"It is fairly common to feel nervous or self-conscious for specific events like public speaking or an interview. However, individuals with social anxiety often experience intense bouts of nervousness and self-consciousness which is beyond just feeling shy or having a generalised fear of interacting with people," says Urvashi, an emotional well-being coach.
One quick tip to deal with this kind of anxiety is to prepare yourself ahead of time. Write down a script for phone calls, practice speaking in front of a mirror before an event or a social setting. Allow yourself to be imperfect and remind yourself that you are capable of more than you think you are.
It helps to know that for you to experience any anxiety, you have to have some thoughts going on in your mind consciously or unconsciously and the emotion of anxiety is only feedback to the quality of that thinking. Remember, “Just because a thought is in your head, doesn’t mean it is real..!”
Tip 1: Challenge the negative thoughts if it is really true or are you mind reading and predicting the worst outcome?
Tip 2: Focus on thoughts that you wish to create - you can’t pay attention to two things at once. Focusing on what you want is also a suggestion to your unconscious mind about your intent.
Tip 3: Controlled breathing - One of the first physical changes that happen with any kind of anxiety is that the breathing becomes short and shallow, making anxiety worse. Practice any ‘Deep Breathing’ techniques, an easy one to remember is to breathe in and out on 4 counts each and hold in between for 4 counts as well.
Tip 4 - Face your fears and make an effort to be more social- The key is to start with a situation that you can handle and gradually work your way up to more challenging situations, building your confidence and coping skills, rather than avoiding social interactions altogether. Work on your communication skills.
Finally, remember that the mind and the body are intrinsically linked—so adopting a healthy lifestyle including exercise, meditation, mindfulness and setting intentions for the day will always help to keep anxiety at bay.