How to Help Someone with Anxiety
Aromatherapy is thought to help activate certain receptors in your brain, potentially easing anxiety. Go for a walk or do 15 minutes of yoga Sometimes, the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to. Treatment Options for Patients with Anxiety There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations. Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.
Because of our big age gap and same-sex relationship, she was justifiably anxious about how her parents anxirty react to my having moved in; so she kept it from them for several months.
Scenarios like this are common when someone in your life is struggling with anxiety. Your loved one may feel so fearful that they avoid taking action, or act in ways that are inconsiderate or that increase your own anxiety. This might look like a boyfriend constantly putting off important tasks or discussions, a friend complaining about being lonely but refusing to date, or a boss always focusing on what could go wrong, making everyone miserable.
First you need to understand that anxiety is a human feature, not a flaw. However, sometimes people get into patterns of coping with anxiety handlee cause it to snowball. How to draw a 3d bed step by step overthink ruminating about the past or worrying about the futureavoid whatever triggers their anxiety, and use compensatory strategies—like being extremely perfectionist to avoid feeling like an imposter at work—that aytacks their anxiety temporarily but increase it over the long-term.
These coping strategies can also push people away—people like you. Here are some of the strategies I recommend based on my book, The Hoa Toolkit.
For different people, one of these hanndle will typically dominate. For instance, my spouse tends to freeze and will bury her head in the sand rather than deal with things that make her feel stressed and panicky. I tend more toward fighting, and will become irritable, excessively perfectionistic, or dogmatic if I feel stressed. By paying attention to how anxiety manifests in the person you care about, how to handle anxiety attacks can learn their patterns and be in a better position to help.
That could include helping the anxious person break tasks down into manageable steps, or talking through specific options for how to deal what dimensions is a5 paper a difficult situation, like how to respond to an angry email, but still acknowledging their autonomy and independence while doing so.
Of course these are generalizations, and you need to tailor your support by observing what works in your particular situation. If your loved one has insight into their anxiety, you can help them spot when their anxiety-driven patterns are occurring. Not that this is always met with grace, but the message sinks in anyway. 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:. For instance, if your anxious roommate finds making phone calls incredibly stressful and you end up doing this for them, they never push through their avoidance.
Discover how to relax your anxiety around other people. Learn how to be yourself when you have social anxiety. Explore the relationship between anxiety and empathy. How stressed and anxious are you? Take the quiz. A good general principle to keep in mind is that support means helping someone to help themselves, not doing things for them, which includes virtually anything that stops short of actually doing it yourself. For example, you might offer to attend a first therapy session with your loved one if they set up the appointment.
What can we do for folks with more serious issues? Helping them may feel beyond your ability. You can still be supportive in many ways. To the extent possible, you can help the person stay connected to positive aspects of their identity by participating in or encouraging their interests and hobbies. For example, you might be friends with someone who has agoraphobia or an eating disorder, but their condition is long-term and stable. Recognize that ot goal is to help, not to cure the person or relieve them from their anxiety.
For example, exercise is extremely helpful for anxiety; so perhaps you could simply offer to go for a walk or attend a yoga class together. A minute de-stressing conversation while taking a walk is far more likely to handld useful and less exhausting than a two-hour marathon discussion.
But, if you remind yourself that you and ohw loved one are both doing your best, it can help you keep things in perspective. Alice Boyes, Ph. Her research has been published by the American Psychological Association.
Become a subscribing member today. Get the science of a meaningful life delivered to your inbox. About the Author. Alice Boyes Alice Boyes, Ph. By Kira M. Newman March 28, This article — and everything on this site — is funded by readers like you. Give Now.
Please understand that our phone lines must be clear for urgent medical care needs. When this changes, we will update this website. Our vaccine supply remains limited. Joseph McGuire, Ph. All of us worry and get scared from time to time. But those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others.
It starts with recognizing the signs of excessive worry and understanding the best ways to support your loved one. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings.
Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:. Common anxiety behaviors include:. Typical responses to someone with anxiety are often unhelpful. Here are actions you should avoid:. Over time, if people continually avoid facing difficult situations, the anxiety grows and special requests for accommodations get bigger.
Instead, it makes their world smaller as what they are able to do becomes more and more limited by their growing anxiety. Can you share with me what caused the change? Health Home Treatments, Tests and Therapies.
Anxious Thoughts People with anxiety often have thought patterns such as: Believing the worst will happen Persistent worry All-or-nothing thinking Overgeneralizing making overall assumptions based on a single event.
Common anxiety behaviors include: Avoidance of feared situations or events Seeking reassurance Second-guessing Irritability and frustration in feared situations Compulsive actions like washing hands over and over. Learning how to overcome deep apprehension is work best done in partnership with a professional therapist. This takes the burden off you. It also empowers your loved one by helping them face their fears one step at a time with guidance from somebody with experience.
Use Anxiety Tips That Work Responses based on love and acceptance, and the desire to see your loved one get better, are the cornerstones of helping someone with anxiety. Consider the following approaches:. Provide Validation Many different things can make people anxious. Instead, ask your loved one how you can provide support during challenging moments.
Encourage a loved one to make an appointment with a mental health provider. Treatment Options for Patients with Anxiety There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety: Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT , which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations. Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.
During therapy, continue to show your support by: Asking your loved one what you can do to help them. Asking if you can attend a therapy session to learn some skills to better support them. Making time for your own life and interests to sustain your energy.