Anxiety disorder sufferers do not wish to have anxiety. They do not wish to have their lives disrupted or to disrupt the lives of those who love them. There is nothing worse than feeling out of control, knowing you are out of control, and not being able to stop the behavior. Here are five ways you can help your loved ones suffering from anxiety.
- Reinforce the fact that suffering from anxiety does not mean your loved one is mentally deficient. Show empathy and support, but not sympathy. They need help, not pity. Encourage them to seek help from a medical professional.
- Educate yourself about the links between triggers – thoughts – behaviors and how to reframe anxiety thinking.
- Show positive reinforcement of rational behavior rather than criticism of irrational fears, etc. Knowing you are pleased will lead your loved one to want to repeat the rational behavior to keep that good feeling longer.
- Maintain your own support system. Having someone you trust to talk to is vital to your continuing ability to give the support your loved one needs.
- Spend time with them, as much as possible. Try to do outdoor activities to help them get as much exercise as possible. Let them know it’s okay to talk about their anxiety, you’re there to listen and not to judge.
Your loved one needs to exercise, eat healthy meals and snacks, and get enough sleep. It is very important for their well-being, as well as your own. Don’t forget to take care of yourself while you’re helping them.
Learning to deal with anxiety and give the best care are full of ups and downs. There is a learning curve you both have to go through before you reach an oasis, but you will get there. Do not give up. These five ways to support your loved one with anxiety seem simple, but they are very important and so are you! We are here to help.