Many people suffer from social anxiety, which can make life very difficult. Thankfully, there is a way to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with socializing: external mindfulness. In this blog post, I will discuss what external mindfulness is and how it can help you manage your social anxiety. I will also provide a script for getting started with external mindfulness for social anxiety.
When you focus on your thoughts about how others are judging you, the anxious sensations in your body, your feelings of anxiety, and your perceptions of what’s happening in a situation your anxiety will increase. It will be harder to be with others and live a fulfilling life. One kind of mindfulness, external mindfulness, can help with this. Internal mindfulness or meditation will not and will make your social anxiety worse. It’s also important to understand that if you have trauma or anxiety, you must be cautious in applying these strategies.
External mindfulness for social anxiety
Another name for external mindfulness is curiosity training. I learned this from Larry Cohen, who is an expert in social anxiety. I’m going to simplify it for you in this blog post.
Social anxiety can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you’re anxious about making a fool of yourself, you can become preoccupied with yourself and don’t attend to what other people are saying. You may become disconnected from the conversation and even look socially awkward. The thing you are most afraid of may happen.
Curiosity training kills two birds with one stone. It helps you be perceived as more likable and it helps decrease your social anxiety. Here are the five steps to curiosity training.
Social anxiety can be a significant barrier to engaging in conversations . Social anxiety can make it difficult to speak up and interact with other people, whether it’s due to negative self-talk or simply feeling tongue-tied in social situations. However, one simple trick can help ease social anxiety and improve our ability to converse confidently: practicing external mindfulness.
By setting aside just five minutes each day to focus on your conversations, you can break down the barriers that social anxiety creates and become more comfortable opening up in social situations. Whether listening to someone talk about their day at the office or actively engaging with a group of friends, mindful attention allows you to focus on the present moment without worrying about how others might perceive you or what they might think of your responses. With continued practice, external mindfulness can help you learn to slow down and savor social interactions, develop better communication skills, and reduce social anxiety. So if you’re looking for an easy way to start improving your social life, step one is simply setting aside 5 minutes to practice with conversation.
NOTE: Start with people you feel the most comfortable with and move to more challenging situations.
You want to be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying.
It can be difficult to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know, but one of the best ways is simply to be curious. Be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying and ask follow-up questions. This will show that you’re engaged in the conversation and help to put the other person at ease. If you can do this, you’ll find that conversations flow more smoothly, and social anxiety becomes less of an issue. So next time you’re in a situation where you need to start a conversation, remember to put on your curious hat.
Practice saying to yourself
To fully and mindfully engage with life, it is essential to let go of your judgments and be open and curious about the world around you. One powerful tool for doing this is to repeat phrases like “present for this moment” or “mindful and curious”. By consciously choosing these words and immersing yourself in them, you can start to break down the mental barriers that keep you separate from your surroundings. With practice, you will feel more present, mindful, and curious in your everyday life, opening up new possibilities for exploration and growth. So the next time you find yourself struggling with judgment or feeling disconnected from the world around you, try focusing on mindful curiosity instead – it might change everything.
When you notice you’re focusing on your thoughts or feelings, gently return your attention to the conversation when distracted. Without judgment, without criticism. You don’t have to do this perfectly.
Whether you’re attending a networking event or going on a first date, it’s essential to be present and focused on the conversation. That means treating your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions as background noise and keeping the focus on the other person. This can be difficult, especially if you’re feeling nervous or distracted, but it’s important to remember that the conversation is the central point of focus. Keeping your attention on the other person will create a more enjoyable and productive dialogue. You might even make a new friend. If you notice this happening, simply say ” background noise” to yourself and return your focus to the conversation.
This external mindfulness exercise is skill training for you. You’ll be immersing yourself in social situations.
You’ll be absorbed in the conversation attending to other people or another person.
Instead of focusing on your signs of anxiety which often convince you you’re in danger, you’ll be in the moment creating pleasant experiences with other people.
You’re also creating a lifelong social skill.
I hope this has been a helpful post for you!
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