It can be challenging to know how best to respond if someone in your family is suffering from anxiety. Neglecting the problem won’t make matters better; on the contrary, neglecting it could make matters worse. John is an exceptional coach with a wide range of talents. He provides me with honest, stimulating, and beneficial suggestions. John offers supervision, anxiety coach, and psychotherapy services.
No matter the source of anxiety, worry or stress, it’s essential to comprehend what’s going on and be compassionate when trying to help someone cope. Even if it causes a relationship break-up, turn it into something positive in order to strengthen your bond.
These are some ways you can support someone suffering from anxiety without yourself feeling overwhelmed by it.
Communication Is Possible
Effective communication requires both parties to participate. Anxiety can make it challenging for those suffering from anxiety to fulfill their end of the bargain when it comes to communication.
Many people tend to withdraw when feeling anxious or upset. You may observe agitation, aloofness, or other drastic changes in their interactions with you. Ask questions to draw them out; something as simple as “You seem to be having a difficult time.” Let the person know that you are there for them and that you care.
When an anxious person shares their feelings with you, you might instinctively respond with “No way!” But that isn’t possible; take control of your own feelings and let go. An anxious person’s thoughts and emotions are very real – as will new worries emerge as they open up to you about their struggles.
Listen carefully when someone in your family or circle of friends expresses fear. While you may consider their fear unfounded, it can be very real.
Do not attempt to fix it immediately.
Though it can be tempting to try and change someone’s perspective or make them feel better, phrases such as “calm down” or “just relax” send the impression that you don’t care about them. They have likely heard these words before and will likely repeat them in response. In order to truly help someone suffering from anxiety, you must practice listening skills and pay attention to what they need.
You may not have the answers to their problems, and all that they want is someone to listen and be there while they process and release their emotions. Anxiety can be crippling, so instead of trying to fix everything at once, focus on what you can do right now to help them.
Talking with them if needed
Helping someone manage their anxiety can be tricky. Encourage them to take deep breaths and calm down; when our physiology changes so do our emotions. Heart breathing is another effective tool in combatting panic attacks or stressful moments. To help them break free of this state of anxiety, guide them through relaxation techniques and quick breathing exercises.
Help Us Alter Their State
It is essential to recognize the role state plays in anxiety management. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that emotions go beyond mental states, affecting physical and behavioral changes as well. Thus, anxiety, fear and other feelings can manifest at every level – creating a vicious cycle. Understanding this cycle will enable anyone wanting to support someone suffering from anxiety better; educate them on the process and provide helpful assistance.
When helping someone cope with anxiety, do not take their feelings personally. Remember: this is not about you but the person experiencing the problem. If your partner is suffering from an anxiety attack and withdraws emotionally or physically, it’s important to gently treat them and encourage them to share their emotions. Your presence can show that you care but sometimes they need time to process what’s going on inside of them.
Don’t feel bad or overwhelmed if they need time alone. Let them know that you are available to provide support if needed.
Anxiety often manifests itself in avoidance of tasks or emotions that cause fear. You may not think these things are important, but someone suffering from anxiety could be putting off scheduling appointments or car maintenance. You can help someone cope with anxiety by encouraging them to book an appointment or start practicing meditation.
Setting Up a Support System
When teaching someone how to cope with anxiety, it is essential that they receive emotional and practical support. Unfortunately, you cannot always be there for them; therefore, if the individual seems in serious distress or may need professional intervention, suggest they see a therapist for further evaluation and advice. Health coaches can also be beneficial in less serious cases.