How to Help Someone with Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are so common that at some point you will likely know someone who might be experiencing them. People with depression and anxiety are more likely to solve it with help and support than dealing with it alone.
Sometimes, the most important thing is to have supportive people around. When you're feeling down, knowing that people are thinking about you can really lift your spirits. Now, here is some tips you can do on how to help someone with anxiety – they will help calm your anxiety and depression:
This is the most effective ways how to help someone with anxiety or depression. When you are in this state of life, you tend to take quick breaths. This sends a message to your brain which causes positive feedback that amplifies your fight-or-flight response. That's why taking deep breaths interrupts the spin and helps you calm down.
2. Admit that you are anxious or depression
Allow yourself to say that you are anxious, depressed, or angry. If you label your feelings and allow yourself to express them, you can experience less anxiety and anger.
3. Challenge your mind
Part of being anxious, depresses, or angry is having irrational thoughts that don't necessarily make sense. These kinds of thoughts often bring the situation to a worst phase. You may find yourself stuck in "what if" cycles, which can cause you to sabotage many things in your life.
4. Let go of anxiety, depression, or anger
You can do this by taking a walk or run. Engage yourself in some physical activity, as this will help release serotonin, which can help you calm down and feel better. However, it's best to avoid physical activities that include expressions of anger, such as hitting walls or screaming.
5. Visualize yourself calm
This point requires you to practice the breathing techniques that you have learned. After taking a few deep breaths, close your eyes and imagine yourself calm. See your body relax, and imagine yourself dealing with a stressful or anxiety-causing situation by remaining calm and focused. By creating a mental picture of what it feels like to stay calm, you can refer back to that image when you are anxious.
6. Think carefully
Have a spell to use in critical situations. Just make sure it's one you find useful. This allows the thought to shift focus, and you can reality test the situation.
7. Listen to music
Grab your headphones and tune in to your favorite music. Listening to music is among the ways how to help someone with anxiety, or even yourself!
8. Change your focus
Leave the situation, look the other way, get out of the room, or just get outside. This exercise will give you time for better decision making.
9. Relax your body
To do this, lie on the floor with your arms stretched out from your sides. Make sure your legs are not crossed and your hands are not clenched into fists. Start with your toes and tell yourself to let go. Move your body upwards slowly, tell yourself to release every part of your body until you reach your head.
10. Write it down
If you get too angry or want to talk about it, take a journal and write down your thoughts. Don't worry about complete sentences or punctuation – just write them down. Writing helps you get negative thoughts out of your head.
You can take it one step further and create a plan of action to stay calm after you finish writing.
How to Help Someone with Anxiety Disorder
11. Get fresh air
The temperature and air circulation in the room can increase your anxiety or depression. If you feel tense and your room is hot and stuffy, this can trigger a panic attack. Get out of the environment as quickly as possible and get out – even if only for a few minutes.
Not only does the fresh air help calm you, but a change of scenery can sometimes interfere with your anxious thinking process.
12. Fill your body
If you are hungry or not well hydrated, many of these techniques won't work. That's why it's important to slow down and eat something – even if it's just a small snack.
13. Lower your shoulders
If your body is tense, there’s a good chance your posture will suffer. Sit up tall, take a deep breath, and drop your shoulders. To do this, you can focus on bringing your shoulder blades together and then down. This will pull your shoulders down. Take a few deep breaths and you can do this a few times a day.
14. Have a centering object
When you are anxious or depressed, a lot of your energy is spent on irrational thoughts. When you are calm, find a "center item" such as a small stuffed animal, a shiny stone that you keep in your pocket, or a pendant that you wear around your neck.
Tell yourself that you will touch this object when you are experiencing anxiety or frustration. This help centers you and \ calm your mind. For instance, if you are at work and your boss makes you nervous, gently rub the pendant around your neck.
15. Identify pressure points to calm depression and anxiety
Massage or acupuncture is a great way to deal with anxiety and depression. However, it's not always easy to find the time in your day to make it happen. Thankfully you can do acupressure yourself for instant relief from anxiety.
This method involves pressing with your finger or hand on specific body points. Pressure releases tension and relaxes your body.
One area to start with is the point where the inside of your wrist creases with your hand. Press your thumb on this area for two minutes. It will help relieve tension.