Things To Say To Help Someone Through An Anxiety Attack

Photo Credit: Lorenzo Sernicola via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Lorenzo Sernicola via CC Flickr

Anxiety. Every person in the world has it and has to deal with it on a daily basis. Whether it is big or small, everyone has something that they worry about or are fearful of. There are different kinds of anxiety…there is good anxiety (such as an athlete getting ready to play in a game) or bad, chronic anxiety (worrying about things that a person had no control over or can’t do anything about). Bad anxiety or stress can become very detrimental and harmful to a person if it raises to unhealthy levels.

I recently read an article written by Jacklyn Krol on “Thought Catalog” that I thought would be good to share with you. Since I have dealt with anxiety attacks and raised anxiety levels in the past, articles like this have really helped me deal with my stress levels in more effective ways. The thing that has helped me deal my anxiety is understanding what can cause it and what I can do to help lessen its affect.

Another thing, and the purpose of this article, is helping other people, who are dealing with anxiety. What are things that you can say to help comfort them and calm them down> You are about to find out…

1. “It will end.”
Whenever I have an attack, I immediately go into the mindset that this will never end, this is hell. During an attack, a second feels like an hour. The only words I can use to explain the feeling is like you’re going to die because your body is on overdrive trying to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. Any time I get sick, it reminds me of the dark place where I was before treatment, medication, and doctors — nowhere near a functioning state of life. It may seem awfully obvious to tell us that this specific anxiety attack is going to end, but sometimes you need that external reminder that yeah, this feeling will pass as it always does.

2. “You can get through this.”
When you get sick, it feels hopeless and never-ending. I have never felt strong enough to survive an attack without becoming depressed or even sicker after. In my first article with Thought Catalog, I mentioned the startling fact that every hour at least one person goes to the ER for a panic attack. This hellish place we’re in feels like we’re fighting a hopeless fight against ourselves and our own bodies. Believing in people can go a long way, telling the person you believe in them can go even farther. Knowing that someone else is there for us can often be the little bit of strength that we need to get through.

3. A reminder to breathe.
I normally forget to breathe, or breathe less when I’m having an anxiety attack. Usually good slow and steady breaths help get our bodies to make it through without passing or blacking out. It’s a good reminder that you’re in the moment and alive. It also lets me think that I can breathe and I am alive and that other people aren’t breathing and don’t get to live as long as a life as myself. Tell us this and our lungs will thank you.

4. “Do you need anything?”
Most of the time during an anxiety attack, people are often weak, dizzy, and sometimes become sick to their stomachs. Having a drink or protein bar usually helps. Pillows also are great to cling onto and the person may need medication. Simply asking someone if they need anything is more than a kind gesture — it’s helpful when we can’t control our own bodies enough to get what we need ourselves.

5. “You’re strong.”
Because today’s society taught me that anxiety is nothing and a wimp can get through it, I often feel my lowest when I have an attack. I sometimes feel stupid and weak for even feeling sick because “it’s just anxiety”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to give up and not fight this anymore, believing in a person can do more than you’ve ever dreamed of. Thank you for not letting us give up.

6. Offering a hand to hold or a hug.
You do not know the power of a hug or holding a hand until you’ve had this disorder. The simple act of human touch can mentally bring us into a safer place and help us by physically feeling that we’re not alone. It brings us into the here and now when we’re in a scary place. When having an attack alone my one wish is to have someone to hug or hold my hand. Thank you for being there with us.

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7 thoughts on “Things To Say To Help Someone Through An Anxiety Attack

  1. Reblogged this on 58 Day Dreams and commented:
    I suffer with anxiety attacks. Thankfully the number of attacks as lessened greatly over the past few years, I have learned different techniques to get through them. If you’ve never had one, it’s too difficult to explain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help someone having one. Panic attacks don’t make any sense, so don’t get mad at the person having it. All you can do is be there; either in person or on the phone.

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  2. Excellent description and advice. When I had anxiety attacks, they were claustrophobic. Taking deep abdominal breaths, counting back from ten to one, helped calm the gasping for air. Going outdoors was more calming. One time it was physically caused by an internal burst cyst. During the years, the attacks have become less and less, for which I am deeply grateful.

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  3. I love that there are blogs like this that post information and tips on how to help people dealing with anxiety like myself. I found those tips very effective, I always feel that the support of other people is the strongest way to help us cope with our condition. Whenever I feel like people understand how I feel it makes me feel that I’m not alone and that i don’t have to be afraid. I’m so lucky that I have friends and family that tell me those words that motivates me to keep on fighting to overcome my anxiety.

    – Abby

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    • Abby…I am glad that you are encouraged by this article. Please know that I also suffer from anxiety once in a while. It is so annoying but everything that you said is right. Have a great day and remember…BE STRONG!

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