When you love someone with anxiety life can be hard. I get that.
There are so many challenges to loving someone with anxiety:
- They take offense too easy
- Social anxiety makes it hard to go out
- If it’s your husband / wife / girlfriend / boyfriend, the sexual intimacy can be impossible (hint: try some meditations for intimacy. The love will come back)
- If it’s in the dating stage, it can take a long time for the relationship to develop
- They possibly think you are cheating on them for no reason
- They have mood swings and can be passive aggressive
- They make you feel guilty for no reason at all
But remember this: a whopping 18% of people have anxiety. 
That is nearly one in five people.
So if you suffer from anxiety or if you know someone who has anxiety: it is totally normal.
Normal. But awful.
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.
Since then I’ve gained a ton of experience in helping other 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.
Let me share with you what I’ve learned about helping people with anxiety.
When you love someone with anxiety, remember these things
Whether it’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or a family member, you can make a difference to someone suffering from anxiety. Here’s how.
1: Realise you actually can help them with anxiety
Lots of experts will tell you you can support people with anxiety but you cant change them.
Well they obviously didn’t try very hard.
You can be the different in someone’s life. You can stop anxiety for someone else.
I’ve written an extensive guide to stopping anxiety. The guide is intended for people who actually have anxiety. But there are many parts of it that you can help them with. For instance, you can spend time meditating with them. You can exercise with them or just go for walks with them. You can be a source of positive thoughts. There’s so much you can do!
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.
Here are some ways to be supportive:
- Speak in gentle ways (without being patronising)
- Listen to them
- Focus on their accomplishments not on the issue
- Subtly get rid of things that make them anxious (clean for them, remove unnecessary sources of negativity etc.,)
- Introduce things that make them calm (take them to the beach, put relaxing images in your home, etc)
3: Remind them of their accomplishments
Subtly bring up their accomplishments… subtly. You never want to draw attention to the fact that you’re intentionally being nice just because they have anxiety.
Often, people with anxiety dwell on negatives. They get caught up in their own shortcomings. Remind them of the ways in which they are awesome.
4. Meditate a lot so you are relaxed
You feel frustrated.
You get angry and impatient
You feel like telling the to snap out of it.
And you have the right to feel that way. But it is not going to help.
Take steps to maintain your own inner peace so you are able to help them without getting frustrated. Here are 31 meditations for you to choose from (I recommend Zen for this).
4: Be compassionate
It’s best if we remember to be a little more compassionate with people with anxiety. After all, people with anxiety are more sensitive than the rest of us. And they do require a little bit more compassion.
5: Give them time
Sometimes people with anxiety just need a little bit of time to be alone.
Any kind of social pressure will greatly affect someone with anxiety. So sometimes it is best to just let them be alone for a while. And it is an opportunity for you to relax too.
6: They can act rashly but they don’t mean it
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.
They might be cruel
They might say things that hurt
They might lash out at you
They might make you feel guilty or no reason
But when you love someone with anxiety you need to remember that it’s just the anxiety making them act up. They don’t mean it.
You’re going to need a lot of emotional intelligence to stop yourself from getting caught up in the web of emotions.
7: Why are they ignoring you? Actually, they’re not
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.
This is one good reason to avoid any uncomfortable conversations. Or, at least, to wait until they are relatively relaxed before speaking about anything stressful.
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.
Remember, once they do overcome anxiety they will remember all the ways you helped them beat anxiety, and they will be grateful for it.
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.
Someone with anxiety might struggle to thank you. That’s why you should thank yourself. Feel good about the fact that you are helping someone with anxiety. Treat yourself. You deserve 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.
11: Remind them that they are more than their 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 life easy for them
People with anxiety get overwhelmed. Don’t give them anything to stress about. Make life easy for them.
- If they cancel dates or arrangements, be okay with it (even though it sucks)
- If they lack confidence in bed, let them know it’s not a big deal
- Make it easy for them to talk to you
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.
When you remind yourself that you’ve been there, you will feel more patient with them. And it is important to have patience.
14: Start a new hobby
Scientific research has proven that our hobbies have a huge affect on our mental health.
Some hobbies can cause anxiety (watching too much TV, sports where the results matter, anything on stage).
And some hobbies can hep to relieve anxiety: yoga, tai chi, gardening…
Take a look at > the best hobbies for mental health.
15: Remember that they will conquer their anxiety
The time will come.
It will definitely come.
They will 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.
And you will be proud that you were such a good, strong and supportive person.
And they will love you for it.
The key is to keep going.
16: Remember that you’re a really 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 will probably be a couple of times when it’s a struggle.
Remember that you need to look after yourself as well as them.
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.
It’s not always easy loving someone with anxiety. When you love someone with anxiety it can be a challenge. That’s why you should always remember to be kind to yourself as well as to them.
Deal with your stress. Be selfish. Occasionally.
18. 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 so much kindness and love from you.
People with anxiety want a kind and friendly soul in their life.
They want someone who is there for them. They want someone they know won’t ever judge them or get angry at 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.
19. 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.
Remember to let yourself be happy even if it;s all going down.
20. Be contactable so they always feel supported
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.
Respond to messages.
Just let them know “Hey. I’m here if you need me”.
Most people with anxiety will be respectful and will not demand too much of your time. But they will also know that if their anxiety gets bad, you’ll be there.
But, ironically, a lot of people suffer 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.
We played that song at my dad’s funeral. It’s such a beautiful piece of music).
21. 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.
Essentially, you are making them momentarily forget that they have anxiety.
22. Reinforce the positive with affirmations
Another great way to help someone with anxiety and stress is to be a friendly, positive voice.
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.
23. People with anxiety aren’t Bonnie Tyler. They don’t need a hero.
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.
Do the right thing.
24. 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 [AMAZON].
25. 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.
Finally, if you feel their pain too much you could be an empath.
That can make life harder.
Take a look at these tips for empaths. They will help you to not be so emotionally affected by their anxiety.
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