How to Help Somebody with Anxiety and Fear

Those who are fearful need a friend … those who are timid need a teammate … those who are worried need someone wise … those who are anxious need an exhorter … those who cower need an encourager. Those who are tormented by fear need inspiration from those who have found freedom from fear.

To support a loved one who is struggling with fear, learn what to do and what not to do. You can very well be that person’s answer to prayer. “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”(Proverbs 18:24)

·         Don’t make them face a threatening situation without planning, but rather  give them instruction in positive self-talk and relaxation exercises. “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” (Proverbs 4:13)

·         Don’t make them face the situation alone. Be there and assure them of your support. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10)

·         Don’t begin with difficult situations. Help them to begin facing their fear in small increments. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2–3)

·         Don’t constantly ask, “How are you feeling?” But rather help them see the value of having other interests. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

·         Don’t show disappointment and displeasure if they fail. Do encourage them and compliment their efforts to conquer their fear. “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27)

·         Don’t say, “Don’t be absurd; there’s nothing for you to fear!” But rather say … “No matter how you feel, tell yourself the truth, ‘I will take one step at a time.’ ” “The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:21)

·         Don’t say, “Don’t be a coward; you have to do this!” Do say … “I know this is difficult for you, but it’s not dangerous. You have the courage to do this.” “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:23)

·         Don’t say, “Quit living in the past; this is not that bad.” Do say … “Remember to stay in the present and remind yourself, ‘That was then, and this is now.’ ” “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)