Why Are You Even Getting Worked Up Over This
This is another statement that discredits what a person is going through related to their stress. Telling someone that what they are stressing about is not worth getting worked up over will agitate your loved one and its not up to you to decide what is or isnt worth that person getting stressed over. Take a step back and ask yourself if youd appreciate someone saying this to you. If you wouldnt, dont say it. Even if you think what your loved one is stressing about is small and you want to give them some perspective, it can come off as rude and they may not be in a place to receive that.
Youre Not Alone Ive Got Your Back
You never want them to feel alone or like their concerns dont matter to anyone else. Remind them they dont have to face this alone or to keep it all to themselves. You want to be there to listen and to help in whatever way you can.
You dont hesitate to stand up for or stand with them, whatever it might cost you. Youre the friend they can always count on.
Things To Say To Someone When Theyre Stressed
At this point, it seems like stressed is a permanent state of being. Whether youre stressed about the current state of the world, work, school, finances, relationships, or anything else, it can be overwhelming and, frankly, exhausting. Luckily, having a support system you can count on is one way to lighten the load.
Part of being a good support system is just being there. The next part is knowing what to say. Thats the trickier of the two because everyone responds to stress differently. Its not a one-size-fits-all solution.
To help you get started, weve compiled a list of 8 things to say to someone when theyre stressed.
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Ask If Theres Anything You Can Do To Help
Sometimes, people are stressed about very specfic things.
Maybe they have an intense schedule all week or there are so many tasks on their plate that they are finding hard to juggle.
Dont offer this if you dont really mean it, as you wont want to be stuck in a situation where someone takes you up on the offer to help and then you dont actually have the time, but if you are genuine about it, offer!
The Grass Is Greener Where Its Watered
Stop comparing and complaining, and start watering the grass thats underneath your own feet. You live underneath the same sky as everyone else. If you see beauty in other peoples lives and not your own, bless them and start bringing beauty into your own space.
What you bless in others you water within yourself.
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Dont Say: Why Arent You Seeing A Therapist/on Medication
Theres nothing wrong with showing concern for a friend, but be careful it doesnt come across as accusatory. Suggesting your friend should be doing something can create a sense of shame if they arent, or make them feel like theyre being judged. If they do need to see a counselor or take medication, those are decisions they need to make on their own and at their own pace.
Tell Them That Youre Willing To Listen
Let it be known that you are available to listen when theyd like to open up on their own terms and you can provide a shoulder to cry on. The person who is feeling stressed may take a while to confide in you, so be patient and do not push.
Trust their process. If you feel they need help from a professional or family member, offer to make phone calls for them.
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Ways To Support A Stressed
2 June 2021
Has a friend of yours been particularly stressed lately? Here are 5 easy ways you can show up as a friend and help them get through a difficult period.
We all feel stressed sometimes. Stress can manifest itself in a variety of emotional and physical ways, from irritability to headaches, and from tearfulness to digestive issues. What can we do to help when someone close to us tells us they are stressed?
How To Comfort Yourself When You Live Alone
When you live alone, theres no one to reach out to, and there may be no one to talk to. In other words, you have no handy attachment figure someone close to you to whom you can turn for reassurance.
Depending upon the nature of the stress youre dealing with and how long it goes on, you may be vulnerable. Very vulnerable. To a lack of self-care. To poor judgment. To sending yourself to a dark emotional place.
Psychologist Bella DePaulo suggests that single people may be at risk when receiving bad news or dealing with stress. I came across her 2011 article on the subject just this morning, Can You Be Your Own Source of Comfort and Security, in which she notes several of the helpful options I listed above, and that single people may sit on their stress, or they turn to comfort food, to passionate pursuits, to exercise, and to their pets. They may also seek or need to a broader circle of attachment figures.
In other words, we need to reach out to more people and create those necessary connections and supports that serve as a safe haven. And from personal experience, I would add this: Try to be kinder to yourself if you possibly can.
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Act Only On The Things You Can Control
Just like there are things you cant control, there are also things you can definitely have a hand on. Some examples of this are your behavior, how you treat other people, how you react to the world around you, and how you socialize. That said, focus on these things instead. Act only on the things you can control instead of obsessing over things you have no control over. This will only stress you out more than necessary.
