Inside: Supporting your anxious loved one by learning all you can about anxiety is priceless and one of the best ways to encourage them.
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Did you know 40 million people deal with anxiety? Even though anxiety is prevalent, many people still don’t understand how anxiety makes us feel or the extent to how much it affects our lives.
People can be anxious about an issue such as a credit card bill, but when we spend all day worrying about it with bodily sensations that prevent us from living life, it might be more of a problem with anxiety.
General worriers tend to spend an average of 55 minutes a day worrying, while people with GAD often spend over 300 minutes a day worrying — over five times as much. ~Sean P. Egen
More than Just Thoughts
Most people think an anxiety attack has to do with just what we’re thinking, but it includes almost the whole body. Sufferers can have a panic attack and then feel tense or they can live in a heightened sense of tension for months.
The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction.
~ Sally Winston, PsyD.
Symptoms of an anxiety attack can include:
A feeling of overwhelming fear
The feeling of going crazy or losing control
The perception of grave danger
Sensing loss of consciousness
A surge of doom and gloom
An urgency to escape
To read more symptoms:
People will tell anxious friends to “stop being anxious” or “you need to pray more.” If you’ve dealt with anxiety, you know these statements don’t help at all, they actually make you feel guilty or just plain dumb that you’re dealing with something out of your control.Telling an #anxious person not to #worry isn't helpful! Learn how to support them instead. Click To Tweet
Christians can unknowingly say hurtful comments to other anxious Christians such as, “God doesn’t want you to worry” or “you don’t trust God enough!”
If you deal with anxiety, have you felt like no one understands?
Supporting your Anxious Loved One
I understand your feelings because when I was dealing with intense anxiety, these statements were said to me also. Frustration and feelings of being strange were present for me because I couldn’t think or pray my way out of it.
I believe my anxiety led me to depend on God in ways I haven’t before. Some days, I needed Him to get through until lunch and then dinner. My trust grew because He showed me that He could help me by keeping me safe every minute.
If you have a loved one or acquaintance that deals with the tension of anxiety, one of the best support you can give is to learn all you can about it. Many times family and friends will be frustrated and angry over what the anxiety has done to the person. Therefore, they give up spending time with the anxious person or they stay away altogether.One of the best ways to support an anxious loved one is to learn all you can about anxiety. Click To Tweet
Your loved one needs you.
How to help someone with Anxiety
Listening to your loved one deal with these issues and encouraging them in their struggle can be helpful support.
Being reliable and encouraging them to try something new can help them get a break from their focus on anxiety.
Exercise is also a great way to help with anxiety. Being an accountability partner and getting them outside can be beneficial to the bodily tension.
Massage can help with the muscle aches and strains from being tense for extended periods of time.
Don’t Forget Yourself
If you’re supporting someone with this affliction, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. It can be draining when you need to be a stable support for someone. Take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty if you need a break to refresh and renew.
When I was dealing with intense anxiety, my husband would ask me what he could do for me. I was caught up in my own struggles that it was hard to verbalize what I needed.
I did want his company because being around others gave me a respite from my thoughts and fears.
With the Holiday season coming up, I thought it would be a great idea to provide a gift guide for those who want to support the person in their life who is struggling with anxiety. As they journey through anxiety, supporting your anxious loved one with a gift will speak volumes about your support.Need some gift ideas for a loved one who suffers from #anxiety? #holidaygiftguide Click To Tweet
If you’re looking for more encouragement, check out our Facebook page!
If you’re looking for some more gift guides, check out:
Gift Guide to Encourage your Husband’s Faith Growth