Research suggests that around 7% of Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder.
This disorder can create anxiety when meeting new people, or at least feelings of discomfort, leading to unwanted chronic stress for your day.
Chronic stress can lead to an early death from cancer, strokes and even heart disease.
For those of us that don’t suffer from social anxiety disorder, it can still be slightly uncomfortable meeting someone new.
Believe it or not, it’s actually relatively easy to reframe how you think about meeting a new person.
Which results in decreasing anxiety or stress as well as creating a more pleasant experience!
Here are a few points to help in social situations and reduce anxiety:
Smiling is associated with positive emotions and if you do it enough when meeting new people, it’s possible to ‘rewire’ how you can perceive the experience of meeting someone new is… not only that but people will feel naturally more comfortable with you and that will also help you feel more at ease. Practice.
- Face your fears.
We all have them. Something I’ve been doing for many years, is to actually head toward what is scary rather than shy away. This can be done incrementally rather than in large chunks. So perhaps start by facing social situations that are only mildly uncomfortable on a regular enough basis to build up the resilience of facing something more stressful in the future. And don’t feel defeated if you still get anxiety as a surprise one day, we all do!
- Look after yourself.
Stress and anxiety comes in many shapes and forms. The problem with this is that if you’re dealing with stressors outside of social anxiety, it’ll make it tougher to deal with the social dynamics when the occasion arises! So practice routines and methods to reduce global stressors on you. Whether it be eating right or getting enough sleep, it all helps.