Social anxiety is essentially a fear of being watched and judged by others in social situations, and quite frankly, it is an understated issue that A LOT of people face but most never admit openly, partly because nobody wants to look weak and inexperienced in today’s fast-paced world that values high charisma and boldness.
There is nothing weak about having social anxiety. There are highly successful and contributing people who’ve experienced social anxiety.
It’s not a very convenient condition to have (speaking from experience), but there are effective ways to successfully manage, minimize and even get rid of social anxiety over a period of time and consistent effort.
One of the effective practices to reduce social anxiety is using affirmations.
Below we’ll be looking into 46 effective affirmations for social anxiety that are designed specifically to relax your nervous system and send signals to your brain to cultivate more calmness, confidence, and even playfulness while socializing.
What is the Root Cause of Social Anxiety?
Psychologists suggest that the causes of social anxiety can be Biopsychosocial, which means that it can be a combination of biological, psychological, and sociological (environmental) factors.
Though some sources suggest that family history (genetics) can also be one of the contributing factors to social anxiety, a lot of our insecurities and anxieties root in our childhood experiences and social anxiety is no exception.
Negative childhood experiences such as teasing, bullying, humiliation, rejection, ridicule, harsh criticism, and overprotective or controlling parenting can be one of the major causes of social anxiety.
How Can You Cure Social Anxiety Naturally?
Is social anxiety curable? Yes, you can most definitely overcome social anxiety by taking the right steps consistently. Exposing yourself to social situations regularly, focusing on personal development, working towards attaining professional success, and connecting with your deeper spiritual side can help your heal from those negative childhood experiences that led to the development of social anxiety. Taking therapy also helps tremendously in healing and processing your thoughts and emotions that might be contributing to your social anxiety.
The affirmations below will also help you harmonize your thoughts, cultivate self-esteem and self-love, and reprogram your mind to become relaxed while socializing.
Why a lot of Positive Affirmations Don’t Work?
Before we dive right into social anxiety affirmations, I really want you to understand why a lot of affirmations don’t work. This will save you a lot of time trying out affirmations that don’t really work for you and help you select the ones that will be more effective in your case.
Affirmations have a bad rap for being cliche, overly positive, unrealistic, and making you cringe at yourself as you say them, and I can totally relate.
I too didn’t like the “look yourself in the mirror and say I love you every morning” thing that many gurus suggest.
It seems fake, inauthentic, and forceful. It stems from the idea of “fake it till you make it”. Personally, faking and being inauthentic doesn’t go along with my values so I can’t really vouch for that.
The problem however is not the idea of affirmations itself, it’s how many of the affirmations are structured.
You will find a lot of the affirmations online are not designed very thoughtfully. In fact, a lot of them go against the rules of mind reprogramming techniques taught in different fields that deal with the programming of the mind for self-improvement and healing.
In simpler words, the way most affirmations are phrased clashes with our conscious mind. How? You might ask.
A lot of the affirmations force you to say facts that you know aren’t true in your case.
For example, saying affirmations such as “I am a great public speaker and I can engage an audience very well” when you know that you haven’t yet developed the skill of public speaking and that you really need to learn and practice, will probably make you feel more uncomfortable and bring up further self-doubt when you say that.
In this article by Dr. Sophie Henshaw shares a study and goes further into why most affirmations don’t work.
How to Really Make Affirmations More Effective?
A simple way to make affirmations 10 times more effective is to rephrase them in a way that doesn’t seem false or confrontational to your rational mind. Something that you find easier to settle with and even find reassuring and calming.
So instead of saying “I am a great public speaker”, when you rephrase it in the manner below, your conscious/rational mind will have an easier time accepting and digesting the affirmation which will allow it to go deeper into the subconscious:
- “The more I practice the better I get at public speaking”
- “Every public speaking session is an opportunity for me to learn and get better at it”
Do you feel the difference? Do you see why many affirmations feel shallow and don’t seem to impact us as they’re supposed to?
Similarly, if you are living a lifestyle that is negatively affecting your mental and physical health, saying self-love affirmations such as “I accept myself as I am” might not feel right to you. The rational side of you might resist it. Here’s a better way to rephrase:
- “I allow myself to love myself by improving the way I live.”
- “I cultivate self-love by taking care of my mind, body, and soul”
- “I set an intention to improve myself every day little by little”
For affirmations to be most effective, they have to send the suggestion to our mind in a particular way so that they’re absorbed with the least internal resistance. If you say statements that your conscious mind doesn’t believe or finds false, it will most like resist it, unless you’re in a state of trance, as in the case of hypnotherapy.
When you’re in the state of hypnosis, your mind operates at Theta frequency (4-7.5Hz). The conscious mind is turned off and subdued at that point, and the subconscious is open to absorbing suggestions effortlessly. In that state, it makes more sense to include such factual statements.
