The Dos And Donts Of Anxiety
With that in mind, itâs time to go over some tips on how to help a friend with anxiety. Note that every person is different and has different needs. There are some people who want to talk about their anxieties, and there are others who may have never mentioned it. So even with these doâs and donâts, itâs hard to know exactly what you should do. However, this can be a helpful guide.
Dealing with anxiety is an uphill battle, and it does take a toll on others around them. Anxiety can strain relationships, and may even cause significant stress on a loved one. Some people find that they actually start developing anxieties of their own.
But a supportive friend is an extremely effective way to treat your own anxiety. Learn from the above tips to better understand how to help your friend, family member, or a partner and youâll give them the best opportunity to overcome their anxiety and grow closer to you as a result.
Those that love someone with anxiety may feel helpless that they cannot help their partner or friend. Anxiety is treatable, but its also a very individual experience. Learning more about anxiety is the best thing you can do for them, as well as encouraging them if they decide theyre ready to treat it.
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Little Ways You Can Support A Loved One Who Has Anxiety
If you dont struggle with anxiety yourself, chances are that someone in your circle a partner, co-worker, friend or relative does. So how do you support a loved one who may be dealing with this condition?
It can be hard to figure out whats truly helpful when even well-intentioned ones sometimes do more harm than good. Thats why weve asked people living with anxiety to share the words, gestures or other forms of support that mean the most to them.
Define All The Positives And Benefits Of Action
Our brains have a negativity bias. It can take up to 5 positive thoughts to reverse one negative thought. Were hard wired this way due to our evolutionary past of surviving in the wilderness. For the action anxiety is preventing you from taking, write down all the positives and benefits of taking it.
- Ill be able to devote my life doing something which I absolutely love, helping people figure out what they want to do and supporting them through their journey
- Help people realize their true wants, needs, and purpose, and help them pursue what they truly want to do
- Give back to all the people who have supported and guided me
- Prove to myself that I could do this
- Provide time, attention and love to all the people I care about in this world
- Ill be able to support myself, do what I want and when I want it without worry
Building up what I call a fountain of happiness provides you a place to soak in all the good vibes and thoughts when the evil face of anxiety comes crawling back.
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Controlling Anxiety Takes Time
Theres no quick fix for anxiety, and it may often feel like an uphill struggle. But by gaining awareness of what causes your symptoms, and getting help from your doctor, you can manage your symptoms.
You may find some of these hacks work for you straight away and others may have no effect at all, but the important thing is to keep trying.
Giving in to feelings of anxiety by retreating from the world only served to make my life more difficult in the long run. Continuing to search for solutions that work for me has been key to my recovery. Practice makes perfect, so dont stop trying to find ways that work for you.
Fiona Thomas is a lifestyle and mental health writer who lives with depression and anxiety. Visit her website or connect with her on .
Encourage Us To Get Out Of Our Comfort Zones When The Time Is Right
The most helpful thing my partner does when I struggle with anxiety is that he offers a home base I can return to. He encourages me to tackle hard things and break out of my comfort zone while continually letting me know hes got my back. This actually results in me relying on his help less often I feel more confident taking on life knowing a sympathetic ear is waiting for me at the end of the day. Kate Allan
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
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I Did A Great Meditation This Morning Thought You Might Like It As Well
This text is comforting in two ways. It shows that youâre thinking about them, but not necessarily expecting a response. âIt also communicates that theyâre not the only one who might benefit from something like meditation,â Potter says, âbecause you are practicing it as well.â
It might help alleviate embarrassment or worse â the notion that youâre trying to âcureâ them. Simply send along a link to the meditation and share how relaxing it was.
Dont Say: Why Arent You Seeing A Therapist/on Medication
Theres nothing wrong with showing concern for a friend, but be careful it doesnt come across as accusatory. Suggesting your friend should be doing something can create a sense of shame if they arent, or make them feel like theyre being judged. If they do need to see a counselor or take medication, those are decisions they need to make on their own and at their own pace.
