Living with your own stress is hard enough, but when someone around you is battling with the pressures and challenges of our modern lifestyle and turns to you for help, how do you cope with their problems as well as your own? Can you focus on their concerns when you have so many of your own?
You can calm down a stressed person by following these steps. Defuse the situation by being kind and offering to help.
- Be a friend
- Listen to their views
- Be sympathetic
- Breathe with them
- Discuss their triggers
- Offer your support
- Advise professional help
Helping and assisting someone else when they are not coping with the stresses of their life is often a great way to help yourself deal with your own stress. By taking some time out of our busy day to listen to someone in need, we can take a step back from our own stressful situation and re-evaluate. Read through our top tips on how to help someone who is stressed out and needs some sound advice.
6 Great Tips To Calm Someone Down Who Is Stressed
When your best friend, spouse, or colleague is in the middle of a stressful situation and doesn’t seem to handle the situation and could be making matters worse instead of better, how do you help them? What can you say to help them calm down and see things more clearly?
1. Be A Friend
If you are a person who genuinely would like to help your friend in need while they are going through that stressful situation in their lives, then your need to be available and be a good friend.
Being a good friend means not judging them and letting them know that you will care for them no matter what. Often, an angry, stressed-out person needs an outlet, a means to vent, and who better to moan to than a great friend? Offer a safe haven and let them know that they can call you at any time, whether it’s during the day or even in the middle of the night, if necessary.
Sometimes panic and stress can overwhelm you while you are sleeping as your mind tries to deal with the happenings of the day. If that does happen to your friend in the middle of the night, let them know that they can call you for help, without fear of making you angry which could add to their stress!
2. Listen To Their Views
If someone is highly stressed and agitated and perhaps causing a scene, the situation needs to be dealt with immediately. The best way to help your friend is to lead the person away from the area into a quieter space where you can sit and talk.
Allow the person to rant and rave if necessary, but make sure you are out of earshot of anyone else. Listen as the person talks and make mental notes of their issues to talk through the problems once the person has calmed down.
Listening to the person is often a great way to defuse the situation. Most of us live in constant stress with the busyness of our lives, and having someone to talk to and understand our views can help. Be the calming presence.
3. Be Sympathetic
You may disagree with your friend, but that doesn’t matter in this situation. Be sympathetic to what they are going through and understand that their views and outlook may change once they calm down. For now, they need a compassionate listener and not a judge.
You can reassure them and remind them that this situation will not last forever and that it will improve. Be kind!
4. Breathe With Them
There are many coping mechanisms that people can learn to help with stressful situations. One suitable, quick and easy method to teach a stressed person is calming breathing techniques. Calm, mindful breathing can help the person take control over their own stress.
Taking a time out for a few minutes, sitting quietly, focusing on something soothing and relaxing, and practicing breathing techniques will change your mood for the better! Sit quietly with your friend and breathe together.
5. Discuss Their Triggers
We all have triggers, something that makes you instantly angry! Learning how to cope with and deal with the triggers will help you get through the stressful situation you are in. By understanding what your triggers are, you could perhaps avoid the situation entirely.
Gently discuss triggers with your friend. Often, the person in the middle of the situation doesn’t realize that they have been triggered, but you can see what happened and why as you are not involved in the event. By pointing out what you have noticed, your friend can learn to cope with the trigger in future situations and deal with it more calmly.
6. Offer Your Support
Brainstorm new ideas and discuss ways that the situation could have been handled for a better outcome. Suggest other techniques to deal with stress, such as going for a walk, listening to music, or drinking water.
Become an accountability partner to your friend and start a journal. Set goals with incentives and rewards – this could benefit both of you and strengthen your relationship!
7. Advise Professional Help
If there is no improvement in your friend and they are not making any steps to manage their stress, then perhaps the best thing to do for your friend is to advise professional help.
As a friend or colleague, your can only offer your advice and assistance up to a point. After that, you may have to take a step back and decide if you can continue your relationship as a friend or if the relationship is too unhealthy for you to continue unless the friend receives professional help.
What To Say To Someone Who Is Stressed?
When dealing with a person who is going through a stressful situation, you don’t want to make their outlook on the situation worse than it already is. In fact, you would like to be the calming influence and help the person get it through it quickly without any more damage. Try using these statements under challenging situations.
Stressed About Work
Most of our waking day is spent at work amongst people we barely know. What do you say to a colleague who has asked you for help with a stressful situation? Sympathy is always the best response.
- I do understand how hard this must be for you
- I understand why you are frustrated
- Can you share your problem with me?
Stressed About Family Issues
Family issues can cause instant stress! Be kind and offer to listen without judgment.
- Be kind to yourself; you are doing your best.
- Can I help in any way?
- Let’s discuss what to do next
Stressed About Life
Life often throws problems at us that we can’t cope with or don’t know how to address. Sometimes all that is required in a stressful situation is your presence.
- I’m here for you no matter what
- Should we talk about something else?
- Do you want to discuss the problem?
What Should You Not Say To A Stressed Person?
When people are stressed, they are often angry and not thinking clearly. What they do not need is more stress piled on top of their already stressful situation. We have drawn up a suggested list of what you should not say to a stressed person and what you could say instead to defuse the situation calmly.
- Don’t say; I know what you mean! Do say, I’m here for you!
- Don’t say; are you ok? Do say, let’s go for a walk.
- Don’t say; are you on medication? Do say I’m concerned about you.
- Don’t say; It’s all in your head! Do say, let’s talk it over.
- Don’t say, why are you getting worked up over this? Do say, how can I help?
If you are trying to help someone who is dealing with a difficult situation, you have the opportunity to be kind and thoughtful without adding to their stress. You might need to be strong and the voice of reason in the situation, but always make sure that the person in need knows you are there to help them get through it. Even if the situation may seem trivial to you, it’s serious to the person dealing with it, so listen to their concerns and be the friend that they need you to be! Try and be encouraging and sympathetic while supporting them in their time of need. You might need their help in the future!