How to Expand Your Comfort Zone
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Health and Wellness

How to Expand Your Comfort Zone

Advice for those with Social Anxiety

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How to Expand Your Comfort Zone
Melissa Honey

In addition to writing articles for Odyssey, I also make YouTube videos bi-weekly where I give advice to people with social anxiety. Sometimes I get the information across better in written form than in spoken form, so I write the topic of the videos down and release them here on Odyssey.

This week I wanted to give advice on how to expand your comfort zone.

Part of the root cause for feeling socially anxious is feeling uncomfortable in social situations. It’s stressful having to come up with conversational topics, especially if you’re the one initiating the conversation. This can lead people like me to feel anxious and scared of interacting in social situations, but in order to get better at talking to people, you have to make yourself uncomfortable. In this article, I’m going to offer five tips and tricks for how to expand your comfort zone in social situations.

1. Breathe

When we’re uncomfortable, our blood pressure goes up and our heart beat races. When our body overreacts, we’re going to overreact. The way you can fix this problem is by simply breathing. Calm your body and that will make you feel more comfortable when you’re forcing yourself to interact in a situation where you are normally uncomfortable and nervous.

2. Push yourself

Oftentimes, especially with people who have social anxiety, others will pressure us into a situation where we’re not comfortable, and that causes stress. You shouldn’t let others pressure you to do something you’re not comfortable with, but you should push yourself. This is something that I too have a hard time doing, but push yourself to do something that makes you uncomfortable. Be the first one to text your crush or say hello to a stranger. Push yourself to do something you’re afraid to do but that you really want to do. It’ll feel more rewarding if you make yourself expand your comfort zone instead of letting someone else make you do it.

3. Don’t be afraid of the jokes

I know when I embarrass myself, my family and friends will make fun of me for years on end. I can never live anything down. But for as much as I hate it and as much as it makes me feel weak, you have to accept that your family and friends are going to always make fun of you, and that’s okay. They do it because they know you won’t stop talking to them if they keep making fun of you. Don’t be afraid to potentially embarrass yourself. We embarrass ourselves when we’re uncomfortable, and that’s okay. Don’t let the potential for embarrassment and jokes keep you from expanding your comfort zone.

4. Make yourself a little uncomfortable

You can’t expand your comfort zone without getting uncomfortable, so make yourself uncomfortable. Do something small that makes you feel awkward, but that’ll make you feel proud when you do it. For example, I have a difficult time saying hello to strangers, but I’ll often say hello to someone that doesn’t look threatening. To expand your comfort zone, you have to get uncomfortable and awkward, so do it!

5. Give it a shot

We really do regret the things we wanted to do but never did, so just take a shot. Even if you fail, even if you embarrass yourself and everyone makes fun of you for the rest of your life, at least you gave it a shot. At least, for one moment, you were brave. And that’s something you should be proud of. No matter the reason you’re afraid of expanding your comfort zone, just do it. Make yourself feel uncomfortable. If you never make yourself feel uncomfortable, you’ll never accomplish anything worth doing. You can’t expand your comfort zone without being uncomfortable, so do it.

This has been 5 tips and tricks on how you can expand your comfort zone. These tips are intended to help in social situations in case you feel nervous around close friends or want to push yourself into meeting new people. Give these tips a shot, and if they don’t work, at least you tried!

You can find the video version of this article here, as well as a link to my YouTube channel. Diary of a Socially Awkward, where I upload videos giving advice to people with social anxiety.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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