The way they feel is not their choice, they cannot control their mind. Telling someone with anxiety to calm down is like telling someone with a cold to stop sniffling. Saying “calm down” will only make their anxiety seem much worse. Ask the person what you can do for them instead. Ask them if they need anything or if you could be of any assistance to them.
YES, to those suffering with anxiety, it is a big deal! Once again, the person suffering from anxiety is not choosing to live this way. If something is bothering them, it is a big deal to them. A lot of the time, when they are undergoing anxiety they don’t even know why. It just happens; so, do not down play their emotions by telling them that what they are worrying about is not a big deal. This will only make it worse.
Although you may be trying to help them by saying this, it won’t work. For a few seconds they might rationalize with you, and then soon after their mind will start racing and their doubts will kick right back in. Try allowing the person with anxiety to vent out their worries with you, sometimes letting it out helps release some of the chaos in their mind.
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If a person with an anxiety disorder actually trusts you enough to open up to you with their concerns, you should never belittle them! Focus on the problem they are sharing with you, not on the other million things going wrong with the world. Because now, you just made them think about all of these terrible things too.
People who suffer from anxiety disorders may literally snap at you out of nowhere. It’s not because they are actually mad at you, they are suffering from a mild panic attack, and they are letting it out. But please remember, they are not intentionally trying to hurt your feelings.
According to Mind Body Green, “When you say “you should be grateful, “the anxious person hears, “I am not doing enough to be happier. I’m not grateful for enough in my life. People who suffer from anxiety are already dealing with guilt and shame. This statement implies that you think they aren’t doing enough. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that anyone suffering from chronic anxiety is trying with every fiber of their body to be happier.”