time and practice.

Seek Additional Support

Despite what your social anxiety may be trying to convince you, you’re not alone. Your friends and family are there to support you no matter what. You can lean on them through the good times and the bad. That being said, if you feel uncomfortable reaching out to them about how you’re feeling, it may be time to reach out to an unbiased third party for additional support.

A trained and licensed therapist can be exactly what you need to help get to the root cause of your social anxiety and help you find ways to cope with how you’re feeling.

Reach out to us today to set up a consultation.

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