I spent years of my life unable to talk to anybody because of shyness. That is, until I started using meditation for social anxiety.
Meditation helped me overcome a social anxiety that was completely destroying my life.
For years I literally kept myself to myself, stayed in my bedroom gaming, and anytime somebody spoke to me I would turn red in the face and get the worst escalated heartrate.
Then, in my early twenties, I learned how to meditate properly. I fell in love with meditation. I learned absolutely everything I could about all the different types of meditation. In fact, I came to love meditation so much that I launched this very blog, THE DAILY MEDITATION, and I now teach meditation.
In my guide to using meditation for anxiety, I shared the top ten meditation techniques that you can use to take control of your anxiety. Today, I would like to show you how to use meditation for social anxiety. And you might also like to read meditation guide to overcoming relationship anxiety, too.
The Best Meditations For Social Anxiety
There are many different meditation techniques for social anxiety. In fact, almost all of the traditional meditation techniques will help you to stop social anxiety so you can start to enjoy healthy, positive relationships with friends, meet new people, and, if you’re single, be more confident in dating.
Let me first ask you a question. Are you actually afraid of talking to other people? If so, you will definitely want to read my article about how I stopped fear by meditating.
Now let’s take a look at the best meditations for social anxiety.
1: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
One of the main causes of social anxiety is negative thinking. So logically one of the best ways to overcome social anxiety is to stop those thoughts [READ: How To Stop Negative Thinking].
In my experience, the best way to stop negative thoughts is with come CBT exercises.
CBT [Cognitive Behavioural Therapy] is a scientific approach to stopping negative thoughts and changing your personal beliefs.
For instance, let’s say you get nervous when talking to people because you think you will do something embarrassing. Those nerves prevent you from talking social and enjoying a healthy social life. You want to change those thoughts to something more positive. You want to learn new ways to think so that instead of thinking “I’m going to embarrass yourself”, you think, for instance, “I’m going be confident and enjoy socialising.”.
With CBT, you can change those negative thoughts to more positive ones. My article about Mindfulness-CBT Exercises will show you how.
2: Loving Kindness Meditation
Often, social anxiety is caused by negative thoughts we have about other people and about our relationship to other people.
For instance, you might have social anxiety if you believe that other people are cruel or unkind. Thinking negatively about others will naturally make you more worried about talking to them.
Or you could have social anxiety because of negative thoughts about yourself. Perhaps you feel badly about yourself or you have low levels of self love.
Either way, Loving Kindness Meditation will help. It is one of the very best meditations for social anxiety. It’s a technique in which we create warm feelings of love and compassion for both ourselves and others. It will make you feel more connected to other people, more loving towards them, and you will also feel more love from other people.
Read my guide to Loving Kindness Meditation for more on this.
3: Karuna Meditation
Oftentimes when we are shy it is because we believe that other people will see our pain or our weakness and will not be compassionate towards us. We worry that other people will see our weaknesses and use them to exploit us, take advantage of us, or harm us. At the same time, we think other people are perfect, better than us…
This is essentially a problem of compassion. We don’t believe other people will be compassionate towards us, and because of that belief, we in turn are not compassionate towards them.
One remedy to this that I personally find very helpful is to practice a Buddhist meditation called Karuna a meditation for compassion. This is a technique in which we meditate on suffering. The aim of this technique is to make us more aware of the struggles of other people and more compassionate towards them. And at the same time, we imagine other people accepting our own struggles and being passionate towards us.
This essentially develops the mindset that “All people have weaknesses and pain, and we are all compassionate towards one another”. This is a great attitude for overcome social anxiety. And that’s why Karuna is definitely one of the best meditations for social anxiety relief.
4: Try To Be More Mindful When You’re in Social Situations
You might notice that when you get into social situations you feel nervous and you retreat inside your own head. You become consumed with thoughts and feelings. You’re not really living in the present moment. You’re not being mindful.
The solution to this is to try to be more mindful is social situations. To do this, you will want to observe the sensations and thoughts that you experience when you’re socialising. Do this in a non-judgmental way. For instance, if you feel nervous, just say to yourself: This is just a feeling it can’t harm me.
Start to be more aware of what is happening in your own mind in social situations. Accept any thoughts and feelings and just run with it.
5: Any meditation that helps with confidence
Social anxiety and confidence are very closely related. And that’s why if you have social anxiety you might like to work on improving your confidence [READ: Best Meditations For Self Confidence].
When you are confident and feel good about yourself you will naturally want to talk to other people and enjoy a great social life. The trick is to change the way you feel about yourself. That way you will communicate an air of confidence and this will make you feel good when talking to other people.
Take a look at the link above for all the best meditations for confidence.
And Those Are The Best Meditations For Social Anxiety
With these meditations for social anxiety you will totally change your social life. Trust me. I used to suffer from extreme shyness. I used to go red in the face and get escalated heartbeat any time I spoke to anyone. I was a total recluse. Meditation changed all of that.
Now when I talk to people I feel confident, happy and positive. And it is all because of the meditations for social anxiety that we looked at above.
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