I’ve seen quite a few of my lovely blogger and non-blogger friends really suffering the past few weeks with their anxiety. It always makes my heart ache when I know people are having a tough time, especially when I totally get just how much it can interrupt your life.
I’ve read a few posts with things to avoid saying to people who suffer with anxiety. I love these posts. They make me feel reassured that I’m not the only one hurt by the sometimes ignorant or silly things people say to us.
But what I wanted to write was things I like to hear when my anxiety bubbling over. Something that may not put me at ease, but sets me on a path to relaxing or rationalising my fear. Of course, these are just my preferences and everyone is different.
So here are the 5 things I like to hear.
Do you want to talk?
Sometimes I’ve been triggered by something small, other times by something big. But I almost always want to talk about it. Sometimes saying it out loud can rationalise the smaller triggers and help me realise that it isn’t the situation that was bad, but that it’s my brain that’s over complicating the situation.
But what I hate is feeling like a nag. So when someone offers to lend an ear, it’s so incredibly helpful to me.
You’ve got through this before, you’ll get through it now.
It feels at times like anxiety is a never ending cycle that I can’t defeat. I forget my break throughs and the steps I’ve taken and I’m just consumed with my fear instead. So it helps to be reminded that I have defeated these demons before, and I’ll defeat them again.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Offering a hand means the world. Even if I don’t accept it, the fact I know you’re there makes me feel so much better. It reminds me that I have a support system. And I may ask for something ridiculous – to turn off the radio because the song brings back memories, to tell me everything is okay, to reassure me that we’re in a safe place. Sometimes I just need something that you understandably may not realise I need.
Do you want a hug?
Sometimes my anxiety can bubble into a quiet rage and the last thing I want is a hug. In fact, it’ll make me worse, so stay away from me. Other times I need someone to just hold me, for just a minute, to pass on some strength I may not have. Studies have shown that people are less likely to feel physical pain if someone they love squeezes their hand – so if a hug helps, bring it on. But ask me – don’t just assume.
Do you want to be alone or do you want me to stay?
Again, this can vary so much with me, so I like an option. If I’m quietly angry, then I’m always concerned I’ll take it out on you and being alone is my preference. But sometimes, I’m terrified to be alone. When I was younger I used to avoid having baths or showers because it was the only time I’d be alone and it’d scare me too much! So give me an option, please? ‘Cos even if we just sit and watch television, it can be a comfort knowing you’re there.
These are the only things I can think of at the moment, but they’re important to me!
What are the things you like to hear or do when your anxiety is overwhelming?