People with anxiety are easy to notice. You spot them worrying about what is to happen, procrastinating and feeling like an avalanche of problems has begun. Whereas this pessimistic behaviour has its downside, such people remind us of why we should always critically look at our options before getting down on things. Anxiety can be clinically diagnosed and treated over time. Knowing how to support them in the following ways goes a long way in aiding their recovery and stability process.
Avoid judging them
When you start pointing a finger and sidelining someone who suffers from anxiety, they will have a hard time recovering. They may have challenges in socializing since they already know they have a flaw. Like any other flaw, anxiety should be treated like so and not thought to be the end of the world. Embrace those with anxiety in your social circle. This enables them to observe firsthand how to deal with arising challenges by learning from you and the rest of the team. Once they realize that issues can be tackled logically, they may warm up to the idea of implementing the same.
Help them do their tasks in manageable bits
One of the reasons why people with anxiety can't seem to do anything is because they see a mountain out of an anthill. You can care for them by bringing them down and breaking their tasks into manageable bite-size pieces.
This involves aiding them write a list of what they need to achieve and begin step by step. Following this route will empower them to see that their tasks are manageable and possible to be accomplished. Remember, it does not mean doing it for them. Empower them to do it themselves.
Discourage them from avoidance behaviour
Most anxious people are in the habit of avoiding tasks and procrastination. It could be because of their fears or thoughts that the worst awaits them. If for instance, someone is avoiding going for therapy, you can offer attending the first session alongside them only if they make the call. By this, you challenge them to face their fears head on. Constantly affirming them is important as it plays a key role in reminding them that they matter.
Encourage them to think through their anxiety cognitively
'What is the worst that can happen?'
'What is the best that can happen?'
'What should you choose?'
Aiding a person with anxiety think through their anxious issue logically gives them a lot of perspective. It will make them pause for a moment and think through their situation. Instead of going on a full-blown panic attack, they will calm down and make a decision based on logic. Often, anxious persons attach too much unnecessary emotion to their tasks. Encouraging this form of thinking empowers them to debunk their fears.
Taking care of people with anxiety requires patience and tolerance. It may take a while for the two of you to see things in the same wavelength but it can happen in due course. Familiarize yourself with the anxiety triggers, get accustomed to what the therapist recommends and help them through their recovery journey.
What are you currently worrying about?