Social anxiety can feel inescapable, but there are ways to approach it

I’ve been struggling with anxiety and it feels like it’s affecting my friends, family, and school. Any advice?

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DJ Gallegos

Anxiety can impact all parts of your life, but there are ways to cope.

Aspen Bingham, Writer

I completely understand where you’re coming from. 

Everyday tasks have the ability to cause anxious feelings. Most don’t realize that what they feel is anxiety. Maybe you’ve had to talk in front of a large group of people and all of a sudden you became super hot and shaky. Maybe you failed a big test and had to tell your parents, but all of a sudden got nauseous. Many things can make different individuals anxious, and they may not even realize it.

School can be a trigger for anxiety, especially for those who have social anxiety, also known as “social phobia”.  School leaves students with social anxiety feeling very fearful and extremely self conscious. These students constantly have a need to be perfect, causing a lot of pressure.

Many students go all day avoiding situations that might be out of their comfort zone. This includes anything that might draw attention to them. For example, avoiding speaking, eye contact, and meeting new people. These behaviors and feelings heavily affect school performance and experience.

Socially anxious students miss out on many learning opportunities and, as a result, failed exams and tests could occur.

That being said, we also have been in school during a literal pandemic.

COVID-19 has caused many people to become comfortable with online socialization. Many students have struggled adjusting back to in person classes. According to a study from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, anxiety about returning to class could be more noticeable because of social anxiety caused by the pandemic. 

No matter how bad the butterflies in your stomach get, you can learn new skills to be more comfortable and happier in your social life. 

Social anxiety is not something that disappears — some people struggle with it their entire life, but there are ways to build confidence and make it more manageable.

Facing your fears slowly is a big step that often requires professional help and support, but it is very important to creating a new life for yourself. These situations can be very nerve wracking. Learning breathing exercises is a very good way to ground yourself and can help bring your physical systems of anxiety down. Creating a plan for when things do get overwhelming is very important, this plan could include taking a walk, getting some water, or even just closing your eyes for a few moments.

Academic help is also highly encouraged by experts for students struggling with social anxiety. Academic help includes tutoring and accommodations specific to students’ needs.