Positive Affirmations for Social Anxiety

Use positive affirmations to reduce anxiety.
Positive thoughts can help lift you away from anxiety. Getty / Stone / Anthony Harvie

If you live with social anxiety disorder (SAD), you might consider using positive affirmations as a way to improve your self-esteem and reduce anxiety.

Research indicates that self-affirmations may help to reduce your sensitivity to threat—which often forms the basis of social anxiety. In addition, higher self-esteem has been shown to predict less anxious responses. In this way, using positive affirmations may both boost your self-esteem (and as a result reduce anxiety) as well as make situations seem less threatening. 

Breaking Away From Negative Thoughts

Below is a list of negative statements that you may think about yourself if you live with social anxiety. First, find the negative thoughts that you typically have from the list below.

  1. I can't handle being around people.
  2. It's scary meeting new people.
  3. Parties make me nervous.
  4. I get so anxious in social situations.
  5. I'm so awkward.
  6. I'm not good at anything.
  7. Everyone can see how shy I am.
  8. I hate meeting new people.
  9. I feel anxious.
  10. I can't handle eye contact.
  11. Crowds make me uncomfortable.
  12. I get anxious around people.
  13. I get nervous when I meet new people.
  14. I get scared meeting new people.
  15. It's easier for me to avoid people.
  16. I have trouble keeping in touch with people.
  17. I don't like being around people.
  18. People don't like me.
  19. Talking to people is hard.
  20. I get anxious during conversations.
  21. I don't like making conversation.
  22. I get uptight around people.
  23. I get worked up around people.
  24. I am anxious in social situations.
  25. I get worked up in social situations.
  26. I get worried when I am around people.
  27. I feel so out of control.
  28. I get worked up in social situations.
  29. I lose control in social situations.
  30. I can't catch my breath
  31. I run out of breath.
  32. I am weak.
  33. I am afraid.
  34. I get nervous speaking in public.
  35. I get anxious eating in front of people.
  36. I can't eat in front of people.
  37. My hands are so shaky.
  38. I can't use public restrooms.
  39. I am stupid.
  40. I am a bad person.
  41. Nobody likes me.
  42. I am worthless.
  43. I am a failure.
  44. I am incompetent.

See how this list isn't helping you at all? You wouldn't feel too good if someone else was telling you that you were all these things—so why would you tell them to yourself? Realize that your thoughts are just thoughts, not necessarily true or accurate.

You have the ability to choose a different thought, so why not choose something that makes you feel good?

If at first it feels like too much of a stretch to say good things about yourself, choose affirmations that are neutral, or add a qualifier such as "I'm getting better at X." Over time, you will eventually start to feel like the affirmations are not so much of a stretch.

Using Positive Affirmations

Below is a list of positive affirmations to counter the list of 44 negative affirmations above.

  1. I am confident.
  2. It's easy to meet new people.
  3. I am relaxed at parties.
  4. I am relaxed in social situations.
  5. People think I am confident.
  6. There are a lot of good things about me.
  7. I am a friendly person.
  8. I like meeting new people.
  9. I am carefree.
  10. Eye contact is easy for me.
  11. I feel comfortable in crowds.
  12. I am comfortable around people.
  13. I am relaxed when meeting new people.
  14. I look forward to meeting new people.
  15. Spending time with people is fun for me.
  16. I hang out with people easily.
  17. I like being around people.
  18. Other people like me.
  19. Talking to people is easy.
  20. I am relaxed when talking to people.
  21. Conversation is fun for me.
  22. I am relaxed around people.
  23. I stay calm around people.
  24. I am calm in social situations.
  25. I am relaxed in social situations.
  26. I am confident around people.
  27. I stay calm in new situations.
  28. I stay relaxed in new situations.
  29. I feel in control in social situations.
  30. I take deep breaths.
  31. I breathe slowly.
  32. I am strong.
  33. I am brave.
  34. I am a confident public speaker.
  35. I feel confident eating in front of others.
  36. I relax during meals with others.
  37. I can write easily in front of others.
  38. I am relaxed using public restrooms.
  39. I am intelligent.
  40. I am a good person.
  41. People like me.
  42. I am a worthwhile person.
  43. I can accomplish goals I set for myself.
  44. I am competent.

A Word From Verywell

Positive affirmations are just one method of reducing negative thoughts that can perpetuate social anxiety. If you find that using positive affirmations is not helping, and you are living with significant daily anxiety, it is important that you contact your doctor for a referral to a mental health professional who can assess your situation and the best course of treatment.

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. Crowell A, Page-Gould E, Schmeichel BJ. Self-affirmation breaks the link between the behavioral inhibition system and the threat-potentiated startle response. Emotion. 2015;15(2):146-50. doi:10.1037/emo0000030

  2. Cascio CN, O'Donnell MB, Tinney FJ, et al. Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2016;11(4):621-629. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv136

  3. University of Michigan Medicine. Anxiety: Stop Negative Thoughts. Updated May 28, 2019.

  4. Eagleson C, Hayes S, Mathews A, Perman G, Hirsch CR. The power of positive thinking: Pathological worry is reduced by thought replacement in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Behav Res Ther. 2016;78:13-18. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2015.12.017

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."