When a Loved One Is Stressed

Posted Aug 13, 2018

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Summary

  • There are steps you can take to make a stressed-out person feel better.
  • Listen, ask questions, shift the focus to the positive, and help her calm down.

We can feel helpless when someone we love is under stress. We many not even truly understand the cause or level of the stress.

While a certain amount of stress is normal, too much can lead to physical and emotional illness.

When we see a loved one struggling like this, we want to help. But what can we do? We may not be able to fix someone’s problem, and it is not our job to manage someone else’s stress. But if we want to help, there are steps we can take to help her feel better.

Listen

Experts say the first thing we need to do is listen. Put away your phone and turn off the TV and give him your full attention. Sit or walk with your loved one in a quiet place so there are few distractions. A mistake we often make with children is to try to offer solutions first instead of listening first. People need to vent. They want to feel heard. They probably know the solution to some of their stress but need to process it all emotionally first.

Ask questions

No one really knows what another person is thinking or feeling. The only way to find out is to observe and ask good questions. The questions should not make people feel bad or guilty but get them to open up. Ask things like—How are you feeling? What are you thinking? How is your sleep? Are you eating enough? Have you been to a doctor? What can I do to help?

Help her calm down

Try to get her to calm down by taking slow deep breaths with a long slow exhale. Get her a glass of water and some food. Get her moving. Take a walk outside. Sitting or walking in a park among trees and nature can be very soothing. Offer her a quiet space to lie down or sit quietly.

Shift the focus to the positive

Almost nothing is all bad. Help the person see some positive points. For example, if a co-worker is having a hard time point out, “You’re a good daughter, and you’re a good friend.” That will help her look at the bright side and the bigger picture.

People who are under stress often think the worst is around the bend. Help them see other options. Trouble at work does not mean he is going to be homeless. A breakup with someone does not mean she will be alone forever.

What not to say or do

Do not offer simple solutions like “relax” or “chill out” or “snap out of it.” Do not be tempted to say “a lot of people have it worse than you.” Stress and anxiety are real physical and mental conditions that take work, help, and time to improve.

Avoid taking him to stressful situations like loud parties or bars. Avoid alcohol and too much caffeine.

Help

Offer practical help where you can. Some ideas include:

  • Babysitting
  • Running errands
  • Helping around the house
  • Exercising with her

Remember, the most important thing you can do is listen, spend time with him, and keep in contact.

Some signs that someone needs professional help include:

  • Misuse of drugs and alcohol
  • Not eating or sleeping
  • Expressing violent thoughts
  • Feeling hopeless

For more information, call the toll-free number on this site.

Resource

“Coping With Stress,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

By Amy Fries

Summary

  • There are steps you can take to make a stressed-out person feel better.
  • Listen, ask questions, shift the focus to the positive, and help her calm down.

We can feel helpless when someone we love is under stress. We many not even truly understand the cause or level of the stress.

While a certain amount of stress is normal, too much can lead to physical and emotional illness.

When we see a loved one struggling like this, we want to help. But what can we do? We may not be able to fix someone’s problem, and it is not our job to manage someone else’s stress. But if we want to help, there are steps we can take to help her feel better.

Listen

Experts say the first thing we need to do is listen. Put away your phone and turn off the TV and give him your full attention. Sit or walk with your loved one in a quiet place so there are few distractions. A mistake we often make with children is to try to offer solutions first instead of listening first. People need to vent. They want to feel heard. They probably know the solution to some of their stress but need to process it all emotionally first.

Ask questions

No one really knows what another person is thinking or feeling. The only way to find out is to observe and ask good questions. The questions should not make people feel bad or guilty but get them to open up. Ask things like—How are you feeling? What are you thinking? How is your sleep? Are you eating enough? Have you been to a doctor? What can I do to help?

Help her calm down

Try to get her to calm down by taking slow deep breaths with a long slow exhale. Get her a glass of water and some food. Get her moving. Take a walk outside. Sitting or walking in a park among trees and nature can be very soothing. Offer her a quiet space to lie down or sit quietly.

