If you were to make the decision in this moment to be a master at helping those around you handle their anxiety, what would that look like?
Is it possible to thrive in a relationship with someone who seems tense, frustrated or withdrawn?
Anxiety can fight against our happiness. I feel like practicing the art/skill to bring the joy is so important!
What does it looks like to embrace anxiety so that you & others who are anxious can find a little peace?
As you read these 7 ways I hope you will be open, become more aware of your own anxieties & choose to bring the joy to yourself & all those around you.
First, someoone who embraces anxiety understands the differences in how anxiety manifests. They recognize it in theirself and others. Since it is a survival mechanism, our brains use it to signal or warn us of threats around us. We want to be safe! The fight, flight or freeze, (also NUMB) reflexes are built in. Practice recognizing which of the 3 is your dominating act. Then you will be able to see what others “go to behavior” is when they are anxious. This puts you in a better place to help them.
2. Since you are able to understand which response is the other person’s “go to” you can match your support to their preferences and attachment style. Attachment style is another way of saying pay attention to type of support that works for them. This is something we can all do better. You can start with yourself. Do you prefer to have someone give you clear concrete steps to take or are you more strengthened having a group to be a part of that will rally around you.
3. We all give away information about ourselves and you can figure out more about the other persons anxiety and use that help them become more aware of the triggers that may escalate their anxieties. Sometimes we are close enough that we recognize each others patterns. Its good to ask permission if you are going to remind them that they are headed into an anxiety rush. Sometimes the best thing is to remind them about what they did before that helped. You may have to encourage them to seek help from a professional in certain instances.
4. There are some exercises that you can practice to help you share with someone who is anxious. You can empower them to temper their thinking. I remember talking with a new friend and life coach, Patrick, who taught me a great exercise for bringing down fear & anxiety. You can write it down or just ask yourself these questions. What is the worst that could happen ( you can be silly crazy about this) Next: What is the best that could happen? Then you can choose which one seems more realistic. Often times when we think of the first and worst thing it isn’t realiztic at all. It may even make us laugh and we can put things in a better perspective. This works for you to help others with too.
5. Offering support is very helpful and there is a limit to what that support looks like. In other words you can support them without doing things for them. If you do too much for them it actually adds to their anxiety. It also makes it impossible for them to push through and move forward.
6. If you or someone you care about has a more serious anxiety it is best for you to support who they are. Anxiety is not a mental illness, the brain is perfecting survival skills. The person suffering with a hypervigilent anxiety can be helped in more ways than medical. When you let them know you believ in them and that the underlying person beneath all the anxiety is still the same it can bring great relief!
7. The biggest thing you can do to help others with their anxiety is to take care of YOU! You will probably see this thread woven into the tapestry of all of my blogs, videos and education sessions. When you choose to save yourself and stay aware of your needs, self compassion, you can help everyone around you. You role model behaviors by how you take care of yourself. People do not care what you say if they see you aren’t living it. Honor yourself. Take your emotional health more seriously. Take your total health more seriously. As you grow in your own health you will bless the lives of those around you even more. Recognizing what you do to and for you effects everyone in your atmosphere (and beyond) is part of the journey of self-mastery.
Embrace anxiety. Watch it dissolve as we ask questions, understand it better and reach ‘in love’ starting with ourselves…
To see the full article and the amazing website with all kinds of “brain” info go to UC Berkeley