“Communicate With An Anxiety Sufferer In A Way No One Else Has, Or Can.”
People who have never had anxiety may find it very hard to understand and empathize with anxiety sufferers as anxiety is very different from everyday worries and stresses. If you assume that you know what your anxiety suffering friend is going through and you try to cure him/her, you may find that task to be really arduous and instead you may actually end up upsetting the sufferer even more.
To counter this, below are some ways to communicate with an anxiety sufferer effectively:
- Spend as much quality time as possible with the anxiety sufferer. The more time you spend with them, the less time they have to think or stress about their anxieties. As well, a transference of energy will occur in time, as the anxiety sufferer will become more flexible in their thinking to match your open mind. Take them to practices that calm the nervous system so they can connect safety to certain environments. These could be meditation practices, yoga classes, light stretching or even nature walks.
- Avoid bringing up the topic on a frequent basis. The whole idea here is to get an anxiety sufferer to dis-identify from anxiety, and see it as something they’re doing (which is causing the emotional states they live in). You can’t get to this place if the majority of conversations are related to how they’ve been coping with anxiety.
- Listen to the anxiety sufferer and let them know that they can lean on you for support without being afraid, or getting judged. Labels are everywhere, they’re thrown around like candy. The anxiety sufferer loves the fact that you’re there for them, and are one of the non judgemental ones. Let them know that you will not try to change who they are and that you are there only to be a pillar of support (they must put the puzzle pieces together themselves). This has to be done despite the fact that the sufferer may repeat the same fear over and over again. It is one of the best ways to communicate with an anxiety sufferer.
- Don’t ask the sufferer to be practical and logical when it comes to managing their anxiety, as that can be extremely hard for many. This can be frustrating for you, so see it as an opportunity to practice patience. If the anxiety sufferer could have logically overcome their anxiety, most likely they would have by now. But most likely it’s due to something deeper related to traumatic memory (This video will help an anxiety sufferer uncover the roots to their anxiety).
- Read books on anxiety, human energy, and emotional well being. The further you educate yourself, the better your responses will be to the person going through anxiety. No anxiety sufferer wants to hear ‘just get over it’ or ‘snap out of it.’ They are however open to mindset and skillset support, and most will certainly take your educated suggestions to heart. Here are a few anxiety books you can get started with, or you could also work together on a CBT based solution.
To communicate with an anxiety sufferer effectively you must put yourself into their shoes (more like their mind, body, spirit). You must see the world and them form their angle, and you must actively listen. To actively listen means to nudge an anxiety sufferer in the right direction, even though you may not have the answers to their challenges. Keep educating yourself through content such as my YouTube channel, and soon the clarity you gain will show up within them.