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How to Help a Loved One Cope with Anxiety

by Roveen Anyango
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Anxiety is never a pleasant feeling. The constant feeling of impending doom, the increased heartbeats and hyperventilation – all might make you feel as though you are losing your mind. We shall find out how one can cope with anxiety in this article.

The current times of a global pandemic and deteriorating financial situation are only making anxiety worse. Yet, while you will find many articles that help you as an individual overcome anxiety, not many tell you how to help a loved one cope with anxiety.

Below, we look at how you can help a loved one cope with anxiety.

Understand their symptoms

You cannot help if you do not know when to help. So, the first thing to do to help a loved one cope with anxiety is understand the symptoms they present.

There are different anxiety types, and people exhibit symptoms differently. Thus, to create a plan to help, first identify the symptoms then work from there.

Keep a line of communication

People with anxiety will often feel much better when they talk to someone who understands them. Be there for your loved one so that they can openly share what they feel anxious about. This helps them in managing their anxiety as they know they are not alone.

Provide validation

Don’t belittle the experiences of your loved one when they are anxious. What might seem like a small thing to you is a big deal to then. Their anxiety, the fear they feel, is real.

Thus, rather than dismiss it, be sensitive to their plight. Hold them and stand by them, let them know that you are there for them. However, as you validate their experience…

Anxiety

Anxiety

Don’t enable their anxiety

Being sensitive to your loved one’s anxiety does not mean letting them completely avoid what gives them anxiety.

Enabling their anxiety means eliminating completely their cause of anxiety. This act can actually make their anxiety worse and won’t give them an opportunity to overcome it. instead, encourage them to face their fears. However, …

Don’t force them to confront

While it is important that they face their fears, it is not in your place to make them face those fears.

Trying to push them to confront their fears will only give them a new cause to feel anxious – you. The best way to get them to confront their fears could be getting them professional help. This way, they learn to face their fears under the steady guidance of someone with experience.

Anxiety disorders can strain relationships but that doesn’t need to be the case as we see from the above tips. People with anxiety need love and understanding, so give it to them.

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