Struggling to think of encouraging words for someone who is stressed out?
You know you’ve been in their shoes before, but there’s no guarantee the words that helped you feel calmer and more in command of yourself will have that effect on everyone.
You don’t consider yourself an expert on how to help someone with stress.
But you’d like to get better at it.
We want to help.
How Do You Comfort Someone Who Is Stressed?
It’s not always easy to know what to say to someone who is stressed.
Maybe you know what to say when you’ve been where they are, but even then, you may not respond the same way.
And it’s tougher when you’ve never experienced what they’re going through.
Start by doing your best to empathize with them, even if you can only try to imagine what they’re feeling.
A strong aptitude for empathy helps, but it’s not enough on its own. It’s the trying that matters most.
Try to see things from their perspective. Even if what’s bothering them doesn’t bother you, never assume that they must be overreacting.
Put yourself in their shoes for a bit and try thinking about what you’d need to hear.
15 Things To Say to Someone Who Is Stressed
Look through the following list for encouraging messages that fit your relationship. Make a note of those that say what you’d want to say.
1. “I’m here for you. How can I help?”
You want them to know you’ll always want to be there for them — especially when they’re feeling low or overwhelmed. With this message, they’ll know you’re ready to do anything for them. Or, if they don’t, you can make the sentiment clearer.
Talk is easy, anyway. Show your commitment by taking some action.
2. “You’re not alone. I’ve got your back.”
You never want them to feel alone or like their concerns don’t matter to anyone else. Remind them they don’t 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 don’t hesitate to stand up for or stand with them, whatever it might cost you. You’re the friend they can always count on.
3. “This is nothing new for you. You’ve got this.”
They’ve been through similar situations — not that that makes their present situation isn’t still a challenge. You trust that they have what it takes to deal with it and come out on top. You’ve seen them triumph before, even when things looked bleak.
And you want their self-confidence to match the confidence you have in them.
4. “One thing at a time. What do you want to focus on first?”
Sometimes we try to take on the whole mess in one go — or we feel like we have to. Remind your friend they’re allowed to focus on one thing at a time. Encourage them to slow down, take a moment, and then choose one action to take.
By taking it one step at a time, they’ll get closer to the finish line in the smoothest and most enjoyable way possible.
5. “I’m here (always) if you want to talk..”
If they don’t want you to help them do the thing, you can still offer to listen to what they want to say about the situation. Besides, it gives you a chance to spend time with one of your favorite people (or your favorite person of all time).
Being there to listen with your undivided attention is one way to let them know you love them and want to be there for them.
6. “What you’re feeling right now is 100% understandable.”
Validate what they feel if you don’t fully understand it. Trust that their feelings are real and overwhelming, and let them know you take them seriously. Never assume they’re overreacting or being melodramatic to get your attention.
7. “I am so proud of you!”
Telling them you’re proud of them can help them feel calmer and more confident about handling things. Just knowing they’ve impressed someone whose opinion matters to them can change their perspective on the situation.
Your pride in them may be the motivation they need to change their focus.
8. “Considering what you’re going through, you’re doing great!”
Let them know you see what they’re going through—and also how well they’re doing despite it. They’re in the thick of it, and you admire how they’re holding up and are still determined to do your best — even if they need a moment to collect themselves.
9. “I have no doubt that, no matter what you’re feeling right now, you’ll find a way to make something good happen. It’s what you do.”
You see them as the fighter they are, which is essential–especially when they don’t see it. Everything feels like too much, and they’re feeling exhausted and lost. But you know they’ve handled worse.
You’ve seen them turn difficult situations into catalysts for learning and growth. And you’ve no doubt they’ll do it again.
10. “I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. But I’m glad to be here with you.”
You see what they’re dealing with, and you never like to see them suffer. But you’re grateful to be there with them since it makes it more likely you’ll be able to support them in some way.
Even when they’re under stress, they’re still your person. And where they are is where you want to be.
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11. “You’re more powerful than you realize. Take all the time you need. Then jump right back in.”
You see more in them than they’re currently able to see in themselves, and you want them to know that.
Whatever they’re facing, you want them to take the time they need to regroup and see the situation more clearly, so they can come back with renewed energy and fresh ideas. And you’ve no doubt they can muster both.
12. “I’ve watched you respond to stress by pivoting and trying something new. You’re the bravest person I know.”
You’ve seen your friend take a stressful situation and use it as a signpost. They can adapt with a pivot that takes them in a new and more promising direction.
They inspire you to do the same, and your life has improved in immeasurable ways. They make you feel braver than you’ve ever been. And you want them to know that.
13. “Can we just take a moment to focus on what you’ve accomplished so far?”
You want to encourage them to reflect on what they’ve achieved so far in their life because it inspires you to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. You also love talking about them to anyone who will listen.
They’re a driving force in your life, and you never want to go back to a life without them.
14. “Whatever you do, don’t sell yourself short. The world is so much better with you in it.”
Your world, especially, has gone through a metamorphosis, thanks to them. And you know they’ve most likely had that effect on others, too.
How could they not? You honestly don’t know who or where you’d be if you’d never met them, and you don’t like to think about it.
You’re just grateful they’re in your life. And you can’t bear the thought of them not knowing that.
15. “Even if this doesn’t turn out as you hope, you’ll learn something that will benefit you. That’s always a win.”
Life is a bag of surprises–not 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 they’ll learn something valuable from it, whatever happens.
They’ll use that experience to learn what they need to from it—and make you prouder than ever.
Now that you’ve looked through all 31 encouraging messages for your stressed-out friend, which ones stood out for you?
And which will you use first?