❤Stop Giving Reassuring Statements.
This was mind-blowing to me. I thought I was helping by saying "There's nothing to worry about." or "It's all gonna work out." or even "It's ok."
But, nope! Those statements are NOT helpful for someone that struggles with anxiety.
The truth is, those that you support desperately want to believe you, but their brain won't let them..
Scientifically speaking, the prefrontal cortex (the logical part of the brain) gets "locked" out by the emotional brain.
It is super hard for those with anxiety to think clearly, use logic or even remember how to complete basic tasks.
This can help the nervous system to calm down and refocus
❤Show Empathy (don't try to fix it!)
Remember what I said before? The logical part of the brain is "locked" out. Your solutions mean nothing right now. But your Empathy can make all the difference in providing a safe place when your loved one is feeling so vulnerable.
❤Calm 👉 find solutions
Now is the time to talk about possible solutions. This may come moments, hours, or days after an episode. Be patient and wait for your loved one to be calm and ready to discuss solutions.
❤Compassion (for yourself as a support person)
Support people cannot serve from a place of guilt. You are an amazing support by giving your loved one tools to manage their worry!
After doing the research for this email, my 6 year old daughter Ivy had a moment of intense anxiety when her regular bedtime routine was disrupted. It's happened several times before, and I've always either felt hopeless or just plain frustrated. I implemented these tips, and can I just say that we both felt a little better through the whole ordeal. The anxiety definitely didn't magically disappear (it never will). But I think we both felt like we were given a sense of strength, hope, understanding, and support. This advise works. I promise! I would love to hear from you. What works for you? What questions do you still have?