How to Help Someone with Anxiety: Useful Tips to Distract Someone from Anxiety, Depression, or Anger!

May 04, 2021 10:58 PM

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Tripboba.com - Anxiety is a feeling of discomfort, such as worry or fear, which can be mild or severe. At some point in their life, everyone has feelings of anxiety. For instance, you may feel worried and anxious about exams, or have a medical exam or job interview.

Other examples of feeling anxious are when you’re dealing with life, having money problem, being in a bad relationship, and so on. The causes of anxiety itself are vary, from a death in the family, work stress, to ongoing worry about finances.

You with the thought of wanting to help someone to get out of anxiety needs appreciation – what you’re doing is great! And to help you with how to help someone with anxiety, let Tripboba be your source.

How to Help Someone with Anxiety Attack

How to Help Someone with Anxiety - Photo by Christian Erfurt from Unsplash

Not only for someone, this article of how to help someone with anxiety is also for friends, family, and even yourself! When you or someone you know is having an anxiety attack, it must be really difficult – you want to do your part as best as you can. However, take a look at the following tips of how to help someone with anxiety below:

1. Don't pressure them

  • One of the first things how to help someone with anxiety is by not trying to pressure your friends or family members to do more than they feel comfortable with. It's important to be patient, listen to their wishes and take steps they think are okay.
  • To want to help them face their fears or find practical solutions is totally understandable, but it can be very sad for someone to feel like they were being forced into a situation before they felt ready. This can even make their anxiety worse.
  • Try to remember that not being able to control their worries is part of having anxiety, and they don't choose how they feel.

2. Try to understand

  • Try to find out as much as you can about anxiety, as this will help you understand what they are going through.
  • Know their feeling by asking about their experiences. You can ask them how anxiety affects their daily life, and what makes it better or worse. Listening to how they experienced something can help you empathize with how they are feeling.

3. Ask how you can help

  • Your friends or family members probably already know how you can support them – for instance, helping them in difficult situations, talking to them calmly or doing breathing exercises with them.
  • By asking them what they need or how you can help, you can support them to feel more in control.
  • Knowing that someone around you knows what to do if they start feeling scared or panicked can help them feel safer and calmer.

4. Encourage them to seek help

If you think your friend or family member's anxiety is a problem for them, you can encourage them to seek treatment by talking to a therapist.

  • You can offer to help them set up doctor's appointments.
  • You can offer support when they attend the appointments.
  • You can help them seek help from a therapist.
  • You can also help them research various support options, such as community services or peer support groups.

How to Help Someone with Severe Anxiety

How to Help Someone with Anxiety - Photo by Malicki M Beser from Unsplash

Additional to how to help someone with anxiety, Tripboba is going to share several more points in this section.

5. If someone has a more serious anxiety problem, don’t stigmatizing them

  • People experiencing things like panic disorder, anxiety-mixed depression, post-traumatic stress, or obsessive thinking (including thoughts related to eating disorders) may fear that they will actually go crazy. Helping them may feel beyond your means.
  • You can still support in many ways. When someone is experiencing severe anxiety, it can be helpful to reassure them that your overall perception of them has not changed. They are still the same person; they just experience temporary problem situations that get out of hand. They don't break down and who they are doesn't change. Wherever possible, you can help the person stay connected to the positive aspects of their identity by participating in or promoting their interests and hobbies.

6. Offer support, but don't take over

  • Avoidance is a core feature of anxiety, so sometimes we may feel drawn to "help" by doing something for our avoiding loved ones and carefully feeding their avoidance. An example, if your anxious roommate finds making phone calls extremely stressful and you end up doing this for them, they never force themselves to avoid it.
  • One good general principle to remember is that support means helping someone to help themselves, not doing something for them, which includes almost anything quitting before actually doing it themselves. Another example, you might offer to attend the first therapy session with a loved one if they make an appointment. Or, if they're not sure how to choose a therapist, you can figure out how to do it, but you can let them choose.

7. You got to take care of yourself too

  • This is definitely important! Sometimes, it can be very challenging to support someone with mental health issues – you are not alone if you feel overwhelmed at times. Remember to always take care of your own mental health, so that you have the energy, time, and space you need to be able to help.
  • Set boundaries and don't take too much. If you become unwell yourself, you will not be able to support them or yourself in the same way. It's also important to decide what your boundaries are and how much you feel you can help.
  • If you can, share your caring role with others. It's often easier to support someone if you don't do it yourself.
  • Talk to other people about your feelings. You may want to be careful about how much information you share about the people you support, but talking about your own feelings with someone you trust can help you feel supported too.
  • Find support for yourself. Organizations in useful contacts are also there to support you. You may find peer support or therapy is a good outlet for your feelings.

How to Help Someone with Anxiety and Depression

How to Help Someone with Anxiety - Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

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:

1. Breathe

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

How to Help Someone with Anxiety - Photo by Matthew Henry from Unsplash

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.

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