If you are struggling with social anxiety, you’ve probably read the common suggestions already on how to get rid of your disorder- traveling, attending public events, networking, joining a support group, or going to places with a lot of people. Doing these social activities could help you widen your social experience and help you get used to being around people. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has introduced social distancing protocols that require physical distancing and recommend against travel and mass gatherings. If you are trying to get over your social anxiety, these social distancing restrictions can be a deterrent to your progress. How can you get over your social anxiety if you’re being prevented from being in social situations?
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Being isolated is often the consequence of being socially anxious. If you are afraid of what people will think of you or not being accepted, one common solution is to avoid people and social events altogether. This is also one of the reasons why people suffering from social anxiety often turn to drugs and alcohol as a means to cope.
However, just because there are current social distancing rules does not mean that you should stop working towards getting better. Aside from talking to a professional therapist who can help you get rid of your anxiety, you can also try out positive activities that can contribute to your progress.
Mindfulness meditation is a solo activity that you can do even at the comforts at your own home. Even if this is not a social activity in itself, practicing mindfulness meditation can help you deal with social anxiety. There have been numerous studies showing that mindfulness meditation has long-term benefits for people suffering from anxiety and that it helps control the body’s fight or flight response.
When you are experiencing social anxiety, this triggers your fight or flight response, which causes rapid heart rate, shaking, and having trouble breathing. Mindfulness meditation can help you learn how to regulate your breathing and relax at the first signs of anxiety. It can help also you focus on the present moment instead of worrying about what hasn’t happened yet.
Watch Stand-Up Comedy
Many people who experience social anxiety are often overcome with worry that they will be humiliated or laughed at by people. This fear is what causes them to freeze in social situations and become overly conscious about how to act. If you are experiencing the same thing, one method to avoid feeling this way is by learning how to loosen up. Laughter, as the cliché goes, is the best medicine.
Start by watching stand-up comedy shows or listening to podcasts. In many stand-up comedy shows, comedians often make fun of themselves, their sorrows, and uncomfortable topics. They try to find humor in the most awkward situations. Watching these shows could help you also find the humor in your situation. While social anxiety is a serious condition, finding humor could lead you to find the cure in your anxiety problems.
Join A Virtual Book Club
If you’d rather read a book than go out with people, turn this hobby into something that will help you get over your social anxiety. Join a virtual book club that can help you meet new friends who share your passion. The great thing about joining a book club is that there will already be a topic to be discussed so you don’t have to worry about running out of things to say. A book club will also help you become comfortable in sharing your thoughts and opinions with other people.
Go On A Group Outdoor Hike Or Try Extreme Sports
An outdoor hike is an ideal activity that you can do with a group of people while still maintaining a physical distance. This is a “baby step” if you’re not yet comfortable doing things around a lot of people because you are typically not required to talk with one another and interaction is minimal. Being in nature is also beneficial for stress and anxiety so it helps increase your happiness levels.
If you’re ready to face your fears, trying out a social-distancing friendly extreme activity like indoor skydiving or go-kart racing is something that could benefit you. These extreme activities can help you realize that you are stronger than you think and that even if you do something that scares you, you can manage it.
Teach Conversational English Online
Are you scared of meeting new people? Are you the type who usually clams up when you talk to people for the first time. One way to get over this nervousness is to try teaching conversational English online.
There are English teaching platforms where you can sign-up and have English conversations with people who are trying to practice the language. You don’t need to have a teaching degree as long as you are a native English speaker. In addition to practicing your conversation skills, you can also earn money in the process!
If you are struggling with anxiety and substance abuse, help is available.
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