Social anxiety can come in many forms. Some people simply hate standing up in front of an audience to present information. Perhaps it’s just first date jitters or the fear of the unknown in a new setting. Whatever the problem, these 10 tips may just help you relax into a slightly more comfortable groove around others.

Avoid Avoidance

Yes, it can seem easier if you simply avoid the things that stress you out. But in the long run, you may be doing more harm than good. Obviously the state of the world right now makes this easier said than done, but there are still opportunities to get yourself out there, even if it’s just virtually for now.

Try Being Open About It

It’s often more difficult to manage the things that stress us out while also trying to keep them hidden.

Deep Breathing Techniques

Don’t scoff until you’ve tried it. Human bodies like to freak out when they’re not getting enough oxygen (like, say, when you’re hyperventilating).

Expand Your Social Sphere Slowly

Getting outside your comfort zone doesn’t have to happen by leaps and bounds. Having a Zoom game night? Have some friends invite a friend or two.

Be Methodical

It can be overwhelming to work on social anxiety under a very general notion of simply ‘being better at it.’ Identify your problem areas and work from that list.

Practice Makes Perfect

Or at least it tends to make us better at things! People tend to forget that things like public speaking aren’t just genetic gifts.

Get Aggressive

Okay, not so much aggressive as assertive. You don’t have to always be a passive member of a group. This is especially important if you tend to be a people-pleaser.

Build Skills

There are some general conversational skills, both verbal and non-verbal, that can help ease the way in social situations.

Nuke the Negativity

These thoughts often pop into our heads. Try to avoid assuming negative thoughts from others.

Be Open to Outside Help

There are so many ways a mental health professional can help with social anxiety. Getting that help can be the best step you ever take on your journey.