Returning to campus after the pandemic has come with its challenges, and for many of us, diving back into social environments after so many months of isolation has been one of them. For the majority of students, introverts and non-introverts alike, social anxiety has been a challenging reality to grapple with and I’m here to assure you that there are ways to overcome this. As someone who battled social anxiety throughout grade school and spent hours researching and asking others for advice in order to overcome this, I’ve compiled a list of tips that have worked wonders in helping me cultivate a healthy social life that you can also use when you are feeling socially anxious.
Be available for social opportunities
It takes practice and constant exposure to social environments in order to observe and adapt to a range of human interactions. Making yourself available to group hangouts, club events and volunteering opportunities allow you to experience meeting a wide range of people with different personalities that will help you reflect on your own social temperature. You cannot meet anyone if you stay at home all day, but once you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you will realize you have a lot more in common with people than you once thought. Socializing with like-minded people will eventually become effortless and can help you quickly expand your social circle!
Shift your mindset
Reframing your thoughts and acknowledging an alternate view of your fears will help snap you back into reality and improve your mood. I like to ask myself questions of whether or not my fears are realistic, which helps me gain a better understanding of my situation. Our fears of judgment and embarrassment are often irrational and blown out of proportion, and even if something embarrassing does occur, understand that one instance doesn’t define you and people are likely to forget. Remove yourself from wanting to be liked by everyone and shift your focus on whether you even like them. This will take the pressure off of acting and saying everything perfectly and put you in more control of your emotions.
Take deep breaths
In moments when you find yourself anxious and unable to speak, remove yourself from the situation to ground yourself. Take a moment to relax your body and lower your heart rate by taking deep inhalations and exhalations until you are ready to move into the social environment again. Re-centering yourself through breathing exercises is a great way to physically and mentally bounce back into social …….