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5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Significant Other When Anxiety Strikes

Whether you are dating, engaged, married, in an open relationship or just fully committed to your partner, here are 5 tips to help get them through their anxiety.

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What is Anxiety?

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For those of you that have never felt this sensation, which I highly doubt, there are some people out there that are never phased by life. Anxiety is basically the feeling of panic and fear. It sucks like you wouldn't believe! No one with any form of anxiety disorder would wish this on their worst enemy. You basically feel like the world is coming down around you and their is nothing you can do. You brain decides to go into the "fight or flight" survival mode, even though nothing is happening around you to make you feel this way. In some cases, you could be having an amazing time with amazing people and then BAM! You are curled up in a corner crying and scared for you life for no reason. It's really hard to escape the feeling of anxiety. For a lot of people it goes wherever they go. For others, its a quick 15 min panic attack and then they are fine.

If you are with someone who has any form of an anxiety disorder (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, etc...) here are some tips to help you help them get through it.

1. Repeat and Reassure

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Right at the beginning of a panic attack your S.O. is more focused on the sensation of fear that they are feeling. That shouldn't stop you from giving them sound advice in helping them through this time. In some cases people can be forgetful during a panic or anxiety attack. So repeat encouraging words and advice to them over and over again until they start to calm down. Say things like "Everything is okay" , "Everything is as it should be" , "You are going to be okay" , "I am right here beside you", "I am so proud of you", "I am here to help you".

It's important to repeat phrases like this to them because while they are focusing on this awful sensation, they are also hearing kind words coming from the one they love. This can help calm them down just with positivity, as well as reassurance that they are not alone. Constant reassurance that you are there for them during a time like this will make such a difference for future panic attacks.

2. Visualization

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It's incredible how much visualization can help calm down someone who is anxious or having a panic attack. Whenever my boyfriend is severely anxious, I tell him to surround himself in a pink bubble of love. I tell him that nothing negative can get inside his bubble, only positive. There are lots of visualization techniques you can do, also get creative to his/her likes to make your own techniques. Here are a couple ones that I have used for myself.

1. Take a shower and act as though soap is washing away all your worries and fears and the sensation of anxiety. Watch it wash down the drain.

2. Pretend you are in Dragon Ball-Z and that you are "Kamaha-mahaing" the anxiety into a ball of light and then blast it into outer space. Say the words with it to make you laugh. Seriously, its fun!

3. Visualize a fire in front of you and throw your anxiety into the fire. Picture it burning into ashes, never to be seen again.

Come up with of your own things to visualize for your partner, things that are unique to them. That also shows how much you pay attention to their likes and dislikes, which in turn seals your bond even more.

3. Comfort Them

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Physical touch has been proven to be affective in relieving stress and anxiety. Whether it's holding their hand, rubbing their back or stomach, or just cuddling can help a great deal. If it wasn't there would be no such thing as a "Professional Cuddler". Verbal comfort is the same as reassuring and repeating. Saying kind words in a calming tone is comforting.

4. Distract

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When anxiety strikes your brain focuses on the sensation dramatically. The sensation that something bad is going to happen and you're scared because you can't stop it. Distracting your S.O. from this sensation can help immensely. There are a few things you can do:

1. Make them laugh.

2. Get them to hold an ice cube in their hand. This focuses the brain on the ice cold sensation instead of the impending doom.

3. Have them count to 100.

4. Watch dog or cat videos or better yet, pet a dog or a cat, or a goat or a horse or any animal for that matter!

5. Ask them to draw you a picture.

Again make up some distractions that are unique to your partner. It is important that they are distracted by things they like as well as things they maybe haven't done for awhile. e.i drawing a picture.

5. Survival Gear

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By survival gear I don't mean an axe or a bow-n-arrow or a fire starter. I mean the basics: food, water and shelter. When you have an anxiety attack your body goes into a survival mode. What you need is primal. To survive before civilization, we needed 3 things: water, food and shelter. When your partner is having anxiety make sure that you can get ahold of those 3 things. For me I always have water with me and I always have a snack, or money for a snack, just in case. The brain's "fight or flight" response to your anxiety is basically going into survival mode, so to ease that response have your primal survival gear with you!

Its very important to do things like these when your significant other is having anxiety and panic attacks. If you're not there for them, there anxiety can increase because they feel alone and trapped. Being there for them gives them a way out, a light at the end of the tunnel. Always stay positive and understanding to their anxiety because the moment you get frustrated they can feel like a burden, increasing the anxiety even more. Love always wins.

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