10 Ways to Reduce Social Anxiety

10 Ways to Reduce Social Anxiety

Not everyone is naturally a social butterfly, and the last few years have taken a toll on our collective social skills as well. If you've gone a bit feral and want to reintroduce yourself to the world at large, it might be scary to start interacting with new people. And that's totally normal! Take this guide in hand to gently work on your anxiety in social situations.

Let’s face it: social situations can be nerve-racking. Small talk makes you break into a sweat, and big gatherings make you wish you never stepped out of the house. Plus, pandemic isolation and the work-from-home setup did nothing to sharpen our social skills.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who feels this way. Lots of people feel nervous in social situations. The good news is you don’t always have to be a nervous wreck around people in public.

Here are 10 ways you can reduce your social anxiety and feel more comfortable in the presence of others!

1. Start a Journal

Writing is a solitary activity, but hear us out.  A journal is a great way to remain grounded in a healthy mental state. In moments of overwhelming emotion, writing your thoughts down gives you instant relief and a safe space to process your feelings. 

Instead of sweeping negative thoughts under the rug, journals help you embrace them. It also helps you recognize when you’re falling back into negative thinking patterns. Try journaling at home, or carrying a journal with you for when you need to take a few private moments to yourself.

On top of that, who doesn’t like doing little arts and crafts in a pretty notebook?

2. Learn Relaxation Techniques

When you’re feeling on edge in a social situation, relaxation techniques will calm you down and bring you back to the present moment, and help you feel safe when you’re around other people. 

Breathing Exercise

Excuse yourself from the group and find a quiet place where you feel comfortable.

  • Take a slow, deep breath. Let your breath flow from your nose into your belly. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and let your belly puff out.
  • Breathe through your nose for a count of 4, and exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.
  • Keep repeating this cycle for at least 5 minutes, until you feel more calm and centered.

A Restful Downtime

When you get home from a particularly draining get-together, treat yourself to a relaxing and restorative practice. Take a luxurious bath, put on your comfiest pajamas, play a movie, and then take Verma Farms Sleep Gummies before you doze off.

3. Ask Your Support System

It can be awkward to admit that you feel social anxiety. It helps if you share it with a trusted friend or loved one. They’ll know how to support you.

You’re gonna be more comfortable knowing that you’re with a person who knows how to put you at ease. Plus, your loved one can bring you out of your shell. Over time, you’ll feel comfortable around other people, even if your friend isn’t around.

4. Learn How to Navigate Small Talk

Dread small talk? Don’t fret. Here are a few tips to arm you the next time you have no choice but to talk about the weather:

  • Give the person your whole attention. Be an active listener.
  • Make eye contact when you’re speaking with them.
  • Ask questions and be interested.
  • Answer in sentences rather than a few words. 

If you want the conversation to continue, try asking more open-ended questions. That would elicit more stories and anecdotes. 

All of that is going to be difficult at first, but you’ll get better with practice.

5. Feel Comfortable in Your Skin

It’s difficult to be comfortable around other people when you’re not comfortable in your skin. That’s why one way to tackle social anxiety is to feel great in what you’re wearing. Here are some tips:

  • Choose outfits you feel comfortable in. The way you dress influences the way you think. So if you choose an outfit that makes you feel beautiful, you’re more confident in navigating a social situation.
  • Take care of your body. Knowing that you’re on your way to a stronger, healthier version of yourself will improve your self-image. So work on building healthy habits, too.

6. Sign Up for a Cause

Joining an advocacy group is a great way to get yourself out of the house and meet members of your community. Whether it’s helping animals find new homes, cleaning up the beachside, or volunteering at a kitchen, you’ll be exposed to people whose interests align with yours—and you’ll likely feel more at ease around people if you have a common ground. 

Plus, nothing feels more fulfilling than helping others. It’s proven to boost our mental health.

7. Take a Class

Another way to find people with common interests is to join a class. Whether it’s a cooking class, a pottery session, or the gym, joining a class will expose you to new social situations and practice your social skills. And it’s always fun to learn new things.

8. Know When to Say Yes

You might have gotten into the habit of declining every offer to go out. If your goal is to get better at socializing, start saying yes to invitations. You might feel anxious at first, but the more you do it, the less fearful you get.

9. Know When to Say No

There should be a balance between saying yes and saying no.

Set boundaries and recognize when it’s time to say no. When the social gathering seems like it will be too much for you to handle—like an impossibly large crowd filled with strangers in a noisy place—it’s okay to say no.

Don’t feel guilty for just staying at home. Savor it! Chill out with a homemade cocktail with a dash of Verma Farms Mint CBD Oil, and call it a night.

10. Be Kind to Yourself

Last but not least, practice kindness toward yourself. Remember that it’s okay to feel anxiety when you’re around people—you’re not alone. By acknowledging this, you can start to change it.

Also, you don’t have to force yourself to be a social butterfly overnight. Like all things, you should take baby steps, little by little. Who knows? Maybe a few months down the road, you’ll be the one who’s initiating the coolest watercooler conversations at work.