7 Tips How To Help Someone With Anxiety and Stress

Ok everyone,

As you can tell from my Facebook posts, I've been ‘feeling some kinda way' emotionally. I have a big problem when people, who call themselves helping, actually hurt and hinder individuals who are dealing with legitimate heartache, hardships, anxiety, and even mental illness.

As I mentioned, some people really do call themselves helping by using the “you should be a better fighter” tactic; but, truthfully, they just come out condemning the person in need. They forget that the person in question is already hurting.

Therefore, I decided to compile seven simple tips to share with you regarding how to help someone with anxiety and stress, not to mention heartache.

How to help someone with anxiety and stress

1. Trauma, emotional, and mental pain has various levels (1 – 10). Whatever a person is experiencing is very real to them. Don't downplay someone else's painful experience because you don't see it as significant.

2. Trauma, emotional, and mental pain takes quite a while to heal from. Please stop telling and lecturing them to ‘just get over it'. Please, just stop it.

3. Even in salvation, don't minimize a person's pain because God has victory. Remember, God kept Joseph, David, Daniel, Jephthah, and the three Hebrew boys in long circumstances for the benefit of others. Stop and consider what they suffered to accomplish God's plan.  Sometimes God allows people to experience every ounce of pain for the next person.  Don’t underestimate someone’s suffering because they’re saved.

4. People who go through trauma, emotional, mental, physical, and sexual pain and abuse can end up suffering PTSD and anxiety. They need help and support – not condemnation.

5. DO NOT pick and choose who you'll give your support to. “You're tough. You'll be ok,” as opposed to, “That person over there needs love, care, and support.” Who made you judge? For all you know (which is usually true), the circumstances are typically reversed.

6. Many times we can cause offenses with our ‘well-meaning' comments.  Let’s remember who we are helping. Is the comment that you're giving supposed to help the individual or you? Some people like to give advice because it makes them feel good. Consider, it's not about you!

7. Many people are dealing with emotional abuse in relationships. You know, it's not at all helpful to tell the person:

“You need to try harder.” “You must have said or done something to bring it on yourself.” “You're supposed to be such an example.” “Your spouse is such a lovely person. I can't believe that they would do a thing(s) like that.” “They would probably be a better person if you'd change.”

Ask yourself, how would you feel if someone treated you like that? How would you feel if you are dealing with a manipulative friend, spouse, employer, teacher, etc. and you were blamed had your voice taken by the people who are supposed to be your support, family, and even friends?

Emotional abuse in relationships is real. It causes anxiety because the victim is kept off guard constantly. They never know what to do. Even if they do and give their best, at the end of the day, it's not good enough. Emotional abusers love to maintain control.

However, you empower and enable abusers by constantly criticizing their victim – your supposed loved-one. Since abusers maintain control, they love to maintain a high super-sweet image in public. They are fooling you. By condemning the victim, you are helping the abuser take their voice.

Enter anxiety.

In conclusion, PTSD, emotional, mental, and anxiety sufferers are already suffering pain from what they went through. Don't make their suffering worse by adding to their load. Don't make their healing longer and harder because they have to get over what happened to them PLUS whatever you said or whatever help you could have, but didn't, provide.

How to help someone with anxiety and stress is simply about being there and being a friend.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with emotional abuse in relationships or you want to know how to help someone with anxiety and stress, feel free to reach out for help now. Self help is the best help.

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for this information. My partner suffers from stress and sometimes myself and I’m open to admit that I sometimes don’t know how or what to do to help but now i can think of it in a different way thank you to your brilliant information. I will forward this to her too. Great awareness.

    • You are welcomed. I hope that something that I said can help your young lady heal as well as help you to help her. Many times, the answer is as simple as just being there and understanding what they have/are gone/going through.

  2. Hi Lane, it’s crazy how many people tell you just to ‘get over it’, or ‘pull yourself together’ when you are in a bad place. Like you say, it’s the last thing you need to hear and can be the tipping point that pushes you over the edge. After all, the last thing you need to then feel is weak and pathetic like you’ve brought it upon yourself and that’s exactly what those comments do.

    Al I now is people who say stuff like that are obviously lucky enough not to know what anxiety and true depression feels like. It’s not in your control; it’s an illness. Thanks God, there’s more awareness of it these days.

    • I know this feeling all too well. I’m glad that there is more awareness, too, but it’s terrible when people don’t want to learn and grow.

      As I mentioned, I know how it feels to be held accountable for what someone else did to you. It’s a terrible feeling listening to people blame you while excusing abusers and misusers. I’m glad that I am climbing up over that.

  3. As someone who is currently suffering from both stress and anxiety due to doing essentially two jobs, I can attest that generally speaking people are pretty bad in giving advice and help.

    I think this is because it’s extremely hard to comprehend how bad the other person is actually feeling when some simple task breaks the camels back so to speak. When I’m rested and not overworking, small hardships won’t make me lose my temper. But when I’m doing a demanding full-time job and building a business in all my spare time, I get extremely anxious to the point of getting panic attacks when something unexpected happens. I’m simply fighting for resources.

    I guess I’m fortunate that I have a partner that supports me, most of the time. Some times it’s still hard for her to realize how much pressure I’m dealing with and at the same time, I fell envious of her free time. But it was my own decision to build a business, so I just have to endure it I guess until I can quit my day job.

  4. Hi Lane,
    Thank you so much for this advice.

    My wife suffers with depression and that demands a lot from her, but also a lot from myself.
    It is not easy to always keep cool and stay understanding and to keep being the one that listens and doesn’t try to fix things.
    It is in our nature to want to fix the problems of the person you love, but often the fix is just to be there and to be the support.

    Too often I tried to ease the suffering by giving advice. But advice always comes from your own perspective and may not be the correct advice from the perspective of your spouse.

    Through prayer and the power of our Lord Jesus Christ we power through and make sure that we enjoy those times that we ARE happy for 200%

    God bless,
    Tom

    • Tom, I’m glad that you were so opened about that fact that you suffer as well. You are so right. It is in our nature to fix things – that’s why so many people offer advice. I can attest to your last paragraph. God has all of the answers. Christ is the main one who has helped me during these times.

      Thank you for posting.

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