Shift the focus to the positive

Almost nothing is all bad. Help the person see some positive points. For example, if a co-worker is having a hard time point out, “You’re a good daughter, and you’re a good friend.” That will help her look at the bright side and the bigger picture.

People who are under stress often think the worst is around the bend. Help them see other options. Trouble at work does not mean he is going to be homeless. A breakup with someone does not mean she will be alone forever.

What not to say or do

Do not offer simple solutions like “relax” or “chill out” or “snap out of it.” Do not be tempted to say “a lot of people have it worse than you.” Stress and anxiety are real physical and mental conditions that take work, help, and time to improve.

Avoid taking him to stressful situations like loud parties or bars. Avoid alcohol and too much caffeine.

Help

Offer practical help where you can. Some ideas include:

  • Babysitting
  • Running errands
  • Helping around the house
  • Exercising with her

Remember, the most important thing you can do is listen, spend time with him, and keep in contact.

Some signs that someone needs professional help include:

  • Misuse of drugs and alcohol
  • Not eating or sleeping
  • Expressing violent thoughts
  • Feeling hopeless

For more information, call the toll-free number on this site.

Resource

“Coping With Stress,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

By Amy Fries

Summary

  • There are steps you can take to make a stressed-out person feel better.
  • Listen, ask questions, shift the focus to the positive, and help her calm down.

We can feel helpless when someone we love is under stress. We many not even truly understand the cause or level of the stress.

While a certain amount of stress is normal, too much can lead to physical and emotional illness.

When we see a loved one struggling like this, we want to help. But what can we do? We may not be able to fix someone’s problem, and it is not our job to manage someone else’s stress. But if we want to help, there are steps we can take to help her feel better.

Listen

Experts say the first thing we need to do is listen. Put away your phone and turn off the TV and give him your full attention. Sit or walk with your loved one in a quiet place so there are few distractions. A mistake we often make with children is to try to offer solutions first instead of listening first. People need to vent. They want to feel heard. They probably know the solution to some of their stress but need to process it all emotionally first.

Ask questions

No one really knows what another person is thinking or feeling. The only way to find out is to observe and ask good questions. The questions should not make people feel bad or guilty but get them to open up. Ask things like—How are you feeling? What are you thinking? How is your sleep? Are you eating enough? Have you been to a doctor? What can I do to help?

Help her calm down

Try to get her to calm down by taking slow deep breaths with a long slow exhale. Get her a glass of water and some food. Get her moving. Take a walk outside. Sitting or walking in a park among trees and nature can be very soothing. Offer her a quiet space to lie down or sit quietly.

Shift the focus to the positive

Almost nothing is all bad. Help the person see some positive points. For example, if a co-worker is having a hard time point out, “You’re a good daughter, and you’re a good friend.” That will help her look at the bright side and the bigger picture.

People who are under stress often think the worst is around the bend. Help them see other options. Trouble at work does not mean he is going to be homeless. A breakup with someone does not mean she will be alone forever.

What not to say or do

Do not offer simple solutions like “relax” or “chill out” or “snap out of it.” Do not be tempted to say “a lot of people have it worse than you.” Stress and anxiety are real physical and mental conditions that take work, help, and time to improve.

Avoid taking him to stressful situations like loud parties or bars. Avoid alcohol and too much caffeine.

Help

Offer practical help where you can. Some ideas include:

  • Babysitting
  • Running errands
  • Helping around the house
  • Exercising with her

Remember, the most important thing you can do is listen, spend time with him, and keep in contact.

Some signs that someone needs professional help include:

  • Misuse of drugs and alcohol
  • Not eating or sleeping
  • Expressing violent thoughts
  • Feeling hopeless

For more information, call the toll-free number on this site.

Resource

“Coping With Stress,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

By Amy Fries

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2018 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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