Shifting someone’s thinking away from the current anxiety-producing situation is a great way to get out of their own heads. “The idea is to shift their thinking away from the current situation that is causing anxiety, and getting them to focus on a more pleasant time ahead of them,” says Dr. Prakash Masand, psychiatrist and founder of the Centers of Psychiatric Excellence. “Having something to look forward to is a quick and easy way to improve your mood.” If the person can’t think of an answer, Dr. Masand suggests telling them that the two of you will get together once it’s all over, either to see a movie, go to their favorite restaurant, or do something else you both enjoy. A small gesture of solidarity that can have a big effect.
“Loneliness is the leading epidemic plaguing individuals over the age of 50 in America today,” says Prakash S. Masand, MD, CEO of the Centers of Psychiatric Excellence (COPE). “It is often missed by healthcare providers and family members, yet its consequences can be far-reaching and even tragic.”