Things to Start Doing If You Have Social Anxiety
Part of overcoming shyness is about developing confidence in several areas of your life and not letting anxiety, fear of failure, fear of rejection, or fear of humiliation get in your way. By practicing new activities, you are confronting your fear of the unknown and learning to handle that anxiety more effectively.
Start practicing giving speeches or presentations and telling jokes or stories at every opportunity. Be more talkative and expressive in all areas of your life. Let your voice and your ideas be heard. Confident people are not preoccupied with whether everyone is going to like what they have to say. They speak their mind because they want to share, engage, and connect with others.
You can do this too. Anxiety and shyness are not reasons to stay quiet. A fear of being judged contributes to social anxiety and shyness. The only way to overcome this fear is to make yourself vulnerable.
Practice doing this with the people you are close to and can trust. You might realize the more you do it, the closer you feel to others and the more pleasure and meaning you get out of those relationships. This will lead to increased confidence in yourself and in social interactions. Being vulnerable requires a willingness to let others see the real you. Be proud of who you are. Being genuine and vulnerable is often the quality that others will appreciate the most about you.
Make eye contact when talking to someone. Walk with your head held high. Project your voice clearly and effectively. Shake hands. Give hugs. Stay in close proximity to others.
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Mindfulness has been defined simply as awareness. Wake up. Be present to all of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories in any given moment. There is no part of your experience that you have to run from, escape, or avoid. When you are fully present in the moment, you will realize that social interactions are not something you need to avoid. You will perform better because you are actually paying attention to the conversation and the cues in your environment.
With practice, you can continually incorporate and improve upon your social skills that you learn from the world around you, ultimately making you feel more confident. Shy man photo available from Shutterstock. He works in private practice, specializing in adults with anxiety disorders, social anxiety, and OCD. Such talk only increases the pressure an athlete feels to perform.
Athletes who are returning from injuries often have emotional issues that undermine confidence. Why such thoughts arise may be of interest, but knowing the answer isn't always necessary to overcome them. Here are a few tips that may help change or redirect the negative self-talk.
Remember that choking can be dealt with if you are aware of the pattern of negative thoughts that snowball before and during competition. If you find yourself in such a downward spiral, simply acknowledge those thoughts and let them go. Focus on your breathing and play as though you are enjoying it. Chances are you will realize that you are enjoying it despite the occasional less than perfect performance. Get exercise tips to make your workouts less work and more fun. Sport-related anxiety: current insights. Open Access J Sports Med. Psychological skills training and a mindfulness-based intervention to enhance functional athletic performance: design of a randomized controlled trial using ambulatory assessment.
BMC Psychol. J Clin Sport Psychol. More in Motivation. Recognize that pre-race jitters are normal. Accept, rather than fight, the nervous energy you feel. Don't misinterpret it by thinking that it is fear. That adrenaline rush you feel is normal and it is part of your body's natural preparation for the competition. Notice it, but don't focus on it. Prepare both mentally and physically. Arrive at the event with plenty of time so you aren't rushed, which only increases your stress.
Get a thorough warm-up. Do some easy stretching. Know the course.
Dress for conditions. Allow a few minutes to practice visualization.
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Breathe easy, close your eyes and use mental imagery to visualize yourself performing well. This positive self-talk can change your attitude. While athletes need to be flexible enough to react to the event, you should enter the event with a general strategy of how you want to race. Your strategy can be simple maintain a steady pace or maintain a steady heart rate or complex. Focus on the task at hand rather than the outcome. Focusing on your breathing rhythm will automatically pull you back into the present. Force a smile. If you are struggling with negative thoughts and can't break out of the cycle, simply force yourself to smile, even if only for a few seconds.
This simple action will change your attitude in a split second. Perhaps that is all the time you need to relax back into your performance.
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