Social Anxiety is the mind's learned response — it associates being in public with being dangerous. When around other people, the sympathetic nervous response system creates an adrenaline response that makes the mind and body feel like it's in danger. As a result, people get sweaty, diaphoretic, and their blood pressure rises. Because of the adrenaline, the rate of thoughts increases, confusing the brain. The brain starts thinking in absolutes and treats hypotheticals as reality. When hypotheticals become reality, all the hypothetical judgment that people can imagine feels like reality and leads to more anxiety. This is the cycle of social anxiety.
People that are bullied often have social anxiety. Bullying is a bad experience because people suffer a lot of physical and/or emotional abuse and they are often surrounded by onlookers or witnesses.
As a result, the victims’ mind learns to detect whenever there are a lot of people around so that their survival instincts kick in. And the mind also learns that the only way to be safe is to not be around other people. This mind learns to do this to protect itself from being bullied. It's important to understand and not blame the mind for the discomfort of anxiety because it is doing its best to care for people’s safety.
The meditative technique for this is for three breaths, inhale for 3 seconds, and focus on your exhalation for 7 seconds.
Neuroscience: This increases your carbon dioxide levels and decreases your oxygen levels, which activates your vagus nerve and parasympathetic nerve. The vagus nerve slows down the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and shuts down the adrenaline response. The half-life of adrenaline is one to five minutes, so you will eventually think more clearly.
Get to the root of your social anxiety. When did you learn that being seen means being in danger? If you can get to the root of it, you can digest the samskaras or unlearn the lesson.
You cannot practice being less socially awkward. All you can practice is being socially awkward. If you practice being socially awkward for long enough, then over time you will become less socially awkward. You cannot skip the socially awkward phase. Its a part of the process.
Additionally, you may not actually be socially awkward, you may just FEEL socially awkward. If you talk to people who have social anxiety, their perception of how they’re doing socially is far worse than how other people think they’re doing. Over time, the social awkwardness will decrease.