When someone asks you “how’re you doing?” I’m sure you say something like “Fine” or “I’m good”. But are you really feeling good though most of the time? I don’t really think so. In today’s world where we’re surrounded by workload, relationships, and daily hectic schedules, it’s hard not to be stressed out. And, maybe you’re the one who’s good at coping with stress. However, when it comes to others, you may not know what to say to someone who is stressed.
If you’ve ever been in a stressful situation before, you know how frustrating it can get. Likewise, it’s very crucial and beneficial to help someone who is stressed. And what’s more stressful is when you don’t know what to say to someone who is stressed? Moreover, what you say to comfort them can vary from what they’re stressed about. Not everyone is going through the same thing. Someone might be stressed about their exam while another might feel stressed out because s/he’s getting a divorce.
However, no matter what anyone’s going through, it’s important to be there for someone you know and support them when they experience stress.
While simply being there is not enough to help them, you should also be familiar with what to say to someone who is stressed.
7 Things You Can Say to someone who is stressed
The first thing you can do to help someone who is going through stress and anxiety is by being there for them. But the most important and difficult part is when you’ve got to communicate with them and find the right words in the right situation to calm them down. So, here are the 10 effective things you can say to someone who is stressed:
1. “I’m here for you”
People tend to feel lonely when they’re going through a stressful experience. Do you remember how you feel when you’re stressed? It feels like you’re the only one in the whole world who’s going through the problem you’re facing and there’s no one to help or even just be there for you. It can be pretty lonesome when you’re stressed and there’s no one around you. So, one of the best things to say when you have no idea what to say to someone who is stressed is to tell them that you’re there for them no matter what and you will support them in any way you can.
2. “I’m all ears”
According to a study, most people feel stressed in the first place because they’re not able to express themselves and share their feelings with others freely. Since not everyone has a big circle of friends, it can be scary and intimidating to speak about your problems with somebody else. Now, the trick here is to put you and the stressed person in a ‘doctor-patient’ situation. That being said, you need to be in the role of a psychologist and the other person in the role of patient. While doing this you also need to ensure them that you can be trusted and whatever they say won’t get out of that room.
3. “Is there anything I can do?”
Stress is such a mysterious emotion, it leads the person to react differently and irrationally. When stressed, an individual is not at his best and might not be able to do their regular tasks properly. Although they might think that they are totally normal, you shouldn’t let them be on their own or let them do things by themselves. It might lead them to harm themselves or others around them, too. So, it’s better to ask them if they need any help regarding anything. And even if they refuse, you should insist on helping them.
4. “Take a break”
The workload these days is just unbearable, let it be for a student or someone working in an organization. No matter how much we work or how much time and effort we put in our work, it never seems to end. But, that doesn’t mean you should work yourself to death. We all get overwhelmed by our work and responsibilities from time to time. And it’s natural and completely all right to get yourself out from that world of work. So, whenever you’re confused about what to say to someone who is stressed, you can simply tell them to take a short break from their work.
5. “Whatever you feeling, it’s reasonable”
Imagine you’re stressed about something and someone comes and tells you that you’re acting unreasonably or you’re just over-reacting. What do you think will be your reaction to that? I know what mine will be! So, the last thing someone who’s stressed needs is people to tell them they’re crazy. You should respect their feelings and act accordingly. Since stressed people tend to be more sensitive than usual, you need to deal with them with extra delicacy.
6. “This isn’t your first time and certainly won’t be your last”
Now, this is a true story. Back when I was still in school, my girlfriend didn’t make it to the cheerleading squad for the first time in almost 3 years of high school. And it wasn’t because of her performance, but because she had sprained her ankle a couple of days before the selection. So, she was devastated by that and I was completely clueless. I didn’t know what to say to someone who was stressed. But, then out of nowhere this scene from a movie I had watched I don’t know when popped up in my mind. And I looked in her eyes and told her, “Baby, this isn’t your first time and certainly won’t be your last” Good news: it totally worked out.
7. “I’m sorry for whatever you’re going through”
Sympathy, as lots of people don’t know, can be a very strong instrument when you don’t know what to say to someone who is stressed. People who are stressed are also human and can feel the need for understanding and kindness when it’s needed. So, show your empathy for whatever problem they’re facing and tell them that you feel sorry that they have to go through that.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
How do you comfort someone who is stressed?
- Help them to recognize there’s a problem
- Offer reassurance
- Help them identify their triggers
- Offer practical support
- Try calming techniques
- Support them to seek professional help
What do you say to comfort someone?
So to start off comforting someone, simply describe what you’re seeing/sensing. Say something like, “I know you’re having such a hard time with this,” or “I’m sorry you’re hurting so much.” Also, affirm that you hear what they’re saying by saying it back to them in your own words.
How do you cheer someone up?
- Send a cute animal photo
- Plan a game night with a group
- Reach out first
- Do an extra chore
- Send a motivational text
- Watch a movie together
- If you live near them, plan an outing
- Send a letter
How do you reassure someone?
- Be a friend
- Lend an ear
- Offer Words of encouragement
- Support them through their grief
- Celebrate together
- Spend a day together
- Pray together
- Join a grief support group
How do I calm my friend down?
Release some physical energy. Doing something active and physical can help your friend release negative physical energy. This can help calm your friend down or distract them from the situation for a moment. For example, take a brief walk, jog, go for a swim, or bike ride.