How to Help a Friend With Anxiety

How to Help a Friend With Anxiety

Feeling scared is a natural human emotion. However, when this fear or excessive worry takes the form of anxiety, things can take a negative toll if you are someone who doesn't know how anxiety disorder can make someone feel. Seeing your loved one struggling with their anxiousness can put you in difficult situations. Often, you will be unaware of what you can do to help your anxious friend.

Anxiety disorder

Leading symptom of anxiety is partial or complete withdrawal from society.

Anxiety is a silent killer and an inner bully, making the person feel like they are a burden on others around them. Even if it does not appear as a significant problem, it eats up the person from the inside. Anxiety can slowly kill a person from the inside without people around them noticing it. Moreover, it messes up your emotional health and drains you physically and emotionally.

If someone is suffering from some medical condition, you can see physical symptoms immediately. However, psychological issues are not visible physically until it is too late. People with anxiety tend to stay silent about their feelings, thinking they will bother people or others won't understand what they are trying to convey.

Stop Worrying

If you feel helpless with your friend's anxiety, know that you are not alone. As a person who experiences anxiety, I understand how difficult it gets for others to realize how they can contribute to helping you in any way. Therefore, I decided to write this article from the perspective of someone who has battled with anxiety for years.

Educate Yourself On Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety affects a person in multiple ways, depending on its nature. Anxiety disorder is not a feeling of fear or worry but your body's response to these emotions. For most people that experience anxiety, it affects their quality of life and their ability to perform everyday tasks.

Educate yourself on anxiety disorder.

Educating yourself on anxiety disorders is the most important thing to help your loved one or a friend going through it. However, you must understand that the most common types of anxiety symptoms often vary from one person to another. From physical symptoms to behaviours, notice these signs of anxiety in your friend.

  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Uncomfortable muscle tension
  • Feeling overwhelmed and worried most of the time
  • Nauseousness
  • Shaking
  • Taking deep breaths and running out of breath
  • Anxious behaviours include seeking reassurance
  • Constantly avoiding certain situations, withdrawing themselves socially, compulsive actions, and more
Additionally, you can also notice your friends' behaviour closely. Someone with anxiety will have anxious thought patterns, including overanalysing situations, irrational fears, overthinking, constantly worrying about the worst situation, and more.

Panic Attacks

In most people, anxiety can also be backed by panic attacks caused by panic disorders. A person experiencing a panic attack will often notice the same symptoms as mentioned above. They are triggered due to various factors and are often a response to your worry or fear. If your friend is feeling anxious, you need to bring them in managing anxiety and to help them seek a trained professional.

Ways to Help Someone With Anxiety

After educating yourself on anxiety disorders, you need to analyse the severity of their anxiety. Once you are aware of their symptoms, you can follow this helpful advice to help your friend with their anxiety.

1. Listen To Them

Someone experiencing anxiety will have multiple thoughts in their head. Your friend needs someone who can listen to them patiently without making them feel guilty about it. Ask your friend if they would like to share their feelings with you. Remain calm and listen deeply to their feelings without giving your opinion on their thoughts.

Having a converation with your friend while being totally present with them, will definitely make them feel safe.

Additionally, let your friend know that you genuinely care to listen to their thoughts. Sometimes, when they express themselves, you may feel like they are not making sense or overanalysing a situation. Therefore, acknowledge their thoughts and let them know that you are here to listen to them in this tough time.

2. Help your friend in letting go Anxious Thoughts 

Managing anxiety is different for every individual. Many people opt for yoga, breathing exercises, writing, blogging, and other coping mechanisms to cope with their anxiousness. Making a conscious effort to indulge yourself in a new hobby can massively help in overcoming rational anxiety according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

3. Know What to Say And What You Shouldn't

Even if it is not a big deal for you, your words can give a hard time to the person and give extra burden to their existing feelings. What you speak to them plays a vital role in helping your friend.


Some of the phrases you need to avoid saying:

  • 'There is nothing to worry or panic about.'
  • 'You are anxious and constantly overthinking.'
  • 'Someone else has it worse. You should be grateful for what you have.'

Do not give your unsolicited advice, and watch your words when talking to your friend. Instead, you can say comforting sentences like:

  • 'I have seen you are getting anxious a lot lately. I'm concerned about you.'
  • 'I'm here for you. No matter how hard it gets.'

4. Celebrate Their Small Victories

People with anxiety may often feel emotionally drained to perform their daily routines. Sometimes, getting out of bed can be a challenging task for them. You may notice your friend is unable to perform tasks that they usually do in their daily life such as brushing, and more as they may feel overwhelmed with their thoughts.

Celebrate your friend's victories, even for the smaller things. The truth is, the things that appear small to you may be a challenging task for them.

5. Stay in Constant Touch With Your Friend

Check in on your friend from time to time to let your friend know you care about them genuinely. A simple text to ask them how they are doing and how they are feeling can help your friend feel emotionally well.

6.Know When It is Time to Seek Professional Help

Even if your friend knows they need help, they won't have the courage to take the step to get help. Well, they may have their reasons. Professional help can provide the best support to your friend's anxiousness. The professional can provide the appropriate treatment based on the person's anxiety.

Look for profeesional help it will help you relieve the pressure and dealing with anxiety issues.

Some of the behaviours that indicate your friend needs help immediately include:

  • Ask your friend if they are relying on substance abuse or other unhealthy coping mechanisms
  • Their physical and emotional health

7. Take Care of Your Emotional Well-Being Too!

you can support your friend to seek help from a therapist or a psychologist to get the appropriate treatment. You can find the best professionals around in your locality and encourage your friend to see them. A quick explanation from a trained professional will help them come out of the denial. Additionally, it would be helpful to book an appointment on their behalf and ask them if you can accompany them to their therapy sessions.

8. Panic Attack

It is the body's response to dealing with high-pressure situations or experiencing anxiety. Someone with anxiety needs to make a conscious effort in order to overcome a situation that is causing them anxiety.

9. Focus on fulfilment

Finding a career that is truly fulfilling definitely boosts a person's confidence and helps them to overcome their mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Mental Health

In the end, they will feel guilty about how their anxiety is putting boundaries on your well-being too. Therefore, focus on your mental health, remain calm, and do what you love!

Diet

Being on a predominantly fast-food diet is a wrong thing in the eyes of various nutritionists. Getting most of your nutrition from a plant-based diet or vegan diet will boost your gut biome which is considered as our second brain.

Wrapping Up!

Seeing your loved one going through anxiety is one of the most difficult situations. Feeling helpless about how you can support them can put you in a challenging position. However, helping them find the appropriate treatment is not the only thing that will help them get past their anxiety. Remember, even if they are seeking help, you can be their strongest pillar to support them and help overcome their anxiety.

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