A while back, I tried out a few different techniques from a psychologist to help with social anxiety. All of them worked to varying degrees, but the one I found helped best was listening.
This sounds so basic, but according to the psychologist, when we interact with people we frequently put pressure on ourselves to entertain, which “floods our brain with stress hormones”. But when we put the onus on the other person by asking them questions and just listening to them, this lets us relax. Trying to listen more to people also helps to take my mind off my own anxieties, because I’m focusing on them.
Separate to this, listening to podcasts or putting together a soothing playlist to switch on when you need it can also be helpful. I named my soothing playlist “Chamomile, Extra Brewed” because all my playlists are named after teas – yes, I am that tragic.
7. Change your scenery.
This can literally be anything from taking a day trip, to leaving your house for a walk, to just getting up from your desk and going and sitting in a toilet cubicle for a bit (there’s something about small, enclosed spaces that I find really soothing – I was probably a field mouse in a former life). Physically changing where I am acts like a break switch for me, and can help me get out of a bad headspace.