If you never experienced excessive anxiety before, then it may be hard to empathize with someone who is currently experiencing it. People who are anxious may seem worried about nothing, so it is tempting to ignore the problem. On the other hand, anxieties including OCD (obsessive compulsive behavior), post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder are the common disorders. Around 40 million adult Americans are suffering from anxiety issues yearly.
So how do you deal with a friend who is anxious most of the time?
The first thing to do is to recognize that anxiety can be treated successfully and people who suffer should be diagnosed by a professional. The causes are numerous and complex, and probably from genetic, psychological, environmental, and developmental factors. Most of the times, people experiencing anxiety issues are shy to discuss their feelings and keep it themselves. However, this problem should not be ignored and affected individuals should be aided.
The second thing to do is to understand that people with anxieties cannot just fix the problem by avoiding the causes of their fear. Avoiding the problem is like pretending it does not exist and the longer the person avoids it the worse it becomes. When anxious people deal with the fear upfront and deal with the stress, he will overcome everything that holds him back.
The third one is to recognize that anxiety is not necessarily the outcome of trauma or fear. Certain phobias like fear of heights or enclosed spaces can be the cause of anxiety, but there is also a genetic factor. Chronic anxiety has more than one fear and it can be overwhelming. It is even possible to get anxious about having anxiety.
Lastly, know that you can help. A good thing to do is to take your cue from your friend. Ask him how can you be of help but do not try to force her to calm down. Do not say phrases that could offend or hurt him. Do not trivialize the situation either. You should try to relate to the anxious person. We have experienced some situations before that made us anxious. We did not study enough for the big math exam. We have to give speech to our friends. You get the point. Sometimes you are anxious for a good reason. Now try to think when that worried phase takes over with no hope of controlling it. It will trigger you to become empathetic. You should use your empathy to be helpful to your friend who is in need.