Social anxiety is a mental health condition, which results in intense and persistent fear. There’s a fear of judgment, rejection and scrutiny by other people. This causes immense distress and can affect an individual’s daily functioning. In some cases, people battling social anxiety avoid social events and this can lead to isolation and decrease in self-confidence. Hirak Patel, counselling psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund suggests a few tips that can help you cope better.
Tips to beat social anxiety
Develop healthy coping skills to deal with ongoing social anxiety. It starts with acknowledging the mental health condition, which can better equip you to overcome it.
- Work toward acceptance of the condition
Remember anxiety is a treatable condition and many people battle it regularly.
- Challenge your own negative beliefs
Negative beliefs reinforce anxiety, so one needs to challenge the negative belief by asking certain questions. Is this the reality or my assumption? Am I jumping to a conclusion? What are the alternatives? By challenging these beliefs one can identify the negative thinking pattern. This helps you see the situation in a balanced manner, breaking the vicious cycle of negative beliefs. Use positive affirmations and avoid doubting or criticising yourself all the time.
- Practice mindfulness exercises
Take time out to practice mindfulness and relaxation exercises. It can calm and relax an anxious mind. Focus on the present moment, and avoid negative coping strategies like smoking, drinking alcohol.
- Set realistic goals for yourself
There is a desire to always be perfect. Try and breakaway from that as it leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Seek professional help if necessary, and develop a support system.