You’re almost on the end of your rope, just plain frustrated and not near having any solution to the problem in front of you. Now imagine going through that on a daily basis, several times a day, without being able to do anything about it.
We often take our health (especially our mental health) for granted and we dismiss it when people tell us that they’re feeling a certain way and if we’re honest with ourselves, we probably don't understand how they are feeling. More often than not, these issues lead to bigger problems in the long run and could cause some major harm.
Ever met someone with anxiety and wondered what you could do to help? Here are 5 methods I’ve tried that have had some great results.
Be a friend
This may sound super easy but chances are the anxious person will try to keep their feelings bottled up and shy away from people. Doing simple things like giving them a call, sending them a text or including them in easygoing activities such as lunch or a movie can make a huge difference. Do however not be overly eager and smothering as they need their space too.
Try and understand what the issue is
Let's be honest, if you aren't going through it, chances are you'll never to be able to fully understand it and that's okay. What you can do however is to talk to the person and be listen patiently while doing so. It's a possibility that the person can be on defense mode and may clam up. Don't push for them to relax, but give them time and learn from the process. Once they are ready to open up, it'll make the communication and understanding so much easier. Spending time talking about their experience and feelings can really make a difference. Never been in a hurry to dismiss their feelings and thoughts, remember they are going through the anxiety, not you.
Avoiding the issue or pretending like it’s not there will not help the situation as the longer it’s put off, the harder it becomes to grasp and the individual’s thought process can become more convoluted. Help them make a list, come up with ways that they can accomplish it themselves, or better yet lend a helping hand to tackle the task. Not only will this help them focus on getting things done, it also gives them the extra drive as they have you on board to go through this rough patch with. Your presence and tangible help will show them that they are a lone ranger in this.
Reassure him or her that it’s okay to feel anxious
Those with anxiety often feel like something is wrong with them hence they tend to feel embarrassed about it. Always keep calm, and make a conscious effort to walk them through it. It could be something as easy as listening to their thought process and giving your feedback, keeping in mind that they may want validation. Try to identify with any thoughts or feelings that you personally can relate to as well, so they don't feel alone in this.
Seek professional help
If all else fails, do resort to seeking advice from a professional. With help and encouragement from a loved one, seeing a professional could be helpful as well as aid in the healing process. As much as you'd like to be able to help make the situation better, sometimes it’s better to leave things to someone who has trained and qualified professional with experience in this field. And there is no shame is seeking help. Keep a positive mindset, be there to encourage the individual, refrain from judging and show your support by just being there for them.
Keep in mind that this whole process not only takes time and effort, but emotional strength too. Just do the best you can, and that alone can make a difference.