Dont Constantly Talk About Their Anxiety
When you are with the person, or when you are talking to them over the phone, avoid constantly bringing up their anxiety or asking questions about it. Instead, keep the conversation flowing and let them talk about it if they want to. That way, they wont feel uncomfortable and pressured into discussing their anxiety when they dont want to.
Dos And Donts Of Helping Someone With Anxiety
- It is challenging to love someone that lives with anxiety
- Some of the ways that friends/family try to help can make anxiety worse
- There are many dos and donts for those who have loved ones with anxiety
- Your support is going to be a big part of their recovery
- If you personally have never experienced an anxiety disorder, it is helpful to remember that the experience of living with anxiety is typically not what most people imagine
Help Someone Who Is Anxious To Temper Their Thinking
Youll be a more useful support person if you educate yourself about cognitive-behavioral models of anxiety, which you can do by reading or attending a therapy session with your loved one. But, in lieu of that, you might try using some techniques that can be helpful to people suffering from anxiety.
Typically, anxious people have a natural bias towards thinking about worst-case scenarios. To help them get some perspective on this, you can use a cognitive therapy technique where you ask them to consider three questions:
- Whats the worst that could happen?
- Whats the best that could happen?
- Whats most realistic or likely?
So, if your loved one is anxious that they were supposed to hear from their parents hours ago but havent, you can suggest they consider the worst, best, and most likely explanations for the lack of contact.
Take care not to overly reassure your loved one that their fears wont come to pass. Its more useful to emphasize their coping ability. For example, if theyre worried about having a panic attack on a plane, you could say, That would be extremely unpleasant and scary, but youd deal with it. And, if your loved one is feeling anxious that someone else is angry with them or disappointed in them, its often useful to remind them that you can only ever choose your own actions and not completely control other peoples responses.
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How To Calm Anxiety Tip #4 Soothe It
Now that youve gotten the stress out, its time to do something soothing.
Try not to put pressure on yourself to feel calm while doing these activities allow yourself to feel however you feel while doing them.
- Take a warm bath or shower
- Light a scented candle
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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Anxiety
With that in mind, it’s 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 do’s and don’ts, it’s 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 you’ll 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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Finding The Right Words To Say To Calm A Person With Anxiety
Accessing Professional Support For Anxiety
If the person with anxiety hasnt been accessing professional support, yet their anxiety is having a significant impact on their day-to-day life, it may be something to think about suggesting to them.
Remind them that many people have experienced anxiety and that there is plenty of support available. Let them know that you will be there to help them during their first appointment and will continue to support them as they work towards feeling better. There are professionals who know how to deal with someone with anxiety and can provide all of the help and support needed to overcome this condition.
You may want to suggest that they start off by visiting their local GP. GPs are there to help with our mental health as well as our physical health, and they are able to provide advice, support and access to specialist treatment providers, like the Priory Group.
You can also suggest that the person starts off their journey by visiting Priory Group. Here, they will be assessed by one of our consultant psychiatrists, who will then work with the person to determine a diagnosis and the most effective treatment path for them at Priory Group. Depending on the person and their anxiety symptoms, this could include a course of therapy sessions, medication, a series of day sessions at one of our centres or an inpatient stay, if deemed necessary.
If you would like to find out more about the treatment that we offer for people with anxiety, please visit our anxiety treatment page.
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Do This Monkey Stretch To Release Tension
In this exercise, you bring your hands in front of you, then bring the arms down. Then you bring your arms to your side, and then down. Finally you bring your arms all the way past your head and then swoop down, with your head dangling between your knees, and you hang out there for a second. This exercise is extremely effective at releasing the tension we hold in different parts of our body.
Ask Your Friend What They Need
Different people with anxiety have different ways of managing. Meditation and breathing exercises, for instance, are helpful for a lot of people and may be helpful for you but they may not help your friend. Some people with anxiety need to do something active, like a run or aerobics. Ask your friend what works for them and how you can help.
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To Relieve Anxiety Talk Out Loud To Yourself
Give yourself permission to have an anxiety attack by saying the words out loud. Remind yourself that the attack will end, and it wont kill you or cause you to faint.
Carbonell says that understanding the physiology of fainting and reminding yourself of it is important. People faint when their blood pressure drops. A anxiety attack can make you feel like youre going to faint, but you wont because your blood pressure doesnt drop during an attack. Remind yourself out loud of truths like these to counter your fears.
Dont Put Pressure On Them
While it is important for you to not enable their behaviours, it is also imperative that you dont force the person to go to places or enter scenarios that they are extremely anxious about.
This is something that they should work gradually towards with professional therapeutic support. If you attempt to push them too far, it could damage the trust in your relationship and cause them a significant amount of stress.
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Remember: Look After Yourself
Helping someone who experiences panic attacks or severe anxiety can be emotionally exhausting and you need to make sure you take care of yourself as well.
This is why it is important to set boundaries about what you are and what you are not willing to fo to help.
For instance, if you are studying and do not want to be disturbed then, it is necessary to establish the availability according to your schedule.
In addition, if helping your friend or loved one is starting to affect you emotionally or is too overwhelming and it is affecting your social life, consider getting help from a mental health professional or someone you trust to talk about how you feel.
Ways To Deal With Anxiety
Everyone has feelings of anxiety, nervousness, tension, and stress from time to time. Here are 5 ways to help manage them:
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Hanging Out With Friends
Relationships matter even for us introverts, says Stone. Research also tells us that isolating is one of the worst things for anxiety and depression.
So, consider making time for friends, family, and other social engagements.
Put yourself in social situations at least weekly as a part of your self-discipline to help you build community over time, says Stone.
Admit That You Are Anxious Or Angry
Its important, to be honest with ourselves about how were feeling. If you are stressed out then it is okay to admit that so you can get the help needed in order to overcome whatever it is that might be burdening your mind and weighing down on your heart. Sometimes just telling someone whats wrong can make all the difference because theyll know exactly what needs doing, who needs talking to/about, or maybe even where something went missing which will solve everything by itself once revealed! No big deal after all
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Dont Suggest That They Just Calm Down
Anxiety can range from jitters before an exam or interview to a full-on panic attack or phobic reaction, says Haley Perlus, PhD. When youre trying to support someone going through anxiety, never trivialize their problem, or tell them to just calm down. Think about it: If they could relax on their own, they would not be experiencing the anxiety.
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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Supporting Your Loved Ones Bpd Treatment
Borderline personality disorder is highly treatable, yet its common for people with BPD to avoid treatment or deny that they have a problem. Even if this is the case with your loved one, you can still offer support, improve communication, and set boundaries while continuing to encourage your friend or family member to seek professional help.
While medication options are limited, the guidance of a qualified therapist can make a huge difference to your loved ones recovery. BPD therapies, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy and schema-focused therapy, can help your loved one work through their relationship and trust issues and explore new coping techniques. In therapy, they can learn how to calm the emotional storm and self-soothe in healthy ways.
Helping Someone During An Anxiety Attack
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