Responsibility For Anxiety

We must allow other people to take responsibility for their own health which benefits them in a few different ways:

  1. It allows them to become good problem solvers and we like that a lot.
  2. When they have challenges in the future they won’t necessarily need to lean on others quite as much because they have already learned some strategies for being able to manage themselves properly.
  3. We are helping them to develop resilience.

I want to give you a couple of strategies here to make sure that we are being fair in how we deal with people when they have mental health challenges but to also make sure that we are not taking on the problem fully and completely for ourselves and turning it into our own project.

If we have a young person who is struggling with a mental health issue the solution might not be a new therapist or new intervention, it might be needing to stop something in their lives. They may attend too many clubs and outdoor activities then come home to do homework and play the Xbox too late at night. Have a think of what things can we stop to help solve the problem.

It’s important that you are demonstrating or in NLP terms we call it modelling the behaviours and reactions that you want to see from them. If a young person is feeling delicate and quite anxious at home you might start tiptoeing around them and being very gentle with them. Our behaviour and reaction towards them actually is holding the anxiety in place. What we need to do instead is to have empathy and sympathy, point them in the direction of problem-solving strategies but keep business as usual. Life must go on otherwise we will start to construct our world around the thing it is as if we have given it a physical form and it is like a new thing has come to live in the family home. We’re all working around this thing like it’s a new pet and that’s not the way forward at all. So, make sure that in terms of how you behave and how you react is the way that you want them to be rather than tiptoeing around.

At the NLP4Kids head office, they have created an overcome anxiety programme where children and young people sign up to watch 10 weekly videos, alongside completing their worksheets. The content is designed to help them develop new skills to manage their anxiety and, in some cases, get rid of the anxiety completely. We are giving complete authority and complete responsibility to these young people to lock themselves into the platform to watch the videos, go through the worksheets and leave a comment for me if they wish to reach out to me at any time through the 10-week programme.

The main thing to take away from this article is that other people’s mental health is their responsibility, you can present them with all the options but it’s always up to them to take the action. Even when I’m working with a client one-on-one and being paid for it, the very best I can do is teach them the techniques, tell them how it works and show them how to practice it. However, it’s up to them to keep putting it into action in their daily lives and so the very best you can do is be there for people and show them what’s available to them but it’s up to them to take control of their mental health.


By Gemma Bailey

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