As the Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, many of us are excited about getting back to some form of normalcy and being able to mix and socialize again. But for others who suffer with social anxiety the thought of things opening up again is creating a heightened state of panic.
I have created a free download to help people apply the best mindful strategies to their own personal situation, so that they can focus on building their own inner confidence and self-esteem in social situations.
We can all relate in some way to social anxiety, whether its feeling nervous about meeting someone new, or walking into a room full of strangers. With the easing of restrictions, many people are experiencing nervousness around coming out of the pandemic – “do I look good enough”, “will my friends still want to see me”, or that dreaded question, “did I achieved enough during lockdown”.
And this leads to more negative thoughts, which in turn leads to more anxiety.
Throughout the lockdown periods, many sufferers of social anxiety haven’t had to confront their anxiety in any way; they’ve been able to stay at home and isolated in their own comfort zone. With the opening up of restrictions these very real social anxieties are back in the forefront of people’s minds. Some will have found their symptoms have ramped up recently; others might be feeling this for the first time. Many people have reported their confidence has taken a beating during lockdowns.
All socially anxious people have different reasons for dreading certain situations. They can experience symptoms and get anxious immediately before an event, or they might spend weeks worrying about it, then afterwards spend a lot of time and mental energy worrying about how they acted.
Here are a few strategies that can help mitigate these feelings of social anxiety:
- Be conscious of the “worry story” you tell yourself – and try to distance yourself from it.
- Recognize and dump the negative thoughts, replacing them with a positive one.
- Write down the good things, the things you are looking forward to.
- Spend at least one hour every day doing something that makes you feel good.
Over the years I have worked with many clients, helping them cope with and reduce social anxiety. The techniques I teach my clients, whatever the triggers for their condition are, can also be applied successfully in this current pandemic. I’d encourage anyone who is feeling stressed or anxious, to download my session and see if it helps.
The 20-minute English-language audio recording can be accessed from any computer or device, and simply requires the listener to be settled in a safe, quiet space, where you can fully engage with my soothing words.
Even taking just 20 minutes out of your day to focus on yourself rather than the latest Coronavirus news update can help you regain a sense of balance and focus. It’s all about relaxing the mind, deflecting the negative thoughts, and replacing them with calm, positive ones.
Schedule a ‘worry window’, so they can better manage any negative thoughts and feelings by containing them in a predetermined time slot, and free up the rest of your day by banishing intrusive thoughts.
To some degree it’s natural to worry, we all do it – it’s how our brain handles problems or potential problems. However, it stops being useful if we become stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts. We should instead focus on those things within our control, and how we choose to respond to them.
This pandemic has had many repercussions beyond the actual virus. One is the potential impact on mental health and wellbeing. And if I can help ease that stress in even a small way, I believe it’s worthwhile trying.
To access and download my meditation, click here.