We all experience anxiety at one point or another in our lives. There are a plethora of different situations that can have so big impact on our mental state. Without a doubt, we are talking about one of the commonest conditions people face in our day and age. Sadly, we can see that many people don’t have an understanding of those who are suffering from this condition.
In some cases, it is described as an illness that targets people who don’t have any kind of responsibilities in their lives. Naturally, it should be said that this is simply not true. We’ve already stated that countless situations in your life can make a significant impact on your state of mind.
Often it will be as a direct result of an upcoming event or situation that may have some pressure associated with it or is something completely new to us. Usually, once this event has passed, so too do these feelings. However, for some, their levels of anxiety are significantly higher and more intense than others, and often these anxious feelings are present without any obvious cause. Plus, the mark we receive from these situations could be pretty durable.
In the most severe cases, it will never leave us, which is a pretty big problem and it takes a proper and long treatment to overcome it. It can be said that we are living in a time that science has managed to treat these problems. Since the sources of these conditions are countless, it’s unlikely that all the answers will be found. Nevertheless, the family and friends are the first line of defense in this case.
When someone close to you suffers from anxiety it can be difficult to know how you can help. There are some simple things you can do that can help ease their burden.
What does it mean to have anxiety?
Before we give you some tips on how you can help someone with anxiety. It’s important to have an idea of what anxiety is.
Nervousness, stress, and anxious feelings before a special occasion, or a high-pressured situation are completely normal. Job interviews, financial concerns, family problems, school presentations, and so many other things can cause these sorts of feelings. When someone suffers from anxiety, the worry and fear you might feel around these sorts of events can be a common thing they feel every day – with these feelings being present more often than they are not.
As you can see, this is the first sight that something is not right and that you need to act before these reactions and problems get bigger. Thankfully, in this day and age, we have a lot of opportunities to learn about how to perceive them and eliminate them in the best possible way. Their worrying thoughts can dominate their lives and lead them to avoid doing certain things and ultimately impact their ability to function in their day-to-day lives. For more information on how anxiety can affect someone’s life.
So, how can you help?
Tip 1 – Educate yourself on what they may be experiencing.
While everyone’s experience with anxiety is different, it is worth doing a bit of research for yourself to understand some of the ways they can be affected by their anxiety. Even though it’s not possible to learn all the things you need to know about something, it would surely do you good to educate yourself about how you can help someone who’s in this state. We live in a world of easily accessible knowledge and resources.
Anxiety can present differently in everyone, but by understanding how it can present itself, and what some of the causes are, you may find yourself able to recognize when your friend is experiencing these feelings. There are different ways it can manifest, and you cannot be sure 100% of what you are seeing. You don’t need to be an expert in all things anxiety, brushing up on the ins, and outs of anxiety are the first step in being able to help someone else.
Tip 2. Destigmatize Anxiety with an open dialogue.
Mental health is not an easy thing to talk about, even with the people closest to us. For a long time, there was a negative idea that when someone suffers from a mental disorder, they are somehow inferior. However, we can see that experts in this field now don’t believe that this is the only way of how this condition manifests itself.
While the conversation may be difficult to bring up, if you’re close enough to someone to notice that they may be experiencing unease, you are probably close enough to them to be able to start a tough conversation. In case the person opens up to you, it’s needless to say that it’s an absolute must to be as careful as you can be. If not, you can harm the person you are talking to.
Try explaining to them that you have been researching anxiety to gain a better understanding because you may have noticed certain behaviors of theirs and you want to help. The act of taking time to educate yourself is a thoughtful one and one that may help your friend understand that you care. In case you are not interested to listen, we don’t recommend you to start this conversation. It could lead to even more problems if the person thinks that you are not honest.
By opening this conversation, you can become an outlet for them, someone they can go to work through their thoughts, and possibly share the things that trigger their feelings which can help you help them to avoid these triggers or rationalize their thoughts. Once again, we would like to say that talking with the person who has these problems can be of significant help.
I won’t pretend that it will be an easy conversation, but it is one worth having.
Tip 3. Be patient and present.
When people suffer from anxiety, often their worrying thoughts and fears will be quite repetitive, and at times, incredibly unrealistic. This can be frustrating to listen to and deal with, but rather than getting annoyed and telling them they are being silly, help them break down their thoughts or “problems” to see how they can overcome them. If you are present during one of these, let’s say, sessions, you will need to have a lot of patience.
Try to make yourself available to them. This can be done in many ways. Sometimes you will be an outlet they can vent to, sometimes they may come to you to work through a problem, or you might be someone that they are comfortable spending time with. Whichever it is, being available to help them will provide a huge amount of support.
Anxiety isn’t something that you just snap out of, it takes time, effort, and support. Helping someone cope with their anxiety is a big job, and can seem impossible, however, even by trying one of our suggestions, you may find yourself providing more help than you realize.
The Bottom Line
We are living in a pretty fast time, and people don’t have a lot of time to talk about their emotions. Surely, this way of living takes a pretty big toll on people and it can cause some really big problems, that can cause depression. Even though these problems can be pretty hard to overcome, it’s not impossible. We’ve mentioned the fact that friends and family need to be present during the whole process. So, we’ve provided you with three top tips you should apply.