Focus on your day-to-day interaction. Speak to people you can usually relate to. Engage with people who have personalities you find appealing. Start treating everyone you meet nicely. Be more friendly than usual. These are things you have control over and they can greatly increase your daily mood.
Make Plans For A Yoga Or Meditation Class
Especially if your friend doesnt want to talk and just needs to relax, invite them to come with you to a restorative yoga or meditation class, or go through your own flow at home for some immediate relaxation and peace. Grab your mat and find your own relaxation while your friend finds hers in Savasana.
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What To Say To An Acquaintance Or Colleague Whos Going Through A Rough Patch
The people we wish to comfort arent always close family members and friends. Throughout your life, youll also likely have colleagues and casual acquaintances who are experiencing tough times. Here are some things you might say to them when this happens:
9. Heres how were going to take care of your work while youre away.
A colleague going through a rough patch may need to take a step back from work for a period of time to address other needs. This may be true if your colleague is in mourning, struggling with an illness, or otherwise dealing with a life challenge that consumes a lot of his or her time.
Your colleague might stress about work and wonder who will be handling all the responsibilities until he gets back. You can help your colleague in a very big way by coordinating with supervisors and coworkers to divvy up responsibilities. Get in touch and show your colleague you have work responsibilities under control.
10. If you need a reference, networking help, anything like that at all, let me know. Happy to help!
A colleague may be going through a tough time because he or she got unexpectedly laid off. Theres a decent chance you might be able to help by serving as a reference or introducing your colleague to others in your industry.
Offering to help in these key practical ways could make your colleague feel much better.
12. Share a positive memory you have of an acquaintance.
Even If This Doesnt Turn Out As You Hope Youll Learn Something That Will Benefit You Thats Always A Win
Life is a bag of surprisesnot all of them good. And while you see your friend doing their best at everything they do, you both know a good outcome is not guaranteed. You also know theyll learn something valuable from it, whatever happens.
Theyll use that experience to learn what they need to from itand make you prouder than ever.
Now that youve looked through all 31 encouraging messages for your stressed-out friend, which ones stood out for you?
And which will you use first?
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Tell Them That Youre Ready To Listen If They Need To Vent
A lot of times, stressed people just need someone to vent to.
Their mind is going a million miles an hour, and they really just need a listening ear so they can get it all out and get focused again.
Telling someone who is stressed that youre available to listen and that they can vent to you is a perfectly acceptable thing to say and lets them know that youre emotionally available for them to dump onto if they need to.
They might not take you up on it, but just knowing that youve offered and that they have someone to turn to if they do need to cry or vent or complain is priceless.
Dont Say: Have You Tried Meditation/yoga/
Meditation and yoga and deep breathing and all of the other anti-anxiety trends that have taken pop culture by storm might be helpful for some people, maybe even your ultra-anxious friend. But they might not. Extreme anxiety can feel consuming, which means that small things like taking a few deep breaths might not be enough to counter panic in the moment. Everyone with anxiety has different relaxation techniques that work for themand some people need to do something active, like go for a run, instead of sitting and breathing. Dont offer unsolicited advice unless youve been trained to treat people with anxiety disorders or you have one yourself.
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Is There Anything I Can Do To Help
Please ask this question if you are truly capable of following through. You do not want to offer empty promises. Sometimes a person just needs a shoulder to cry on and for someone to listen.
If all else fails just sit in silence with the person until he/she is ready to speak. If you are close with the person use humor if you feel it will distract them and it is done tastefully.
Charlene Walters, MBA, Ph.D.
Motivational Speaker, Own Your Other
When Good Intentions Go Wrong
It’s possible that you can say all the “right” things and your friend will still become upset with you. Each person is an individual with unique thoughts and feelings, and being angry and upset is the nature of depression.
Sometimes people will lash out at those trying to help them because they are hurting and don’t know where to direct those bad feelings. Whoever is nearby becomes a convenient target.
If this happens, try not to take it personally. Stay calm and continue to do what you can to love and support your friend in whatever way they will allow.
Finally, the risk of suicide is high in those living with depression. No matter what you say or what you do to help your friend, they may still experience suicidal thoughts and feelings. Make sure to be on the lookout for warning signs of suicide and know when to seek help.
