A Self-Help Guide to Dealing with Social Anxiety In School

Back to Article
Back to Article

A Self-Help Guide to Dealing with Social Anxiety In School

Jessica Hercules-Martinez, Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


High school can be a great time for most people. Meeting new people, discovering yourself, plans for the future and many more. It can also be quite stressful for others especially if you suffer from anxiety. Around this age, you’ll face many challenges that can cause you to feel anxious. Before we can help with the problem, we first must know what it is. What is this feeling? What causes it? Social Anxiety is a mental health condition in which social interactions can cause extreme anxiety. This may include: talking to strangers, speaking in public, making direct eye contact, going to parties, etc. While in high school, you can imagine what a person with social anxiety would have to go through. Sometimes it may be hard for people to adapt, since not everyone will be understanding about it. Many will think they just need to “toughen up” and grow some thicker  skin. Talking to a person in that manner who has social anxiety will just make the situation worse. It is important to show sympathy.

If you are currently struggling with social anxiety in high school, here are some ways that you can help yourself. First and foremost, breathe. When you first feel your nerves tensing up on you, just slow down, take a second, and scan your body. Make sure your body is relaxed. Breathing too fast or even hyperventilating will make your symptoms worse. Inhale and exhale through your nose slowly. Practicing these breathing exercises can help ease your nerves. It is a good method to try. Another tip is reducing those negative thoughts floating around in your mind. One of the most difficult parts that comes with anxiety is thinking that everyone around you is judging you, that you’re making a fool of yourself, or misinterpreting and over analyzing simple things. You assume that you know what other people are thinking of you. When in reality, you have no idea what is going on in their head. One example is thinking, “Wow, now they think I’m stupid,” after making some minor error. However, the majority of the time you are just overthinking.

Taking steps to better manage those negative thoughts starts when you first begin to assume that you know what others are thinking of you. You need to question yourself. Ask yourself, “Is this what they’re really thinking?” “Is there any actual proof that they are feeling this way?” This will help you begin to realize that you are just jumping to conclusions. Lastly, you must face your fears. Although there are ways to cope with anxiety, you will eventually have to face it.  You cannot hold yourself back by standing behind your own shadow forever. Write down the situations you can avoid in the future. For each situation, break it down in steps. If one instance is not wanting to be in the center of attention, then maybe tell a funny story about yourself in front of people you know. The little things like that will help you out a lot. Although it may seem like this will never go away, as long as you remain determined and confident, you will get through it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email