Anxiety symptoms are the body’s fight or flight response kicking into action as a reaction to stress. It’s how our instinctive survival system copes with real, imagined or believed danger.
So, if you’ve noticed a difference in a loved one’s behaviour – perhaps they seem edgy, nervous, extremely alert, agitated or overly worried – it may be because they’re under pressure and stressed.
Spot The Anxiety Symptoms
If you know your friend or partner is under pressure, for example, if they’re going through a difficult time at work or in their private life, it’s a good idea to watch out for the following anxiety symptoms. This way you can help monitor how well they’re doing and offer support when needed. However, if you’ve noticed some changes in a loved one and don’t know the reasons why see if any of the following sound familiar:
- Feeling tense, breathing fast, racing heart,
- Staying in bed and not venturing outside,
- Sweating and feeling light-headed,
- Avoiding places, events or people,
- Feeling tired all the time and unable to relax,
- Either sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all,
- Either eating the wrong foods or not eating at all,
- They have lost interests in the things they love normally,
- Unable to concentrate on everyday activities.
Most of us feel some anxiety during out everyday lives, it helps us focus and be alert on what we are doing and the jobs we have to do. However, excess anxiety and constant stress damage our lives and everyday connections with people.
Helping People Cope With Stress And Anxiety
Providing your friend or family member with your support, helping them in recognising their symptoms, and pointing them in the direction of professional services are all steps you can take to help them manage their stress. Here are 7 ways you can help:
- Listen and encourage them to tell you what is wrong,
- Don’t judge but accept them as they are,
- Plan a small outing so they feel comfortable and learn to enjoy these events again,
- Encourage them to join an exercise class or go for a walk or jog,
- Encourage them to eat a healthy balanced diet
- Ask them to make a list of their fears or distressing events that cause them anxiety and write them in the order of importance of how anxious they make your feel (10 –very anxious to 1 – little anxious),
- Ask your partner/friend these questions about what they are reacting to and to write it down.
The following are coping strategies that will help your partner/ friend deal with the physical symptoms of anxiety:
- Deep breathing techniques or mindful calm breathing – helping you to challenge the awkward thoughts and use positive affirmations;
- Note down these following: what are you reacting to, what will happen if you are faced with that situation, is it a fact, or you think the worst will happen, what is the worst that can happen if you are faced with that situation, are you thinking the worst of the situation or are you putting things in proportion and will this effect you in six months time. When you see these answers in written word you will be able to recognise your fears and what is causing your anxiety;
- When you feel that anxiety or panic sensation coming on Stop and take a deep breath before you let yourself react automatically. Observe what your mind is reacting to and why are you a feeling anxious at the moment and do something else;
- Pull back and question your automatic feelings and thoughts and check for yourself if it’s a fact or opinion;
- Imagine coping with that anxiety situation in your mind and take baby steps to do the things that make you uncomfortable.
Listening to and supporting your partner or friend as much as possible is a positive step towards them managing their anxiety and coping with stress. However, if you think that your partner or friend could do with some additional support there are therapies available that can help them change their response to stress and their long-term mental and physical health.
Cognitive behaviour hypnotherapy can help them understand the triggers that cause anxiety and change their unhealthy thoughts, feelings and behaviour. If anxiety attacks are damaging their relationships, work or enjoyment of life, cognitive behaviour hypnotherapy can be a very positive step to take control of their thoughts and behaviours and learn to deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way.
If you are worried about someone close to you and would like to discuss what treatments are available, please get in touch in confidence – 0796 715 1790 or firstname.lastname@example.org