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Know What Is Not Helpful
According to Saltz, its important to understand that continuing to be the one to say dont worry about that because is not actually helping, even if your friend or loved one thinks it is. You can’t make someone stop seeking reassurance, but you can tell them it’s actually making the situation worse, she says.
Another mistake to avoid, Richardson says, is taking on the role of a clinical professional. “Even if you have experience with anxiety, you don’t always know what’s best for someone else,” she says.
Instead, Richardson recommends being supportive and transparent and let your friend or loved one know you’re there for them. “You can also share what might have worked for you, but then give them space and unconditional positive regard as they navigate their own journey,” she says.
Its also important to avoid judging and blaming a loved one when they are feeling anxious. Even when youre the most frustrated, stop, take a breath, and step back. They need to see that you love them unconditionally, even when anxiety is high.
Understanding The Risk Factors
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Texts To Comfort Someone Whos Feeling Anxious According To Therapists
âI know itâs tough, but this feeling wonât last forever.â
While you might feel at a loss for how to help, sending a text to someone whoâs anxious really can make a difference in how they feel. âAnxiety can be an isolating experience,â Carrie Potter, LMHCA, a therapist who specializes in anxiety, tells Bustle, which is why reaching out is often âcomforting and connecting.â
Whether they have ongoing anxiety or are experiencing a rough patch in life, this person might worry that their emotions are a burden, Potter says, or that theyâre pushing you away by being âannoyingâ or needy. But a comforting text will serve as a reminder that theyâre loved, supported â and definitely not alone.
Just be sure to choose words that validate what theyâre experiencing while avoiding accidental brush-off statements, like âyou need to calm downâ or âeverythingâs going to be fine.â âAlthough well-meaning, these kinds of texts can send the message that the person with anxiety just needs to stop worrying or get over it,â Potter says, âwhich can add to their feelings of isolation and disconnection.â
Are There Treatments Available For Anxiety
Fortunately, there are effective strategies and treatments for the management of anxiety.
It is best to consult with a health care professional for a full health assessment and management plan. There are prescription medications that can be used to treat anxiety and there are non-pharmacologic therapies such as relaxation therapies , cognitive therapies , or exposure therapy.
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Dating Someone With Social Anxiety
If you are dating someone with social anxiety, the anxiety will most likely affect your social life. You might not be able to take your partner to all of the social events or gatherings you want to go to. Like with other forms of anxiety, this could lead to arguments or cause the two of you to grow apart.
Be Calm And Present: How To Help Someone With Anxiety Attack
Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, can be very frightening for both the person living through the episode as well as onlookers. If you’re with someone when they have a panic attack, there are things you can do to help, even if you don’t have any professional training. Here’s how to help someone having an anxiety attack.
What Does An Anxiety Attack Look Like?
The symptoms of an anxiety attack can mirror symptoms of other serious medical issues, which can make it seem life-threatening. A true panic attack is generally not life-threatening, but if a person experiencing the attack does not understand what’s happening, the fear of imminent death or a true medical emergency can exacerbate their attack. Even if they do know that they’re having a panic attack, the attack can be very difficult for them, and they may need support to get through it. Symptoms usually come on very quickly and can include all or some of the following:
- Rapidly beating, pounding heart
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Sense of doom
- Numbness or tingling sensation in limbs
- Dizziness or lightheadedness feeling faint
- Experiencing chills or overheating
How To Help Someone With Anxiety Attack
If you are with someone who is having an anxiety attack, there are several things you can do.
9. Continue support until help arrives or until the person tells you they’re okay.
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Do Look After Yourself
When you offer to help with anxiety, it is understandable for you to feel frustrated, scared or tired from time-to-time. It is likely that their anxieties are having an effect on you too.
Make sure that youre dealing with these emotions and maintaining your wellbeing. Talk to other friends or family members about how you are feeling, think about accessing therapeutic support, take really good care of your physical and mental health, and book in time every week to do activities that you enjoy. By keeping yourself well, you will be in a much better position to help the person with anxiety.
