5 things people with Anxiety are tired of hearing
This one however innocuous it seems, is not a suggestion that often helps. Relaxing is so nebulous. What is it? How does one achieve relaxation? For someone with anxiety, the idea of relaxing is such a foreign concept that you can’t even begin to define that. If someone is curled in the fetal position trembling and crying the word, “Relax” is about as comforting as sitting on a bed of nails.
2. “It’s all in your head”
Although it is helpful to remind someone to remain grounded, this may not be the best way to do that. It’s all in your head is just a nice way of saying stop acting crazy. Anxiety thrives on irrational thoughts that continue to spiral until you totally spin out. At this point, it’s important to remind someone that you are there for them and empathize instead of shaming them. They will thank you for relating to them instead of telling them how irrational they are being.
3/4. “Others have it worse than you, or I don’t know what you have to worry about”
This one is particularly frustrating. Now, Not only does the person feel anxious about whatever minutiae but consequently, they feel stupid for feeling anxious because their problems aren’t “big” enough to be concerning. This starts this cycle of anxiety, shame for being anxious about “dumb stuff” and culminates into just feeling stupid.
5. “You’re just being dramatic”
If you want a surefire way to totally invalidate someone feelings, bingo! You hit the jackpot! Anxiety attacks feel real. People have often mistaken them for heart attacks because the symptoms practically mimic each other. Numbness and tingling, chest pains, heart palpitations and nausea are all symptoms of both heart attacks and panic attacks. If someone is having an anxiety attack they likely feel terrified and like they’re going to die. Don’t pile on by telling them you don’t believe in the things they’re feeling. It will just exacerbate an extremely scary situation.