When You’re Feeling Helpless: How to Help

It's hard to know when the right time is to offer help. How do you do if someone wants your help? How about if they don't want it?
Reverse Helplessness and Anxiety

It’s hard to know when the right time is to offer help. How do you do if someone wants your help? How about if they don’t want it?

How do you even start helping without going overboard and offending them? This article will cover some ways to be there for a friend in need, no matter what your situation.

Understand how trauma affects the mind and body.

According to Serani, “Trauma physically and mentally impacts our mind and body the moment it happens.” She said that understanding that our neurobiology triggers us to fight, flee or freeze and how it happens could help you deal with your situation better.

Serani explained the process in this way: “When pressed by the impact of trauma, your mind will work to problem-solve, sending messages to your body, its muscles, and organs, to be ready to fight the problem or flee from it.

Sometimes trauma causes a third option where your mind dissociates, fragments or shifts into denial. When this happens, your body goes numb, limp, or stops in its place like a deer in headlights.”

According to Serani, “Trauma physically and mentally impacts our mind and body the moment it happens.

She said that understanding that our neurobiology triggers us to fight, flee or freeze and how it happens could help you deal with your situation better.

Sharpen your awareness about stressful triggers.

When you are aware of yourself, your environment, and your unique triggers, you can find healthy ways to react, thereby reducing your feelings of helplessness, said Serani, author of the book Living with Depression and Depression and Your Child.

She defined stressors or triggers as “personal experiences that worsen your well-being.” To discover your unique triggers, reflect on the issues and experiences that have upset you, she said.

Serani shared some examples of triggers. One is “a person who was once a friend, but now causes you pain.” Another common trigger for people with depression is hearing about another suicide because it can remind them they’re not the only one dealing with these issues.

Focus on your self-talk.

“The way you talk to yourself can make you move through trauma better,” said Serani. When it’s unhealthy, self-talk keeps us stuck and makes us feel helpless, she said.

She shared these examples: “Why is this happening to me? I can’t believe this! I have the worst luck ever. Nothing in life ever goes my way.”

Healthy self-talk inspires healthy action. It is “proactive and empowering.” Serani shared these examples of healthy self-talk: “What can I do to make this better? This is bad right now, but it won’t always be. I can get through this.”

Example of How to Help When You’re Feeling Helpless: How do you help when someone feels helpless? First, make sure the person wants your help.

If they don’t like it, offer them a safe space instead. Then be as supportive and understanding as possible while avoiding pressure for change or fixing their problems on their behalf.

Become attuned to your senses.

Tuning into your senses and learning how to command them helps you develop more vital reaction skills, which enables you to reduce helplessness, Serani said.

To start sharpening your senses, close your eyes, and focus on what you hear. Then focus on what you smell. “Take a deep breath and sense the temperature around you.

Open your eyes, and look at your environment. What do you see?? How does it make you feel?

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How to Help When You’re Feeling Helpless: How do you help someone feel helpless? First, be aware of their situation and if they want any assistance from others. If not, offer them a safe space instead.

Recognize patterns.

Pinpointing your emotional patterns helps you feel empowered and avoid feeling helpless, Serani said. You can do this on a smaller scale by focusing on daily habits.

Serani gave these examples: You’re running late or didn’t bring enough cash for the day.

Reflect on the events that preceded the circumstance. “Do they share anything similar? Were you pressed for time, rushed or unprepared?

Is there a pattern that you can identify that keeps you in a helpless state?”

Feeling powerless is demoralizing. But there are many small steps you can take to reduce feelings of helplessness and focus on healthy action.

This may start from better understanding your traumatic situation and emotional patterns, practicing compassionate, healthy self-talk, and becoming attuned to yourself and your world.

And if you’re finding this incredibly challenging, consider seeking professional help, a powerful way to empower yourself.

Conclusion: 

Do you ever feel like there’s nothing you can do in your life? How about when everything goes wrong, and it seems too hard, unfair, or pointless to go on with things.

It may be a tough time for you right now, but unfortunately, this is not uncommon that many people have experienced before. There are ways, though, of helping yourself get through these feelings and feeling empowered again!

First off, don’t forget the most crucial step: talk to someone who cares about what happens to you (something as simple as telling a friend how they’ve been making themselves feel every day).

If they want help, then offer them support; if not, show them space instead. Then try practicing compassionate self-talk and tuning into your senses to sharpen your focus and reaction skills.

How can you feel empowered? One of the most powerful ways is by seeking professional help!

Asad Saimon
I am a Digital Marketer, Content writer & SEO Expert with over 7 years of experience. I have worked on successful campaigns for many startups and new enterprises. I specialize in creating high-quality content that engages and converts readers into customers.