Overcome Social Anxiety

by Jason on May 14, 2009

overcome social anxiety

Are you hiding from life? Do you find excuses to avoid gatherings, special occasions, parties or even dating?

Do you find yourself panicking the moment the slightest bit of attention is placed upon you? Does the Idea of being in the limelight terrify you? Are you constantly worried that you’ll embarrass yourself infront of other people? If you’ve answered yes to some or all of these questions, chances are you suffer from some degree of social anxiety disorder.

I’m not trying to label you here. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you for having social anxiety. But if you do have it, you should be open and honest with yourself about it. There’s nothing worse than someone who blatantly has social anxiety disorder and does absolutely nothing about it. They simply carry on living their lives in complete terror of social interaction.

See, I used to be that person. For years, I’d go through my day dreading talking to ANYONE. I always felt judged, on the spot and generally awkward. I thought I was just doomed to suffer a life under the hot lights, never able to relax in the presence of others.

When I would interact people, the situation usually ended with me profusely sweating, tripping over my words and with a pounding heart that felt like it was going to pop out of my chest.

Really, I wasn’t even looking for a solution at that point. I just kind of accepted my anxiety and figured I’d have to deal with it for the rest of my life. I’d just grit my teeth and get through every social occasion, uncomfortable the whole time. Things were hopeless and I began to retract myself more and more from life.

Eventually, the problem got bad enough to where I finally broke down and started researching how to make it right. There just HAD to be a way to get this horrible anxiety out of my system. After LOTS of reading and much trial and error, I’ve found some really effective techniques to overcome social anxiety.

Fortunately for you, there won’t be any trial and error. These techniques work for anyone right off the bat. The best part? They don’t involve medication or therapy. They’re totally natural. I’ll be revealing this powerful plan to overcome social anxiety in just a moment. First, let’s get a better understanding of what social anxiety disorder is all about.

Understanding Your Social Anxiety

 

Social anxiety is characterized by the intense fear of embarrassing yourself. The fear is so extreme that you’ll avoid nearly any situation where you’d need to interact with one or several people at a time.

You may feel watched or like you’re being closely evaluated by those around you. In reality it’s all just in your head, but that can be a hard concept to grasp for most social anxiety sufferers. You’re probably constantly worried about what other people think of you and want to know how you stack up against someone else’s standards.

This fear of making a good impression is strongest with people you’re unfamiliar with.

Fear of embarrassing yourself in public is a constant worry and can sometimes lead to agoraphobia, the fear of venturing outside your own home.

Common triggers of social anxiety disorder include:

 

  • Being teased by friends or people you know
  • Speaking in public
  • Being the center of attention (like at birthday parties)
  • Having confrontational conversations
  • Taking exams
  • Dating
  • Making conversation at work or at parties
  • Facing rejection
  • Speaking with authority figures
  • Speaking up at meetings
  • Making important phone calls
  • Being called on in class or during a meeting
  • Eating or Drinking in public
  • Showing off your physique (at a pool or sauna)

There’s more but that covers a large portion of your high anxiety situations.

Your symptoms during these intense moments of social anxiety may resemble that of a panic attack. Sweating, shaking, pounding hearbeat and rushes of adrenaline are all common.

Personally, I had bouts of extreme blushing. My face would light up with red until I looked like a cherry tomato…not a good look.

The problem stems from low self-esteem and can totally be overcome with the right practices. I hope you’re excited because you’re about to learn these EXACT practices. Here’s where you start your road to recovery.

Tips to Overcome Social Anxiety

 

Avoid Caffeine
Do yourself a favor and just stay away from it. You may think that coffee makes you more sociable with its temporary caffeine rush but you’ll really just be setting yourself up for a hard crash. Once that happens, your social anxiety will take hold and you’ll feel less confident than ever. In short, cut out the coffee until you’ve got your worry under control.
Avoid Alcohol
This is pretty much the same rule that applies to caffeine. You may think that drinking makes you more confident while you’re buzzing, however, once morning hits, your social anxiety will just fill you with regret. I remember an office Christmas party where I had just one or two too many. Although I didn’t act like a drunk fool, my social anxiety made me feel otherwise the next day. I was filled with embarrassment and guilt over nothing at all. Don’t forget that alcohol is a depressant.
Get Enough Sleep
Fatigue will bring on the effects of social anxiety and depression faster than anything else. It is crucial that you’re getting at least 7 or more hours of sleep a night. Lack of energy is sure to keep you down and quiet throughout the day. In short, get some rest and wake up feeling like a million bucks.
Change your focus
In order to overcome social anxiety, you’ve got to learn to change your focus from your interior monologue to your outside surroundings.

