Self, Health And Wellness

How To Calm Yourself Down When Social Anxiety Kicks In

Photo: JJ Jordan on Unsplash
How To Calm Yourself Down When Social Anxiety Kicks In

Does your heart begin to race at the thought of having to stand in front of an audience and speak? Do you get cold chills or avoid eye contact when you meet new people?

If you are uncomfortable in social situations, you're not alone. These signs are common symptoms of social anxiety.

RELATED: What It's Like To Struggle With A Social Anxiety Disorder Every Day

Concerns about public speaking, visiting new places, or meeting new people are common fears. According to a 2013 study reported in The London Times, most of us fear speaking in public more than we do dying or going to the dentist!

Luckily, there are many positive methods to deal with social anxiety.

Here are 5 expert tips on how to deal with anxiety and calm yourself down when you suddenly feel uncomfortable in social situations.

1. Practice positive visualization.

Many of the fears we face in social situations involve imagining the worst thing that might happen. Practice imagining the best thing that could happen the next time you feel nervous in a group setting.

When you replace a fear with a positive vision, you put the power of your subconscious mind to work for you rather than against you.

2. Avoid stimulants.

Caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants can all increase the amount of anxiety you might feel in a social situation. Limiting their intake and following a healthy diet will increase your sense of well-being.

Try to get a good night's sleep the evening before an upcoming social event. You'll be well rested and less prone to anxiety the next day. Avoid the temptation to drink alcohol excessively at these events as it can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress.

RELATED: 5 Ways For Introverts To Overcome Social Anxiety

3. Learn to relax.

Focus on your breathing: Take slow, deep breaths and consciously relax your muscles. Yoga, Tai-Chi, and meditation are all excellent disciplines that can help teach you how to calm down and naturally lower your anxiety.

4. Practice interacting with others.

You can feel more confident and calm anxiety by practicing what to say and do in various social situations.

Get started by asking a close friend or loved one to help you practice by saying "hello," shaking hands, smiling, and making eye contact. As you gain confidence from these short interactions, slowly increase the number and duration of your social encounters.

Focusing on others in social situations will also help reduce your stress and anxiety.

5. Repeat positive affirmations.

Rather than focusing on the things you are your flaws, focus on your positive qualities and traits.

There is incredible power in the spoken word! Create your own affirmations by making lists of your positive traits and repeating them out loud to yourself each day.

Examples of affirmations to decrease your anxiety are statements such as: "I can handle any social situation because I am brave," or, "I enjoy meeting new people and interacting socially with others."

It can be difficult dealing with social anxiety, but it is not an impossible task. The more you practice these methods, the easier it will be to overcome your anxiety, calm down, and enjoy social situations.

RELATED: 7 Things People Don't Realize You Do Because You Have Social Anxiety

Moira Huchinson is a mindfulness coach, energy healer, and hypnotherapist at Wellness With Moira. Visit her website to learn more about healing the areas you feel stuck in your life.