How To Help someone with panic/anxiety - The Mind and Temperament Shift
Mother Teresa says: “when we judge someone, we have no time to love them.”
It’s important to realize that when you are dealing with someone who has panic/anxiety it’s smarter to use the strategy or “holding space” with this person to help them.
What is holding space?
Holding space is just being there, without judgement. It’s respecting the fact that what may work for you in a stressful situation may not work for them.
Holding space is realizing that there are differences in the way that the two of you view the world and loving this person by just being there for them. You don’t even have to talk, just give them support.
Holding space means giving up judging this person. They do not want to be told what to do, they just want you comfort them and support them. If they can get better, this is a better strategy to get them to move in the direction that you want them to move in.
Holding space means verbal solitude. If you are longing to grab this person emotionally and tell them to “get over it!” or tell them that how they act is so weird and limiting to you and your family that will have the opposite reaction that you want to have with this person.
Keep your ego out of it. Don’t give in to believing that this person’s success or failure is dependent on your intervening. And please reassess your attitude if you think that this person’s behavior reflects poorly on you. It probably has nothing to do with you, although this person with panic/anxiety would like to become better, sometimes it gets better and sometimes it’s doesn’t. Judging and raising your voice, or telling this person how you think that they should just stop doing this will only make them worse.
Think in your mind about a “safe space” that you hold around this person. It will lead to a deeper connection between the two of you and might give you the desired result you are looking for.
Respect the person with panic/anxiety – don’t take their power away (trying to fix their problems) by shaming them, or judging them. Be prepared over and over again to step aside so that this person can make their own choices, offering them unconditional love and support when it’s needed.
You’ve probably tried all of this judging and fussing at this person already, firmly founded in your belief that if this person would just forget about the anxiety and shape up that they can just get better. It probably didn’t work. Try this new “holding space” around your loved one and see if it could help the situation.
Honor your differences. Realize that you handle the world differently. Give something up, your overriding opinion of how things should be done. Give this person a chance to breathe and see if they cannot change, maybe you can. It’s the way to go to feel better when you love someone who suffers with panic/anxiety.
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