Everybody has felt slightly anxious or awkward feelings going into an event or social situation at some point. Perhaps we learn this uncomfortable feeling as young children when we are forced into social groups at nursery or school? Nowadays more clients mention that they are struggling with social anxiety and it has become more commonly talked about on social media, especially amongst young people. I know the feeling as I used to feel anxious in social situations when I didn’t know many people but becoming a hypnotherapist changed all of that. Once I understood any anxiety is a state of mind it put me back in control of my feelings. I have put together some tips and advice below to help you improve your social confidence.
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Social anxiety is a discomfort or a fear when a person is in social interactions that involve a concern about being judged or evaluated by others. It is typically characterized by an intense fear of what others are thinking about them (specifically fear of embarassment, criticism, or rejection), which results in the individual feeling insecure, and that they are not good enough for other people.
1. Change your state of mind
An anxious feeling in your body is actually being created in your mind. So by changing your mindset you will feel better in your body. For this I suggest you could imagine someone who is really confident, perhaps TV celebrity Simon Cowell, someone who is really over the top works best. Once you have decided upon your confident person imagine stepping into their body. Imagine how it would feel to be them. How their posture would be and how relaxing it would feel to be that confident. Then bring that feeling into your own body, imagine yourself having that comfortable feeling. I suggest you run this feeling through several times and repeat this exercise regularly. If you are going to an event imagine being in the body of your confident role model so you walk in with confidence. At any time during the event remember to click into the positive feeling to keep yourself topped up.
2. Learn to reassure yourself
Remember you are not alone even someone confident can be feeling nervous too. An uncomfortable feeling is something that you have learnt to do from finding yourself out of your comfort zone. I suggest you learn to reassure yourself by changing your conversation with yourself. Say firmly to yourself ‘I am fine. This is fine. Everything is fine. I am going to be okay. I am doing really well.’ If you do feel any anxiety coming on reassure remember to speak reassuringly to yourself just as you would encourage a small child treat yourself in the same way. You can also relax your shoulders to help relax you further.
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3. Before and After the event
To help you feel comfortable about going to an event it can help to see the event going smoothly before you even get there. I suggest you visualise in your mind social event going well with you relaxed, comfortable, speaking easily to people, having plenty to say and laughing. It’s always good to have a set of questions prepared to ask someone a question to get a conversation going such as where do you live? Have you come far to get here? What job do you do? How long does it take you to get to work? Rehearse the questions so you feel comfortable saying them before you go to the event. Then imagine it is after the event, you are leaving the event to come home. Imagine it has gone really well, you are smiling and you are really relaxed. This before and after the event technique will begin to program your mind for the event to go well. The more better experiences you have the more you will create a memory of things going well. Over time you will become confident at socialising.
It is always a good idea to include other people in your social group so they don’t feel left out. Try to put other people at ease so eliminate their worries.
Source: Great Inspiration From HealYourLife