Anxiety can hit a person at any time, and there isn’t always a reason for it. It just happens. A lot of the time, the only thing a person suffering from an anxiety attack needs is someone to be there with them as it happens.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you are responsible for fixing the problem, but it does make it a lot easier for the person to overcome the episode when they have somebody they’re comfortable with who can remind them that things will be okay. On this article, we suggest to you a few simple things you can do when your friend is suffering from an attack:
- Talk To Your Friend
According to Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist, “Why talk about your problems including mental health challenges? Just talking about your situation to someone can reduce your stress and help you feel better.” Calmly talk to your friend through it. Remind them that they have nothing to be afraid of, remind them that they are not obligated to stay around if they feel uncomfortable, and assure them that it will pass. Carry light and straightforward conversation with them and try to steer their mind away from the heaviness they are feeling at the moment. Talking to your friend may slowly pull them out of the state of panic.
Do remember, however, that words must be carefully chosen. Don’t tell them to relax, don’t question why they are panicking, and don’t belittle their situation. Be as gentle and understanding as possible.
- Help Them Through Breathing Exercises
The body responds to the stress when an anxiety attack hits. The attack may result in the person having difficulty in breathing and may lead to dizziness and hyperventilation. When this happens, be prepared to bring them water, take them out to an area where they can get more air, and encourage them to take slow, deep breaths. “Any relaxation strategy involves use of your self-regulation strength. This strength involves taking control of your breathing and creating a greater feeling of calmness in your body’s physiology.” Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. explains.
- Recognize Their Progress
Anxiety can be triggered by simple activities including the fears the person may be experiencing. When you notice that they’ve taken a step forward in progressing themselves, recognize it and do something to commemorate this milestone. Your encouragement and support may help them feel proud of themselves, and assure them of their worth. “The best progress happens when you apply what you’ve learned outside that setting, in your real life.” A reminder from Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D.
- Suggest For Them To See A Professional
As a friend, you can do a lot for someone who is suffering from anxiety. However, when you notice that your friend may need more help than you can offer, suggest that they see a professional for additional support. Assure them that there is nothing shameful about doing this and that it will help them immensely.
It is essential to learn more about what you can do for people who are going through anxiety attacks. When they are in the state of panic, their minds are crowded, and it may fool them into thinking or doing harmful things. Learn all the essential information you need to know so that you can be of help to a person in need of it.
Be aware of what you can suggest for them to do, or shouldn’t do so that they may be able to handle things better. You can also help them by joining them as they create better ways to cope with their anxiety.
Word Count: 526