name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : How To Help A Friend Who Has Anxiety


5.08.2018

How To Help A Friend Who Has Anxiety

When it comes to anxiety, we anxious folks know it is complex. We could research it forever, but most of the time, there are so many triggers (or really none at all) that make it differ from day to day. Those who are anxious do not all act the same nor do they have the same coping mechanisms. For me, my anxiety has come in different forms as of late which is why I keep going back to change my course of action.


If you have a friend who has anxiety or, if you have a friend who has a DIFFERENT "anxiety" than you, friendships can endure bumps and bruises. It's hard to navigate when one doesn't understand the other or has anxiety for other reasons than their own.

I am a friend who struggles. And I am a friend OF many who struggle. I hesitate to share but at the same time, I want to scream it from the rooftops - we cannot help our anxiety so we NEED help to navigate it. As much as I fear the sharing, I also have a passion for it. When we share, when we help - others know they are never ever alone.

So - what do you do when your friend is struggling? Or what do you do when your friend is anxious about something you're not? I hope these tips can help you both.

Understand when they say NO

You keep inviting them to come to lunch. They keep turning you down. You invite them over. They tell you they can't. Now, you're frustrated and maybe a bit hurt. But, they may be having a rough day and for whatever reason, just can't do it. It's not that they don't want to be around you or don't like you, it's the fear. It's the worry. Their home is their comfort, and they feel best in that spot. 

I say no often. I also get sad often when others say no. Crazy, right? As we get older, and we just need a damn break, no just sounds so good. It's part of being anxious and understanding the anxious. 

Check on them 

Send a text. Or my favorite - send a meme or gif that made YOU think of THEM. Your checking in doesn't have to be long-winded or the perfect advice, it's simply that you thought of them. I often get memes from friends, and I love that they send them to me. Makes my heart happy that they are still in my world laughing from however far away.

If you get frustrated, tell them so. 

This one isn't my favorite tip because who likes being told they are wrong? Not this anxious girl. This will get my already crazy brain going off the tracks. But, as of late, I've learned that it's part of working through my anxiety and/or depression. We can get so deep in ours that we forget others have battles, too. A friend and I recently talked about this very issue, and while it was a tough conversation, I am SO thankful we shared our frustrations. And we are stronger now because of it. 

Understand their outlets

I love my anxious friends because they teach me every single day. One has taken up yoga; another meditates daily. Some volunteer often, and others have found new avenues for their careers. I am IN AWE of them. You know exercise is my jam, and I share about it often. Some may not understand my sweaty outlet, but they still push me and give me encouragement. Celebrate what all those bad ass friends are doing - cheer them on every step of the way. 

Recognize their triggers

You don't have to be a professional to do this - you know what can upset a friend. Just because it's not what triggers you, it still is a big deal to them. Oh, I am so guilty of this one. I hate that I have dismissed others when it's not what makes me worry. Anxiety is not one in the same. Carry them through that trigger - just words of encouragement or help remove them from what makes them anxious. It's not always easy, but it helps.
I'm a friend of those who are anxious, and I am big work in progress. I don't check, I get selfish and frustrated. But, in the last two weeks, I've had amazing conversations with friends who make me want to better. We can all be better. 

If you have a friend who is anxious or you are anxious like me, I'd love to hear your tips for others understanding you. Share here or you can always email me or catch up on social media.

Thanks for reading, friends.

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