Here Is How You Can Help A Loved One Deal With Anxiety
Wondering if you are saying the right thing while your loved one is dealing with anxiety? Well, we have got you sorted here
How do you support a loved one who may be dealing with over-the-top anxiety and worry? You wanted to ease their angst but were clueless about ways to deal with it? Well, you are not alone because helping someone with anxiety can be an intimidating task. See sadness or a sense of worry is a normal occurrence but when it literally creeps into our day to day life, it can have an adverse effect on one’s daily functioning. It's much more complex, much less controllable, and with the passage of time, more difficult to cure. But before we intend to be supportive, or interact with the anxious one, let's get to know what exactly is anxiety.
What Is Anxiety?
Let us put it in a simple manner when your worries and fears seem overwhelming and hamper your day-to-day functioning, a person may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is basically psychological, mental and behavioral changes that are basically a response to a threat. These changes are called “fight or flight” because they prepare us to respond in danger. The symptoms of anxiety include
Symptoms of anxiety may include:
- A sense of worry or impending doom
- Feelings of irritability, uneasiness and an inability to relax
- Body sensations including breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness, sweating
- An overwhelming feeling of panic
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changed perceptions whereby, (in a panic attack), the world may seem unreal.
Here are some of the techniques to deal with an anxious person.
1. Be A Good Listener With Zero Judgement:
Let your loved one know that their constant fears and threats are heard sans any judgment. Do not I repeat do not tell them that the constant fears he feels are all in his “head”. That is the worse thing one can say which will eventually cause more harm. When the anxiety kicks in, let that person know that you are there to lend them a listening ear and that you aren't going to judge them or change the way you think/feel about them based on anything they say even if they say the same fear over and over again. Help them get it out.
2. Spend More Time With Them:
Social anxiety is real. Social situations can be quite a daunting task for a person experiencing anxiety. They tend to avoid social gatherings out of the fear of people who might judge them negatively. How you can help them is by spending more time with them because presence is powerful.the best thing you can do to help your loved one with anxiety is to spend maximum time with them.
3. The Ground Technique:
The grounding technique is a great relaxing technique for those who are going through panic attacks. Tell them to take some deep breaths, and name four things they can see, three things they can feel, two things they can hear, one thing they can smell. This can bring the awareness back to the surroundings rather than the source of anxiety and fear. Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy.
4. Engage In More Activities:
Do exciting activities. Try to be outdoors. Find things to do that don't involve smoking or any kind of substance abuse (since these can cause setbacks in anxiety treatments). Stay active. Exercise itself is a remedy for anxiety, take Zumba aerobic classes together or better yet do yoga. Offer to host a craft night or some other structured activity at home, like playing a board game. Try creating new memories that will help people cope with some of the stresses of life. So try your best to get out and do things together.
5. Be More forgiving:
Anxiety can make people irritable. It's not in the control of the person with anxiety. Ideally, try your best to be forgiving. Let them know that you understand and that even if it's not fair you're not going to quit the friendship because of it.
In short, anxiety is no joke. When it’s extreme and persistent, your loved one may need your help finding a qualified professional counselor.