Social anxiety can be a difficult chain to break out of. While direct causes can vary, typically it’s a negative way of thinking that can cause the sense of low self-esteem and lack of self confidence that drives it.
It was not so long ago that I realized how negativity hinders my own self-growth. I became so insecure, I even questioned my purpose; I was afraid to set goals because I was afraid to fail, and thus I lacked direction in life.
This was until I realized I need to do something to get my life back on track. I began to focus only on good ways of thinking and behaving to attract positive responses. I cleaned up my negative thoughts and instead instilled positive vibes towards myself. It was hard at first, but gradually I noticed the difference within myself. I learned that social anxiety, and life in general, becomes easier to live with if you shift your attitude into a positive light and make a habit of saying “No!” to negativity.
The following are some negativity reducing tips that will help you discard those negative feelings and thoughts that can drive social phobia, which will eventually lead to a fuller and brighter life ahead of you.
1. Set rational goals
They always say that “If you want to dream, dream big and if your dream does not scare you maybe it is not big enough”. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big, but sometimes it is impossible to attain larger than life goals when the intimidate you. You have to break them down to pieces and set up some strategies on how to move up the ladder little by little. That way you will be more motivated to continue reaching your goal once you have found the satisfaction by attaining the smaller goals first.
2. Turn problems into challenges
As what Arizona-based entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown said “Motion beats meditation.” Sometimes we get overwhelmed at the problem at hand and would question our ability to perform the task. When it comes to a point like this, it is better to view any obstacles as a challenge, like a game that you need to win over.
Self limitation is the main reason why most of us fail to meet our goals in life. It is useless to rehash inspiring quotes and post motivational words on your social media accounts when you yourself are even afraid to take a leap of faith.
3. Reset your default answer
I remember the movie “Yes, Man” where a character named Carl Allen played by Jim Carrey goes to a motivational “Yes!” seminar and made a covenant to stop being a “No Man” and vows to answer “Yes!” to every opportunity, request or invitation that presents itself thereafter.
It made me realize a lot of things and had me thinking, what if I adapt the same attitude? I was astounded on what I discovered. It made me more optimistic, confident, self assured, friendly and sociable. Stop saying “No” every time, instead you can default to “I’m not sure; give me a minute,” suggested by Lynette Louise, a neurofeedback therapist. This will help you think of it a bit longer and find a good reason to say yes before you say no.
4. Display that award
Surround yourself of physical reminders of positivity, it may come as proof of your past achievements, like trophies, certificates of recognition, your university diploma, photos of your family and loved ones.
5. Put your hands up!
According to a study conducted in 2012, between people who do “Power Poses” (e.g. leaning back in a chair with hands behind head) vs people who do low-power poses (e.g. standing with arms hugging chest and ankles crossed) tend to be more confident. This is believed to be because power poses boost confidence and can increase testosterone level than the lower-pose. This study is also used as a reference when athletes lose their confidence, which is why yoga coach Dana Santas always instructs athletes to hold the “mountain Pose with Arms Up”.
6. Detox from bad news.
I sometimes wonder why the evening news is full of negative headlines. I personally do not encounter that many bad things in my everyday waking life. Colene Eridge, a life coach in Lexington, Ky. suggests taking a break from the negativity that you encounter in daily life, whether it’s from those gruesome evening headlines or your whining neighbor. It doesn’t mean that you are avoiding them, it’s just making a choice of encouraging positive vibes and discarding the negative ones.
7. Wake up on the right side of the bed.
Ask yourself three “morning questions” when you wake that will let you focus on the day ahead and clear your head all of the negative thoughts the night before.
Try asking yourself these questions:
• What am I excited about doing today?
• Who can I encourage or serve today? (Get the focus off yourself)
• What am I grateful for?
Just think about all the things that make you excited by just visualizing them. You will be surprise how this simple exercise can change your perspective for the entire day.
Negative thinking clouds your thoughts and makes situations seem a lot worse than they are, which is a classic cause/symptom of social anxiety disorder. So try following these 7 tips in your daily life to see if they can help reduce your social phobia for good.