Overcoming Social Anxiety and How to Deal
How do you know if you are suffering from social anxiety?
Do you feel unworthy of taking up space in a room or a social setting? Find it tough to connect with others or feel misunderstood? Do you sometimes feel alone or like you’re being watched or judged? Have you been looking for some guidance on overcoming social anxiety?
If your answer was yes to any of the above, you may be suffering from social anxiety. I have personally struggled with this my whole life and I know that it can completely disrupt your life and relationships. That’s why I have put together some of the best practices that I have learned. I hope to help you cope and gain some confidence back to go about your daily routines. To help you with overcoming social anxiety.
Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be substituted for professional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek advice from a mental health professional or another qualified health provider with any questions regarding your condition.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety
Symptoms may include things like; No sense of joy, people watching you, feeling tight/tense when talking to people, feeling unworthy, sweaty or clammy, constant self-sabotaging thoughts, heart palpitations, feeling faint, loss of words, difficulty maintaining eye contact.
Before we dive in, I just want to say You are NOT alone ❤️
I’ll touch on some of my own experiences with social anxiety.
As a child, I was reticent and kept to myself. I wouldn’t say I was anti-social by any means however I enjoyed my time alone and preferred to make friends with dogs, frogs, and earthworms to be precise.
I grew up with two younger brothers one a year younger than myself and the other eight years younger. From the time I started Kindergarten to the time I finished high school, I attended about nine different schools. Moving was always tough but I managed to meet amazing friends and a good portion of them I still keep in touch with today.
High school came fast and so did the anxiety. It was in my grade nine English class that I experienced the first real sign of panic and it scared the hell out of me. The teacher had the class take turns reading a book and when it came around to my turn I completely froze. I told the teacher I’ll pass thank you. The class started to laugh, and I turned to pitch red and ended up leaving the room. I was so embarrassed to return to class the next day so I skipped it. I eventually did return and pretended as if nothing happened.
Needless to say, from that day on I was plagued with fear of something like this happening again. Social anxiety has most definitely disrupted my life and relationships in many ways. I participated in many different things that weren’t good for me to try to numb myself or cope.
After many years of doing the wrong things to help pull me out of this rut, I finally got on the right track and started to create healthy habits and implement some new practices into my daily routine. It wasn’t easy, to say the least, and I am grateful for that. I truly believe that the Universe will grace you with these experiences to help you grow and learn things about yourself that no one will ever be able to teach you. Because of anxiety, I have learned some great lessons and now have some valuable tools that I can use in my everyday life.
Where did this start? Why is this happening to me?
These are the questions we ask ourselves when we’ve had enough right? Why can’t I just be confident in myself to hold a conversation with someone and not be thinking about running for the hills? Why am I like this?
Let’s start by learning a bit about shadow work and how it can help to dissect why we have come to experience social anxiety in the first place.
What is Shadow Work? Shadow work is working with the unconscious mind to uncover parts of yourself that you have been repressing. Things like past traumatic events, or parts of your personality that you subconsciously perceive to be undesirable.
A few pieces of advice with this practice are to go deep, go slow and work from the inside out! There isn’t a quick fix that is healthy or long-term. You are the greatest project you’ll ever work on. Take your time and create magic!
2 ~ Cultivate self-compassion. This is immensely important as it will be difficult to navigate our darker stuff. If you’re open to crystals, grab rose quartz!
3 ~ Start by identifying one thing at a time. Think about a pattern in your life you tend to replicate that you feel might be holding you back. Be brutally honest with yourself and let whatever needs to come up surface now.
You may feel the urge to judge or get upset. Stay neutral and remember to have sh*t loads of compassion for yourself.
4 ~ Record/Journal your discoveries and practice as often as you can.
5 ~ Integrate
The purpose of shadow work is to start loving yourself for who you truly are. To set shame and judgment-free and be your true authentic self unapologetically.
If you’re interested in going deeper into shadow work, here are a few websites that I found super helpful :
This is one of the greatest tools for healing from any kind of anxiety or trauma. Journaling is something I feel everyone should do. It’s not only a great place to vent and get things off your mind, but it’s also an exceptional tool for self-discovery.
The thing about journaling is you can make it whatever you wish. You can journal your feelings, your grocery list, what you ate that day, and how many times you thought about donuts.
Some journaling prompts that I found beneficial for overcoming social anxiety :
What may have initially triggered anxiety in you?
Do you feel misunderstood and what is the biggest misconception you think people have about you?
Why do you think people think about you that way?
Think about a time when you were under stress. How did you respond to the stressful situation?
Try to remember a time when you were really sad. Explain in detail what was sad and how you navigated through it. (try this release meditation)
What is something that makes you feel powerless?
Name 3 things that scare you the most and why?
What is a big challenge in your life right now?
What is one thing you want to change about yourself?
Do you feel like overcoming social anxiety is possible for you?
Now, keep in mind you don’t need to rush through these questions. You don’t even have to use these questions. These are just for your guidance to get the creative juices flowing in the right direction. Take your time and really dig deep here. Again, have so much compassion for yourself here and just let it all out.
I’m confident that the things that you discover about yourself will blow your mind.
Inner Child Healing
This is a topic that deserves its own post completely which I will work on in the future. It is a practice that has helped me so much on my journey and I know it will help so many others that may not be aware of the practice.
I do want to let you know though that this work is inevitably going to bring some very strong emotions to light. This is all a part of the process of healing however if at any time you feel that you need to pause or you find it to be too much I urge you to stop and try to come back to it another time.
1 ~ Write a long descriptive letter to your inner child. Let them know that you are here and you love them. Have compassion for things that they may have gone through or hurt they may still be carrying. Tell them it’s ok now and let the sadness go.
2 ~ Close your eyes. Sit down with the intention of connecting with your inner child. Let them know you see them – you hear them. Let them know that you value their safety and that you will only make the best choices for them now. It’s important to establish safety before your inner child will release the repeating cycles of the past.
3 ~ Listen to what your inner child is saying to you or trying to show you. Where did your anxiety start? Does your inner child have any suggestions for you on overcoming social anxiety today?
Again if you need to pause at any time please do. This is not an easy practice but it’s courageous and extremely beneficial if you want to see long-term results.
4 ~ Journal and integrate. Write down your feelings, discoveries, and any important information that you got from your session.
I really hope that these practices help to guide you in the right direction to true healing. We are all on a different journeys on this planet and I believe that we are here to help each other through this game called life.
It’s easy to fall into self-victimization, but doing that will quickly turn your thoughts into something very negative and is completely counter-productive to your personal development. Remember that we aren’t the things that have happened to us and we aren’t our thoughts.
If you commit to putting in some deep work you will see results. You will see changes in the way you view life and the people around you – the way you go about your daily routine. Overcoming social anxiety will be dust in the wind.
You’ll start to see new opportunities arise because guess what? The Universe responds in full force when you’re putting in the work!
Love you all! Thank you for stopping by 🌸