Some level of worry, fear, or concern throughout life is normal. Whether a child or an adult, there are things in life that spur these feelings. Felt on a moderate level with intermittent frequency, these feelings can be normal.
Individuals with anxiety feel consumed by fears and worries that may feel irrational or overdramatic to others. It can be challenging for those not experiencing anxiety to relate to these concerns or know the best way to help someone with anxiety.
This blog will uncover the best ways to approach a person with anxiety and offer tips to help support them as they feel anxious. With a library of online resources, BLOOM supports adults and parents in helping their children with easy-to-access courses, including courses on Anxiety and Fear, Anxiety, Stress, and Phobia. With these courses, you will receive strategies to treat the core of the issue using physical therapeutic intervention. You will get guidance on reflex integration and sensory integration techniques to help become less reactive, feel less anxious, and decrease the intensity and duration of the anxiety.
How to Approach a Person With Anxiety
First and foremost, try not to get enmeshed or codependent with the person you are trying to help. What exactly does this mean?
This would mean that you could support them and have the strength to hold their strong feelings without judgment but without getting toppled by them. At the same time, try to maintain your boundaries of privacy, time, and health so that your own self does not get compromised in the process of helping.
You will first try to connect to what they think and feel. When helping someone with anxiety, focus on when they have done well. Give them positive feedback for their achievements, be non-judgemental, and do not push them to do more or less than they are doing. Most importantly, do not make decisions for them because then you are getting into a codependent relationship with them.
How to Help Someone With Anxiety
The desire to help is a natural one. Whether it is an adult in your life or your own child, watching someone suffer from anxiety inspires the urge to help them through it. Watching a loved one face anxiety daily, often with panic attacks is distressing. Know that there are ways you can help.
Remember, make your best effort not to lose yourself in their battle so that you can maintain your own mental health. This is vital while supporting and encouraging this person or child through an anxious period in their life.
Signs of Anxiety
Understanding and recognizing the signs of anxiety is one of the first steps to getting your loved one the help they need and supporting them in their feelings. These are common physical symptoms of anxiety:
- Feeling edgy and/or restless
- Shortness of breath
- Getting easily fatigued
The following are common anxious behaviors:
- Avoidance of feared situations or events
- Seeking reassurance
- Irritability and frustration in feared situations
- Compulsive actions (like washing hands over and over)
8 Tips for Helping a Person with Anxiety
- Express Concern–saying things like, “I noticed how you reacted to x situation. Do you feel like you could use help with how you’re feeling?”
- Connect to What They Feel–an anxious person’s feelings and reactions do not have to make sense to you if you want to help that person. One of the best things you can do is to identify and connect what they are feeling.
- Do Not Enable–expressing concern and providing validation can quickly become enabling. While expressing compassion toward your loved one, be aware that you can’t always change the situation to accommodate their anxiety. Do Not Force Confrontation–while not over-accommodating an anxious person, you can not force certain situations. You can, however, express concern and offer to help them find support.
Support for Anxiety
Anxiety is very real and can be debilitating for those that experience it. If you notice a loved one, adult or child, experiencing the physical signs of anxiety or exhibiting the behavioral signs of anxiety, it is time to seek help. You may notice your loved one’s anxiety begins to impede their ability to enjoy life, whether it’s school, work, or social life. Recognizing the signs and symptoms will help you identify when it may be time to seek professional help.
Many families struggle without the support they need. BLOOM’s mission is to meet families at their greatest point of need–providing online resources to support and coach them through challenges. Discover BLOOM’s courses Anxiety and Fear, Anxiety, Stress, and Phobia to support the person or child in your life experiencing anxiety.
These courses dive deeper to treat the core of the issue using physical therapeutic intervention. Receive guidance on reflex integration and sensory integration techniques to help become less reactive, feel less anxious, and decrease the intensity and duration of the anxiety.