We all have survived at home for our better future, protecting ourselves from a global pandemic. But when we realized that the novel coronavirus was here to stay for a longer period, and there are multiple uncertainties related to it, we were bound to begin stepping out of our houses for the sake of livelihoods. However, for many people who suffer from social anxiety, now it will be extremely difficult to deal with people again. It is a mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety and while interacting with people, one can sweat, tremble, feel a rapid heart rate, or feel their mind going blank. People with social anxiety show a rigid body posture, make little eye contact, or speak with an overly soft voice and there are many other symptoms too. These people will experience a lot of awkwardness because some communication patterns like the handshake or a hug are no longer advisable now. For someone with social anxiety, the fear can come with just four to five people around. But hopefully, there are some self-help techniques to tackle the issue of social anxiety.

6 Best Ways to Tackle Social Anxiety Issues:

1. Begin small..!

Always begin small, and never hop promptly on engaging in something big to wipe out your social anxiety. Do not jump into large social situations, and initially, try going out of your way, on your own at the grocery store or malls to interact with people. If someone initiates a conversation with you, ask them questions about their hobbies or favourite stuff to do. Schedule restaurant meals with family members or friends so you can get used to eating and functioning in public. If you take on excessive discussions too soon, it can certainly result in more anxiety. Have patience, and you can build up to larger activities as you get more relaxed.

2. Stop, think, & reframe..!

One of the most beneficial ways to withstand social anxiety is to aim and reframe your knowledge of the stress you are undergoing. Answering your negative thoughts with positive ones could boost you to overcome your anxieties. According to the psychology professor Jeremy Jamieson at the University of Rochester, New York, the difficulty is that we think all stress is bad. Jeremy and his colleagues conducted a study showing that when an individual with or without social anxiety understands how their body responds to certain stress givers, such as public speaking, they encounter less stress in uneasy social interactions.

3. Prepare yourself first..!

It takes time and practice to tackle social anxiety, and it is not a short process. Quickly engaging with people can give rise to your social anxiety levels, and it can similarly affect your overall patterns to interact with someone. According to WebMD, planning previously for social situations that make you anxious can benefit you to feel confident. You might feel a small desire to avoid some circumstances because they make you anxious, but instead, try to prepare yourself for coming possibilities. For instance, if you are going on a date after a long time, and you are nervous that you will have nothing to express, try reading some items or watch videos to find a few ideas to speak about.

4. Face your fears instead of hiding behind your phones..!

Most people who experience social anxiety try to avoid engaging in social situations by using their smartphone or doing some other activities. A 2017 study found that smartphone users, those who admitted to being addicted to technology similarly displayed potential markers of social anxiety, including isolation. Isaac Vaghefi, from Binghamton University-State University, explains that our smartphones have turned into a tool that provides short, and timely satisfaction which is very triggering. Although it may appear panicking at first, it is way better to counter social anxiety, through gradual exposure to increasingly difficult social situations. Hiding behind your smartphones to avoid social interactions could do more harm than good.

5. Practice mindfulness..!

Practicing mindful meditation helps you to be aware of your thoughts and feelings in a positive way. Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the moment, without variation or judgement. In research published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, some researchers found that mindful meditation has effects on activity in particular areas of the brain. The researchers claim that 39% of anxiety levels decrease after mindfulness training.

6. Acquire an anti-anxiety lifestyle..!

Human mind and body are innately linked, and more and more data suggest that how you treat your body can have a significant effect on your social anxiety levels, and your ability to manage the symptoms of social anxiety. The Help Guide Organization suggests that while lifestyle changes are important to overcome social anxiety, they also support your overall healing progress. Some changes in lifestyle like working out daily, avoiding or limiting things like caffeine, drinking, smoking, and getting enough quality sleep are very important. These small changes can reduce overall anxiety levels and set the scene for healings.

Social anxiety can be distressing and have a huge impact on your life. For some people, it gets better as their life experiences change them with time, but for many people, it does not go away on its own without treatment. And if in case you have already tried some beneficial self-help techniques like above, and you are still struggling with preventing social anxiety, it is very important to take professional help as well. Fixing up the social anxiety issue is significant because it has a role in our mental health, and it includes our emotional, psychological and social interest. It affects how we feel and thus it is important to understand any situation related to our mental health, at any stage of life, because it decides how we handle some conditions of life, how we relate to others and make satisfactory choices.