How to help someone who suffers from anxiety: 25 helpful things to say(+5 phrases to avoid)
Nowadays, millions of people are struggling with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.
Unfortunately, the highly bewildering world we live in creates a suitable environment for us to let negativity take over our minds. There is almost no way you have not experienced anxiety first-hand, or you have not witnessed a friend or relative suffering from suchlike emotional trauma.
Having in mind that almost all of us have seen the destructive influence of anxiety, we should probably be well-educated on how to overcome the issue. However, there are still far too many crushed souls who feel as if they were victims of their own minds. Moreover, far too many people have no idea how to help the ones struggling.
How can you be helpful to someone battling with anxiety?
Undoubtedly, being caged in your own mind is incredibly challenging. It makes you feel lost, soul-crushed, and lonely. Oftentimes, what the ones who are coping with anxiety issues need is someone to support them and guide them through the storm.
One of the things you could do to help someone dealing with anxiety is to hold space for them. Holding space for someone means willing to walk alongside them without judging them, trying to change them, or making them feel miserable for the decisions that led them to a certain unpleasant situation. In other words, holding space means unconditional support free of judgment.
But how can you be sure you are not intimidating the one you are trying to help by saying something that bothers them? As per Becoming Unbusy, there are several things you could say that would help someone who is struggling with mental health issues.
Here are 25 considerate things you could say while holding space for someone suffering from anxiety:
- I am here with you.
- I wish I could take this pain away.
- This is a lot right now.
- I don’t know what to say, but I am here for you.
- It’s ok if you don’t feel like being strong today.
- I’m here for you, and I’m not going anywhere.
- I’m always here for you.
- This really sucks.
- I am grateful to be here with you.
- You are not alone in how you feel.
- Let’s sort through this together.
- Worrying is helpful, sometimes.
- I know a lot can go wrong. What could go right?
- I know this is hard.
- This is hard.
- Your worries are not silly.
- We’re going for a walk.
- Would it help if I just sat here with you?
- I’m going to stay with you through this.
- You don’t have to do this by yourself. I’m here with you.
- You’re not alone.
- I love you, no matter what’s going on.
- We’ll navigate through this together.
- What’s the first piece we need to worry about?
- It’s hard to be positive right now. I’m putting out good energy into the world for you.
While all these things would probably sound great in the mind of the one you are trying to help, there are some things you should avoid saying at all costs. Even though you might feel these phrases are encouraging, they actually focus the sufferer’s attention on the problem, which definitely does not help in such sensitive situations.
Avoid saying these 5 things to anyone coping with anxiety, especially when you are trying to help them:
- Are you okay?
- Don’t stress.
- So many people have it worse than you. Think of all you have.
- Everyone gets stressed sometimes. This is normal.
- Have you tried meditation or yoga?
Sadly, the world is filled with people feeling like prisoners of their own thoughts. There are millions of souls who know too darn well how stressful it is to explain what is going on in their minds when they don’t fully understand it themselves.
The one thing you need to know is that it is OKAY not to be okay. When you are going through so much, having anxiety is not unusual or weird. So, if you want to be helpful to a lost soul who is trying to find a way out from suchlike mental illness, make sure you are well-educated on the subject. Make the effort to remember these phrases and to learn how to hold space for others. Your emotional commitment will surely be appreciated.