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How to Support a Loved One with Anxiety: 9 Tips that Help

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We all expertise anxiety at some level in our lives. In fact, anxiety has a purpose; it protects us from hazard and permits us to reply to emergencies. But when the stress response turns into an excessive amount of and impacts your on a regular basis life, it could signal an anxiety disorder. And from an outside perspective, witnessing a loved one experiencing a panic assault or having overwhelming ideas may appear difficult to know precisely what to say or do to help. But thankfully, there are methods to learn how to support a loved one with anxiety to assist ease their concerns. 

What Is Anxiety 

It’s regular to really feel stressed about a number of situations. Indeed, moving to a brand new city, beginning a brand new job, experiencing a breakup, and even fighting with a friend can create a extreme anxious response. While this anxiety is disagreeable and tests your consolation zone, it additionally teaches you to develop and become extra emotionally resilient. But anxiety related to an anxiety dysfunction makes you really feel these stressful emotions often and in conditions the place it feels unexpected. 

It may really feel so intense that it stops you from living your on a regular basis life. And, if left untreated, it turns into extra difficult to ignore. These scenarios may not be typical of your daily life, however they could describe somebody you know. Anxiety disorders are the most common class of psychological disorders, with a 12-month prevalence rate of 24.9%. Therefore, it’s important to be delicate to somebody experiencing anxiety, even when you don’t fully perceive it. 

16 Common Symptoms of Anxiety 

There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders and different signs related to every one. Even more, anxiety feels different for every person. For example, somebody might expertise a racing coronary heart and sweaty palms, whereas others have panic thoughts. While anxiety is particular person to the person, there are a few common signs to extend your awareness; 

  1. Excessive worrying  
  2. Catastrophic thinking  
  3. Increased coronary heart rate 
  4. Sweaty palms 
  5. Tight chest 
  6. Trouble concentrating  
  7. Problems sleeping  
  8. Rapid breathing  
  9. Avoidance  
  10. Restlessness  
  11. Fatigue 
  12. Tense muscles 
  13. Agitation  
  14. Irritability  
  15. Panic attacks 
  16. Irritational fears  

6 Causes of Anxiety  

There is not an exact trigger of anxiety. Instead, there are a number of factors and possible theories that might clarify why some are extra prone to anxious experiences than others;  

  1. Stressful life events. A stressful life occasion like losing someone, work stress, and even ongoing monetary concerns can trigger anxiety.  
  2. Trauma. Children who endured a traumatic occasion or ongoing trauma are extra vulnerable.  
  3. Genetics. Research shows a genetic component.  
  4. Mental health. Other psychological well being disorders can co-occur with an anxiety disorder, such as depression.  
  5. Personality traits. Certain personality traits such as perfectionism, low self-esteem, or the necessity to management can trigger anxiety.  
  6. Drugs and alcohol. Drug use or withdrawal can trigger or worsen anxiety.  

13 Things People with Anxiety Wish Others Knew 

Here are a few common issues individuals with anxiety want their family members knew;  

  1. When you inform them, “Just cease worrying” – it’s by no means that simple   
  2. Perhaps, you might think they acknowledge their fears are irrational – rationale does nothing to cease anxious ideas from occurring   
  3. Anxiety assaults are unpredictable – somebody may by no means know when they happen  
  4. There could additionally be nothing horrible happening – however somebody can nonetheless really feel worried   
  5. Everyone who experiences anxiety, or a psychological well being dysfunction is greater than their symptoms   
  6. No one is weak – everybody seems to be a piece in progress   
  7. Patience is key – your friends are doing their best with what they have   
  8. You may not perceive – however most of the time, they can’t pinpoint why they’re anxious  
  9. If somebody isn’t comfortable doing one thing – don’t force them   
  10. Decision making is a problem – attempt to perceive that   
  11. If they can’t tackle one other task – this implies they actually can’t   
  12. After a fight, a friend might replay the dialog – for years   
  13. People can’t simply flip off their anxiety – it’s not that simple   

9 Tips on How to Support A Loved One With Anxiety

1. Build your awareness
Learning extra about your loved one’s anxiety will present extra empathy, greater understanding, and patience. It will additionally facilitate a stronger bond when you perceive it’s not easy to cease or prevent anxious ideas from occurring. In fact, it’s the best tip to learn how to support a loved one with anxiety. 

2. Don’t pressure them
It could additionally be tempting to assist your family members face their fears, however it solely worsens their anxiety. Therefore, when your friend voices their concerns and boundaries, respect them and attempt to not pressure them to full issues they don’t want to. They aren’t selecting to be afraid – their fears are a half of their anxiety.

3. Avoid a logical argument
People with anxiety perceive their fears are irrational, however unfortunately, they can’t management them. When you dispel ration or logic, it makes them really feel irregular and misunderstood. Instead, stay calm and supply acceptance and allow them to know you are there for them.

4. Ask them
Your family members may already know what they should assist cope with their anxiety. For example, some may appreciate a breathing exercise, or others may want a friend to speak to them calmly. When you ask them what they need, you assist them be extra in management of their anxiety. After studying their preference, match your support.

5. Take time for yourself
Helping a friend with anxiety can be overwhelming. Therefore, it’s equally important so that you can take care of yourself, so that you can be a extra supportive friend when they want you. Remember to set up boundaries if you can’t take extra on, and clearly talk you want time for yourself.

6. Normalize their anxiety
Someone with extreme anxiety like obsessive-compulsive disorder, or social anxiety may really feel like one thing is wrong with them. As a result, they want family members to reassure them that what they’re experiencing is regular and that your notion of them hasn’t changed. Explain to them that they’re the identical person, however they’re experiencing a temporary problem that has become out of their control.

7. Offer balanced support
If you witness your friend stressing about sending an email to a colleague, you might want to ship it for them. But unfortunately, if you get into the behavior of doing issues for them, it solely perpetuates additional avoidance. Instead, offer support and coax them through the difficulty. This will construct their emotional resilience whereas nonetheless feeling safe to confront their fears in a supportive environment.

8. Find an alternate solution
Often, individuals with anxiety have negative thought patterns that fixate on worst-case scenarios. Gently studying how to information their ideas to extra positive thinking could be very supportive. For example, if they’re worried about a job interview, discuss the best and worst-case scenarios of the outcome. But don’t pressure them to think a sure way. Merely offering a different approach will be helpful.

9. Be patient
Lastly, attempt to be patient when they’re experiencing a panic attack or anxious about a situation. It may really feel difficult, particularly if you really feel their anxiety is disrupting a deliberate event. But offering patience and compassion will assist their anxiety pass faster and can make them really feel safer.

Helping somebody with anxiety can really feel challenging, and also you may really feel like you’re doing everything wrong. But gently remind your self that you’re each doing your best to beat a stressful situation. Even studying how to support a loved one with anxiety is already an indication of immense care, love, and respect you have for your friend. Above all, remember to care for yourself. When you do, you’ll be a extra supportive friend, and able to assist them when they want you most.

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