Social anxiety this summer doesn’t even sound right on the tongue! However, many of us will struggle this year trying to be social without anxiety so that we can have fun this summer.
In the previous years, you may have missed out on the fun due to social anxiety holding you captive in your home. “What if I say the wrong thing” “What if I look stupid” “What if I embarrass myself” and many other negative anxious thoughts preventing you from having fun!
You may have convinced yourself to go out only to count down the minutes before you can return home. Instead of having a good time and challenging your anxiety, you (like many of us) are uncomfortable the entire time and come off as standoffish.
Many of you know my story and my daily struggle to look and behave as “normal” as possible. However, it is hard and it is not always easy to do from day to day.
What if there is a way to have fun this summer and overcome social anxiety! Here are tips to make it happen!
Use this workbook for severe anxiety relief!
Tip 1 To Overcome Social Anxiety: Meditate
Before, during and after be sure to center yourself and find your peaceful place. Meditation helps to calm your mind and improves focus. This is especially important as anxiety will amp up in uncomfortable social situations (as I am sure you know).
Meditation helps to calm your mind, think and remind yourself that you are in control of you and what happens to you. If you are worried about the things you are not in control over, use meditation to remind yourself what you can do and do that!
Here is one of my favorite meditations: Calm Safe Place!
Tip 2 To Overcome Social Anxiety: Journal
I have preached about journaling for your mental health and will continue to do so until you begin to journal! Journaling has so many benefits that you may be missing out on!
It may seem counterproductive to write about your problems however it is very beneficial. You will be able to notice a trend and begin to identify triggers to anxiety. You can also use this trigger worksheet if you are uneasy about journaling!
After going out socially, take a few moments to journal and identify any moments of discomfort while out. Be sure to also note what worked when you were out. If you were out and your social anxiety was triggered, what did you do? Did it help or hurt you? What do you think could help you next time?
Tip 3 To Overcome Social Anxiety: Give Yourself Grace
If you were only able to be social for one hour, congratulate yourself for that! It took so much courage to walk out of your door and be social even when you have social anxiety.
The best way to overcome anxiety is to participate in social activities and affirm your efforts. If you find yourself degrading your efforts here is an easy way to challenge those thoughts:
- Would I say this to a friend?
- Is this a helpful thought?
- What is a more helpful thought?
- How does the helpful thought make me feel?
And move forward from there! Do not ruminate on what you did not do but rather what you did do! A great way of ensuring you do this is to download this free gratitude tracker!
Tip 4 To Overcome Social Anxiety: Go out again!
Nothing to it but to do it. Overcoming social anxiety includes being social. Though I know it is easier said than done, it must be done!
Go out for 5 mins, an hour, for dinner anything and give yourself grace if you do not meet the goal you set. Instead identify why you were so uncomfortable at dinner or with a particular person. Sometimes there is not a “what” for your trigger but rather a “who”.
If you learn that there is someone who is triggering anxious thoughts and moods when you go out, you may need to re-evaluate your relationship. If you notice that going to being in an enclosed space is triggering you may not want your first outing to be to the movie theater.
I hope these tips help, as they have helped me out a lot! I have come from being the flaky friend to the dependable friend simply by showing up. I still have some anxiety however it does not impact my ability to have fun with family and friends. I am able to rationalize my thoughts and challenge them to make peace within and you can too!
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