Living with anxiety is a challenge, not just for the person experiencing the anxiety but also for those who must make adjustments for it. If you are married to a person with anxiety, there are things you can do to make the anxiety less intense and ease the stress throughout your marriage. Use the tips below to help your spouse get through his or her anxious moments so you can enjoy a better quality of life.
Understand What Causes Your Spouse’s Anxiety
Anxiety can be triggered by a wide range of experiences and emotions. Some people feel anxious in crowded areas or in rooms with people they do not know. Others experience anxiety when they feel pain or get sick because they believe their health risks are worse than they actually are. Anxiety can also be brought on by memories of traumatic experiences, or sometimes it can come out of nowhere. Every person is completely unique.
Try to understand what causes your spouse’s anxiety. You may be able to do that through simple observation or by talking to your spouse about his or her feelings. This conversation is best completed when the spouse is not feeling anxious because it can be difficult to relay emotions in the midst of a panic attack. If your spouse is working with an anxiety therapist, you could ask if you could attend a session every once and a while to get a better understanding of what your spouse is going through. This insight will help you prepare for when an anxiety attack may happen so you are not caught off guard by it.
Ask Your Spouse About Adjustments You Can Make
Your spouse knows his or her anxiety better than anyone. Talk to your spouse about adjustments you can make to reduce his or her symptoms. For instance, if you speak in a rapid manner, the speed of your voice and thoughts as a whole may make your spouse feel anxious. Slowing down your speech or reducing the volume of your speaking voice will help keep the environment as calm as possible. Make any adjustments you can, within reason, to help your spouse with his or her anxiety.
You may also ask your spouse how you should respond during a panic attack. Some people react well to having someone around to keep their mind off the anxiety. Others prefer to sit in silence and work through their anxiety on their own. You may be able to help in a physical way, like rubbing your spouse’s back or playing with his or her hair. Not everyone likes to be touched during a panic attack though. Once again, it is a matter of finding what works for your spouse and responding to his or her specific needs.