Anxiety refers to the condition where we worry excessively about the daily things. Some of the symptoms of anxiety are nausea, sweating, restlessness and overthinking. Anxiety can be triggered by various things. For some people, being in a social situation surrounded by people can trigger anxiety and stress – this is known as social anxiety. “Part of dealing with social anxiety – or any form of anxiety – means coming up with strategies to help you in those triggering times. For social anxiety, this typically means activities and events. Basically, anything involving other people,” wrote Therapist Kelly McKenna as she explained how social anxiety affects people.
Addressing ways of managing social anxiety, Kelly further added, “Identifying your triggers can be a helpful first step. Once you know what situations are likely to cause you anxiety, you can start to develop a plan for how to deal with them. For many people, this means gradual exposure to the trigger to desensitize themselves. For others, it means using coping mechanisms like breathing exercises. For most people, it’s a combination of strategies.”
ALSO READ: Hidden signs of social anxiety
The Therapist further noted down a few practical strategies that can help in managing social anxiety:
Plan your escape: When we go out of the comfort zone to try out new things, as a backup we can keep an excuse ready to use it in case we feel triggered.
Reflective listening skills: One of the signs of social anxiety is not knowing how to carry a conversation forward. When we try to use reflective listening skills where we mirror the things that the other person is saying and then ask questions based on that, it can help us to have a good conversation.
Small talk topics: in social situations, often we need to make small talk. While it can be scary for people with social anxiety, it’s good to have a few small talk topics up the sleeve to use them when needed.
Bring a friend: When social situations start to trigger us, we can ask a friend to accompany us. Having a known and safe person around can make us feel safer.
Regulate the nervous system: Trying new things that make us happy or meditating can help us to regulate the nervous system and make us feel at peace.