Anxiety awareness is important to me because I and many close friends of mine suffer from anxiety, especially when it comes to school-related issues. It is essential that both teachers and students are aware of how much anxiety affects young people and how to help when they are struggling.
1. Eye contact
When someone seems uneasy or panicky, making eye contact while talking to them can help calm them down. Reassure them that you’re there and that everything will be okay. It can also help someone feel able to gain more self-control and allow them to take over the situation.
Having an anxiety attack can put a young person in extremely stressful and frightening situations. Students can become very anxious before exams and breathing exercises are an excellent technique to help these moments. Sit down with them to help them to steady their breathing, especially if it is fast. Helping someone obtain calmness before a stressful situation can help prevent the anxiety attack from even happening.
Pic: Unsplash Creative Commons / Eutah Mizushima
Psychology Today explains that "If your anxious friend doesn't understand their anxiety yet, they may not be able to give you a clear answer about what you can do to be helpful to them." However, as soon as they start talking about it, it’ll get easier. Telling them about other people that have anxiety can help give them a better understanding about what they’re going through.
Sometimes there isn’t really much that you can do for a person suffering from anxiety other than sit next to them and comfort them. Some teenagers back away or get more anxious when someone tries to interfere. Therefore, it can be useful to let them know that you’ll be there for them whenever they are ready to be talked to. Reassuring them that whatever they’re going through is normal could be helpful to someone going through an attack.