If you or someone you love are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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What Would Help You Feel Less Stuck
Dont allow a friend to really wallow.
- Wow, this sounds like it really has you down is anything else going on that makes you feel stuck?
- What would help you feel less stuck?
- Ok Im going to set the time for 15 min and you tell me everything awful about this. Ill check in at the end of this, you still want to rantIm here to listen, but maybe a good dump of all your troubles would clear the air?
Finding The Right Words In A Stressful Situation
Stressful situations arent supposed to be easy. If youre trying to help a loved one work through their own anxious feelings, you have an opportunity to say the right thing. These messages above are a kind, thoughtful way to respond without increasing their stress.
Nobody likes to be told to stay calm or move on. No matter how simple the situation seems from the outside, feelings are valid in their own way. Be mindful of your own response and be a strong listener. As long as youre focusing on acknowledging their experience and feelings, youre making a positive step in the right direction.
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Focus On A Good Recovery Plan
Stress is actually good for us. It pushes us to fix whatever is wrong or solve a problem.
Like a muscle, unless it is stressed, it wont grow. In fact, the opposite will happen. Too much rest will cause atrophy or the slow deterioration of the muscle. Conversely, when a muscle is stressed, it sets into motion the stress-recovery cycle or whats known as the Oscillation Cycle.
Stress needs recovery. Recovery needs stress. They are both necessary for healthy stress management.
To seek to remove stress isnt the answer, nor realistic. Many people are dealing with stressful jobs or situations. Unnecessary stress should work to be reduced. We often have more control than we think we do.
The question is, how much stress is too much, and how much inflow recovery is needed to replenish the stress outflow? Just like a muscle that is stressed, it depends on the volume, intensity, and duration of the stress.
A replenishment strategy that matches the stress level is the key to proper oscillation. Working a muscle with high intensity every day of the week without proportionate recovery doesnt adequately repair or give the muscle time to grow. Proportionate oscillation is crucial.
Therefore, stress isnt the villain. Our lack of proportionate recovery is. Our recovery from stress needs to be proportionate to the volume, duration, and intensity of our stress. Therefore, instead of working more in stressful times, we will need to wisely recovery more.
Dr. Laura Ellick, Ph.D.
Youve Done It Before You Can Do It Again
As humans, we sometimes forget how strong and resilient we are. Try to remind them of all the things they thought they couldnt do and all of the challenges theyve overcome in the past. Remind them that theyve done all of this incredible stuff before, so this time will be no different. Maybe all they need is a new perspective on failure and success.
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I Heard That Fleetwood Mac Song Today And It Made Me Think Of You
Of course, you don’t have to make all of your texts about stress. In fact, it can be helpful to talk about something else for a change, including little things that might brighten their day.
“It could be that you heard a song, saw a dog, ran into a mutual acquaintance,”Katie Sammann, LMFT-Associate, a licensed therapist, tells Bustle. If you think of them, let them know. Just be sure to keep it positive.
Understand What They Are Stressing Over
If you are going to offer your support, its important to understand what they are specifically stressing over. Maybe, they feel overwhelmed with responsibilities, they may be stressed about a health issue or financial problems.
There could be a million different reasons as to why they are feeling this way. You cant guess what it is if you want to really help them.
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Dont Let Them Bother You Enough That It Ruins Your Day
Every once in a while, youll truly encounter people wholl just put you in a bad mood. Whether if its from something theyll say or if its just their overall personality, encountering someone like this is inevitable. While this may be true, you should never let them bother you enough that it ruins your entire day.
Its completely normal to have a negative reaction towards these individuals. However, once that feeling passes, completely slip it out of your mind. Theres no need to keep thinking about the moment or the person. Move on with your day and focus on the things that you should be doing.
Let Me Be There For You
You know that your partner is going through a rough time, so offering yourself in the form of advice, a friendly ear, or providing the personal space they need, tells your partner that he or she is not alone, and that you understand stress. Many of us stressed out and overwhelmed humans can curl into our caves when what we really need is a human hand to help us through our difficulties, says Dr. Tobin. Tell your partner that youre there for them, and with them and help them avoid exacerbating their stress through added feelings of helplessness.
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