If you love someone with anxiety you should aways remember these facts. People with anxiety are every bit as successful, beautiful and important as everyone else. Anxiety doesn’t change that. Here are some more things to remember.
You know how many people suffer from anxiety? 18 percent. Nearly one in five people. So if you suffer from anxiety or if you know someone who has anxiety, let me just say: it’s a normal thing. That’s just one of the things to remember if you love someone with anxiety.
Yep. One in five people suffer from anxiety. So sadly, anxiety is pretty normal.
Normal. But awful.
Anxiety is a nightmare.
I used to have bad anxiety many years ago. It wrecked my life. Made it impossible to be happy. You know how I got through? Family and friends.
My friends and family rock. Honestly, they’re extremely awesome people. It’s like they have overdosed on awesome-juice.
My friends and family helped me overcome anxiety.
But that was years ago.
Since then I’ve gained a ton of experience in helping people with anxiety. Friends. Family. People who find me via TheDailyMeditation’s Facebook and Twitter pages. I’ve been blessed to be able to help lots of people with anxiety.
Remember these things about people with anxiety
1: They are awesome
People who have anxiety are still people, no different to you or me. They’re still amazing and there’s absolutely no need to treat them differently to how you’d treat anyone else.
2: They deserve support
Let’s be honest here. We’ve all had our own issues from time to time, right? And we all wanted support. So pay it back or pay it forward and be the supportive person that you yourself might be thankful for some day.
3: They can still do amazing things
Just because someone has anxiety doesn’t mean they can’t achieve amazing things. Some of the most successful people in history had anxiety—Abharam Lincoln, Johnny Depp, Adele…
4: Let’s just be compassionate
It’s best if we remember to be a little more compassionate with people with anxiety. They’re more sensitive, but just so long as we’re compassionate, everything will be great.
5: Give them time
Sometimes people with anxiety just need a little bit of time to be alone. Heck, that’s perfectly natural.
6: They can act rashly
Panic can sometimes cause people to act rashly and without thought. If they do something thoughtless, don’t be too hard on them, give them a break.
7: It can seem like they’re ignoring you, but…
It might seem like they’re ignoring you at times. But it’s because they’re not feeling comfortable talking. They don’t mean it personally. Let them be.
8: Respect the fact that it can be hard to change
We all wish for a cure to anxiety. But the reality of the situation is that it is a challenge to overcome anxiety. Don’t make them feel rushed. Make them feel supported instead.
9: You matter a lot to them
People with anxiety aren’t social butterflies. They find it hard talking to people. That’s why the people who are there for them, people like you and I, we really matter, and they know that, even if they don’t always express it.
10: They don’t want to think that you’re worrying about them
They’re already suffering with anxiety. They don’t want the added burden of thinking that you’re worrying about them. Let them know that you’re cool with them. After all, they know how to look after themselves, so you really needn’t worry too much.
11: Remind them that they are more than they’re anxiety
So the person you love has anxiety. They’re still amazing, right? Let them know that. Tell them how awesome they are and let them know that they are so much more than they’re anxiety.
12: Make it easy for them
People with anxiety get overwhelmed. Don’t give them anything to stress about. Make life easy for them.
13: Remember that you’ve been there too
Everyone in the world at some point in their life has suffered from anxiety. It might not be a prolonged bout of anxiety and it might not be diagnosable, but we know what it feels like. Remember that you’ve been there too.
14: Laugh together
Laughter is one of the best forms of therapy. Put on a comedy, go to see a comedian, or just have a laugh together.
15: Remember that they will conquer their anxiety
The time will come. It will definitely come. They’ll conquer their anxiety. And when you look back on the time when they had anxiety, you’ll realise that going through it together made your relationship stronger.
16: Remember that you’re a damn good person
You’re helping someone you love. In my book, that makes you pretty awesome. Remember it.
17: Remember that you need time to relax too
You’re not perfect. There’ll probably be a couple of times when it’s a struggle. Remember that you need to look after yourself too. If you need a break from dealing with the anxiety, take a break. The more you help yourself the more you’ll help the people you love.
Also, always remember that you yourself can really help them. Take a look at my huge free guide to using meditation for anxiety.
It’s not always easy loving someone with anxiety. When you love someone with anxiety it can be a challenge. But use these tips and you’ll help both yourself and them.
How to help someone with anxiety and thereby be a damn good friend / family member.
It feels damn good helping people overcome anxiety. It makes you feel fantastic about yourself. And it helps the other person to cure their anxiety problem.
But just how, exactly, can you help someone with anxiety?
There are tons of ways. But there are ten kickass ways that you can truly make a difference in the life of someone with anxiety.
Let’s get the ball rolling.
- Be gentle and kind
One of the best ways to help someone with anxiety is to be kind and gentle.
