How To Manage Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a debilitating mental health issue that can make it difficult to participate in social situations. For those who suffer from social anxiety, everyday activities like going to work or school, meeting new people, or even speaking on the phone can be incredibly difficult.

If you struggle with social anxiety, don't worry — there are things you can do to feel more at ease in social situations. This article discusses three steps you can take to overcome social anxiety. 

Understand Your Triggers

If you suffer from social anxiety, you know how difficult it can be to manage your symptoms and feel relaxed in social situations. However, you can manage social anxiety by identifying your triggers.

A trigger is anything that causes your symptoms to worsen or sets off a cycle of anxiety. Common triggers for social anxiety include particular people or situations, feeling judged or misunderstood, and negative self-talk.

Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to work on avoiding or managing them. For example, if you tend to feel anxious around certain people, you might try to avoid them or limit your interactions with them. If feeling judged is a trigger for you, you might work on building self-confidence and learning to accept yourself.

Understanding your triggers is an important step in managing social anxiety and overcoming your fear of social situations.

Create a Social Anxiety Action Plan

An action plan is simply a roadmap that outlines what you should do in various social situations.

For example, say you're invited to a party but are worried about mingling with unfamiliar people. Your action plan might include steps such as arriving early so you can scope out the room and identify potential conversation partners. Also, you could introduce yourself to one new person within the first half hour and focus on positive self-talk throughout the evening.

The key is to identify specific coping strategies that work for you and then practice using them in real-world situations. With time and practice, you'll find that your social anxiety action plan becomes second nature. And you'll feel more confident and relaxed in social situations.

Talk to a Registered Clinical Counsellor

While medication can be effective for some people, it's not the only treatment option for social anxiety. You could try talking to a registered clinical counsellor.

Clinical counsellors are trained to help people understand and manage their anxiety. They can provide strategies for dealing with specific situations, such as public speaking or meeting new people. 

Through individual counselling sessions, you can learn to identify and manage the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to your anxiety. You'll also have the opportunity to practice using coping strategies in a safe and supportive environment.