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What Are the Best Tips for Social Anxiety Self-Help?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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Social anxiety is a problem with a number of different causes, and attempting to solve this problem alone can be difficult. Even so, there are a number of social anxiety self-help techniques that can be useful for most people suffering from this disorder. Most of these solutions involve practicing social interaction and remaining calm. It can also be helpful to practice general anxiety-reducing techniques. When social anxiety self-help techniques do not prove effective, it is important to seek professional help if the disorder is causing a major reduction in quality of life.

One of the most important social anxiety self-help tips involves practicing social interactions. Many people find that building up to social situations with strangers is the best way to reduce anxiety over time. A great way to ease into social situations is to go out with a friend with whom the sufferer is already familiar. The friend can provide security and support if the situation becomes overwhelming.

Another good tip for social anxiety self-help involves practicing without assistance. Essentially, a person must force himself to do things that are uncomfortable but logically free from danger. These might include calling a person on the telephone, asking for directions, or having a conversation with a stranger. Whatever the situation that causes anxiety may be, a person must confront it and become desensitized in order to reduce anxiety.

Sometimes, a person suffering from anxiety gets flustered after having made a mistake, which makes his or her anxiety worse. Staying focused on moving the interaction forward and letting past mistakes go can be a great self-help technique. Anxiety often creates a negative spiral, which makes it hard to recover from perceived mistakes in social interactions. Changing thought patterns not only about anxiety but also about personal failures can help with social anxiety overall.

General anxiety treatments can be very helpful as social anxiety self-help techniques. Typically, a person experiencing severe anxiety will respond to focused breathing, although it sometimes takes practice to get breathing under control. Relaxation of both the mind and the body can help reduce anxiety, but the way in which a person relaxes may be different given the situation. What is most important is having a method that is reliable and reduces anxiety in tense situations.

For some people, social anxiety self-help will not be effective except in combination with medication. Even when taking medication, it is still usually a good idea to practice some self-help techniques. These can often be recommended by a doctor and may allow a person to get off medication eventually.

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