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New Year's Resolutions for Social Anxiety

10 New Year's Resolutions for those with SAD


Updated July 08, 2012

New Year's resolutions for social anxiety disorder sufferers may include everything from improving your social skills to vowing to take on more challenges. As the year draws to a close, many of you will be thinking about positive changes that you can make. Here is a list of ten resolutions that may help you better manage social anxiety in the new year.

1. Get Help

If you suffer with symptoms of social anxiety disorder (SAD) but have not received a diagnosis, make visiting your doctor a priority in the new year. The first step to making positive changes in your life is to receive an evaluation from a mental health professional. You don't need to suffer in silence for another year.

2. Take Care of Yourself

Although treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication are proven methods for overcoming SAD, it is also important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly will make it easier to live with less anxiety.

3. Try Relaxation Exercises

If you have not already, resolve to give relaxation exercises a whirl. Techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and diaphgragmatic breathing are self-help relaxation methods that you can practice on your own.

4. Try Online Programs

As the world of online treatment develops, so do online programs for coping with social anxiety disorder (SAD). If you have a computer and a bit of free time, make a point of trying out some of the online programs available for SAD. While no substitute for traditional treatment, these programs are free and often backed by scientific investigation when they are part of university research labs.

5. Improve Social Skills

Social skills are important in both personal and business relationships. Learning how to give and receive compliments, make small talk, and make introductions are just some examples of skills that you can improve upon in the new year.

6. Accept Challenges

If you suffer with SAD, you probably have a tendency to avoid social and performance situations. Make a resolution to face challenging situations in the new year. Don't turn down that baby shower invitation; go and practice making small talk. Volunteer to do a reading at church. Challenging yourself will increase both your confidence and your abilities.

7. Read About Other's Experiences

Vow to learn more about SAD in the new year. Read about celebrities who have suffered with the disorder and come back such as Donny Osmond and Zack Greinke. Visit support groups, forums, and blogs about SAD. Reading about others who have been through the same experiences and learned how to cope will give you motivation to make changes.

8. Share Your Own Experiences

Share your experiences about living with SAD. Talking about how you feel, whether in a therapy setting or an online community, will help to organize your thoughts, and perhaps motivate you to make changes in the new year.

9. Be More Assertive

Although you will be accepting new challenges in the new year, it is also important to learn when to say no. If you have a tendency to be a people-pleaser, acting in an assertive manner may feel foreign at first. Like all skills, practice makes perfect.

10. Practice Gratitude

Resolve to be happier with your position in life. Although you may face more social hurdles than people without SAD, there are always reasons to be happy. Use the "Three Blessings Exercise" to practice gratitude at the end of each day.

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