How to Support a Partner Suffering from Anxiety
I think we can all agree that it’s tricky to know how to support a partner suffering from anxiety. In this blog we look at some background on anxiety in Australia, what it’s like to live with someone with anxiety, and sharing some tips on helpful behaviours to best support your partner. In Australia, an alarming number of people are suffering from anxiety, with younger sufferers on the rise, according to Beyond Blue1. Whilst experts agree that the prevalence of anxiety is rising, they are not in unison when it comes to discussing causes and healing solutions. This is because each person’s illness is so unique to them and varies widely from person to person. Those who experience anxiety could be overwhelmed, angry or scared. However in the case of their partners, supporting a partner with anxiety is a difficult thing. Partners are likewise confused, frustrated, and can feel out of control and helpless themselves, as they watch their loved ones suffer. It is hard to know how to help or participate in their healing and ultimate recovery. “It can be a real struggle when someone is experiencing anxiety, and really difficult for their partner as well. There’s a lack of understanding around anxiety, because it can bring up fears in the person providing the sufferer with support. They may feel out of control, or experience feelings of hopelessness.
Living with someone with anxiety
Living with someone with anxiety is complicated. Anxiety is scary as it makes the person suffering with anxiety feel isolated and alone, and that no one really understands what they are going through. In truth how can they, unless they too have suffered the fears and pains of anxiety. Making decisions becomes a scary thing as all faith in themselves and their capability to manage is lost. Sufferers feel like they are forever wandering around aimlessly in the dark. They lack the confidence and strength to find their way out to get back to normality. All they want is to feel peace and a quiet mind. Anxious thoughts constantly bombard the mind leaving little space to ‘think straight’ that is, without fearing the “what-if” this happens, “what- if” that happens. Even when distracted, like watching a movie or chatting with friends, the anxiety lurks in the background like a virus constantly running negative thoughts and scenarios. Anxiety sufferers can feel sorry for themselves; see themselves as a complete failure; or experience feelings of resentment toward others.
4 Helpful Tips to Support a Partner Suffering from Anxiety
For people whose partners are suffering from anxiety, you may find the following help with your understanding of anxiety.
1. Mindful Awareness
If practiced well, mindful awareness opens the way to understanding and compassion. This occurs when you identify your own fears and feelings around your partner’s anxiety. Becoming aware of your own reactions, tolerance levels, patience and language you use when speaking to your anxious partner, will help alleviate potential emotional conflict.
2. Let your partner own the Anxiety
As the partner of someone suffering anxiety, it is important for you to take a step back and understand anxiety is not your issue. You must allow your partner to own the anxiety and support them through it. It is important for you to also be aware of your own thoughts and feelings and how your partner’s anxiety may be impacting them. This way, you can avoid over-reacting, or becoming overly emotional when your partner’s a anxiety is triggered.
3. Let your Partner Talk about the Anxiety
You should let the sufferer talk about the anxiety another fears but not overdo it. The illness is a fear of feeling, hence, talking about such feelings is part of the healing process. However talking about their feelings too much – i.e. where they begin to get caught up in their story – creates imbalance and can make the anxiety worse. There is a need to reinforce how much your partner who is suffering from anxiety is loved and cared for. You need to make sure they know that you are there for them and ready to work through their anxiety as a couple, together. You need to be gentle. Let compassion and understanding be your guide.
3. Refrain from Judgement
Don’t judge or try and draw conclusions about how your partner feels or thinks. To best support a partner suffering from anxiety, don’t tell them “this is how you should think” or “this is how you should feel”. It will be difficult for your partner to make sense of their anxiety and its effects. They will not necessarily understand why it is happening. When they hear things like “suck it up” or “snap out of it” this just puts more unwelcome and unnecessary pressure on them and makes things a whole lot worse. So try not to judge. 1 Source: Beyond Blue
Need more help supporting your partner with anxiety?
Download our free report, or get in touch with me today.
See here for testimonials for clients Sandy has worked with to heal issues with relationships forever
I was again seeking answers to boyfriend issues, same ones again. Sandy’s treatments have settled me….my thoughts have settled….Now I am pulling my boots up expecting only from myself and definitely more in my power. My Partner…also had healings with Sandy. He is now making decisions about our family and coping so much better under stress.Suzie - Gold Coast
To put it simply Sandy has changed my life. She taught me how to understand and release all my past hurts and negative feelings. I found myself being comfortable enough to let go of troubled relationships, family stresses, old injuries and even secrets I had repressed for most of my life.
I now have a brighter attitude towards life on every level. I am equipped to handle much more positively and healthily any emotional, physical or career problems that arise. I am a much calmer and relaxed person and it shows with how I now interact with others.
I truly believe I couldn’t have become the person I now am without the sheer determination and complete trust and support of this amazing woman. You have been blessed if you ever get the opportunity to change your life with Sandy Hounsell.
Claire – Brisbane Entrepenuer
Dear Sandy! There’s so very much I`ll tell you but you know it’s hard for me in english, but I´ll get it at try to write down something of my thoughts. My state at that moment were`t good, in divorce thoughts and in a land I didn’t belong in. I felt lonely and disorientated. It was a relief to find you with your wisdom, skills and love, it`s so fantastic, I can`t describe in words. We`ve done a lot of work together, and you have been a major help for me to find my track, which I´ve in that moment had lost or ever have, don’t know. You`ve help me to sort things out and put them on the places where they belongs. That great thing with my dying father we did was such a big thing I`ll never forgot.
After that, his death became a beautiful , warm and a happy event. For that, and many more things, I´ll always be grateful. The fantastic with you is that you have all those great skills of yours and also are a warm an understanding person with lots of love to give, you can see straight thru a person. I didn`t feel uncomfortable with that instead it felt as a major realise. All that makes you a very special healer who can work with people in a completely holistic way. The toolbox of yours is huge!!
The crystal healing worked very well on me and I felt very boosted after those sessions. I felt very safe and trustful of life to meet a person so connected with the spiritual world. Without words you could see and feel people/family close to me living in Sweden and exactly tells things you would`t bee able to say anything about if you were totally clarivoyant. It`s amazing! I believe That all people got a task to caught when arriving to earth.
Some got a very special and important job to do by helping people and the evolution to get more connected to spirit and to the Creator, to put people in balance with them self so they can fulfill their task and reach their life purpose. You do a very , very important job and you do it so well with great love and compassion for all living and of course those passed. I`m happy and feel honoured to have met you and I`ll hope We`ll meet again! Thanks again for all you`ve done for me and my whole family!
Lots of love
Sweden – Entrepenuer