Anxiety is always a key topic in events on mental health awareness in the UK, and with good reason. As the pandemic continues, more and more people experience crushing fear and anxiety. Also, safety measures like social distancing can increase the problem. They make them feel lonely and isolated. This can consequently intensify stress and anxiety.
It’s difficult to watch a loved one struggle with anxiety. It’s a good thing that there are ways to help your friend or family cope with anxiety.
It’s normal to feel anxious sometimes. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently experience crushing fear, panic, and even terror in everyday situations. Moreover, uncertain circumstances like a pandemic increase these emotions.
Other things that can trigger anxiety include:
- Health problems
- Inadequate meals
- Certain medicines
- Negative thinking
- Financial problems
- Stressful situations in different settings
Anxiety is highly personal. So, some of these triggers may affect your loved one more than others. In addition, it’s also possible there are things that can raise their anxiety that are not mentioned in this list.
There are more than eight million cases of anxiety in the UK in 2013. Reports show that anxiety disorders are more common among women. But that doesn’t mean that men are not susceptible to mental health problems.
How to Help Someone with Anxiety
Anxiety disorders have no instant cure. Treating them takes time. It usually involves therapy, medicine, or a combination of both. Being there for someone with anxiety helps a lot. Use this helpful guide to help you support your struggling loved one.
Let them talk freely.
Never pass up the chance to give your loved one the chance to voice their concerns or talk about their triggers. It will help you understand them better and let them know that you are always there for them. So pay close attention to what they share. Also, find out if they suffer from anxiety attacks and how you can help if they happen.
Listen with empathy.
This is one of the best tips for supporting people with anxiety in mental health awareness. Focus on listening. Don’t respond with judgmental questions or statements. After that, give them a summary of what you understood from your conversation. This consequently prevents miscommunication and assumptions.
Help them process their thoughts.
Most people with anxiety automatically think about the worst-case scenarios. If your loved one does this, you can help them by giving them perspectives. Ask them what’s the worst that can happen. Then, ask them what’s the best that can happen. Finally, ask them which outcome is more likely.
Empower them to manage their challenges.
Above all, don’t take over when you help your loved one. This is critical if your loved one is prone to avoiding the things that trigger their anxiety. For example, you can offer to go with them to a therapy session. But only if they schedule the appointment on their own. In short, help them help themselves.
Listening Support for Anxiety
In conclusion, dealing with anxiety is not easy for both the sufferer and supporter. It also does not help that most people with such disorders find it difficult to talk to their loved ones about their struggles.
If you notice that your loved one is getting overwhelmed, remind them that support is always just a call away with Talking for Therapy. Our advisors are ready to provide compassionate, confidential, and non-judgmental support all day every day.