What to say—and what not to say.

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Do you know someone who suffers from anxiety and don't know how to help them? Try one or all of these to support them.

Telling people who struggle with anxiety that they aren’t flawed can prevent additional emotional burnout.. After all, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, research shows that generalized anxiety disorder "affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1 percent of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2 percent are receiving treatment.”, it can be a very dark time.

Anxiety related to a long-standing situation often draws upon multiple negative experiences; thus, the suffering isn't new. So, telling someone to “think positive" can be counter-productive. Instead, providing them with non-judgmental support and helping them feel valued in other ways can help them experience their stress in a different way.The world may tell them they’re no good or won’t ever succeed, so viewing anxiety as a character defect can create even more anxiety.

Anxiety cues suffering and acknowledging their pain helps them to feel less alone. While any efforts of support may not be appreciated immediately, know that they don’t go unnoticed. When pressure decreases, it is essential to realize your support is often what influenced this shift. Not everyone with anxiety is going to have a sunny outlook, but knowing you didn’t run from them means the world to them.

 

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