These tips will get you away from your TV or computer and have you socializing in no time.
If you're noticing that you are too involved in media and not living your life, then what are you waiting for? I know there is a time and place to simply relax, unwind, and distract yourself with media, and that's fine. I'm actually talking about people who avoid life because dealing with anxiety seems impossible, especially those with social anxiety.
Come on, you know who you are. You wish for a more fulfilling life, you feel bored, and you know that you can change it. Where to begin and how to start evades you. In the evenings after work or on weekends, you find yourself plugging into media. I know avoiding life with media can be attractive and make it easy to avoid dealing with what you need to. But let's be truthful—you end up feeling lonely, bored and doomed if you don't try to socialize. You may have come to believe that your reality will always be like this, and that other people have it all figured out. Well, I'm here to tell you that things can be different, and you can decide to start today.
1. Assess the situation for what it is. Ask yourself why you are stuck. Are you trying to wait until you feel motivated to be social? Do you fear you have picked toxic friendships or people from the past, and want to avoid the hassle of dealing with potential conflicts? What would you need to learn to overcome obstacles? Is it skills with setting limits, telling people "no thank you," or learning how to breathe so you don't get a panic attack when interacting with people? These are more common than you know and there is help for you.
2. Realize that anxiety is a normal feeling when presenting oneself to a new situation and wishing to perform well. This feeling actually helps us do our best and not embarrass ourselves. The goal is to recognize it as just a feeling. Notice in your body where you feel the tension. Evaluate what you find helpful to change what you are doing. Breathe deeply and tell yourself that you are safe.
3. Think about other situations you thought would not go well, but you actually succeeded in. I believe in the "fake it until you make it" philosophy. It becomes adaptive to keep moving forward and conquer our inner thoughts, rather than give in and withdraw to safe environments and people. That pattern can be adaptive, but is an obstacle to your happiness. This is where a therapist can be helpful to give you tools to develop skills to overcome the obstacles.