Mental Health

What Are The Ways To Support Someone Who Are Experiencing Anxiety?


Anxiety Disorder is the most common mental health condition that Affects up to 18% of the population. It is a body’s natural response to stress. All of us get worried and scared from time to time however, those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others. It is very difficult to relate these concerns whereas many people don’t know how to help someone with anxiety.

You may be able to see the physical symptoms but it is difficult to know exactly what the person is dealing with. So, it is important to be sensitive to what the person with anxiety is going through even it does not make any sense to you.

There are many ways to support people who are experiencing anxiety but it is important to recognize the physical symptoms of anxiety that includes;

  • sweating
  • diarrhea
  • restless
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • nausea

List Of Ways To Support Someone Who Is Experiencing Anxiety

1) Find an approach to make use of any intuition they have into their anxiety

If your loved one has intuition into their anxiety, You can help them spot when their anxiety-driven patterns are occurring. It is helpful if you know each other’s pattern and has a trusting relationship where you can point out each other’s habit. People who have insight into their anxiety may feel compelled to their anxious thoughts. For instance, a person with health anxiety might know that going to the doctor every week for a test is unnecessary, but they can’t help themselves. So, it is the best idea to encourage them to see a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety.

2) Help someone who is anxious to temper their perception

Typically, anxious people have a natural bias toward thinking about the worse case scenarios. To help or support them get some perspective on this, you can use a cognitive therapy technique. Take care not to reassure your loved ones that their fear won’t come to pass. It is the best way to emphasize their coping ability. If your loved one is feeling anxious that someone else is angry with them, it is often useful to remind them that you can only ever choose your own actions and not control other people’s responses.

3) Offer support, but don’t take over

Avoidance is a core aspect of anxiety, so sometimes we may feel pulled to support out by doing things for our avoidant loved ones and inadvertently feed their avoidance. For instance, if your anxious roommate seeks out making phone calls incredibly stressful and you end up doing this for them, they never push back through their avoidance. Also, sometimes loved ones are so gripped by an anxiety disorder that they are in pure survival mode and they require more hands-on help to get things done. In less extreme circumstances, however, it’s best to offer support without taking overdoing the reassurance.

4) Understand differences in how anxiety perceived

Because of evolution, we are tense to react to fear by either fight or flight. For different people, one of these responses will dominate. When you are able to understand that anxiety is designed to put us into a mode of threat sensitivity, it will be easier to understand that if someone is feeling scared or not and acting out by being defensive to find compassion for them. By paying attention to how anxiety perceives in the person you care about, you can identify their pattern and you can be in better position to support them.

5)  Match your support to their desires and attachment style

It is better to ask someone that what kind of support they prefer rather than guess. However, we know from research that people who have an avoidant attachment style are likely to respond best to strong displays of concrete practical support. That could include supporting the anxious person break tasks into manageable steps like, how to respond to angry email, how to deal with a difficult situation.

Other people are more likely to prefer emotional support, those who are securely attached, or who have a preoocupied attachment style due to a fear of being abandoned but when you have a close relationship with someone, then you can offer support based on intimacy understanding your loved ones pattern of the anxiety.