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What's the best way to support someone who can't think right thanks to their anxiety?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 11/20/2018 at 2:09pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Theresa Gulliver, Registered Clinical Counsellor


Problems cannot be solved using the same level of thinking that created them. We must try something different. Gently, we turn your challenges into opportunities for healing.

Top Rated Answers
March 15th, 2015 9:50pm
1. Be patient. 2. Tell them to take a deep breath. 3. Tell them you are there for them. 4. Ask them how you can support them. 5. Just be there. 6. Don't judge them or tell them they're overreacting.
June 29th, 2015 9:22am
Anxiety is a terrible trick of the mind.. Understanding somebody who is suffering is key. People tend to confuse anxiety with 'loosing control' or 'going crazy' - which can be terrifying! I find that reassuring people who feel anxious or panicky that they are NOT crazy and are certainly NOT loosing control over their body! It's just a way your mind is coping with stress or situations. The more you fight anxious thoughts the more stronger they can become. So relax and try not to worry. I know it feels awful, but you are ok and will be ok! YOU ARE THE MASTER, MIND IS YOUR SERVANT. Now breath and smile.. Everything will be ok!
March 6th, 2015 7:49pm
Show them your love and support, having someone there is one of the most precious aids, i'm sure they'll appreciate it!
April 30th, 2015 8:01pm
The best way to support someone struggling with anxiety, is to validate their feelings. Let them know that you care about them and that you want to be there to support them. Don't force solutions on them, everyone copes differently. Don't tell them they have "nothing to feel anxious about," or otherwise make them feel like they're being "ridiculous" or "irrational." Remember that the person feeling anxious doesn't want to be feeling that way, and if they did get to choose how they were feeling, they wouldn't be feeling anxious.
November 20th, 2018 2:09pm
I would say that one of the best ways to support someone who is feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or is dealing with problems caused by anxiety, would be to understand their situation. You cannot know exactly how they are feeling and will not be able to make their anxiety go away completely but the first step in helping them would be to understand their situation. When you know how they feel and what might be causing it, that's when you can start to help. Do not try to solve their problems. Start with just trying to calm them or help them find their happy place. If you can let them know that you're there and you will help them then that's another good step. Most of all, try to find them professional help. If it is a severe case of anxiety they may need temporary or semi-perminant medication. You need to understand that you cannot help them with everything and that the best you can do for them is to be there and show support.
March 5th, 2015 6:19pm
Try your best to put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be supported if you were in that situation? Act on that. There are a lot of help guides for anxiety {including 7cups ones} so try reading those to understand how they feel, or send them the links.
April 10th, 2015 12:18pm
Convince them you are always there for them to help and support and if anything goes wrong you are capable of handling it. Ask them to practice breathing exercise and create a positive environment.
May 3rd, 2015 12:29am
Something as simple as standing with them, holding their hand, reassurance and telling them that it's okay would mean so much to somebody who is struggling with anxiety. Remember to tell them that they've dealt with this before and it passed eventually. "This too shall pass"
July 20th, 2015 8:06pm
Be a calm presence in their life. By having someone calm around them, it will help keep them calm themselves. Try and help, without being overbearing :)
November 17th, 2015 5:21pm
To support someone in that mindset would be to listen and allow them to pour out whatever is on their mind should they be open to sitting down in a safe place and doing that. In case of more severe thoughts, to also prevent them from harming themself or others. And to make them feel safe during a possible panic attack.
December 21st, 2015 3:41am
Make sure that they know that you won't leave them. Often people with anxiety (such as myself) are afraid that, because of their mental illness, people will leave them. People often do leave them. Reassurance is a wonderful tool/
February 15th, 2016 4:17pm
To just be there for them and always be supportive and kind. Never try to force them into anything, just be there with hugs and nice words.
March 22nd, 2016 9:07pm
To support someone with anxiety the best way is to have patience with them. There should be no pushing them into a situation involved if it is not willingly, you can always suggest of course.
April 19th, 2016 3:22pm
Just be with them. I know it's not easy at times, but the best way to support them is to ensure them that you are not going anywhere, no matter how they act. It's a long process, I know..but with time they will realize this too. And in between you cannot neglect yourself too, that's where "self care " comes in. You know how its' said that we cannot pour from an empty cup, in the same way, you cannot support them and show them love and care if yourself are not well or happy.
April 19th, 2016 5:28pm
Anxiety is a bully. The best way to think is to push the bully out of your mind. Its very difficult, but I find that if you really try to push it out, then success will come.
July 5th, 2016 7:43am
The best way to support someone who can't think right thanks to their anxiety is to be there for the person and to understand that sometimes they might not be right there in the moment. To not rush them and to care for them. To remind them of the real world. Literally just being there means a lot to someone with anxiety.
August 1st, 2016 1:16pm
Often times those with anxiety simply need someone who can listen and empathise with how they are feeling and remind them that they are not alone. It is best to stay calm and remind them that it is all okay, it will pass, and to allow the opportunity for themselves to reach a calm place where they feel safe and heard.
August 2nd, 2016 6:51pm
Best approach is to calm them down by changing the topic, trying to diverse their attention from the problem triggering the anxiety, and focusing on solving the problem after the attack is over and they are calmer.
March 7th, 2017 3:26pm
Slowly talk them through everything they say, but make sure to listen to them, support them, be there for them every step of the way. You don't want to go ahead and give advice, or try to steer the conversation. Let them be their own guides!
April 25th, 2017 3:36am
First of all, it's very important to help them relax. This can be done by teaching them to inhale and exhale from the abdomen. It will actually calm them down and bring the hearbeat to a normal level. It's important for someone with anxiety to reduce the fight or flight mind set , only then will they be able to share or listen to others.
December 4th, 2017 3:50am
Anxiety is very confusing both to the anxious party and the one supporting the anxious party. It comes in different forms that it is very unpredictable. To support someone with anxiety is to STAY. Just stay. =)
January 9th, 2018 11:04pm
try to calm them and comfort them with words and make them think about things that make you relax and feel relieved