There are many different kinds of anxiety, one of the most common ones being social anxiety. A basic definition of social is when you become overly anxious in situations involving social interaction. These feelings usually stem from underlying feelings of embarrassment, self consciousness, and the fear of people judging you. We live in a day and age where everyone is caught up in comparing themselves to other people. It’s been ingrained in us to believe that we have to look and act a certain way from a young age by the people around us, authority figures, and celebrities. Having those thoughts in the back of our heads, we can become obsessed with wanting to be “perfect.” This is a very toxic way of thinking, however, because it consumes us and ends up creating an endless cycle of self doubt. That way of thinking has become a common root of social anxiety and anxious behavior in general. For far too many, social anxiety controls our lives. It affects our abilities to be around people for too long, and stops us from doing the things we want. Social anxiety feeds on fear, no matter how irrational. For social anxiety in particular, there are many ways to combat it.
Identify your triggers: For many people, their social anxiety rises to the surface due to a trigger. Triggers can be different for every person, but are usually related to past trauma of some sort. It is important that we become aware of what can be triggering to us, and communicate those things to the people closest to you, so they can help in the case of a panic attack.
Keep a journal: It may seem unnecessary at first, but keeping a journal of your thoughts whenever you are feeling happy and while you’re in the midst of a panic attack, has helped so many people understand their feelings. It will help us discover our triggers, as well as what we can do to make us feel better.
Branch Out: As scary as it may sound, putting yourself out there with other people can help your confidence tremendously. It allows us to meet new people and practice being in social situations, which will hopefully help you to control your anxious thoughts.
Set goals: Setting several small goals to meet every month, or even week, helps to be optimistic about the future. It also shows that even if it doesn’t feel like it, we are constantly growing and bettering ourselves.
Accept yourself: The hardest thing anyone can do is to acknowledge and accept their faults, but it’s vital in improving your mental health. We have to understand that perfection doesn’t exist. The best we can do is accept who we are, and continue to make improvements based on the goals we set.
Social anxiety can be very scary, but once we understand what the underlying issue is, we can begin to take the next steps in fighting it. It won’t be easy, but it will come in time.