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5 Tips for Navigating Social Anxiety as a Senior

The thought of a backyard barbeque, an office or a birthday party sounds like great fun to most people. But when we are older and less active socially, such events can become more of an ordeal for us. This article will discuss tips to deal with social anxiety as a senior.

Fear of interaction in social gatherings is the third largest mental health problem among the older population of the world today. The great news, however, is that it is easily curable and something we can all deal with on our own.

1.     Burn off all the stress before you attend the event

To stay sophisticatedly calm and in control during the event, it is advisable to release as much stress as possible before leaving. It helps keep our nervous system more regulated and burns off all the excess adrenaline in our body. A good workout or a thorough cleaning session at home is just the therapy we may need.

2.     Preplan a few conversation topics

Our greatest fear at times is being at a loss for words in a social gathering. Why not preplan a few interesting stories to discuss? A great conversation opener can be a question like, ‘”How do you prefer to spend your free time,” or “What is your favorite genre of books?”

Many people just love the attention you give them. And giving them an opening to talk freely about themselves might keep you engaged in a conversation all evening. If nothing else comes to mind, a reference to anything trending would be a good conversation starter too.

3.     Practice slow breathing

As silly as it sounds, we are often so consumed with anxiety and nervousness that we forget to breathe. Hyperventilating is never an elegant move in a social event. When caught up in tense situations, we must force ourselves into tranquility by inhaling and exhaling slowly for eight counts. This helps in regaining composure.

4.     Take baby steps

Avoiding social events just because we’re nervous isolates us. Why not push our boundaries bit by bit to expand our horizon. Initially, it may seem difficult, but it rewards well in the long run. Take baby steps to put yourself out of your comfort zone. Endure the mild discomfort. In time, you will be better equipped with self-esteem and confidence and blend well in any social gathering.

5.     Build a strategy

A little preparation beforehand goes a long way in easing social dilemmas for us. A good idea would be to plan a strategy of identifying people and places in the event that would provide us a stable ground. It would even turn into a pleasant time, if we manage to seek out a calm area for ourselves or familiarize with people who welcome us warmly. Identify people who you are already familiar with and socialize with them first for a kick-start to the party.

Final thoughts

We must never underestimate our abilities regardless of our age. There is nothing too difficult if we just put our mind to it. With the right approach, we may even make more friends as seniors than we did as a  teenager. All it needs is positivity and a little confidence.

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