It is extremely rare to meet a teenager who never went through the awkward stage. That usually happens during puberty when your body goes through a series of physical changes due to hormones. The boys’ voice cracks before it deepens, thus causing them not to want to talk much until the transformation is complete. The girls begin to experience a bit widening of the hips and breast growth too, which they may wish to hide as much as possible.
The thing is, everyone can get over this awkward phase after a few months. It should not take long for teens to embrace the new version of themselves because that’s what practically sets them apart from kids. Isn’t that the dream of most youngsters: to not become labeled as children?
Now, if you are nearing young adulthood but still unable to go out and meet people without feeling nervous, the problem may no longer be puberty. According to a National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement report in 2010, 9.1 percent of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 suffer from social anxiety disorder. A higher portion of them belongs to the female population, and many folks deal with an overlapping illness too.
One thing that is tough to guarantee at this point is the curability of the disorder. However, you can learn to cope with the anxiety to lessen its effects on you.
1. Do Not Entertain Negative Thoughts
Your issues tend to come from the fact that you allow negativity to enter your life. Often, you question your value in the eyes of other people. When you look at your reflection anywhere, you only pay attention to your flaws. The result is that you become more anxious to face the crowd.
If you want to beat social anxiety, you have to stop entertaining derogatory ideas about yourself. According to Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D., “Attention to negative things equals negative emotions; Attention to positive things equals positive emotions.”
2. Ignore Things That Are Not Worth Getting Anxious About
The mental disorder is helpful in the sense that it makes you extra vigilant of your surroundings. It is automatic for you to scan the entire room and check out every person you see to assess who might be criticizing you or not.
Nevertheless, after a single once-over, you should ask a colleague or relative to validate your observations. Doing so will give you the opportunity to ignore stuff that you should not concern yourself with and enjoy your surroundings better. “To break free of the prison of shyness, you must stop dwelling on your own insecurities and become more aware of the people around you,” said Bernardo J Carducci Ph.D.
3. Bring A Source Of Distraction
Whenever you go out, it is vital to take a source of distraction as well. That can come in the form of a friend who can chatter away and keep your mind off your environment. If you cannot drag anyone with you, you may also have your music player ready or play games on your smartphone. You ought to anticipate the resurfacing of your symptoms beforehand to stop it from sneaking up on you later.
Practice Is The Key
“A practice of affirmations is a perfect way to train your subconscious mind, the part of the mind that runs all the systems of the body,” shares Athena Staik, Ph.D. The truth is that it is impossible to master coping mechanisms for a mental disorder within 24 hours. You may think of it as a skill that you get better with over time. Because of that, you need to practice tips one to three to keep social anxiety from ruining the rest of your adolescent years.