How To Help Someone With Anxiety - 7 Tips From A Therapist
If someone close to you is struggling with anxiety, it can be difficult to know how to help. Here are seven tips on how to support someone with anxiety:
Tips On How To Help Someone With Anxiety
1. Educate yourself about anxiety
Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of anxiety. This will help you understand what your loved one is going through and how you can best support them. The American Psychological Association has some simple and useful information about anxiety and anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are not weaknesses. It is a medical disorder that, when treated, can be life-changing.
2. Listen without judgment
When someone with anxiety opens up to you, it's important to listen to them without judgment. Let them express their thoughts and feelings, and try to be understanding and empathetic. Validation of others’ feelings is very powerful.
3. Be supportive and encouraging
Let the person know that you are there for them and that you support them. Encourage them to seek professional help if needed and offer to help them find a therapist or other mental health professional.
4. Help them practice relaxation techniques
Encourage the person to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. You can even do these activities with them to show your support. Everyone can benefit from mindful relaxation techniques.
5. Avoid triggering situations
Try to avoid situations that may trigger the person's anxiety, such as crowded places or loud noises. If it's not possible to avoid these situations, help them come up with coping strategies to manage their anxiety. A trained mental health professional can assist with individualized strategies that work.
6. Encourage healthy habits
Provide encouragement to eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep. These habits may seem simple and obvious, but they are very effective in helping to reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being.
7. Be patient
Recovery from anxiety takes time, so be patient with your loved one. Don't push them to do things they're not ready for and be supportive of their progress.
Helping someone with anxiety requires patience, understanding, and empathy. By being a supportive and caring presence in their life, you can help them manage their anxiety and improve their overall well-being.
When To Seek Help For Anxiety
Anxiety is a common mental health condition that can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. It is normal to feel anxiety as a response to situations that are stressful and challenging. Everyone experiences this type of anxiety from time to time. It’s when anxiety stays with you and begins to impact your daily life that the help of a professional is important.
If your loved one has tried to manage their anxiety by themselves and it hasn’t worked, Creating Connections Counseling in Pittsburgh & Wexford, PA provides in-person and virtual therapy for anxiety. Our team of expert clinicians can assess your loved one and develop an individualized plan to help.
Everyone needs help sometimes. We would be honored to help you.
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If you are in crisis or have thoughts of suicide, call 988 for immediate help.
Catia Fath, NCC, LPC is a therapist with 20 years of experience helping adults manage anxiety, depression, personality concerns, and relationship concerns.