SMALL STEPS WE CAN TAKE FOR PEOPLE WITH ANXIETY TO HELP THEM DEAL WITH IT BETTER
If our close family members, friends or loved ones are experiencing anxiety, we can help them deal better with it. All it requires from our side is to be remain calm, patient, understanding and encouraging towards them, a little more than we would otherwise be. Here are some very simple things we can do:
1. Be patient with them: When experiencing anxiety, a person may not work or communicate in at a pace that’s considered ‘normal’. The person may need time to take decisions, perform even seemingly simple tasks or get back to our calls/messages. The most important and helpful thing we can do is to be patient with them. Getting irritated or frustrated with them is only likely to make things worse for them. Let’s remember, we may not exactly understand what they’re going through, but we can be kind at least.
2. Text them rather than call: We can ask them what their preferred mode of communication is and try using that. It’s generally texting as it provides them time to understand and reply at their own pace, something that is difficult while talking on the phone, especially video calling. The urgency to reply within seconds may increase their anxiety levels for them. So, we can text them and wait for them to reply at their own pace.
3. Asking questions to them or on their behalf: A lot of people with anxiety feel that if they ask a question they will be seen as dumb and be judged for it. We can help them easily, for instance, when they have a doubt to ask the teacher but do not feel confident enough to ask, we can do it for them. We can also help them out by simply asking them if they’re comfortable and if there’s anything we can do for them.
4. Give them time: We can’t expect them to just muster up the energy or courage and complete a task when they’re anxious. If they could do that in the first place, they would not be having this problem. We can be patient and let them work at their own speed. Trying to hurry them up will only add to their stress, especially if in front of other people.
5. Reassure them that you accept them as they are: Many times people with anxiety may feel like they are a nuisance or burden and that the people around them don’t like them. We need to let them know that them asking us for help to do things, or not wanting to go to certain places, does not bother us at all. We understand it and are okay with the way things are. We need to provide them this reassurance regularly, otherwise, they might start losing confidence.
6. Cooking or ordering food: Sometimes a person with anxiety might not feel comfortable cooking or ordering food on their own. Rather than pushing them to do it, we can just cook for them or place an order for delivery. Even a simple meal can help them feel a bit better.
A little bit of kindness, love and respect on our part can help our friends and loved ones immensely. Surely, we can do a little to help them out.