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How Can I Help Someone Struggling with Anxiety?

Anxiety can feel overwhelming whether it is chronic or presents in a panic attack. Watching the people that you love struggle with anxiety can be very painful, especially if all you want to do is help.

In the midst of an anxiety attack, or even simply spending time with someone who is suffering can feel the same as walking on eggshells. You want to say the right things and to be the best supporter possible, but sometimes it’s difficult to know how without making things worse

When anxiety strikes a friend, family member or loved one, and you are trying to be there for them, here are some things you can do to be of the most help:


Just Be There

Sometimes the best thing is to just be present with the person. During an anxiety attack, many what-ifs can be circulating in their mind, and they can feel a staggering separation from reality.

If they are experiencing an anxiety attack, one of the most helpful things you can do is to remind them that you are there alongside them. Even if they need some physical space, remain in eyesight.

Reassure them that their fears feel very real at this moment, but that you are staying with them and will tackle them together. Having someone you trust who is validating and comforting can help soothe someone in an anxiety attack much faster. 


Remember to Breathe!

During an anxiety attack, sometimes breathing becomes erratic, which fuels the attack even more. Try encouraging your friend or loved one to breathe deeply and slowly with you.

They may not be able to right away, but keep performing calming breaths yourself, and wait for them to join you. Every deep breath calms your body down, and the exercise can give them something helpful to focus on, even if it is only briefly.

Try to get them in the flow of smooth and steady breathing, while reminding them that you are there for them. 


Make a Plan

Ultimately, anxiety is based heavily on fear. Sometimes, it’s fear of the unknown, fear of feeling trapped or even irrational fears. Communicate with your friend during an anxiety attack to discover what is causing it, but try to wait until they are beginning to calm down before solving it.

Attempting to fix the problem when they are already overwhelmed can bring more panic than aid. Once they are breathing slower and finding more stability, validate their fear. Tell them you understand how this situation could feel difficult.

Talk through some of the ways to start to find a solution. Break it down into steps. Help them to believe that taking a small step in the right direction is possible and can feel like an achievement.

Remind them that you are there to help and that things are going to be alright. Take some time to plan through it if they are ready and comfortable enough to do so. 


The Guest House Ocala understands how debilitating anxiety can be. We want you to know that there are ways to overcome anxiety and live a freer life. Our well-trained staff would love to help you find freedom and experience less fear! Let’s tackle your anxiety together!

Call 855-823-5463 today for more information.