It’s more than stress and worry
Worrying is perfectly normal. Without it, you’d probably land yourself in some dangerous situations with your guard too far down. But when those worries take over us, something’s not quite right.
Anxiety is a roadblock. You literally can’t see past the fear or thought to the point where you quickly arrive at worst-case scenarios that can manifest in real-life; panic attacks, a tight chest, breathlessness. Sometimes, there’s no obvious trigger for all of this, which can make things even more confusing. The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to manage your anxiety. It’s our specialty. And we’re here to help.
Mindfulness can help
Ground yourself with a deep breath in and out. Now try to notice:
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
This will help you get back to the present moment.
Here’s a tip for dealing with anxiety
Call it out. This will create distance between you and your anxiety
Breathe. This will activate your nervous system’s rest response.
Inhale deeply through your nose for 4 seconds, expanding your stomach.
Exhale slowly and steadily through the nose for 4 seconds.
Repeat for 1 minute to calm your nerves.
How to support a friend or partner with anxiety
Listen. Be open and supportive of them. You don’t need to have all the answers, and trying to can make things worst. Repeat that you’re there for them and avoid judgements.
Validation. Don’t tell them to “get over it” or that there’s “no reason to be anxious”. Acknowledge how hard it must be for them and reassure them.
Getting help. Outwardly saying “You should see a psychologist” may be perceived as a judgement. Instead, recognise their struggles and their strengths, and gently encourage them to talk to someone. (Try this: “It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot and you’re doing so well in spite of that, but do you think talking to someone could help you work on those issues?”).
Look after yourself. You can be there for someone while maintaining your own boundaries. Recognise that it can be tough on you too and ensure that you are mindful of your own emotional energy levels.
Give this a read
Daring Greatly – BRENE BROWN
In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.