How To Deal With Social Anxiety

How To Deal With Social Anxiety

When dealing with social anxiety, being around people can be almost unbearable. You might start to feel anxiety symptoms such as blushing, sweating, trembling, palpitations, stammering, and nausea. When these anxiety symptoms are present, it can be tough to follow the groups’ conversation let alone contribute to it! But no worries, all you have to do is remember the abbreviation SOLAR to helps you get though the social situation until you can get back home.

S – Smile

Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. Even though you are feeling uncomfortable being in the social situation… smile. Not a huge grin or anything, just a slight, small smile. It will make you look friendly and approachable to other people.

O – Open Posture

It can be so tempting to cross your arms or legs (if sitting) when in a social setting. But having a closed posture tells people you are not listening or involved in the conversation. Having an open posture implies to the group that you are open to hearing what others have to say.

L – Laugh

When social anxiety is present it can be hard to follow the group conversation and you may miss jokes people make. But don’t stress; you don’t have to hear the joke to laugh. Just remember, if the group is laughing… laugh with them. This will make you a part of the social group and signal to the others that you are enjoying their company.

E – Eye Contact

Even if symptoms of social anxiety are affecting your ability to concentrate and participate in the group conversation, it does not mean that you cannot engage in the conversation. Just look at whoever is talking as it conveys that you are engaged and interested in what the person is saying.

R – Relax

So this one can be the most difficult. For people dealing with social anxiety it can seem impossible to relax but in doing so other people will feel more comfortable around you. You may again have to fake it till you make it. Try to relax your body as much as possible. Don’t fidget nervously or show the anxiety with distraught facial expressions. Make your body look as calm as possible, even if anxiety is wreaking havoc inside.

 

     Meet Julia Smith

Julia Smith, MEd, RCT-C, CCC, is a mental health counsellor in downtown Halifax. She helps kids, teens, and young adults who are struggling with anxiety, stress, and depression. Click here to learn more about her downtown Halifax counsellor practice!

Insight Mental Health Counselling