As we move into the final months of the year, we often find ourselves being offered many opportunities to catch up with friends and family, attend events and soiree’s and get out into the social scene. 

For business types and entrepreneurs, this time of year also brings opportunities to network and make new connections, which can really set you up well for the new year ahead. 

However, as exciting and enjoyable this can be for some, for others the thought of having to attend a social gathering can be extremely overwhelming – and their social anxiety can rise.

With social anxiety being defined as ‘anxiety anticipating a social situation or anxiety during or after that situation’, many people who experience social anxiety tend to actively choose to avoid all situations where they know there is a potential that they will feel anxious and uncomfortable. 

If you find yourself experiencing signs and symptoms of social anxiety, and it’s something you want to be able to control; take a read below of the 5 ways to break down social anxiety. 

Practice deep breathing and meditation every day

Many of us underestimate how important it is to stop and breath.

Learning how to control your breath before, during or after an anxious situation is really important in order for you to be able to overcome it in the long run. However, practice makes perfect with this technique. 

Practicing deep breathing and meditation every day is key, so that it eventually becomes second nature to you when you know you need to use it as a coping technique.

There are many apps and self meditation books and audio available, so definitely get your hands on those for further information and techniques. 

Look at your surroundings when in social situations

When you find yourself in a social situation where you feel anxious or uncomfortable, try and take the focus away from yourself and how you’re feeling, and focus on what’s around you – distract your mind and focus outward to lower the anxiety. 

For example, think about what colour the walls of the room you are in are, what objects you can see, or count how many people are in the room.

This will hopefully take your mind off how you’re feeling, even if it’s just for a moment. 

Learn more about who you are

This one may sound a little difficult to do – but it’s really important to learn more about who you are, so that you can start to manage the times when you experience social anxiety, or anxiety in general. 

Learn more about what may make you anxious, and what doesn’t and work with that. Also, take a look at what good qualities and things you CAN offer in social situations.

Talk to someone who can relate to how you’re feeling

Social anxiety and anxiety disorders in general are becoming increasingly popular, so it is likely that you will know someone who experiences the same or similar feelings to you. 

This is why it’s extremely important to talk to someone who you know and trust, about how you’re feeling. Not only will you feel better for sharing and lifting it off your shoulders, but you can also work together with them to sort through how you’re feeling.

Work with a therapist

If you know that your social anxiety is getting a little too much to handle, it’s important to talk to a professional therapist and seek some assistance. 

This in no way means that you are not capable of dealing with it, but it means that you will get the professional help that you deserve in order to get through it. 

There are many other ways in which you can start to manage your social anxiety – however these are just a few trigger points to get you started.

Remember, you can always reach out to gain assistance if you are ever feeling like it’s becoming something that you cannot handle on your own!

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