"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
Social anxiety is something that most people have had to deal with at one time or another, and something that a lot of us deal with on a daily basis. It can make every day more difficult than it needs to be. Christians are no different than anyone else in this regard, and many are familiar with the unease that can come along with being in a social setting.
Those suffering from severe social anxiety should seek out the help of a professional. See your doctor and talk to a counselor to explore various treatment options. If your anxiety is keeping you from school, work, and other important tasks, then you should not feel ashamed to ask for help. However, if your anxiety is less severe and you are able to perform your daily tasks but have some trouble in social settings, then it is possible to help yourself and either improve or get over your social anxiety entirely.
You might not be too thrilled to hear that the best way to get over mild social anxiety is to take a deep breath and throw yourself into the situations that scare you the most. However, the moment you get out there and start doing the things you are scared of is the moment that you will begin to enact real change.
The more you talk to people and spend time with them, the more you will see that you can relax and feel better about yourself. A good deal of social anxiety comes from worry over what other people think of us, but, as you begin to have more positive interactions, you will find that fear diminishing. This is not to say that every single interaction will be positive, or that you will not find yourself in an awkward moment from time to time. Nevertheless, the important thing to remember is that most people are friendly and that many individuals you encounter are also dealing with similar feelings of anxiety.
If you need an extra bit of motivation to get yourself out there, then just remember that you can always turn to God in times of fear and weakness. God is always there to strengthen us and give us that extra little boost we need in order to be the best we can be. Help yourself by consulting to scripture and memorizing encouraging spiritual verses that you can call upon in times of need. Here are three fantastic Biblical quotes that can give you courage when you start to notice your anxiety increasing:
- "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." (Psalm 56:3)
- "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1)
- "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
It might take some time, but you will begin to feel much better when you have positive interactions with others. Just remember, the only way to have these experiences is to get out and make them happen. So take a deep breath, close your eyes (figuratively, of course), and show yourself what you are capable of.
I know that You can do everything and that no thought can be withheld from You. "Who is he who hides council without knowledge?" Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me which I did not know. "Hear and I will speak I will question You and You shall declare to Me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You, therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.