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Social Anxiety : tips for your mental wellbeing

Socialising…….Is it a moment to enjoy, or a time you dread?

Following the imposed isolation during the pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation, there has been a reported 25% increase in reported anxiety disorders.

Social anxiety is a common occurrence, we can often feel butterflies and a bit shaky before a speech, or meeting someone new. But when the anxiety prevents you from engaging with others and impacts on your day-to-day activities then it might be time to seek help.

Social anxiety: a phobia of social situations

You may be relying on behaviours that keep you feeling safe, such as staying close to one familiar person in a social situation, using alcohol or recreational drugs, comfort eating, or avoiding eye contact.

What can help?

· What you are experiencing is a natural response to a perceived threat.

· If you can acknowledge those worry thoughts, notice your physical sensations, and the consequences on your behaviour, you can then begin to explore what that perceived threat is. Is there evidence that supports a prediction that it will go wrong, or that they won’t like you? Remind yourself of a social situation that went well.

· If you’re feeling tense then explore movement techniques such as yoga.

· Breathing techniques can help calm your physical response and racing thoughts.

· Instead of monitoring yourself closely and listening to those unhelpful thoughts, change your focus of attention. Look at others and your surroundings, listen to what is being said and focus on that conversation.

· Learn to tolerate the feelings, and feel okay with silences.

· Stop relying on the behaviours that make you feel safe.

· Consider mindfulness techniques

Working with a therapist can help you explore the patterns of thought and behaviour that are maintaining your difficulties, and introduce some coping strategies so you can begin to enjoy and not dread those social events.

If you would like to know more about social anxiety, or any of the tips mentioned then please get in touch by email at, or using the contact form on my home page.


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