How to help someone who is dealing with anxiety. Just reaching out goes a long way

Apart from medication and meditation, some simple steps like reaching out and offering a listening ear can help someone you know battle anxiety.

sex and relationships Updated: Dec 14, 2018 21:24 IST
Srishti Jha
Srishti Jha
Hindustan Times
Anxiety,dealing with anxiety,meditation
Read on for how you can help a friend, who is battling anxiety, develop a healthy coping mechanism. (Unsplash)

Over the last few years, anxiety has become a significant terminology in the society, regardless of age, gender and class. One cannot plan and structure their external lives to combat the internal battles that result into anxiety. It cannot only be traced by observing a sufferer’s loud and stressed body language but, it also lingers in their silences, avoiding conversations, situations and mainly escaping everything you feel is a trigger. Medication and medication advice surely helps bring in a sense of balance as far as panic attacks, social anxiety, avoidance behaviour is concerned, but it also needs support of a listening ear, an understanding mind and just reaching out.

One cannot plan and structure their external lives to combat the internal battles that result into anxiety. (Unsplash)

We all look for assurances externally in all stages of life for survival, peace and what we call a ‘stable’ life that we strive for. As some burrow themselves avoiding much communication and external contact, some subconsciously make it a behavioural pattern and the only response in that case is fear and anger, interrelated to each other in a vicious cycle. It’s always better to know more about something when you are planning to address a sensitive subject. Help them identify the issue and getting them to accept the idea of seeking help is also a difficult process.

The 4 practices can help a friend or anyone you know battle anxiety and develop a healthy coping mechanism:

A listening ear goes a long way and one feels that they are heard and understood. (Unsplash)

Be empathetic

Anyone coping with a certain condition doesn’t need sympathy as it can also lead to further low self-esteem and a streak of negativities as a part of their existent coping mechanism. Try to feel and understand what they are going through as closely as you can and help them journey through it and get help accordingly. The sufferer feels bad enough already so try to make them feel that they are not alone battling a grave condition like anxiety.

Take them seriously

Humans are prone to quick judgment and opinion. If you feel that the person’s behaviour is perennially reactionary and odd, don’t deject and avoid them. Try to figure out what is going on with them or something that has to do with a physical memory or trauma that they are unable to talk about due to societal stigmas. Tell them it’s okay to feel the way they feel and be there for them.

Be patient

The key to help someone is anyway is patience. We all are mortals and we also have a certain bandwidth to come with situations and issues of our own as well as the people we care about. There is a certain level of restlessness that you might come across in someone coping with anxiety and avoidance behaviour. So, give them some time to be strong enough to talk about their issues and any traumatic experience that has led to the anxious behavioural pattern.

Talk less, listen more

It’s a good thing to have an opinion about everything but the timing and situation has to be in accordance. A listening ear goes a long way and one feels that they are heard and understood. Doing that can be very encouraging for the sufferer and it will help them face themselves in a better way.

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 15:25 IST