People mean well and want to help, but when someone is experiencing anxiety or feeling nervous, the last thing we need is more useless cliches that don’t help us one bit. It’s hard to understand anxiety unless you have experienced it. Most people have felt anxious in their lifetimes, but if you’ve ever experienced the glory of a panic attack or been so anxious you felt sick, you know why I see red when people say, “Just relax.”
Newsflash, Einstein: if we could just relax, we would.
This of course doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to manage your anxiety. When I am feeling anxious, exercise, deep breathing, stretching, and time with friends help me feel better. Sometimes it also means shutting down my cell phone and not bothering with anyone, minus my daughter.
But when someone tries to give you unhelpful advice about anxiety for the 50th time, it’s enough to make you want to check out of dodge for the weekend.
1. “Just Relax”
Look, do you have a magic wand to erase this feeling of dread? If you did, you would use it and if Idid, so would I. Telling me to “just relax” is not helpful.