If you have ever felt a fear of social situations, you could be experiencing social anxiety. During these times, you might find yourself engaging in negative self talk such as:
- I will not know what to say.
- People will judge me and find me weird.
- People will know that I am awkward.
What can help us to control anxiety is using positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations for social anxiety can help us reprogram the subconscious mind so it can rewire itself to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. A positive thought can help and support us when we feel anxious in the midst of people.
Since our thoughts impact how we feel, changing what we say to ourselves can help us feel confident.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a condition in which there is an extreme fear of social situations. The stress of being in a social event or making conversation might feel too much to handle.
When social anxiety sets in, it can negatively affect all areas of one’s life. like work, going to school, and making friends.
Making eye contact or small talk can feel deeply uncomfortable. One might want to avoid meeting new people and making conversation for fear of saying the wrong thing. Other fears can be those of public speaking and using public restrooms.
There are constant anxious thoughts of being judged, humiliated, or scrutinized by others.
Some symptoms of anxiety include excessive sweating, nausea, rapid heart rate, dizziness, blushing, difficulty talking, intense and excessive worry, and using coping mechanisms like alcohol. One can also experience anxiety attacks.
What causes social anxiety?
Like most mental health conditions, there is no one cause for social anxiety. Certain biological and environmental factors come together for one to feel this way, including negative experiences.
Some possible causes include:
If a family member suffers from social anxiety, there is a higher risk of developing it. This can also be learned behavior rather than a trait that is inherited.
The amygdala is a structure in the brain that is responsible for controlling our fear response, including thoughts or feelings of anxiety. Those with an overactive amygdala may experience heightened anxiety in social situations.
Negative life events and experiences, for example, bullying, sexual abuse, rejection, or family conflict can contribute to social anxiety. So can overprotective or controlling environments.
The temperament of a child can be a contributing factor. Shy, timid, or restrained children may be more prone.
Also, if the appearance or condition of someone draws attention to them or voice, it could trigger social anxiety.
The science of stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety can affect our overall health in many ways.
The amygdala gets activated and sends a threat message to the sympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, increases heart rate, inhibits digestive function, and floods the system with cortisol, a stress hormone.
Too much cortisol disturbs sleep cycles and creates moodiness, memory loss, brain fog, low libido, and possible infertility.
The pituitary gland also produces stress hormones leading to an increase in blood pressure, metabolic rate, and blood sugar levels, and decrease in appetite.
Blood vessels constrict, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. This puts one at an increased risk of cardiac attack.
Chronic stress tires the adrenal glands and causes exhaustion, suppressed immunity, and depression. It can also accelerate the aging process.
Can affirmations cure anxiety?
Affirmations employ positive words and visualizations, which create the possibility of positive outcomes in the mind.
When one experiences social anxiety, triggers like facial expressions of people can be perceived as threats. These negative thoughts create negative feelings, which start to feel real.
Repeating positive affirmations counters low self esteem and helps us choose a different thought. Affirmations help increase self worth, self esteem, and self competence. As a result, the person can feel less sensitive to negative social cues, and, therefore, less threatened.
3 Things To Keep In Mind When You’re Deciding Whether To Use Affirmations Or Not
Because social anxiety is complex and does not have clear identifiable causes, one might need more help rather than only repeating positive affirmations to overcome it. Consult a mental health professional if you need to. What you can also find helpful is taking online therapy.
Here are some things to keep in mind while considering if you should use affirmations.
Listen to how the affirmation makes you feel
When you repeat a positive affirmation how does it make you feel? If you can connect with it and it makes you feel comfortable and confident, you can certainly use it.
On the other hand, if any of your affirmations do not make you feel comfortable, you can either skip them or change them to suit you.
Think if the affirmation feels real
You should be able to resonate with the affirmations. If the words that you repeat feel too out of bounds, you can tweak them to suit you.
Choose positive affirmations for kids that create feelings of calmness and positive emotions..
Frame the affirmations right
An affirmation should be in the present tense, should not have words that indicate lack, for example, wish or want, should be a positive statement rather than having two negatives, and should avoid unhelpful and negative words.
Stay with the same affirmation for at least a month for it to be effective. Affirmations work when they are repeated regularly. Also, you can do your own research and write affirmations that suit you.
67 Positive Affirmations for Overcoming Social Anxiety
Here are the best affirmations for overcoming social anxiety and gaining self confidence:
- It is safe for me to be my real and authentic self.
- I am stronger than I think I am.
- I am enough just as I am.
- I have the courage to be seen and heard.
- I am proud of myself for having shown up.
- I am a worthwhile person just as I am.
- Every passing day my confidence grows stronger and stronger.
- I respond to how I am feeling with love and compassion.
- I have the courage to show up even when I am afraid.
- I am capable of handling anything that comes my way.
- I am in control. I can choose how I feel.
- I choose to feel calm, free, safe, and secure.
- I can rise above my fears with confidence and grace.
- When I feel overwhelmed, all I need to do is take some deep breaths.
- I choose to think positive thoughts.
- I am worthy of new friends and lasting relationships.
- I am grateful for all the love and care I receive from others.
- People love me for who I am.
- I choose to be authentic over being perfect.
- I make time for myself when I need to feel relaxed.
- I am worthy of being loved and accepted.
- I choose thoughts that are positive and nurturing.
- I do the best that I can.
- All I need to do is take one step at a time.
- I actively contribute to my wellbeing and healing.
- I have the power to survive any situation.
- I trust that life wants the best for me.
- I am in harmony with the world around me.
- I am unique. I am important. I matter.
- I can remain grounded in any situation.
- Everything is working out for my highest good.
- Only good will come out of this situation.
- I have power over the present moment.
- I forgive myself and release my past.
- The universe guides and protects me at all times.
- I open my heart to those around me.
- It is safe for me to express my thoughts and feelings.
- I move through life with joy and ease.
- I experience love wherever I go.
- I say yes to life every single time.
- I can observe my thoughts and let them go without attaching myself to them.
- It is ok to not have all the answers.
- I am worthy of good things.
- I am ready to release whatever does not serve me any longer.
- I am learning to support my best self.
- I breathe slowly and deeply when I need to feel calm. My breath is my friend.
- I accept the things I cannot change.
- I deserve to be kind to myself.
- I give myself the same love and care that I give to others.
- I choose to use only positive words for myself.
- I am proud of myself for trying.
- I am proud of myself for coming this far.
- I allow myself the time and space to heal.
- I have gratitude for all that is good in my life.
- I am a good person.
- I am not alone in how I am feeling.
- I am a friendly person.
- I am ok. I can do this.
- I focus on the good in every person I meet.
- I am confident and at peace with myself.
- I am at peace with myself.
- I can stay calm and relaxed in any situation.
- I bring joy to those around me.
- There is no one else I would rather be.
- I am at home in my body.
- I love myself unconditionally.
- All is well in my world.