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8 Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety

Updated: Jun 12

Social anxiety, teen therapy, anxiety relief

How to Empower Students to Overcome Social Anxiety that is Impacting Their Functioning Level at School

Navigating social anxiety in a mainstream school setting is undoubtedly challenging, but with the right strategies and support, you or your child can not only manage your anxiety but also cultivate a successful academic and social experience. Below are some tips to help if you or your child experience social anxiety:

1. Practice Relaxation Techniques for Anxiety:

Immerse yourself in learning and practicing various relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation. These skills serve as valuable tools to navigate anxiety in demanding social situations. The more you put these practices into your daily routine the more effective they will become and will help you maintain a better baseline to combat anxiety in the future.

2. Set Realistic Goals and Start with Gradual Exposure to Social Anxiety:

Establish achievable goals related to social interactions, for example, greeting a classmate. Beginning by gradually exposing yourself to social situations will help you build confidence over time to start challenging yourself with more complex and intricate social situations. Celebrate each win along the way!

3. Positive Self-Talk:

Challenge negative thoughts with positive and realistic affirmations.

This will help in cultivating self-compassion and remember to acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes and that imperfection is a natural part of being human. A few examples of positive affirmations are,

"I am safe in the company of others"

"I can do hard things"

"I am far stronger than I realize"

4. Join School Clubs or Groups:

Consider joining clubs or groups that align with your interests. These environments provide structured and supportive spaces to practice social skills and connect with like-minded individuals. This can potentially eliminate some of the anxiety around having something to talk about because the whole group is there for one specific and joined purpose.

5. Participate in Class:

Actively engage in class discussions and activities. Answering questions that you confidently know the answers for or volunteering for something that you know you will succeed in can help build confidence. One step at a time. Even if it is small contribution to the whole.

Practice makes perfect!

6. Develop a Support Network:

Build a support network at school involving friends, teachers, or school staff that are aware of your social anxiety. They can offer encouragement and reassurance when needed. They can also assist you in navigating challenging social situations.

7. Consider Professional Guidance at School:

If you need more formal support at school, collaborate with a school counselor or psychologist who can offer additional support and strategies tailored to managing social anxiety within the school environment.

8. Professional Help for Social Anxiety:

Consider reaching out to a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, specializing in anxiety disorders. They can equip you with personalized strategies and techniques to effectively manage social anxiety. With a safe place to work through your social challenges, you can ultimately gain new insights, confidence and thrive in the social settings.

Remember, overcoming social anxiety is a gradual process that requires time and effort. Be patient with yourself, celebrate every small victory, and consider involving your parents or guardians to ensure a great, strong support system is in place for your journey.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out! We are here to help!

eating disorder therapist, social anxiety and counseling, anxiety disorders

Stephanie Polizzi is a licensed psychotherapist (LMHC) in Scarsdale, NY at Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, serving clients living in NY, NJ and FL.


Stephanie specializes in working with children, teens and adults struggling with anxiety,eating disorders, behavioral challenges, life transitions and trauma. 


Stephanie uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)and EMDR Therapy in her work with clients.


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