You may have noticed your teen act self-conscious in regular social situations or actively avoid interacting with others. These may be signs of something more serious than shyness. In fact, your teen may have social anxiety disorder, which can greatly affect their mental and emotional well-being.
Social anxiety manifests in feelings of stress, fear and severe nervousness in what are typically normal social situations. But your teen shouldn’t be defined by their social anxiety. Here are a few tips on how they can manage the effects and feel better about social interactions.
Engage in Positive Thinking
Teens, like many of us, are their own worst critics. A symptom of social anxiety is the fear of being judged by others. The first step to overcoming that fear is to stop judging yourself so harshly. Your teen can downplay their negative views by making an effort to focus on positive thoughts each day.
Keep a Journal
Simply expressing your anxieties can help you to take control over them. Journaling is a positive outlet for nervous energy, and it can help with self reflection and building self-esteem. Whenever your teen feels nervous, they can record their thoughts in a daily journal.
Besides keeping them in shape, exercise gets your teen out into the world and trying new things. Joining a dance class or a sports team can help them reduce stress and combat their feelings of anxiety.
Take a Breather
Calming activities like deep breathing, meditation or yoga help to relieve anxieties by releasing the nervous energy that builds up in the body. When your teen calms their mind, they’ll be better prepared to tackle whatever life throws at them.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
The support of a few trusted people can make a world of difference in dealing with social anxiety. Having a solid support network makes it easier for your teen to overcome fears and try new things.
Social anxiety disorder is something that your teen should not have to face alone. Encourage them to ask for help with they need it, and contact a mental health professional if necessary.
Feature Image: Valentina Locatelli