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5 Ways to Deal with Social Anxiety in Recovery

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and inferiority. This is an issue I deal with myself in my recovery. It can be really hard to come off of drugs and alcohol and then start interacting with others. When I was in my addiction, I didn’t interact with anyone except the cashier at the liquor store and the drug dealer! I’ve put together 5 ways to deal with social anxiety in recovery that I think might help.

5 Ways to Deal with Social Anxiety in Recovery: Breathe

Sometimes when I start to feel my social anxiety coming on, I get so overwhelmed that I forget to just breathe! When you’re shaking or your heart is racing, it’s good to just focus on taking deep breaths. It can help you calm down and feel a little calmer. Just breathe in and breathe out and take a moment to yourself.

5 Ways to Deal with Social Anxiety in Recovery: Be Aware

It is always good to be aware of what specific situations cause your social anxiety. Being aware of what causes the anxiety can help you to find ways to overcome it. Any time you feel social anxiety I would practice writing about it and thinking of ways that you can prevent it. In my opinion, being aware of what makes you feel the anxiety is a big part of helping deal with it.

5 Ways to Deal with Social Anxiety in Recovery: Think Positive

One of the best ways to get through your social anxiety is to think positive. It sounds so cliché, but it’s true that negative thoughts just feed our social anxiety and make it worse. Practice thinking the best of every situation when you’re going into it and I guarantee the outcome will be better than you expected. We didn’t get sober to continue being negative, try thinking happy thoughts!

5 Ways to Deal with Social Anxiety in Recovery: Talk to Your Supports

I recommend talking to your supports in the program through any problems you are facing, but especially with social anxiety. It’s good to talk with others about it and share how you’re feeling. Not only does it feel better to get it off your chest but you may also talk with someone who can relate and give you advice on how to get through the anxiety in social situations.

5 Ways to Deal with Social Anxiety in Recovery: Pray and Meditate

In recovery we are taught that we should be praying and meditating on a daily basis but it can also help you with your social anxiety. Praying helps because you can talk to God about what you’re feeling and ask him for his help to get through it. Meditating is even better because it helps you stay in the present moment, in the here and now. A big reason I usually feel social anxiety is because I’m so worried about the future or past and not focusing on the moment I am in.

Doing all of these things can definitely help decrease your social anxiety, but it’s also good to remember that the people you are around are people just like you! A lot of people in the rooms of AA, NA or CA are dealing with some of the same fears that you are. So open up and share how you’re feeling, you might help yourself or someone else in the process.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

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