Strategies That May Help Students Cope With Social Anxiety

As highlighted in the accompanying resource, anxiety among students is a significant issue and more common than you might think. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is prevalent and has impacted a growing number of young people over the past year, partly due to the challenging educational conditions brought on by pandemic restrictions and disruptions.

However, pandemic-related issues are not the sole contributors to the increased anxiety among students. The surge in social media use and other forms of digital communication has led to students feeling more isolated, reducing their face-to-face interactions. This isolation hampers the practice of essential social skills necessary for personal and professional growth. Adding to this problem is the tendency of social media to expose students to bullying and other hostile communications, creating additional stress that worsens social anxiety.

The good news is that experiencing social anxiety doesn’t mean a student is destined for a life of anxiety, underachievement, or isolation. The resource provides various strategies for students coping with social anxiety, which may also benefit parents, family members, and concerned friends.

Understanding what social anxiety is and how it affects individuals can be a starting point to overcoming it and aiding a friend or child who may be struggling with it. Here’s the thing: nearly everyone gets nervous in some social situations, whether it’s speaking in public, attending a party where you don’t know many people, or even participating in online high school classes. If you have social anxiety, however, that fear can become overwhelming, and you might be terrified of embarrassment or looking foolish. This anxiety can prevent you from engaging in activities you typically enjoy or lead you to avoid situations that trigger those anxious feelings.

Although social anxiety can be isolating, it can also be managed. The key takeaway from this resource is to recognize that you’re dealing with social anxiety and take steps to address it proactively. Remind yourself that people around you are more focused on their own concerns than on you. If you feel anxious in large groups, it might help to practice social skills in smaller, less intimidating settings, gradually building up your confidence.

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