5 Tips On How To Support Someone With Anxiety
Oct 7, 2021, 4 min read
Anxiety is not just feeling stressed or worried. It is when these feelings don't subside and are ongoing without any particular reason or cause. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings can't be easily controlled.
“In the past, I have felt like people do not believe my difficulties because I come across as outgoing, lively and constantly busy. - Carys
If you know someone living with these kinds of symptoms, it's natural to want to help. Here are five tips on how to support someone with anxiety in ways that are beneficial to you both.
1. Educate yourself about anxiety
Understanding anxiety is the first step towards helping someone who is dealing with it. Anxiety disorders encompass more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time, interfering with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.
Learn about the different types of anxiety disorders, their symptoms, and the impact they can have on a person's life. The more educated you are, the better you can understand what someone with anxiety is going through.
2. Be there for them, but don't push
Being there for someone living with anxiety means being patient, understanding, and supportive. Let them know that it's okay to talk about their feelings and that you're there to listen without judgment.
However, remember not to push them to open up if they're not ready. Everyone has their own pace for sharing, and it's important to respect that. Encourage them to speak about their experiences, but let them lead the conversation.
3. Encourage getting professional support
While your support as a friend or family member is important, it's crucial to encourage your loved one to seek professional help if they haven’t already. Anxiety is a medical condition that often requires treatment from a healthcare professional or a mental health specialist.
Therapies like cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and medications can be very effective at managing anxiety. If someone seems hesitant to seek help, reassure them that there's no shame in getting help for mental health issues, but again don't push before they're ready.
4. Practice self-care together
Self-care is essential for everyone, but it can be particularly beneficial for people living with anxiety. Engaging in self-care activities together can be a fun and effective way to help manage anxiety symptoms.
This could involve going for a walk, practicing mindfulness or meditation, cooking a healthy meal, or simply spending time together doing something enjoyable. Regular exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine can also make a big difference in managing anxiety symptoms.
5. Be patient and try to stay positive
Supporting someone with anxiety can sometimes be challenging. Remember, it's important to stay patient. Progress can be slow, and there may be setbacks along the way. Stay positive, celebrate small victories, and remind them that you're proud of them for facing their challenges.
Avoid making negative comments or getting frustrated if they struggle to manage their anxiety. Instead, offer reassurance, remind them of their strengths, and express your belief in their ability to overcome their struggles and live a healthier, happier life.
Supporting someone with anxiety takes understanding, patience, and positivity. It's about being there for them, encouraging professional help, practicing self-care together, and reminding them of their strengths. Remember, you don't have to have all the answers – just being there can make a big difference.
While supporting others, don't forget to take care of your own mental health too. It's important to set boundaries, seek support for yourself if needed, and ensure that you're taking the time to recharge and look after your own wellbeing.
If you have a question question about anxiety or low mood, for yourself or for someone else, we’re here to assist on your journey. Our free 15 minute consultation can guide you to the most relevant specialists to answer your questions and discuss next steps. Whether you’re feeling off-kilter or want to shake up your routine, our state-of-the-art mental wellbeing platform gives you quick and seamless access to world-class support on your terms, from private psychiatric assessments and reviews to broader mental health care: join us today.