What NOT to say to someone who has anxiety

What NOT to say to someone who has anxiety

Do you know someone who is experiencing anxiety?

Do you want to help them? I’m guessing the answer is yes!

As humans, we have the best intensions for wanting to help people. Especially when we can see when people are in pain or suffering in some way.

Anxiety can be tricky because to the untrained eye, it’s not something that you can ‘see’. Infact people with anxiety also get very good at hiding their symptoms. People I’ve worked with often describe feeling embarrassed or ashamed of having anxiety. Or worry that people will judge them or see them as different. Despite the fact that one in five people are experiencing some form of mental health condition at any one time, people with anxiety describe feeling they are the only one to experience this.

A lot of that is due to the way they internalise how they are feeling. Therefore one of the key approaches I take when working with anyone is to normalise how someone is feeling.

It’s natural if someone you care about has anxiety that you would want to say something that makes them feel better!

However, our good intensions can at times cause more harm than good.

A client I had was told by her G.P that she had anxiety. To my client, this was a huge shock. At the time she thought she had Covid and had taken to her bed for weeks. To be told she didn’t have Covid, but did have anxiety was too much to handle.

She spoke to friends and people she knew about this and many, in trying to make her feel better, shared they too had anxiety and had had it for years.

To my client she was in a living hell. So to be told be people she knew liked and trusted that anxiety was something she was going to have to live with for years tipped her over the edge!

We can forgive people for wanting to help and make a difference but sometimes, our words can create the opposite effect. We may also (innocently) be projecting our own beliefs onto another person. for example, that anxiety is something they have had to learn to live with.

The truth is that no-one has to live with anxiety.

Anxiety is really about lots and lots of anxious thinking, and if you have experienced anxiety for a long time, you may have created some beliefs and assumptions that this is who you are. That you are an anxious person, or have an anxious personality. But really you’ve developed very habitual repetitive thought patterns. But those thoughts LOOK REAL! They even feel real. And that’s down to your conscious mind – it brings things to ‘life’, including your thoughts.

In the case of my client, thinking she was going to have anxiety for years and maybe for the rest of her life created even more anxious thinking in her mind.

Thankfully she reached out and got help and the combination of hypnotherapy and EFT Tapping, along with helping her to understand how her brain and mind allowed her to see what was really going on.

If you are reading this and do have anxiety I want you to know you are not an anxious person! This is nothing you have to learn to live with or that you were born anxious! Check out the videos of people I’ve worked who have overcome anxiety and book you free consultation today!

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