If you’re one of the 15 million adults in the US who have a social anxiety disorder, then you’ll know how hard it is to get out there and meet new people. Committing to and attending an event is a major step, but interaction with others may be frightening and daunting.
In order to cope, you may turn to alcohol to give you some liquid courage. While it may seem like an effective solution, social anxiety and alcohol can quickly turn into a problem if you have continual obligations to tend to.
In this article, you’ll learn 4 healthy ways to deal with your social anxiety.
1. Learn Some Breathing Techniques
When you’re anxious, your breathing can quicken, which makes you feel even more anxious in turn. This can turn into a vicious cycle where your anxiety worsens rapidly.
Take some time to learn some breathing techniques. When you feel overwhelmed, excuse yourself and go to a corner where you can calm yourself down with these techniques.
2. Bring a Friend
A huge part of social anxiety stems from the fact that you’re dealing with people you don’t know very well. If you can bring a friend along, some of that anxiety can be decreased since you’ll have someone you know there. Plus, if you’re ever feeling particularly nervous, you can let them do the talking while you collect yourself.
When you feel like you’ve made a blunder, you also won’t be as hard on yourself. While you’d beat yourself up mentally for a long period of time afterward, when you have a friend there, you can mention it and laugh it off together.
3. Let Loose on the Dance Floor
You might be worried about what others think about your dancing, but the truth is, everyone looks a little silly, and they’re not going to be looking at you. Getting your anxious energy out on the dance floor can be the perfect way to get rid of your negative thoughts.
Since the dance floor is loud and everyone’s busy dancing, you won’t have to worry about speaking to anyone. Plus, it’s dark, so they’ll barely see what you’re doing anyway.
4. Enroll in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of talk therapy that involves reframing your behaviors and thought patterns. When you work with a good therapist, they can help you rewire the way you deal with anxiety so you won’t have to rely on alcohol as a crutch to get you through events that put pressure on you.
Don’t Mix Social Anxiety and Alcohol
When you mix social anxiety and alcohol, it can get out of hand. When you feel the alcohol “relaxing” your brain, you may think it’s effective. But instead, it’s lowering your inhibitions, which can cause you to drink more and more.
So the next time you have to face your social anxiety head-on put away the alcohol and stay sober. Instead, try some of the methods we’ve given you above for a healthier way to keep your anxiety in check.
Want some more reasons to quit drinking? Here are 5 health benefits you’ll get from eliminating alcohol from your life.