Pay attention to people around you. I call this technique “people watching”. It’s amazing what you observe when you just take a moment to get out of your own head. This distraction will take you away from your own personal criticisms.

Remember while doing this to think in a positive if not comical light. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to see the beauty and humor in life. When you step back and observe like this, you’ll realize how much we are all the same.

Reading can be another great way to change your focus. By reading, you are actively following a script, storyline or dialogue. You won’t possibly be able to get trapped in your own negative thoughts if you’re entranced in a book. Unfortunately, this tactic doesn’t work as well with movies or tv because there are too many distractions and you don’t actively have to focus on the task at hand.

Questions are the Answer
When you’re in a one on one conversation with someone or in a group conversation for that matter, the secret to relaxing is controlling the flow of dialogue. How do you do that? You ask questions to those in the conversation and you listen intently.

See, most people (those without social anxiety at least) LOVE talking about themselves. They just can’t wait to tell you what they do, how their day was, what their pet peeves are etc. When you ask the right questions in a conversation you signal them to do what they really want to do…talk about themselves.

Not only will this allow you to sit back and relax, the person talking to you will think you’re having a TERRIFIC conversation (mainly because they’re enjoying all their own talking). They’ll also think you’re a great person because you’ve listened so politely.

Control the flow of conversation with questions. You’ll shift attention off yourself and shift the responsibility onto the person you’re speaking with. It’s a proven tactic to overcome social anxiety.

Employ Compliments

When you’re in a social situation, find something unique, impressive or respectable about the person you’re speaking with. Almost everyone has a strong point. Look for the strong point in your conversation counterpart. Once you identify it, give them a subtle compliment. Here’s an example…If you’re talking to someone who has two small children try something like this: “Wow Jan! It’s pretty impressive you still have so much energy raising two kids. You look great. I would imagine it can get exhausting raising young kids, but you look like you’re doing it like a pro.”

Here’s what you just accomplished in that little example. You gave them a subtle compliment, raising their own self-esteem AND you opened up a whole new line of conversation in which they can talk about themselves. You just became a WONDERFUL conversationalist. Nice job.

Now that particular example is just one of an infinite number of possibilities. Get creative. Remember, you don’t have to sound like you’re sucking up to the person you’re talking to. Just be polite and humble. It will show with your intent listening. Listening is the key.

Find Your Passion

Do you have a hobby or interest that you love? Are you an exceptional artist, athlete, computer guru, chef, video game player, writer, anything? When you emerse yourself in something you love, it builds self-esteem. Why? Because you’re improving yourself in some way – no matter how small.Having an interest you’re passionate about will give you something to talk about when it is your turn to speak. It’s so important to have some kind of creative outlet. Being good at anything will renew your zest for life and get your excited about tomorrow.

If you don’t have a particular hobby or interest, it’s never too late to start. It can be anything. Sewing, fishing, woodworking, painting, exercising, watching movies, checking out new restaurants – ANYTHING. Just find your “something” and love doing it.

This may sound simple, but you’d be surprised how many people have lost their enthusiasm for everday things. Having passion is what keeps us loving each new day. Find yours and follow it to your hearts desire.

The REAL Secret…

 

The secret is confidence. Gaining confidence corrects your self-esteem issues, reprograms your brain for success and gives you an optimistic, positive perspective.

The best way to start gaining confidence is by following tried and true methods that you can practice at once.

One of my favorite programs that teaches this is called “Unstoppable Confidence“. Unstoppable confidence is an ebook that systematically unlocks the doors holding you back from your most successful self.

It shows you MAJOR lifestyle changes you can start making right now to achieve your goals. The program identifies what’s holding you back from everything you want in life. Additionally it will teach you to give yourself the strength to change your life.

See, a lot of books that say they’ll increase your confidence just give you what I like to call a little “pep talk”. Sure they’ll make you feel good and motivate you for a day or so, but what then?

Unstoppable Confidence” is different. It shows you how to apply EXACT written AND psychological exercises that let you see tangible improvement in your income, appearance and you’ll feel improvement in all your everyday interactions.

This is one of my most highly recommended resources for anyone who’s looking to overcome social anxiety and finally live the life they’ve always dreamed. You can read the book right now here. Start right now and Make change happen!

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