Do you often come across individuals with chronic anxiety? Your friends and family members, who often complain that they wake up with a weight on their chest every morning, in other words, are handling Generalized Anxiety Disorder, often get into cold sweats or burst into tears. You wish to help them, but are scared that one wrong move can make it even worse. Here are 7 things to avoid saying to them which you think are helpful, however are not:
‘You Have A Lot To Be Grateful For’
You mean to say, ‘Look at the bright side,’ but what they hear is, ‘I’m not doing enough to appreciate the goods things in my life.’ They are already dealing with guilt and pity for not being good enough. They believe they are a burden to people. Rather, you can say, ‘I appreciate you.’ Appreciation is a much better than gratitude, and everyone, particularly them, need to understand that they are valued for being strong and dealing with their difficulties.
Never Use The Word “SHOULD”
‘Perhaps you SHOULD meditate, ‘Maybe you SHOULD go see somebody’, ‘You SHOULD not feel so sensitive about this issue,’ ‘You SHOULD not over think’; if you’re attempting to help them come out of anxiety, “should” is a word which must not come out of your mouth. Do not tell them exactly what to do. Rather, ask them what they want to do. ‘What brings you peace, ‘Would you like to go shopping with me,’ ‘Perhaps some meditation will help.’. Suggest them things to do to feel much better, or ask if they wish to do something that makes them feel much better. Leave the choice to them.
‘Everything Will Be All Right’
But how? Rather, say, ‘Don’t worry, I am here for you.’. Anxiety makes them feel separated and lonely. Tell them you are here to help, and you will always be with them.
‘Just Be Happy’
Aren’t they trying to be? Anxiety is not simply a matter of willpower and personal focus. There could be factors or things that has actually happened to them which often leave them sleep deprived in the nights. ‘What Can I Do To Make You Feel Better?’ Give them the choice to put their hearts out to you. Let them speak exactly what worries them and you can help them.
‘It’s All In Your Head’
Yes, it’s a mental problem, however it’s not in their control. This statement can actually make them feel defenseless and debilitating. Change to ‘Let’s go have some fun.’ Take them out to a park, or a pet shop. Help them de-stress by engaging them in fun activities.
‘What Do You Have To Be Anxious About’
Are you trying to tell them that their anxiety is useless? Maybe not, but that’s exactly what they understand from that declaration. Rather, ask them, ‘How can I make you feel less stressed.’. Let them do a little soul searching and comprehend exactly what might work to make them feel much better.
‘There Are People With Much Bigger Problems’
Agreed. But does it imply it’s their fault; how is their anxiety anyway connected or relevant to those with larger or smaller sized problems? That one statement can actually make them feel worse. ‘I’m truly sorry to hear that. Do you want to talk?’ And you will see how their problems and anxiety stands. This statement can actually make them feel much better when they start sharing their distress with you. You never know, perhaps there is a way you can help end this struggle for them?
The next time you see someone creeping into the darker depths of blues, you know what to say to them to make them feel better.