But since you are reading the affirmations in a waking state i.e. Beta frequency (14-40Hz) which is a state of reasoning and high consciousness, saying such affirmations which your conscious mind finds hard to reason won’t be very effective.
With all of the affirmations articles on this blog, I have made it a point to incorporate the rules and techniques I have learned in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy so that each affirmation is crafted and structured in the most effective way making it easier for your subconscious mind to absorb them and adapt accordingly, given that you use these affirmations regularly and consistently for at least 3-6 weeks.
46 Positive Affirmations for Social Anxiety
1. I can allow myself to relax when I’m around people.
2. Meeting new people can be an interesting experience.
3. I allow myself to be open to talking and getting to know other people.
4. Other people are only human just like me.
5. Starting a conversation with someone is simple. You just say something and it starts a flow of conversation
6. I tap into my curious side when I’m around people. My curiosity can make people seem interesting to me.
7. My quiet nature makes me a good listener.
8. I am a good person and people usually think well of me when they meet me.
9. Every new person I meet is a new opportunity to learn something new.
10. You never know which next person you talk to can potentially become a lifelong friend. This motivates me to interact with people more.
11. Socializing is pretty easy to learn. All it needs is practice.
12. The more I talk to people, the easier and more natural it gets for me to socialize effortlessly.
13. When I am relaxed around people, I socialize naturally and effortlessly.
14. We, humans, are naturally designed to interact with each other and connect.
15. I empathize with other people which makes me a good listener and communicator.
16. People are drawn to talk to me because they feel good talking to me.
17. People share their stories with me and tell me about their achievements because I’m trustworthy and genuine.
18. I allow myself to be expressive when I talk.
19. Maintaining eye contact with people is pretty straightforward. You just have to look them in the eye. It makes it easier to connect.
20. I can be relaxed and well-grounded whether I’m by myself or in public.
21. I see myself as a relaxed, chill, and empathetic person.
22. I allow myself to enjoy eating at social gatherings. The food is just too good!
23. If someone doesn’t treat me well, it’s only a reflection of their state of mind.
24. I cannot control other people’s behavior, so why worry?
25. What I can control is how I carry myself. I choose to carry myself gracefully and elegantly.
26. It’s okay to feel a bit anxious before meeting someone. Once I engage in a conversation that anxiety starts to fade away.
27. I allow myself to feel safe and secure when I’m around people.
28. I don’t have to act a certain way around people. I choose to be my authentic self whether someone likes it or not.
29. I bring positivity to people around me.
30. My self-worth doesn’t have to depend upon other people’s perceptions of me. I realize my own worth.
31. All I have to do is just show up to the gathering and everything else will flow naturally and effortlessly.
32. I free myself from seeking any validation from other people. I am enough to validate myself.
33. Human beings have a natural ability to adapt to anything. I allow myself to adapt and adjust naturally.
34. I have handled many challenging experiences in the past, and I can surely handle this one as well.
35. It’s okay to not always fit in and connect with everyone. As I meet people, I will find the ones who match my energy and connect with me on a deeper level.
36. Whatever happens will only add to my wisdom and life experience.
37. I let myself be who I am.
38. I set myself free from the expectations of fitting in.
39. I allow myself the freedom to feel a bit anxious, to have trembling hands, to have sweaty palms.
40. I allow myself to heal from any childhood experiences that might be holding me back.
41. It’s better to be gently quiet than to be harshly loud.
42. I know I can have engaging conversations with a friend, I just need to use that same ability to converse with other people. I have it in me.
43. I can express myself confidently while talking to a friend. With practice, I can learn to channel that same expressive confidence while talking to other people.
44. Whenever I feel socially anxious, I can draw my attention away from myself by observing my surroundings. It’s fascinating how many tiny details we miss out on.
45. When I’m eating out, I allow myself to make the mess that is necessary for me to enjoy my food! You can’t enjoy food without being a little messy, can you?
46. Any embarrassing thing I do, becomes a good story to tell and have a few laughs later on.
Some of these affirmations will resonate with you more than others, so pick the ones that connect with you the most and repeat them right after waking up in the morning or just before falling asleep for at least 3 weeks.
The reason for suggesting the timings around sleep is because immediately after waking up or right before falling asleep our mind briefly goes into the Theta Frequency where the subconscious mind is most receptive to positive suggestions.
Having said that, you can definitely use them throughout the day whenever is most convenient for you, and you don’t have to limit them to just 3 weeks. You can make it a permanent habit to repeat these affirmations whenever you feel socially anxious.
As always, your feedback and input are always welcome in the comments section below. Feel free to share this article with someone who might need it.
Make sure to take good care of yourself and I’ll talk to you in the next one!
A writer by calling, a life coach by passion, an artist by nature. Someone who has dedicated his life to exploring deep human potentials, spirituality, and timeless wisdoms of life with a hunger to share those experiences and knowledge to help others find meaning and improve the quality of their lives.