It can be hard knowing what to say to someone with anxiety if you have never dealt with it before. This may put you at an awkward position and feel like a bad friend to that person. It is important to be sympathetic towards your friend’s needs and to let them know you will be there for them.
One thing you can say to your friend if their anxiety goes out of control is by asking them what you can do to help the person. If you assume that you know what to do, you can end up being wrong or inadvertently make their anxiety worse if you do not know what they are going through. Ask them instead what helps them as everyone has their own methods of what works for them. Maybe they feel taking a walk is more helpful, listening to music, advice, support, breathing slowly, or just being left alone.. Whatever it is, let the call be theirs. Another thing you can say is if you would like to sit with them. Asking them that question shows that you are not expecting anything from them. You just want to be by their side and let them know if anything happens, you will literally be right by their side for as long as they need. You can help them focus on their breathing to slow them down.
You can also let that person know that you love them and you will always be there for them. It can be reassuring to that person as they might feel ashamed when their anxiety skyrockets. You do not ever want to give that person the wrong idea that you will leave them. Even if you are not sharing the same airspace, you can send that person a text or video chat with them. If that person does not want to be alone, you can even suggest to come over as your company might calm them down. One more thing you should ask your friend is if you can offer any advice or if you want to just listen. That person may want to know what you do to better calm down. But then others may not want you to do anything but to just listen to what they have to say or just be by their side. Friendship can be the best thing you can bring to someone with anxiety.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us at 888 570 7154 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.