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6 Ways to Express Your Care and Support to a Loved One with Anxiety

6 Ways to Express Your Care and Support to a Loved One with Anxiety

Showing your support for a loved one who suffers from anxiety is never easy. It is frustrating to be in a situation where you often feel helpless as you witness them suffer from this illness. Remember that first and foremost, it is important that you are there, showing support in any way that you can.

Secondly, there are other things you can do to help the situation. Read on to learn a few techniques.

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1. Educate yourself about anxiety.

Immerse yourself in as much literature focused on anxiety as possible. It does not all have to be strictly medical; instead, find magazine articles, memoirs and self-help books that will clue you into this often debilitating disease. Documentaries and local talks dealing with anxiety are also another great resource. The more you learn about the illness, the more you will be able to understand why your loved one is a certain way. This will assist you in showing greater empathy.

2. Discuss what is needed.

It is important to have solid communication with your loved one and to make sure to ask how you could provide the most support. Anxiety is different for each individual, so it is important to understand how someone can specifically benefit from your help. Your loved one may have no idea how others can help, but it’s important they can simply count on your support when needed.

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It is also helpful to keep the lines of communication open, since what your loved one might need in the future can change with their symptoms.

3. Learn to not take anything too personally.

For anxious individuals, almost anything can trigger an anxiety attack. This heightened stress level may cause them to lash out at others. Try to remain calm and practice empathy towards their situation. It does more harm than good for everyone involved if you become anxious as well.

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Remember you can always physically remove yourself from the moment, take a deep breath and come back into the room when you are in a better space.

4. Understand that you are not there to help fix anything.

It can be tempting to offer suggestions to a loved one on how to cope with their anxiety, but its better if you do not. This is a job for their psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Also, while you might be giving advice with good intentions, it might not be seen this way by your loved one and can instead be seen as a personal attack.

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Remember you are there to support, not advise.

5. Brainstorm a code word.

One of the most helpful things that you can do is to come up with a word that both of you can use in public if your loved one is feeling anxious. It is important to have this secret word because it can be embarrassing for someone who is suffering from anxiety to mention it outside. It will also enable you to quickly respond to their needs and bring them to a quieter area if need be.

6. Make sure to always inform them of schedule changes.

People who suffer from anxiety often benefit from having as much stability as possible in their lives. If any changes come up, make sure to inform your loved one as soon as possible. Also, make sure to discuss the details of a schedule to make sure that they are well aware of all the events that will take place and can mentally prepare for them beforehand. With social events make sure to bring up details like who and how many people will be there, to make sure that they are fine with the arrangement.

Featured photo credit: Flicker via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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