Feel calm on the inside so you can be in control on the outside
Research shows that Social Anxiety is the
3rd largest mental health problem in the world
Check out these techniques for the next time you're facing a social gathering with colleagues, family or friends
For some, the thought of a social gathering or even a family celebration can come as more of a dread than a delight and it can be exacerbated during the holiday season. Feeling under pressure to show up at the office party. Walking into a room full of people and feeling invisible. Walking into a room full of people and feeling that everyone is staring. The fear that other people will notice and draw attention to the discomfort. It can even be with close family members or groups of friends. The same person who can talk for hours about their work or career, or hold deep conversations with that one close friend, can't think of a single word to say, and their mind goes completely blank.
Checkout these practical resources to help you to feel more calm and in control.
Let people know in advance how long you plan to stay
One of the most uncomfortable aspects of special anxiety is not knowing how long you're going to need to stay. Family gatherings especially have a tendency to go on for an infinite length of time. Set some boundaries beforehand and let family members or work colleague know what time you plan to leave. Even if you need to make an excuse. You've got somewhere else you need to be, you've got a friend calling around later or you need to get up early the next day. Letting people know in advance lessens the likelihood of questions when you're about to leave or well meaning party animals trying to persuade you to stay longer.
Arrive slightly earlier than everyone else where possible
I don't know about you but I always feel better if I'm not walking into a room full of people with the potential of lots of heads turning to look. Arriving early, where possible, may reduce the chances of this happening or at least lessen the amount of people that will have arrived before you. You'll have time to settle in and not be faced with lots of people all at once.
Take someone with you for moral support
Unless it's a pre-paid work social occasion where numbers are limited, it's probably going to be ok to take someone along with you for support. It always feels better to have someone by your side when you're walking into a room full of people.
Arrange to meet someone beforehand
If it is a pre-paid work do and therefore not possible to bring a friend, arrange to meet a work colleague/friend, who is also going, beforehand in the local pub or coffee shop or even just a few streets away. All for the same reasons as above and you're not walking into a room full of people on your own. They might be feeling exactly the same as you and be relieved to have someone too.
Give yourself an 'escape route'
Make sure you know how you're getting home. Of course, whilst keeping your personal safety in mind and especially on dark evenings when it's safer to not travel alone, try to avoid putting yourself in a position where you leaving the venue relies on someone else also being ready to leave. Arrange a lift from a personal friend or family member or if you don't intend to have a drink, take the car then you're fully in control of when you leave and park as near to the venue as possible.
Want to do some preparation leading up to the event? These extremely powerful techniques, based on hypnotherapy, can increase your confidence and boost self-esteem:
Change the negative self talk
When we feel anxious, our mind works overtime. We may not even be aware of what we're saying to ourselves, over and over again about the thought of having to attend a social gathering.
Start to take notice of what's running through your mind. Are you reminding yourself over and over how much you're dreading it? Are you telling yourself that you'll not be able to think of a single word of conversation. Or maybe it's something else? Whatever it is, it's unlikely to be helpful to you and just the smallest of shifts in the words that you're using to yourself can have such a powerful effect.
Use this instead: How do you want to feel instead? What words and self-talk would be more helpful to you?
Your subconscious mind takes everything that we say to ourselves as an instruction. If we say to ourselves "I'm dreading it", your subconscious mind will take that as an instruction. If instead we say "I find it easy to make conversation", it will take that as an instruction instead. It may feel silly at first and you might not believe yourself but, do it anyway. What instruction will you choose?
Mentally Rehearse how you want to feel
Our subconscious mind, where all of our habits and behaviours are stored does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. Think of time that you've played back in your mind an upsetting confrontation with someone, an argument with a friend or a rough day at work. We feel all of the same emotions that we felt at the time, even though it's no longer happening for real. We can use this to our advantage.
Use this: When we mentally rehearse how we want to feel instead, imagining ourselves walking into a room full of people feeling calm and in control, when we do it for real we will find it easier because of our mental rehearsal.
If you feel that the social anxiety that you're experiencing is having an impact on the quality of your life and would like some further help, hypnotherapy can be very powerful in giving you the resources that you need. Using hypnotherapy it is possible to get to the root of the problem to resolve the social anxiety. Click on the red button below and book a free, no obligation, consultation to find out more.