How To Help Someone Cope With Anxiety

How To Help Someone Cope With Anxiety

Some forms of anxiety are typical and part of daily living. Then, there is anxiety that may affect how people relate to others. Sometimes anxiety is such a problem it affects how a person lives their life because of irrational fears and worries. At this point, anxiety levels are excessive, and you may have concerns about the health and safety of someone you care about. However, you can do things in support when you are concerned about a friend or loved one's anxiety levels.

Do Your Research

Learn about anxiety and how it affects people. There are various types of anxiety disorders that affect people in different age groups. As a common mental illness, it is treatable, and people learn effective ways to control their anxiety. Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose because it includes a wide range of symptoms. It is classified into different categories, including social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Each category defines how certain types of anxiety affect people and problems that result when the issue is left unaddressed.

Know the Signs of Anxiety

There are many signs and symptoms of anxiety to know and how they appear to help understand the severity level. Common symptoms may include rapid heartbeat, restlessness, sweating, being on edge, shortness of breath, and muscle tightness. Other common signs and symptoms may include headaches, irritability, feeling a loss of control, chest pain, excessive worrying, feeling panicked or fearful, and overgeneralizing things. Many may think the worst will happen in a situation. Others may also have problems sleeping at night.

Help Them Acknowledge Their Anxiety

People with an anxiety disorder may not realize what they are going through. It may take a thoughtful mention from a family member or friend to help them recognize their thoughts and actions. Let your loved one know you care about them when letting them know you notice their behavioral changes. You can suggest things to do to decrease their anxiety, like exercise, therapy (read here for more information: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-is-supportive-therapy/) and meditation. 

Be Supportive and Encourage a Plan

Let your loved one know they can talk to you if they feel anxious. Let them know how they can get in touch with you and when the best time would be to talk. Consider doing an activity with them they like doing to help ease their anxiety. If they are struggling with anxiety, encourage them to work with a counsellor or therapist. Mention there are many benefits to talking about their anxiety through therapy.

Think about Things That Can Help 

Sometimes mentioning they can get help via therapy may be an option they want to think about first. In the meantime, consider other activities that may help manage symptoms at home. It may include various options, including exercise routines, relaxation exercises, spend less time worrying, and challenging negative thoughts. Encourage them to get more sleep and limit caffeine and alcohol to keep anxiety levels low.

Be Mindful of Your Words

While you have the best intentions for your loved one, keep in mind there are things you should avoid saying to reduce the risk of hurting their feelings or making them feel worse. Help them stay focused by giving them emotional space. Let them know you will be there for them. Avoid placing blame or passing judgment. 

Know your limitations to keep yourself focused and grounded on your health while offering support to a loved one. If you find a helpful resource about anxiety or mental health, share it with them. Let them know they can ask for help and offer to help them find the professional support they need. 

About the author:

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
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