Anxiety is the most common mental health problem in the U.S., so we at the Optimist Daily are big on sharing stories on stress reduction, from foods that help to meditation methods. If you have never experienced anxiety yourself, it can be difficult to understand what a friend or family member is experiencing, but this does not mean you can’t help. This week we are sharing an article from PsychAlive with a couple simple tips for helping someone who is struggling with anxiety, so you can be a support system for those you love.

Reaching out and asking if a friend is okay is a big first step for helping someone who may not be comfortable asking. Be sure to listen carefully, and assure them that you are there to listen. Let them know it’s perfectly normal to struggle with anxiousness. Sometimes someone just needs open ears and an open heart.

Lastly, encourage them to consider professional help. While talking to friends and family can be beneficial, reaching out to a therapist can help people break through the root of their anxiety.

The stigma surrounding mental health can make it difficult to talk about. Checking in with those around you means you can be a resource for someone who may be struggling in silence, and it helps break the stigma about addressing mental health.