Most people feel anxious on a daily basis, and that’s not something you should worry about if you experience this feeling in a moderate amount. You may experience anxiety when you’re up for a big promotion or have an important exam that you’ve studied for a long time.
Although the word anxiety has a negative connotation to it, it’s a natural human emotion. People who sometimes experience fear and anxiety should understand that’s completely normal. The real problem occurs when you spend too much time worrying about possible scenarios that may happen to you in the future.
If a person doesn’t learn how to cope with excess anxiety, it may transform into a much bigger problem. Normal anxiety doesn’t last for very long, but if you develop anxiety disorder you may start feeling constantly anxious for months on end.
Along with other mental health conditions, anxiety disorder has become a much bigger problem among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sight of businesses closing, people losing their jobs, and people dying from the novel coronavirus creates uncertainty for the future that some are unable to cope with.
In case you have a friend or family member who has been more stressed and anxious than usual during this pandemic, here’s what you can do to help them feel safe and worry-free.
Learn about Anxiety
Before you offer any help, it’s vital that you read up on anxiety and find strategies that will help your loved ones get better. On top of that, you should encourage your loved ones to do the same in order to be as supportive as possible.
Learning about anxiety can help you identify a problem your loved one is experiencing. For instance, if you notice your friend, partner, or family member exhibiting changes in eating patterns, increased use of alcohol and other intoxicating substances, or decreased concentration, there’s a good chance they’re experiencing excess anxiety.
Try to find out exactly what thoughts are causing them to worry. Identifying the problem is the first step towards solving it. Due to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have become anxious over whether they’ll get medical attention when they need it.
Thankfully, there are several great Medicare supplement plans that cover all sorts of health problems. Showing your loved ones, especially if they’re older, that there is a simple solution to some of their worries will help them cope with anxiety and start treating the problem instead of making it bigger.
Guide Your Loved Ones’ Thinking
One thing that you should remember about helping your loved ones’ with anxiety is not to take on too much responsibility. Understand that this is their personal battle that they’ll have to resolve themselves. However, that’s not to say that you can’t have a big impact on how they cope with their anxiety.
What you can do to support them is guide their thinking. Let’s say that your loved one is worrying too much about a certain situation. What’s causing them to obsess over a certain issue is that they’re most likely only thinking about the worst possible outcome.
That’s why you can help them get some perspective on the situation they’re currently in. Ask them what they think is the worst that could happen in the future. After that, discuss what the best-case scenario would be. Once you’re done discussing the worst and best possible outcome, talk about what’ll most likely happen.
What this will do is help your loved ones realize there is more than one outcome to the situation they’re in. This will prevent their thoughts from racing and reduce the likelihood of going into panic mode.
For instance, let’s say that someone in your family lost their job and is now worried that they won’t be able to find a new position and pay their bills. Help them understand that although this could happen, it’s unlikely because they could still find ways to generate income. In this case, the best possible outcome for them would be landing their dream job.
Since it’s also unlikely that they’ll land the perfect job, it’s time to discuss what the most realistic outcome would be. And that’s finding a new position through networking and sending out resumes. If that doesn’t help, make sure they understand that they can always learn new skills and find work online. The worst thing a person can do when they lose their job is stress-out and complain. It’s much healthier to set a new goal and strive to achieve it.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Healthy habits are extremely effective in helping people deal with depression, anxiety, and negative thinking. That’s why you should encourage your loved ones to start working out or be mindful of what they’re eating. In case you and your loved one share the same unhealthy habits, it’s time to start making changes in your life as well.
If you haven’t worked out in a long time and think a loved one would benefit from exercising, encourage them to do a few training sessions with you every week. Realize what their unhealthy coping mechanisms are and refuse to take any part in them.
Suggest Sessions with a Mental Health Professional
There is only so much you can do to help your loved ones deal with problems like anxiety and negative thinking. If they don’t respond to your help well, you should consider suggesting other forms of treatment. Help them understand that negative thinking can create bigger problems down the line, so it’s best to nip it in the bud. If you can’t help your loved ones, a mental health professional will.
The whole world is so focused on the novel coronavirus that other types of health problems have become neglected. If a loved one is experiencing strong anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should be there for them. It’s important for each person to have someone they can lean on during troubling and uncertain times.
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