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Ways to cope with social anxiety

There’s certainly no overnight, quick fix to curing social anxiety but there are coping tools to help make it more manageable. Here are a few tips that might help.

The number one coping tool in your belt should be the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps you be present so that you’re not worried about past embarrassments or future scenarios that might cause you distress. Mindfulness enables you to take power back over your life and your thoughts. In social situations you will be able to retreat back behind a boundary of safety where you’re able to observe, instead of getting entangled in other people’s emotions.

To calm yourself in a situation that makes you feel anxious you can try focus on your breathing. This will help settle some of your anxious sensations, stop you from feeling so overwhelmed and help you to focus your mind.

The next tip is not necessarily easy depending on the level of your anxiety but voiding social situations will only make your anxiety worse when you do eventually go out. You don’t have to go overboard but try to schedule regular social outings so that you can desensitize yourself and normalize social situations.

When it comes down to it it really doesn’t matter what other people think. The real key to breaking through social anxiety is loving yourself unconditionally and not putting so much pressure on yourself. You need to stop the negative self-talk and become your own best friend. Treat yourself the way you wish others would treat you. Love and nurture yourself the way you would your own child.

If you find that your social anxiety is crippling and inhibiting you from living a full life you may want to consider seeking help from a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Cognitive-behaviour therapy is the treatment of choice for social phobia and if your phobia is linked to generalized anxiety disorder you might be prescribed a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor such as Escitalopram.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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