How to Become Stronger When You Have Social Anxiety

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You can become stronger even when you have social anxiety. Getty / Melissa Ross

Question: How can you become a stronger person when you suffer with social anxiety?

Answer: Being strong involves courage, self-care, self-awareness, and having a support system.

Develop courage by facing situations rather than detaching from them. Take action, and build your mental toughness. When you conquer your fears, you will develop the confidence needed to handle problems as they arise.

If something scares you, don't run in the other direction.

Be clear about your goals and values, and take steps to reach them even in the face of obstacles. Although you may feel discomfort, in the long run you will build strength.

Take care of yourself mentally and physically. Get regular exercise, eat good food, and get lots of sleep. Take time away from your worries, write in a journal, and tell people "no" if you are feeling overwhelmed. Try to always strike a balance between facing your fears and taking a time out if things become too much.

Develop self-awareness and be mindful. Know that not all situations will be easy and that when social anxiety strikes you will feel bad. Be prepared for emotional crises. Try to "bend" instead of "breaking" in the face of adversity. Stress is temporary. You will get through it.

Though social anxiety may make it difficult, try to build a support network for yourself. An SAD support group may be the most understanding.

You don't want others who will solve your problems, just those who will offer a caring ear to listen. You might even consider volunteering with an organization that helps others with anxiety, to meet like-minded individuals and help people at the same time.

Sources:

American Psychological Association: The Road to Resilience

Psychology Today: 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People

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