Coping with social anxiety is vital for HSPs since anticipating negative social interactions can contribute to the stress levels of a sensitive person. Overcoming social anxiety requires innovative and determined ways to manage stress.
Coping with social anxiety is a challenge for most highly sensitive people. To handle social and other forms of anxiety, HSPs benefit from developing stress management plans for themselves, and improving their skills in handling a wide variety of stressful situations – within reason, of course.
Aside from situations where medication is a necessity, HSPs have a number of basic strategies for coping with social anxiety and being at their best in all situations including the social ones:
- Simplifying and getting organized. Being organized has received a bad rap; it can be lifesaving for an HSP. The more an HSP has the administrative details of life under control and streamlined, the less time and energy they take. This is very important, since highly sensitive people need more time than others to prepare, and manage social and stressful situations. A streamlined life makes it possible for an HSP to function well so that they can confidently focus on overcoming social anxiety and other stressful problems.
- A regimen for health and wellness. Stress can be accumulated in the body making it more difficult to function and respond well to life’s challenges. Stress also weakens the immune system creating the potential for many different types of illnesses, both mild and severe. Excellent nutrition helps the body to feel stronger and more confident, and exercise strengthens the HSP core which is also a must for an HSP. Meditation and other stress reduction techniques help with the release of mental stress.
- Getting help. Self help books written by people who understand the challenges of an HSP are the least expensive form of coaching you can obtain. There are also HSP coaches who offer individual assistance and other types of therapists who may be available as well. By understanding needs and creating a personal development plan an HSP will be able to gradually master social challenges.
Social Stress Strategies
The best social stress strategies are a combination of approaches.
- Making good work choices. It is important for an HSP to be aware of work situations that enhance the HSPs life and those that don’t. High pressure, high stress situations are particularly problematic. Situations with destructive conditions are also not a natural fit. Good work situations ensure that an HSP is not worn down by a bad situation.
- Making good social choices. Compassionate supportive people who can respect the HSPs nervous system needs are the best companions for an HSP. People who are very competitive, have a negative attitude toward other people, and who are dangerous or chaotic will likely be harmful to a sensitive person.
- Self awareness. Understanding yourself, your gifts, and all of the positives that you contribute in life helps you be positive and friendly in your interactions rather than anxious and isolating.
- Socializing choices. The more an HSP can socialize one on one or in small groups the better. A healthy group of friends even if a small group, can make it easier to face a larger crowd. Small dinner parties or gatherings are ideal.
- Skill development. Accept the challenge of developing social skills that promote graciousness and dignity between people. Respect and self-respect have a lot of power.
The more comprehensive a stress reduction plan that an HSP has, the greater the opportunity for coping with social anxiety.