When someone we care about is feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, it can be difficult to know what to do. You want to help them but you also don’t want them to feel self-conscious about their situation. So how do you strike that balance? Well, we’ve got some ideas for you!
So, how to help someone with stress?
Know when it’s time to get professional help.
If you notice a pattern of behavior that is unusual for the person or a significant change in their behavior, it’s time to get professional help. See if they are exhibiting symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression by watching for:
- trouble sleeping
- lack of energy and motivation
- changes in appetite (eating less or more than usual)
If you notice these signs and think someone may be suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression- and they’re not taking steps toward getting better on their own- then there’s one more thing you can do: ask them directly if they want your support.
Validate your friend or family member’s feelings.
How to help someone with anxiety?
When someone talks to you about their stress, anxiety, and depression, they are opening up to you. They trust you and know that this is a safe space for them to be themselves without judgment. When someone feels validated by the people around them, it helps them feel more confident in who they are as a person.
Regardless of whether or not you personally agree with what your friend or family member is saying (and even if they’re right or wrong), validation shows them that their feelings have merit and that your concern for them goes beyond the surface level. It lets them know that no matter how hard life gets at times—or how much stress and anxiety builds up inside—you’ll always be there for them when things get tough because validating someone else’s feelings means understanding where those feelings come from in order to offer comfort instead of criticism…or worse yet…silence!
Be willing to listen and be patient.
When someone is experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression it can be difficult for them to communicate how they’re feeling. If you know someone who is going through a hard time or just needs some company, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Be willing to listen and be patient.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Don’t offer advice unless they ask for it because people struggling with mental health issues often feel as if their problems are unique and therefore require their own solutions. However, this isn’t always the case—you may have dealt with similar situations that could help guide your friend through his or her situation by offering your own experiences instead of advice (i.e., “I know how hard it can be when everyone around you thinks they know what’s best.”).
Do not ignore or brush off their feelings.
The first thing to do is to listen. A lot of people think that showing compassion means you have to say something, but it’s more about just listening and not interrupting. You don’t need to give advice or try to solve the problem for them—this will only make things worse. If you’re having trouble understanding what your loved one is going through, try setting aside assumptions or judgments and letting them explain how they feel in their own words.
Don’t minimize their feelings by telling them “it could be worse,” or “you’re still alive,” or “get over it.” This kind of talk can make someone feel like they’re being judged or made fun of because they aren’t strong enough (or smart enough) to deal with stress on their own. It also makes it seem like there’s nothing wrong with feeling anxious in the first place! You might mean well by saying these things, but they can actually add fuel to an already burning fire because they reinforce negative thinking patterns instead of helping someone get rid of those thoughts altogether—which leads us neatly into our next point…
Encourage them to seek a therapist or other health care professional.
In a caring tone, explain that it’s not a sign of weakness to seek help. This can be especially helpful if they have been reluctant to admit they need assistance. They may even have an idea of who they’d like to see, so ask them if you can help with scheduling an appointment or providing transportation there and back.
If your loved one is still unsure about whether therapy would be beneficial for them, encourage them not to worry about what other people might think and just do it for themselves—especially since their mental health is at risk without intervention!
Show patience and understanding.
When you’re trying to help someone who is dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, it can be tempting to try and fix the problem. However, this can make them feel stressed about having another person try to solve their problems for them. Instead of fixing things for them, show patience and understanding by listening when they need someone to talk through their feelings with.
When someone is dealing with stress or depression it’s important to not judge them because they are feeling bad; instead give positive encouragement such as “I’m glad you decided to get help” or “we all go through hard times”. Encouraging words will help lift their spirits while they work on getting better!
It’s also important not criticize them when they are going through a difficult time; instead express empathy by saying something like “that must be tough” or “I understand how that feels”. Letting your loved one know that you understand what its like for them will let them know that no matter what happens in life there will always be someone there for support which helps build trust between both parties involved.”
Try to understand the cause of their stress, depression, or anxiety.
To help someone with stress, anxiety, or depression:
- Understand what’s causing their stress, anxiety, or depression. Is it the job? An illness? A breakup? If you’re not sure why they’re stressed out (or depressed), ask them to explain it to you.
