Anxiety is a common concern that can cause much stress for the individual experiencing it. Anxiety is characterized by constant, seemingly uncontrollable worry. Here are some things to say that may be encouraging to someone struggling with anxiety.
They Might Be Thinking:
I can’t stop thinking about the future, no matter how hard I try.
It’s incredibly hard for me to stay in the present moment.
My life seems to revolve around trying to avoid being even more anxious.
Everyone tells me to relax, but I can’t.
It seems like once I stop worrying about one thing, I just start worrying about the next.
I never feel like I can slow down.
I feel like I get tired really quickly.
It’s so hard to focus on what’s right in front of me.
I can’t help but be irritable with others, and it makes me feel bad about myself.
Sometimes I can’t sleep, because I just keep thinking about what might happen.
I wish I could just turn my mind off for a little while.
What is wrong with me? Why am I worried about every little thing?
My thoughts are always so negative.
Words That Might Be Encouraging:
It sounds like your worry is hard to control sometimes. I am sorry you’ve been struggling with this. I imagine it’s really hard.
[Self-disclose if you’ve also struggled with anxiety] I know sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one dealing with these things, but I struggle with this at times, too.
Despite how difficult it has been for you, I truly believe you are doing your best.
Although it can be hard to see sometimes, you have done a lot of things to help prepare for the situation you’re worried about already (name the steps they’ve already taken).
I admire your courage in telling me this. I feel like if I were in the same situation, I might not be brave enough to talk about it.
Is there anything that I can do to make things just a little bit easier for you?
It can be hard not to worry about the things you’ve been worrying about. How you are feeling makes a lot of sense.
You have many strengths, such as X, Y, and Z, that I believe will carry you through whatever lies ahead.
Being nervous about the future every day sounds like it would be exhausting.
What can I do for you when your anxiety gets really bad? I want to support you if I can.
Words That Might Be Discouraging:
Worrying is never going to help you.
Just relax. Everything will be fine.
If you can’t handle how things are right now, what are you going to do when X happens?
I think you are your own worst enemy.
I just don’t understand how you can always be so worried.
Maybe you’re going crazy.
It sounds like you’re making mountains out of molehills.
You need a drink.
Stop freaking out.
Worrying about the future isn’t logical.
What do you have to worry about?
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