And always remember, youre doing your best.
Instead Say: Lets Go To A Quieter Place Or Go For A Walk
If you want to try to help your friend get out of anxiety mode , you can try grounding them back in reality. Anxiety makes people hyper-focused on the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that are causing the distress, so to get your friends mind off of those things, ask if they want to take a walk, listen to some music or go to a quiet corner. Sometimes we need a supportive push to help break us out of our vicious cycle of panic and panicking about panic. Techniques like this are similar to what trained psychologists and therapists use as part of cognitive behavioral therapy, the gold standard of treatment for people who have anxiety disorders.
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Dont Be Silly Everybody Is Too Busy With Their Own Lives To Focus On You
A friend thought that pointing this out would relieve my irrational thoughts. Sadly not. At the time, I was worried that everyone in the room was judging me negatively. Social anxiety is an all-consuming disorder. So while deep down I knew that people werent focused on me, it still didnt stop the taunting thoughts.
How Teachers Can Help Students With Anxiety: 9 Easy Methods
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Learn How You Can Put a Stop to Panic Attacks From Home in Just 13 Easy Steps!
Looking back on my high school and college years, I recall all the ways in which my classroom anxiety affected my ability to focus and learn. I made my best efforts to beat anxiety in school, and certain teaching styles helped me immensely. So, how can teachers help students with anxiety?
Everyone has that one teacher, who changed their life and whom theyll never forget. By following the above steps to help students with anxiety in the classroom, you can be that teacher for someone.
If the above methods seem a bit vague, no worries. Were about to go into much greater detail about how teachers can help students with anxiety.
Alright, lets dive in!
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‘tell Me About A Time When Things Went Wrong’
When people experience anxiety, they often worry about what may happen in the future. Thats why Ken Yeager, director of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Stress Trauma and Resilience Program, recommends that people engage in constructive discussions.
Help them carry out the concern to the future, he told TODAY. People could say, Give me an example of when things went wrong.
After hearing what went wrong, people should ask the person what they could have done differently to change the outcome.
Youre working this through, he said. You hear whats going on and you help the person to process.
How To Comfort Someone With Anxiety
WhatToGetMy Instructional Article
- Anxiety is a mental disorder that cripples people with fear and dread, leaving them in a constant state of worry over every aspect of their life.
- People dealing with anxiety experience discomfort in situations or places that most people have no problem being in.
- For this reason, make sure you practice empathy when dealing with people who have anxiety. Even if you do not understand their actions and reactions towards certain events, do not be quick to judge or dismiss their emotions.
What are the most prevalent anxiety disorders in the US?
In order for you to support someone with anxiety efficiently, you need to understand what it means to have an anxiety disorder. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings.
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How Anxiety Can Impact Your Relationship
If you are dating someone with anxiety, it is likely your partner spends a lot of time worrying and ruminating on everything that could go wrong or already be wrong with the relationship. Here are some examples of thoughts and questions that might be running through their brain:
- What if they doesnt love me as much as I love them?
- What if theyre lying to me?
- What if theyre hiding something from me?
- What if theyre cheating on me?
- What if they want to cheat on me?
- What if they like someone else better?
- What if my anxiety ruins our relationship?
- What if we break up?
- What if they dont text me back?
- What if Im always the first one to reach out?
- What if they ghost on me?
Most people have at least a few of these anxious thoughts. They are a normal part of being in a relationship, especially a new one.
People with anxiety issues or an anxiety disorder, however, tend to have these anxious thoughts more frequently and more intensely.
Our minds take over and go directly to the worst-case-scenario, said Michelene Wasil, a therapist who is familiar with anxiety on both a personal and clinical level.
The anxious thoughts cause physiological symptoms, including shortness of breath, insomnia and anxiety attacks. Someone with anxiety can react to relationship stress with a fight-or-flight response, as if the stress were a physical attack.
Unfortunately there are many anxiety-motivated behaviors people encounter in relationships. Here are a few more examples to look out for: