Anxiety can be so hard to manage in your day to day life.
Especially so if you're not the anxious one - but you're trying to support someone important in your life who is working through it.
Sometimes their thoughts can seem so foreign, and the way they react to even small things can feel so out of proportion. Even when you're getting frustrated, try to remember that they need your help and support, even if the way they are acting doesn't show it.
They need your support, and for you to tell them that everything will be OK.
Here are five tips to help your loved one through their anxiety:
Try to understand them, and what might be going through their head. Even if it doesn't seem rational or make as much sense to you - just by thinking through what they are going through you can communicate with them about their feelings.
They most likely feel like a burden and will push you away first - before asking for help, or before you can get back to them. They are tired of feeling scared and don't want to put that on anyone else. If you can take the few minutes you need to get in their head space, you can often get through and have a genuine connection. Your empathy will mean a lot.
Fight for them
Sometimes they just need to know that they are important to you, and you're trying to help - no matter what they are going through. Being scared and anxious can mean feeling very alone. Knowing you are on their team can be the difference between being able to tackle the day versus running away from the world.
Listen to them, even if you can't help
Listening can be very hard if there is nothing you can do to help. But even the act of listening itself can mean a lot to someone who is scared. You're allowing them to share their burden and showing that you're there for them, that you care enough to listen.
Don't tell them to stop worrying
They wish they could - they really do. But they can't stop the way they are feeling right in the moment. When you tell them to stop worrying or to let things go, you're dismissing their problems out of hand.
They know how they should be feeling. But getting to there from where they currently are is the hard part. They will worry about how they are feeling many times a day - and anything you might say, they have already told themselves many times over.
Remember it's not personal
They are just scared. They wish that they didn't feel the way they do, and might last out or get angry. You are important to them and they really wish they didn't upset you.
Understand they sometimes can't commit
Loving someone who is often indecisive or changes plans at the last minute can be really frustrating. Try to keep in mind that sometimes someone who is anxious just won't be able to keep to what they said they would do earlier.
They really wish that they were not letting you down - but they aren't going to be able to get on top of their feelings in time. You have the choice to support them, or confront their actions. Even just saying you understand, it's OK, and you'll see them again soon can mean so much.