Is someone you know having an anxiety attack? Do you want to help but feel unsure of what to do or say, especially since it's over text? Anxiety attacks can be very frightening and overwhelming, but with these 12 tips, you can help someone who's going through one.
One of the challenges people face when it comes to helping someone who's having an anxiety attack over text is not knowing what to do.
Your first instinct is to want to help, but it can be difficult to know how to comfort someone who is in a lot of pain and can't see them in person. After all, it's not like you can hug them through the screen.
If you find yourself in a situation where you want to help but don't know how, here are some tips on what you can do to help someone who's having an anxiety attack over text.
What is an anxiety attack?
An anxiety attack is a feeling of intense fear or panic that can come on suddenly and without warning.
Symptoms of An Anxiety Attack
Physical symptoms of an anxiety attack can include:
- Heart Palpitations or a Racing Heart
- Trembling or shaking
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
Emotional symptoms of an anxiety attack can include:
- Mood Swings
- Difficulty Concentrating and Sleeping
An anxiety attack can be extremely distressing and may feel like a heart attack or other medical emergency.
If you are unsure whether someone is having an anxiety attack or a more serious problem, it is always best to err on the side of caution and help them seek medical attention.
12 Best Tips To Help Someone Who's Having An Anxiety Attack Over Text
Here are 12 best tips on what you can do to help someone who's having an anxiety attack over text:
1. Remain calm.
The first and most important thing you can do when someone is having an anxiety attack is to remain calm.
It can be difficult to see someone you care about in so much pain, but trying not to let your emotions get the better of you is important.
If you can stay calm, it will help the person having the anxiety attack feel more in control and less panicked.
2. Ask if they're okay.
Once you've regained your composure, the next step is to check in with the person having the anxiety attack by asking them if they're okay over text.
This simple act can mean a lot to someone feeling overwhelmed and frightened as It shows them that you care and want to help.
3. Validate their feelings.
When someone is experiencing an anxiety attack, they may feel like they are not being heard or that their concerns are not valid, which is why creating a safe and non-judgmental space for them to share what they're feeling is so important.
Reassuring them that they are not crazy and that their feelings are normal will help them feel less alone and more understood. It can be as simple as saying, "I'm sorry you're going through this,? or "I can see how that would be really tough."
Let them know that - although you might not be there physically - you're there for them, understand how they're feeling, and can trust you with whatever they're going through.
4. Ask how you can help.
Asking them how you can help allows them to communicate what they're feeling and what they need from you so you know how you can best help them; this shows that you want to help but are also respectful of their boundaries.
After all, the last thing you want to do is make the situation worse by not knowing how to help.
Helping someone who is having an anxiety attack could involve simply listening, or it could mean offering to do something specific, such as getting them a drink of water or fetching something from another room.
Use comforting and reassuring language in your messages, and avoid anything that might make the person feel more anxious or panicked. This will help them feel more comfortable opening up to you about their anxiety attack so that you can help them calm down and feel more at ease.
5. Offer support and encouragement.
Offer your support and encouragement by sending positive and reassuring messages over text. Even if you're unsure what to say, letting them know you're there for them can make a big difference.
It could mean simply being a sounding board for them to vent their frustrations. Or it could mean offering practical help, such as researching information or making phone calls on their behalf.
Also, simple phrases like "I'm here for you," "You're doing great," or "I believe in you" can go a long way in helping someone who is having an anxiety attack feel calmer.
6. Encourage them to breathe slowly.
Deep and slow breathing can help reduce the symptoms of an anxiety attack and prevent hyperventilation, which can worsen the anxiety attack.
There are a number of different ways to slow down your breathing, so ask the person what method works best for them to slow down their breathing and make them feel more in control.
You could also ask them to try counting to four as they inhale and then counting to eight as they exhale.
7. Help them find a distraction.
Distracting someone from their anxious thoughts can help break the anxiety cycle and give them some relief from their symptoms.
Suggest something they can do or focus on that will take their mind off their anxiety. You could ask them to focus on something in the room and describe it to you in detail, or you could send them a funny meme or photo that will make them laugh.
You could also ask them to think about something pleasant, such as their favorite memory or a place they'd like to visit. Or ask them to name as many things as possible that are a certain color or list all of the countries they can think of.
8. Help them find resources.
If you're unsure how to help someone with an anxiety attack, there are a number of resources that can offer guidance and support.
Offer to help them find resources, such as hotlines, support groups, or therapy. In addition, many self-help books and websites can offer information and support for people with anxiety.
You can also share articles, books, or other information that you think might be helpful. The important thing is to provide them with options and let them choose what they feel comfortable with.
9. Encourage healthy coping mechanisms.
Encourage the person to find healthy coping mechanisms that work for them, like exercise, journaling, or deep breathing exercises. There are many different options available, and it is important to find what works best for each individual.
10. Promote self-care.
When someone is going through an anxiety attack, it is important to promote self-care, meaning taking care of oneself both physically and emotionally, which can reduce the frequency and severity of anxiety attacks.
Encourage the person to eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and take breaks when needed. It is also important to encourage them to do things that make them happy and help them relax; here are different hobbies they can engage with and ways they can enjoy their day.
Self-care is essential for managing anxiety, and it is important to encourage the person to make it a priority.
11. Suggest professional help.
If the person is struggling with anxiety regularly, suggest they seek professional help as it can be an incredibly important step in managing anxiety.
There are a number of different professionals that can help, such as therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors.
Offer to help them find a professional that they feel comfortable with and let them know that you are there to support them through the process.
Anxiety can be difficult to deal with; many people struggle with it, and there is help available if they need it.
12. Check-in regularly.
Once the initial anxiety attack has passed, it is important to check in with the person regularly to provide comfort and support and ensure that they are doing okay; you can check-in via text or phone call.
If you follow these steps, you'll be able to help your friend in their time of need. Just remember to be patient, respectful, and understanding. Anxiety attacks can be very scary and overwhelming, so your friend will appreciate any support you can offer.