“Nothing Diminishes Anxiety Faster Than Action.”
Anxiety can be tough. Mentally demanding, emotionally taxing, and occasionally physically taxing, for both the sufferer and his/her partner.
Anxiety may seem and feel different to the anxiety sufferer and his/her loved one. However, there are many helpful things, as mentioned below, that you should know and remember if you love someone with anxiety.
1. Don’t try to restrain your loved one’s anxiety
Do not ask your loved one to stop being anxious. Telling sufferers that the things which they are troubled about are not a big deal, will only lead to significant escalation of their anxiety because all the anxiety causing factors are valid and real for them. Anxious people just cannot stop being anxious or just snap out of it; that takes time, a proper system, and support from their partners.
Anxiety has to be heard and won’t vanish just because you tell your loved one that the worries are unreasonable. You and your loved one should learn of ways in which he/she can effectively convey the anxiety, and you listen to it instead of just waiting out the venting period for calmness to arrive. Listening ensures faster quieting of an anxiety attack than asking your loved one to stop being anxious.
2. You are your loved one’s friend and not enemy
The loved one’s anxiety is often not about you. But you may observe that all their angst during their period of anxiety is usually taken out on you. Such outburst is not right or fair, but your loved one depends on you for support. Also, she/he (together with you) may still be learning to cope with anxiety.
If you feel that you are being unfairly targeted or being made to feel as if you are not on his/her side or his/her teammate, then talk to your loved one when they are not experiencing anxiety. Discuss and lay some ground rules about acceptable behavior during anxious moments. Your loved one does need to vent out his/her anxiety and emotions, but you should not be always the one to bear the brunt of it.
3. Keep your perspective
Maintain your perspective about the causes of your loved one’s anxiety and do not get swayed by their troubles. When listening to him/her during anxiety, lovingly share facts about the trigger. This will help reduce the power and effect of the factor(s) that triggers anxiety.
4. Do healthy activities after anxiety attacks are over
It is not possible for anxious people to get back onto daily life immediately after anxiety has subsided. For example, if you had a lunch date with your loved one before the anxiety episode, then it may not be possible for him/her to want to go out for lunch after the attack is over. This is often due to the fact that anxiety can be tiring and exhausting for the sufferer, and sometimes even for the partner.
It is best for you to do healthy activities like going for a walk in the park, slow dancing in the kitchen, etc. This will offer both of you enough time to get back into the routine of daily life.
5. Research the condition
Find out all that you can about anxiety, its symptoms, coping techniques, medications, etc. You may also check if going to a therapist is helpful or not.
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