A lot of people with anxiety have been the victims of gaslighting techniques or other forms of manipulation. Other people have harmed them. That’s why they need a little kindness and love from you.
People with anxiety want a kind and friendly soul in their life.
They just want someone who is there for them. They want someone they know won’t ever judge them or get angry with them. They want a comforting companion.
You can do that.
You can be the person who is always there, the person who listens, the person who is just… good.
It’s not hard. It just takes a good attitude. And in my experience the vast majority of our readers are damn good people. Honestly I’d bet the house you’re a good, kind soul, right? Be that for someone with anxiety. Just be that. Be you. Be your kind and gentle self.
- If you ever get impatient with them, just chill and let it be
You might be a saint. But odds are there will be a couple times when you feel impatient with someone with anxiety.
That’s just normal. You’re human too. You have emotions. You get angry from time to time. That’s fine.
But if you ever feel like you’re getting impatient or angry when you’re around someone with anxiety, just find a good excuse to leave. Get space. Chill out. Relax. Reconnect with your happy-face. Then once you’re feeling chipper you can help out again.
So what should you do if the other person starts riling you? Well, you could slip into a meditation pod. Problem solved. And you can also consider meditating with the other person, because one of the best ways to treat anxiety is meditation.
- Be contactable so they always feel supported
That’s a bunny. Who doesn’t love bunnies?
As much as your friend actually needs you to be there, they also kinda just want to feel as though you would be there for them if they really did need you.
Give them a contact number. Be reachable. Respond to messages. Just let them know “Hey. I’m here if you need me”.
They’ll be respectful and not demand too much of your time. But they will also know that if it gets bad, you’ll be there.
But, ironically, a lot of people suffering from anxiety while talking on the phone, so make sure you don’t go calling them out of nowhere. Text instead.
This is one of the most important ways to help someone with anxiety.
- Let any negativity bounce off you.
When someone’s suffering from anxiety they often are not themselves. They might say things they don’t mean. They might be cruel.
People with anxiety don’t want to be mean. Problem is, they have so many negative emotions. Now, negative emotions can be used in good ways. But most of the time someone with anxiety will be mean even though they don’t want to be. They have so much bad emotional chemistry going on that some of it misfires. There’s collateral damage. Their emotions spill over onto you. And at times they do or say something they don’t mean.
But just know that someone with anxiety will probably hurt you. And they almost definitely will feel terrible about it. so what do you do?
Let it be. Like that Beatles song “Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom. Let it be”. (We played that song at my dad’s funeral. It’s such a beautiful piece of music).
- Let them know that they can change at their own pace
You want to help someone with anxiety. So naturally you want them to overcome anxiety. That’s great.
Here’s the thing. If you make them feel like they have to get over anxiety quickly, you’ll add pressure. And one of the keys to stopping anxiety is overcoming the mental pressure. So make sure you don’t add to it.
Accept them as they are. Yes let them know they have your support. Yes let them know you want them to be happy. But make them feel as though there’s no rush, as though “Hey. You can be as you are now. That’s fine. Over time you’ll feel happier. There’s no rush”.
- Give them ways to be mindful
One of the best ways you can help someone with anxiety is to give them excuses to be mindful.
Being mindful essentially means living in the moment. If you’re living in the moment you’re not suffering from anxiety.
So, give them ways to be mindful. Take them for a walk or a drive somewhere nice and peaceful. Put on relaxing music, telling them that you want to listen to it. Create positive environments with letting them know why you’re doing it.
Basically, try to get them to do these 25 mindful habits. They will start to feel better without even trying.
- Reinforce the positive with affirmations
Another great way to help someone with anxiety and stress is to be a friendly, positive voice.
Another great way to help someone with anxiety is to reinforce the positive things they do.
Again, be subtle. You don’t want to seem as though you’re glorifying their every breath. That’s patronizing. But if they say something funny, laugh. If they make a good point, acknowledge it. If they’re happy, smile with them.
- Don’t go all superhero on them
You’re awesome for wanting to help someone with anxiety. It’s a noble cause. And you should rightly feel pretty good about yourself.
Just don’t overdo it. Don’t suddenly turn into Oprah or an agony aunt. Be cool. Do the right thing, and make it natural.
- Read up on anxiety
The best warrior is the enlightened warrior. If you want to win a battle, know your enemy.
Anxiety is the enemy. And one of the best ways that you can help someone beat anxiety is to know what you’re up against.
Thankfully there are tons of great books about anxiety. Reading these will show you how to help someone with anxiety.
You might want to read the critically acclaimed (and totally brilliant) The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook.
- Suggest that they follow positive social media pages
Social media is all the rage. And a lot social media pages make for really great positivity coaches.
Also check out these tips for helping someone through emotional suffering. They made all the difference for me!
Join positive social media pages. That way every time you log in on your social networks you get positive reinforcement.
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