How to Love An Anxious Heart

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How can you help a friend, a family member, or a spouse who is struggling  with anxiety? There are practical ways to be an encouragement and help them heal. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Much has been said about how to deal with our own anxiety- we have to attend to it when we own it. We feel the tearing at our own hearts and our own minds, and we bear the scars. But what if the anxious heart in your care is not your own? What if your husband, child, sister or friend is the one who is struggling?

Loving well, always begins with prayer and seeking God's heart for another, but it is also hands on, practical and intentional. Here are some thought on how to support those who might be struggling in your life, from someone who has been on the other side, and back again.

Learn How to Be a Cozy Blanket, Not a Smothering Pillow

Be present. Join them in the kitchen, on a walk, at the gym. . . but try not to hover. Your presence alone will be a comfort, and your ease of availablity will build trust for your loved one to share. 

Be Willing to Not Understand

Anxiety, and depression as well, are often irrational, but the emotions they produce are very, very real. Listen when someone who you love opens up about their struggles, and be okay with simply loving them with your attentive ear, even if you don't understand all they share.

Pray

This may seem like an obvious response, but don't neglect it. Coming before the throne of God on behalf of a friend or family member will tie your heart to them immensely, and God will also transform you, giving you insight, understanding and his heart for his child.

Prepare Them Room

Fluff a pillow, pour a cup of tea, offer a plate of scones, or a cozy guest bed for a nap. Hospitality isn't always tidy and its never perfect, but it is all about extending kindness and providing a place where healing can begin. 

Share Your Own Struggles

Be authentic about the ares where you experience weakness. Create a safe emotional space to share by being vulnerable first.

Nourish Them.

Struggling with anxiety can be draining spiritually, emotionally and physically. Help your loved one fill up with hearty and healthy foods, freezer meals, a community meal train or a night eating out. And, don't forget to help fill up their heart, mind and soul, as well as their body. Share encouragement from God's Word, drop handwritten notes in the mail, pray with them. Help feed them hope.

Offer Practical Support

Formerly simple tasks can feel overwhelming to someone with anxiety. Ask if you can help with laundry, school pick-up, babysitting or house cleaning. These acts of service can be significant in helping someone make room in their life to recover and heal.

Support Their Path to Recovery

Offer encouragement about speaking with a liscensed counselor or doctor about anxiety. Support the plan they put in place whether with medication or therapy and let them know that you see bravery and courage in their decision to ask for help. 

There is no greater gift than to walk with one who feels alone. I pray you are all blessed to be a blessing to those hurting or struggling in your lives right now. Any other ideas to love well? Please share them with our community in the comments, we'd love to learn from you!

Blessings, 
Kristen

www.hopewithfeathers.com

 

Kristen Kill

Kristen Kill is a woman transformed by the delight of God. She loves coffee, gingerbread, and staying up late with her nose in a good mystery. She believes there is something sacred in lighting candles, in setting a beautiful table and inviting others in. Most days she can be found attempting to learn how to cook, redecorating any given room instead of cleaning her house, and homeschooling her five hilarious children. 

A contributing Editor at The Better Mom, and co-host of At Home, a popular podcast with Sally Clarkson, Kristen is passionate about encouraging women who feel stretched thin. She believes that tension is where we can learn to live expectant for the music and melody God is singing over of each one of us. She writes about home, creativity, and flourishing at her blog Hope With Feathers (kristenkill.com)

After spending the last seven years in the hustle of New York City, she and her husband, Josh, are learning to go slow as they raise their family and walk their anxious hound dog in the Pacific Northwest. Her first book, Finding Selah is due from Zondervan in 2018.

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