A Basic Mindfulness Meditation Script for Social Anxiety Disorder

Use This Script When Practicing Mindfulness Meditation for SAD

Woman meditating with candles.

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The following is a mindfulness meditation script that you can use to help overcome social anxiety disorder (SAD). This script is based on basic meditations, and those for coping with anxiety.

How to Implement Mindfulness Meditation

Choose a quiet place and time to practice your meditation. You might also wish to set a timer to signal the end of your meditation; anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes is a typical length for practice. If you would prefer to listen to the script, you could also consider recording yourself reading the passage below and then play it back to yourself through headphones.

  1. Begin your meditation by choosing a position. Sit in a chair with an alert but comfortable posture, back straight, hands resting in your lap and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Make sure that you're balanced and not straining. Loosen any tight clothing and close your eyes.
  3. Notice the stillness of your body. Relax your stomach, chest and shoulders, and begin to focus on your breath.
  4. Breathe in deeply through the nose, allowing the air to flow down to your diaphragm, and then release.
  5. Repeat the breath, allowing the air to gently flow through. Notice a sense of calm as you breathe out.
  6. Release tension and stress as you gradually find a comfortable rhythm for your breathing. As you breathe in and out, notice any thoughts or feelings that you have.

You might start to worry about the future or think about the past—it's normal for your mind to wander. Some feelings and thoughts might be very distressing, but do your best to observe and not judge.

How to Manage Your Thoughts

While meditating, make a note of your thoughts or feelings and what they are. Maybe you worried about an upcoming social event or thought about a conversation that didn't go so well.

If a negative thought or feeling grabs your attention, make a note of it and then return to focusing on your breath. It's natural for your mind to wander to your social and performance fears, but try not to be critical of yourself.

Notice the thought or feeling, but don't follow it, and don't let your mind pursue it. Recognize that it's simply a thought: it's what your mind does. You can notice it and then let it go.

Picture yourself at the beach, lying on the warm sand. A refreshing breeze blows in and you feel relaxed. Imagine your thoughts and feelings are like the wind blowing or the waves rolling, and continue with your breathing, letting everything become the wind and the waves.

Feel how the waves come and go. Remain calm, and let your thoughts move and change. Breathe.

Intentionally bring to mind a situation that you fear. Imagine yourself talking to strangers or giving a speech. Sit with the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that this situation brings, and simply let them be, without resisting.

Relax and let the thoughts and feelings gradually dissolve. Resistance will make the distress stay, while acceptance will allow the negativity to dissipate.

Remember that you will always experience some anxiety; it's impossible for it to completely disappear. Instead of resisting, learn to welcome your thoughts and feelings, accept them, and then feel how they float away.

When you do find yourself in a moment of happiness during your day, grab hold of it, keeping the feeling in your awareness. Count to 15 seconds, allowing your brain to start establishing and strengthening new pathways.

The more you use these pathways, the deeper the grooves become. Happy thoughts will eventually fill those grooves.

Gradually, when you are ready, bring your attention slowly back to your breath. Then, move to your body and your surroundings. Move gently, open your eyes, and stretch.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Verni KA. Happiness the Mindful Way. DK. 2015.

  2. Simpkins CA, Simpkins AM. Yoga & Mindfulness Therapy Workbook for Clinicians and Clients. PESI Publishing & Media. 2014.

  3. Banerjee M, Cavanagh K, Strauss C. Barriers to Mindfulness: a Path Analytic Model Exploring the Role of Rumination and Worry in Predicting Psychological and Physical Engagement in an Online Mindfulness-Based Intervention. Mindfulness (N Y). 2018;9(3):980-992.  doi:10.1007/s12671-017-0837-4

  4. Garland EL, Farb NA, Goldin P, Fredrickson BL. Mindfulness Broadens Awareness and Builds Eudaimonic Meaning: A Process Model of Mindful Positive Emotion Regulation. Psychol Inq. 2015;26(4):293-314.  doi:10.1080/1047840X.2015.1064294

Additional Reading

By Arlin Cuncic
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety."