It is all right to feel awkward and hesitant in certain social situations. However, if you blush, tremble, shake or have difficulty in talking and making eye contact while socializing, at all times, you might be suffering from a phobia, called 'social anxiety disorder'. Intense fear of situations in which you will be judged and feeling humiliated or embarrassed are amongst the telltale signs of the disorder. Whether it is because of negative experiences in the past, new work situation or social environments, you need to get over the anxiety at the earliest, lest it affects your lifestyle or, more importantly, your health seriously. Learn how to overcome social anxiety disorder, with the tips given in the article.
Overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder
- You need to learn how to handle the situations that are likely to trigger the symptoms of social anxiety in you. First of all, assess your fears - identify the situations that escalate your anxiety. Now, put yourself in a social situation you would like to avoid otherwise. It may cause some embarrassment initially, but to overcome the social anxiety disorder, you need to face it, rather than running away from it. The more you are exposed to tense situations, the less strained you will feel with time.
- Another technique is to role play a particular situation before facing it. If you are about to attend a get-together, you may practise the situation beforehand. Take the help of your close friend and practice, as to how you will introduce yourself to others, how you will initiate a conversation, etc. This will banish the build up of anxiety, when you are in a social situation.
- Dine with your close friends, acquaintance or relatives in a public setting, frequently. By going out more often, you will tend to decrease the hesitation of facing new people. Instead of eating at the same restaurant time and again, visit different eateries, so that you come across new faces and atmosphere every time you go out.
- Inculcate the habit of making eye contact with people, every time you greet them. Look at their eyes, while talking. Be the first to greet them. Say 'Hello', with a smiling face. This will increase your confidence while talking to people and also help you overcome social anxiety.
- You may hesitate while striking up a conversation with others, because you feel that you do not have anything to talk about. If this is the case, then start browsing through the newspapers or magazines, to find interesting topics that you can converse on.
- Another way to open up with people is to ask about their whereabouts, family and hobbies. By showing interest in others, you will find yourself getting away from the anxiety that you feel while facing a social situation.
- Step outside your comfort zone. Go out and talk to strangers. You may apply this technique when you feel that you have got rid of the instant triggers of anxiety. You may ask for directions, to reach an unknown place, from a stranger. This way, you will be able to overcome the phobia.
- It is very important to feel good about yourself. Individuals with social anxiety disorder often suffer from inferiority complex or view themselves as uninteresting and boring. Remember, nobody is perfect. Everyone has good as well as bad qualities. Improve your self-worth, by concentrating your positive traits.
- Take great care of your health. Eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. Relaxing exercises are considered some of the best natural cures for social anxiety. Try to have a regular and sound sleep. Manage your stress levels, by indulging in yoga and meditation. This will provide you visible positive results.