Have someone close to you that suffers from anxiety? Here is some useful tips advice to help your loved one through it. Don’t be scared now and don’t your free eCourse to go with it!
Having a partner suffering from anxiety can be a tough experience. I know this because mine had to deal with me. Saying the right thing at the right time can be hard to judge. One minute they might be happy and calm, the next they could be having a full blown panic attack.
It’s a roller coaster all right. So how can you support your partner through it? What steps can you take to help them when you feel like nothing else works?
Here are some ideas for you and your partner, to help talk about it more…
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Don’t offer an answer, just listen
Trying to explain anxious thoughts is like trying to write a dissertation. It’s complicated, hard to put in words and has numerous complex levels. Or maybe that’s just me and my issues with my dissertation!
Your other half probably can’t even find the words to explain their feelings (I know this because it’s hard for me too). Trying to offer solutions to these thoughts won’t help. Unfortunately, it’s one of those situations that you can’t solve for them. They have to solve it for themselves.
So, don’t try and help them, just listen to their words. Give them space to try and work through whatever it is that is bothering them. Support them where necessary, and let them know that you’re always there to lend an ear. Acknowledge what the say and that’s all they probably need.
Trying to explain anxious thoughts is like trying to write a dissertation
The reason why? They will appreciate that they can share their crazy, complex feelings with someone they trust. Having that trustworthy ear to chew off will help lift some of the pressure off of their own shoulders. Honestly, they’ll be thankful for this.
On the same note, don’t bring anxiety up.
There’s nothing worse than being reminded that you have anxiety and knowing you’re consciously aware of it too. The thought of knowing that you’ve been thinking about it will send their paranoia through the roof and that’s the last thing they (and you) want. Most anxiety sufferers hate being burdens and will try and limit any burden on others as much as possible.
That’s why sometimes it’s best to leave some things unsaid. I’m not saying ignore them completely, just try not to care too much by not bringing their anxiety up.
Instead, let them bring it up instead. Let them share their anger over having anxiety. Let them laugh at themselves often about it (something I do all the time). Just give them the silent support you’ve probably been giving them all along.
Remember that your feelings matter too
As a partner of someone with anxiety, it can often feel like you’re looking after them. But it’s really important to make sure that you know your feelings matter too.
When they’re suffering and you’re trying to support, it can be a draining experience so you should always bring up any issues you have too. I know I’d want to know if there were any issues my partner is having.
Most anxiety sufferers hate being burdens and will try and limit any burden on others as much as possible
The thing is, you matter too. Your wellbeing is as important as your partner and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. After all, you can’t care for anyone when you’re unwell yourself!
We anxiety sufferers know that it’s stressful for those around them too. But we’d like to be notified when to have issues too. Anxiety sufferers tend to be very compassionate people and have high sensitivity towards others. Therefore sharing your own problems will come as a relief to your partner because it allows them to share the load.
I know I always want to help others when they have their own problems.
So don’t feel bad when you decide to look after yourself too.
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Respect their wishes
When your partner doesn’t feel like going out, let them know it’s okay. When they don’t feel like getting up and dressed that day, don’t put then down. A lot of worry surrounds those with anxiety most of time. Worries like what is expected of them, how they should act, whether you’ll get angry at them for something they did, that they should behave a certain way, and so on.
It’s exhausting really! So the best you can do when they don’t feel like being sociable is to respect that. You should know that it’s nothing personal, it’s just something that affects them from time to time.
Maybe they spend a lot of time sleeping. Let you partner know that you’re not bothered and love them regardless. I use every day off to have a day time nap and my partner is completely okay with that! I really relish sleep so having those naps keeps me going sometimes. My other half knows how grouchy I get when I’m tired!
A lot of worry surrounds those with anxiety most of time
Remember that anxiety isn’t all in the head and comes with physical symptoms too
The issue that I think most people don’t understand or realise with anxiety I’d that it’s a very physical issue. You just don’t see them as most anxiety sufferers will try and look as normal as possible.
Some of the possible physical symptoms include:
- Shaky hands
- Chest pains
- Aching shoulders/muscles
- Heart palpitations
- Low energy levels
- Extreme tiredness
- Not being abe to sleep
- Extreme worry
- Heightened emotions (sense of smell/hearing)
Just to name a few!
Let you partner know that you’re not bothered and love them regardless
So all us anxiety sufferers would ask is that you don’t tell us to calm down. Telling someone with anxiety to calm down is probably the worst thing you could say! The thing that thing they probably want the very most is to be able to calm down.
Instead, I’d suggest a calming approach and language, asking them to explain their issue. distraction techniques work well and would be a good way to help them.
Read more here:
5 No-Fail Ways to Distract Yourself Out Of a Panic Attack + FREE Printable
What to Do if You Feel a Panic Attack Coming On
20 Quotes To Keep You Going When Everything Else Fails
As you can see, anxiety really isn’t as straightforward as you might image. Caring for someone with anxiety is tough on the both of you.
Remember to take care of yourself and your partner, and celebrate the little wins.
You’ll get there eventually! There is no quick answer. But you can work at it with your loved one and this will improve, I promise.
Finally, this is just a little reminder to sign up to my FREE 7-day eCourse. It helps you deal with your feeling of being overwhelmed using steps I personally take to help myself. I’d love to see you there! Just pop in your details below:
What are your thoughts on this? I really would love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below.