13 Sep How to Reduce Social Anxiety and Increase Self-Confidence
Do you know how to reduce social anxiety? Many of those who suffer from feeling insecure, shy or anxious anticipate the worst outcomes when it comes to engaging with others (even peers that they know). What many people don’t recognize is that having some anxiety is healthy, we just don’t always know how to handle it. If you learn about how your body responds to fear, you can implement skills to feel more confident.
Some social anxiety is common. The feelings of worry and excitement, fueled by the neurotransmitters dopamine and adrenaline, occur when you anticipate an event that could be fun or fearful. If you recognize this as a biological sensation that almost everyone experiences, your social anxiety may reduce, helping you feel more secure.
If you’re faced with panic, intense emotions or find yourself in a new situation and anxious or insecure, it’s okay. Learning to feel confident in social situations takes time. Practice and awareness leads to ease overtime. Here are the best tips to reduce your anxiety and improve your confidence.
5 Ways to Reduce Social Anxiety and Feel Confident with Others
Be Aware of Your Body Language.
Nonverbal communication, such as posture and facial expressions, is as important as your words. Slouching and looking at the ground makes you appear to be uninterested and insecure, which makes it hard for others to approach you. In disagreements, it can make you seem like a pushover (as if, literally, someone could push you over). Standing up straight reflects confidence, even when you feel anxious or insecure. You can remember to do this by pushing your shoulders back and looking in a window or mirror from time to time to catch yourself. Notice how often you are making eye contact. Just one or two seconds can make you appear more invested in the conversation.
Be mindful of your tone of voice.
A friendly or gentle tone of voice is helpful in any kind of interaction, especially an uncomfortable one. When you are mindful of how you say things, you will feel more confident and others will feel at ease. Stay away from sarcasm. Speak clearly.
Become a better listener.
People who appear confident and secure in social situations act like they are listening. Put down your phone, take out your ear buds, and try to focus on what is being said. Look directly at the person who’s talking to you.
Check the facts.
If you find your thoughts are focused on anxious outcomes, stop and check the facts. A client did this with success and recently she said, “When I was worried what my new friends would think of me for showing up to a party I was invited to, I remembered that they invited me so they obviously want me there.” She was able to see the truth, her friends probably wanted her there.
Research shows that smiling can change your brain chemistry, too. A small smile can improve your mood and makes other people respond more positively. Smiling can make you seem more approachable and confident.
Using these tips can help you manage all types of social situations better. Not only will you feel more confident, others will see you that way, too.
Authored by: Emily Roberts, MA, LPC