Social situations are part of every person’s life. Whether you are 15 or 55, you are going to encounter other people throughout the days and weeks. High school and college are the years where your social encounters can be the most frequent.
For a person with anxiety, these situations can be immobilizing. The thought of seeing someone you don’t get along with or meeting new people can prevent you from being excited about the situation. I myself have let my anxious thoughts and feelings prevent me from going somewhere or doing a specific activity. In the end, it doesn’t help me to confront my anxiety; instead, it often makes me think more about the ‘could haves’ of the situation and prevents me from having fun.
I’ve realize that I cannot let my anxieties overcome me. I need to overcome them. Which is easier said (or typed, in this case) than done.
Personally, my anxieties involve hoards of people that I don’t know and those that I don’t care to be around. Unfortunately, if I let myself take this mindset, I often don’t notice those that I do like to be around. I’ve had to take on my own mind to help fight off these anxieties.
Here are some of the strategies that I use in my own anxious social situations:
1) Take someone with you that you are completely comfortable with whether it be a close friend, sibling, roommate, or a boyfriend/girlfriend. Often they will already be aware of your anxieties and will stick with you throughout the event/situation.
2) Before you go, take the time to put on clothes that make you feel good. Be your own confidence booster, if you are happy with the way you look, your confidence will show.
3) Look yourself in the eye (in a mirror) before you go and remind yourself out loud: “This is JUST anxiety. I am BIGGER than these feelings. I am going to have FUN tonight!”
If you use any of these or any other confidence boosters on a regular basis, you will notice a great difference in your own attitude and anxious feelings. It takes time, and effort; but if you can change your thinking to believe you will be okay in situations, you will be.
What do you use to talk yourself out of anxious situations? Here at Anxiety in Teens, we would love to know your personal tips and techniques. Check out our Facebook page to join the conversation!
By: Jocelyn Rinke