If you have a friend or loved one who is battling with Anxiety Disorders, there are some simple ways you can be there for them through their Mental Health journey.
If you are experiencing an overwhelming feeling of apprehension, fear, or worry, you might be going through an Anxiety Attack. The Attack might have started out slow, possibly in response to an upcoming event such as a presentation, but it will intensify as the event approaches closer. The symptoms differ from person to person, however. If you are experiencing any of the following, it would be safe to identify it as an Anxiety Attack.
You feel short of breath
You have a dry mouth
You are sweating sweating/you have sweaty palms or feet
You are experiencing chills or hot flashes
You feel worried and restlessness
You cannot effectively empathize with a friend or a loved one if you don’t understand what they might be going through. You can check out our article discussing the nature, causes, symptoms, and types of anxiety to get started. If your loved one suffers from a particular type of Anxiety Disorder, read up on it and widen your knowledge base.
Engage them in activities
Teaming up for gym, yoga or meditation sessions together can really help a person suffering from anxiety-related issues feel better. These activities are not only fun to do with a friend but have shown to have positive effects in helping people cope with their anxious thoughts. If you wish to take this a step further, make a list of things that they haven’t been able to do due to their anxiety interfering, and offer to do them together. Be careful not to push them too much! When in doubt, ask them
Help them overcome avoidance behaviour
People suffering from anxiety often avoid situations or tasks that make them feel anxious. Behaviours ranging from making phone calls, making requests or fixing a mistake, or even starting with an intimidating task are all avoidance behaviours and while they might seem harmless at first, this can affect their daily life to a great degree.
Destigmatize their experience
It is a sad reality that most people suffering from Mental Health conditions are embarrassed by their symptoms due to the stigma associated with it. Addressing their concerns, and communicating that their anxiety is not a weakness or a character flaw can help them feel accepted, and maybe a little less anxious.
Address reassurance-seeking behaviour
Do you find your loved one often asking questions like “are you sure they like me?”, or “are you sure my boss is not thinking of firing me?” This is reassurance-seeking behaviour and could be a sign of high levels of anxiety. Instead of reassuring them time and again that things are alright, you should ask them to seek professional help.
Help them get help
However much you might care about your friend or loved one, you cannot fix their anxiety for them. If they are in need of help, it is best they seek it from qualified professionals. You can, however, help them find a suitable therapist and hold discussions about their work and progress in the sessions.
Coping with anxiety is a challenging task, no doubt, but having the right social support can sure make it easier. We, at Heart It Out, appreciate you for making the effort to be there through your loved one’s Mental Health journey. 🙂