Talk with a therapist

Talking one-on-one with a therapist may cause feelings of discomfort if you already experience social anxiety. But some alternative therapeutic methods could involve less of this one-on-one time.

For example, virtual reality cognitive behavioral therapy (VR-CBT) from allows you to face your fears — like striking up a conversation with a stranger or giving a speech — in a virtual landscape. This form of therapy could allow you to practice communicating in a lower-pressure setting.

While VR-CBT shows promise for helping people manage social anxiety, it might not be available in your area. If you prefer less talk and more tech, biofeedback could be another, more accessible option.

You might also find a therapy that takes you out of your comfort zone — like group therapy — is your preferred approach to address anxiety, and research backs this up. One study on cognitive-behavioral group therapy for social anxiety found it helped people reduce symptoms in the long term.

4. Practice your smile

The physical act of smiling could impact mood and shyness.

In short, being happy can make us smile. But smiling can also make us happy. In one study, smiling in scary situations helped shy children reduce social anxiety.

And it’s not just smiling that might help alter your mood. You can practice:

  • good posture

  • loosening the muscles in your face

  • relaxing your eyebrows

On the other hand, research has also found that people with social anxiety might already be used to smiling more than people without it. 

If you feel exhausted by the idea of smiling any more than you already do, that’s OK, too.