Conscious Connections: the art of being social.

 If you’re one of the roughly 40 percent of people with social anxiety, chances are you’re all too familiar with the unwelcome heart palpitations, sweaty palms, and uneasiness that surface in new social situations. Social anxiety disorder can  negatively impact numerous areas of your life. From family life to education as well as work and close relationships. But hey, don't suffer in shyness, the good news is  it can be effectively overcome, reduced and minimised by six tips below

Lifestyle Balance

The mind and body are linked and how you treat your body can have a significant impact on the rest of your life including your anxiety levels. Sleep deprivation makes you more vulnerable to anxiety, and negativity. Energy drinks act as a stimulant and can increase anxiety symptoms while physical exercise, water hydration levels and minimal caffeine intake are all related to reduced social anxiety.

Focus on your surroundings

When we’re in a socially anxious moment, usually our attention starts turning inward and we monitor ourselves, trying to figure out how we’re coming across and almost always assuming it will be negative. To remedy this, we should turn our attention to what is happening outside [of ourselves],try to be present and make genuine connections- listening closely to what the other person is saying.

 Avoid perfectionism

Nobody’s perfect and everyone feels embarrassed at one point or another in their life. Part of the self-criticism experienced is based on the excessive expectations you may have set for yourself.  Your chat doesn't have to be super smooth and gold-star-worthy - people actually respond better to responses that aren’t so polished—they come across as more authentic and personal. The mark of a successful night might, simply be connecting with two new people at a party.

Go in with a plan.

Consider telling yourself ‘I’m going to talk to five people tonight,’ or ‘I’m going to get to know two people tonight"  Conversational  techniques are particularly handy here. Asking open-ended questions, questions that need more than a yes or no answer or topical "in the news"  tit bits, can help get you started. That way, you head into the situation with an agenda and a goal—not just a looming cloud of self-doubt.

Practice makes perfect.

Yes, sometimes an awkward silence can feel endless, but  you're more likely to relax in an environment that fits your personality. Seek out the situations that are most consistent with you and your temperament and interests. as you're also more likely to have common ground with those people around you.

it's a shared silence don't forget and there are a few conversational techniques such as asking open-ended questions, questions that need more than a yes or no answer and asking open-ended personal questions  that can help get you started. 

Learn to take rejection

No one is liked by everyone. That's a truth. Sometimes you're simply not going to connect with someone right away. We all get nervous when we have to put ourselves out there and while no one is totally able not to care, you've got to you've got to bear in mind you cannot control the reactions of others or what they think or say or do. They're simply not your people/ person. You will find them.