How to Help a Friend in Crisis

Posted on August 7, 2017

We often find ourselves at a loss of what to do or say when a friend is going through a difficult period in their life. Here are seven ways, backed up by research, to support them in the most effective way.

1) Be 100 percent present.
Put aside any distractions like your phone and your work to listen and be with them. Be non-judgmental and do not propose solutions unless they ask. Research has shown that having good social relationships with others make us feel better. However, many people feel quite lonely. Being present and listening helps them feel supported.

2) Bring them for a healthy meal.
Recent research has found that consuming more fruits and vegetables can increase happiness and well-being drastically.

3) Have a walk.
Natural light is a natural mood booster. Studies have also found that walking outside and being surrounded by nature reduces anxiety and depression.

4) Attend a yoga or meditation class.
Studies show that yoga or meditation reduces stress and increases calmness and well-being. It helps you view things from a bigger and different perspective, helping the both of you find solutions to problems.

5) Ask them to list the positive things that are happening to them.
Research has shown that we focus more on negative things, but positive things happen to us three times more than the negative. Gently showing your friend that there are positive things going on in his or her life can broaden their perspective and give them a sense of calm.

6) Invite them to join you in helping others.
Research shows we feel better when we are helping others. Hence, being of help to someone else will help increase their happiness.

7) Compliment them.
People tend to criticise themselves, which leads to anxiety and depression. Remind them that they have strengths, talents and positive attributes.

Category(s):Other, Stress Management

Source material from Psychology Today

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