The Hows of Helping Someone with Anxiety

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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The Hows of Supporting your Anxious Loved One. Supporting your anxious loved one by learning all you can about anxiety is priceless and one of the best ways to encourage them. #anxiety #anxietyrelief #support #giftguide #Holidays

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?

The Hows of Supporting your Anxious Loved One. Supporting your anxious loved one by learning all you can about anxiety is priceless and one of the best ways to encourage them. #anxiety #anxietyrelief #support #giftguide

 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.

The Hows of Supporting your Anxious Loved One. Supporting your anxious loved one by learning all you can about anxiety is priceless and one of the best ways to encourage them. #anxiety #anxietyrelief #support #giftguide

 

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

NLT Reflections Bible: The Bible for JournalingThe One Year Bible Reflections NLTNIV, Journal the Word Bible, Cloth over Board, Pink Floral: Reflect, Journal, or Create Art Next to Your Favorite VersesAnxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic WorldAnxious for Nothing: God's Cure for the Cares of Your Soul (John Macarthur Study)Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-ExplorationRelax Therapeutic Massage Lotion – All Natural Enriched with Lavender & Peppermint Essential Oils Perfect for Massage Therapy - Massage Cream for Full Body Massage - Brookethorne Naturals 8.5ozAqua Spa Relax Bath Soak, 10 OuncePlant Therapy Tension Relief (Headache Relief) Synergy Essential Oil Blend. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade. 10 ml (1/3 oz).Plant Therapy Top 3 Synergies Roll-On Set. 100% Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils Diluted in Fractionated Coconut Oil. Includes: Worry Free, Tension Relief and Germ Fighter. 10 ml (1/3 oz) each.Plant Therapy Sleep Aid Synergy Essential Oil Blend. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade. Blend of: Mandarin, Ylang-Ylang, Valerian, Lavender and Neroli. 30 mL (1 Ounce).Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade. 30 ml (1 oz).URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home Office BabyVicTsing 150ml Mini Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser, Wood Grain Cool Mist Humidifier for Office Home Study Yoga Spa, 14 Color Lights(Dark Brown)

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

Gift Guide for Grieving Loved Ones

The Hows of Supporting your Anxious Loved One. Supporting your anxious loved one by learning all you can about anxiety is priceless and one of the best ways to encourage them. #anxiety #anxietyrelief #support #giftguide #Holidays

26 thoughts on “The Hows of Helping Someone with Anxiety

  1. A great list of ways to support those we love who have anxiety! I love that you remind us that saying “do not worry” is not helpful! I can attest to this. Though it comes from a good place, it happens because some don’t know exactly what to say or do. Thus, this is their response. Thank you for reminding and sharing! <3

  2. I think this is so very important “Being reliable and encouraging them to try something new can help them get a break from their focus on anxiety.” I am currently an accountability partner to someone that deals with immense anxiety. This will help me to help them for sure!

  3. I’m so glad that “mental illness” is no longer a dirty term. Things like anxiety and depression are no longer things didn’t have to be whispered in the dark.

  4. “Telling an anxious person not to worry isn’t helpful” <==So True!! One of the best ways I have found to deal with anxiety is to remember the truth. Not chastisements to pray more and worry less, but remember that God is good. That nothing escapes His plan. Nothing surprises Him. We can trust Him to use all things for His glory, even if we don't see how that will work. It's okay to acknowledge that we don't have all the answers. It's even okay to admit that we are worried, so long as we remember to take those worries to Jesus and remind ourselves that He is Lord of all.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I’m not a natural worrier, so understanding people who worry or are anxious about things, is hard for me. It really is easier to say things like don’t worry about it and everything is going to be okay than to try and understand what they are going through. This is a great encouragement for me to take the time and learn.

  6. Such a great post Julie! I’ve worked with so many anxious Christians who felt like terrible Christians because they were struggling with worry and their well intended friends told them “God says not to worry.” When supporting others with anxiety I will ask, “Is there anything I can do right now to help the situation?” and “Is there anything I can do in the future that would help?”

  7. Anxiety is something that a lot of Christians don’t understand. Thank you for putting light on this issue. My husband has a general anxiety disorder and we have been learning how to live with it as a part of our daily lives. One of the hints that I find helps my husband the most is finding ways to communicate how he feels. He can’t always explain to me how he feels, but we have found phrases that help him tell me how he is doing without having to explain himself. This communication helps us both.

  8. Fabulous post, Julie! I think, as with most things, that well-intentioned but ill-informed people hurt others frequently — without even realizing it. By bringing awareness to not only the ways they are hurting those struggling with anxiety, but also how they can help, is wonderful!

  9. Oh, this is so good! I had only experienced anxiety one season of my life where I was under a very high-pressure job/situation. I never realized how much anxiety can affect one physically until I experienced this. And it never helped when people would say “just pray harder.” 🙁 Of course, I was praying lol! I needed to know someone was praying for me too. Thanks for sharing this!

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