2 Surprising Tricks to Reduce Social Anxiety (Psst! You Might Get To Hear My Voice!)

2 Surprising Tricks to Reduce Social Anxiety

I’m all for exposure therapy and reducing anxiety the old-fashioned way, but sometimes it’s fun to (accidentally) think outside the box.

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve stumbled across 2 tricks for muffling or reducing how much social anxiety I feel in the situation in question.

Trick #1: Take Off My Glasses

Blurry makes it better.
Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

This will admittedly not work if you have good eyesight without glasses.

I need glasses for distance — I wear them all day.

We took the kids to the swimming pool the other weekend, and I decided to leave my glasses in the locker for a change. (I needed a break from getting pool-water spots all over my lenses and I wanted to show the kids how to use their new goggles.)

The unexpected side effect?

I couldn’t read people’s facial expressions!

This was freeing (if a little headache-inducing) because:

People with social anxiety are more likely than their non-anxious counterparts to interpret a neutral or ambiguous facial expression as negative.

Something I learned in therapy.

We tend to be hypervigilant, always scanning our surroundings for threats in the form of negative expressions (or body language).

I didn’t realize how much I was scanning and being hypervigilant until I couldn’t do it anymore. All I could see was whatever was right up close to me, so just my kids and husband.

It was like putting noise-cancelling headphones on my eyes! I had a much less stressful time swimming than I normally do.

I haven’t tested this in a more open space like the mall yet.

And obviously this won’t work for driving anxiety… please wear your glasses behind the wheel.

But maybe try going glasses-free in a safe test environment and let me know!

Trick #2: Leave Voice Notes

Like this, but less intense.
Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN SEND VOICE NOTES IN MESSENGER AND INSTAGRAM?

I did not know this until a wonderful human I recently connected with on Instagram (@mckenzie_valenta) sent me a “hello” message, and I wanted to give it a try and reply.

I thought it was so great! One of my biggest anxiety triggers is the phone. Receiving calls, making calls, listening to voice messages… all of it.

But the key to reducing anxiety is to ease into your fears. Baby steps up the fear ladder.

  • For me, making phone calls and answering the phone is still way up there, anxiety-wise.
  • But sending a voice note? That, I can do. It’s still scary, but it’s manageable-scary.

SURPRISE! HERE’S MY VOICE! I cannot guarantee audio quality as I have never done this before.

Was this awkward? Yes, yes it was. Did I do it anyway? HELL YEAH I DID. That’s how you know you’ve found the “exposure therapy” sweet spot.

I’ve started sending messages to friends and relatives, and I feel so much more connected to them!

The audio message sends as soon as you lift your finger off the microphone icon, so you can’t re-record and “perfect” your message endlessly.

I totally recommend this as a way to keep in touch with people, and not just for those of us who have social anxiety! It’s so intimate and heartwarming to hear your friend’s voice once in a while.

Next step: VIDEO MESSAGES?!

What Do You Think?

I’m all ears. (Ugh, least creative pun.)
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Would you be up for trying either of these tricks? Or do you have some tricks that I should try? 🙂

Thanks for reading!

27 thoughts on “2 Surprising Tricks to Reduce Social Anxiety (Psst! You Might Get To Hear My Voice!)

  1. How fun that you included the voice memo! That would definitely be easier than talking on the phone.

    Before I had laser eye surgery I would always get a bit panicky not being able to see at pools and the like, but I can see how that would be good for social anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few people have said that voice notes are MORE stressful than phone calls, and I can see how that could be the case if the phone itself is not a problem for someone.

      For the pool, it probably helps that it’s a small, shallow pool, and I know Jesse is there (somewhere, as a blur).

      Also I want laser eye surgery.

      But then that would mean trick 1 doesn’t work anymore.

      Gah!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the voice note. It adds another dimension to social media communication. As for removing your glasses–brilliant, as a coping mechanism. Hopefully you will get to the point someday of not even caring what people think about you (whether or not they are actually thinking anything about you).

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! Not sure if you’re aware but the link that comes up under your name is different from the Talitha’s World link in your comment. Just in case you want to update it to make sure you don’t miss any clicks on comments you leave 🙂

      Like

    1. Thank you SO much, Angie! I’m truly flattered. I actually just did a post on this award — I think we may have been nominated by the same person (Caz)? So I won’t answer the questions again but I want you to know that I’m truly grateful that you thought of me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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