- Understand the symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression (and how they may feel about themselves). For example: Is your loved one irritable? Do they have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? Are they having trouble focusing at work or school? Are they crying more than usual? The more you know about how this person feels inside his/her head and body when he/she is experiencing these symptoms of stress/anxiety/depression will make it easier for him/her to trust you as a support system during this challenging time in his/her life.
- Understand how negative effects can come from being under too much stress over a long period of time—and help him/her learn healthy coping strategies so that he can get back on track without feeling like he needs professional help all the time!
Let them know you’re there for them and that they are not alone.
Let them know you’re there for them and that they are not alone.
Let your loved one know that you are there for them, no matter what. You can say something as simple as “I care about you and want to help.” If the person is open to it, tell them that you’ll be available 24/7 if they need anything. Let them know how much their health means to you, and that their happiness is important to the wellbeing of everyone around them. If possible, offer assistance on finding appropriate professional care or help in making appointments with counselors or therapists who specialize in mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Help them set up a counseling appointment and/or accompany them to the doctor’s office.
- Help them find a therapist, and then help them schedule an appointment at that therapist’s office.
- You can accompany your friend or loved one who is struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression to their first appointment to help them feel more comfortable and relaxed in the doctor’s office environment.
- After taking some time to process what they learned during their visit with the doctor, you can check in with them about how they’re feeling afterwards and if there are any issues that need further attention (e.g., scheduling another appointment).
Help create a safe environment for them at home and at work.
The most important thing you can do to help someone with stress, anxiety, and depression is creating a safe environment for them. This means not making them feel self-conscious of their condition or the fact that they need support. You also want to make sure you do not make them feel like they are alone in this.
Work with their other support system (e.g., family, friends, physicians) to get additional help when necessary.
In addition to helping you support someone with stress, anxiety, and depression, it is important that you work with their other support system (e.g., family, friends, physicians) to get additional help when necessary.
When working with a person who suffers from mental illness or has been diagnosed with depression, there are several things you can do to help them get better. First of all, be patient and understanding of their situation; this will go a long way in helping them feel comfortable sharing what they’re feeling with you. If the person does share their feelings about being depressed or anxious, assure them that it doesn’t make them any less valuable as a human being—their feelings are valid! Also reassure them that there is plenty of help available for people experiencing these issues; if possible provide some resources for getting professional care such as therapy appointments or medical visits if needed.*
There are ways to help others in distress without making them feel self-conscious about their situation
You can’t always help someone who is in distress.
When someone is suffering, they need to be supported in a way that honors their experience and doesn’t make them feel self-conscious about it. When we find ourselves in this kind of situation with another person, we need to ask: “What do I want for myself?” If your friend has depression and is having trouble getting up in the morning or going to work or school, there’s no reason for you to take on their burdens by doing those things for them. There are other ways you can support them through difficult times like this.
You can listen when they do talk about what’s going on, maybe offer some suggestions or advice if they ask for it (but only if it seems appropriate), but don’t try to solve their problems or fix things for them unless you know what would actually make them feel better—and even then, proceed with caution!
How to Help Someone With Anxiety Over Text
Here are some text templates you can use to help someone with depression:
I’m so sorry you’re feeling anxious. I know it can feel like your whole world is closing in on you, and I want you to know that I’m here for you.
If you want to talk, we can do it over text or in person—whatever works best for you. But if you don’t feel like talking at all, that’s cool too! Just know that I’m here if you need me.
Whatever happens, know that I love and support you. You are not alone, and I am here for YOU.
I’m sorry to hear you’re having a hard time.
I know it can be tough to reach out when you’re feeling anxious or alone, but I want you to know that it’s okay to ask for help.
Sometimes we feel like we’re the only ones who have these feelings and thoughts, but that’s not true. There are so many people who get anxiety, and even more people who have felt what you’re experiencing right now.
You deserve to feel safe, comfortable, and happy. You are valuable, and your feelings are real. So please don’t hesitate to reach out when you need help!
I’m here for you if/when you need me 🙂
Hopefully, you’ve learned some helpful strategies for helping someone with stress, anxiety, and depression. Remember that people need support in different ways, so it’s important to know what your friend or family member needs from you.
You should also be patient and understanding as they work through their feelings and get the help they need. And remember, sometimes all it takes is a kind word or gesture to lift someone out of despair—so don’t underestimate the power of your words!