How Exercise Can Help with Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can keep a person from trying new things and putting themselves out there. But exercise can help a person with social anxiety overcome fears, make new friends and relax.

Meet New People

Joining a sports team or dance league will introduce you to new people who have similar interests as you. Team sports encourage communication and bonding, requiring you to participate together. But there is nothing to be worried about—everyone will be doing the same thing as you so there is no need to feel embarrassed.


Exercising reduces stress, and helps people relax and feel good through the release of endorphins. Running, walking and cycling are all excellent choices for individual exercise if you don’t feel ready to take on group sports, organized training or exercise groups.

Boy Riding Bike Sunset - Teen RehabPhoto by Unsplash

Focus on the Positive

Focusing on positive activities like exercise takes an anxious person’s mind away from the things that make them anxious. Some researchers believe a person’s anxiety worsens because they only focus on anxiety-inducing things, since that is where their mindset is stuck. Removing yourself from that anxious world and into a more positive one can help bring you out of your funk.

Rowing Team - Teen Rehab Photo by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML

Facing Fears

Trying something new will help you overcome your fears. Joining a team or having a regular jogging schedule can help a person with social anxiety overcome their fears of failing, embarrassment and social interaction. It will take time but the positive effects will be worth it.

Girl Swimming Team - Teen Rehab Photo by Rob124

Feature Image: by Tom Workman