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12 Phrases People With Anxiety Are Totally Fed Up With

12 Phrases People With Anxiety Are Totally Fed Up With

Anxiety is a terrible disease. Not only do those who suffer from it live in a constant state of worry and panic, but they also have to deal with those who don’t truly understand the nature of the disease. Although friends of those with anxiety are, for the most part, attempting to be sympathetic, sometimes their “words of advice” end up doing more harm than good. Even if you are trying to help, you should never catch yourself saying the following to a person suffering from anxiety.

1. “Stop being so negative!”

People with anxiety wish they could stop focusing on the possibility of bad things happening, but they can’t. Their minds are full of what-if scenarios, and will unwittingly latch on to the worst-case outcomes as if they’re 100% guaranteed. For people with anxiety, pessimism and realism are one in the same.

2. “You just like being miserable.”

We’ve all heard people say “you’re just not happy unless you have something to complain about,” but to a person with anxiety, this simply isn’t the case. They don’t like being miserable, but for many of them, it’s the only way they know how to live.

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3. “You’re so dramatic.”

Life isn’t a TV show. People with anxiety don’t sit around writing their lives out in a script in an attempt to make every situation they face as dramatic as possible. They don’t thrive off of the panicky feelings they get, and they certainly aren’t entertained by them. They know they’re dramatic, and would give anything to not be.

4. “You’re being ridiculous.”

Along with knowing they’re dramatic at times, people with anxiety often know their feelings and intuitions are ridiculous, but they can’t help feeling them. Also, by saying this, you put a label on a friend because of an illness that they can’t help. Do you really think that will help at all?

5. “Try not to think about it.”

This is like saying “Stop thinking of purple elephants.” If you tell someone, especially a person with anxiety, to stop thinking about something, all they’re going to do is think abut it (no matter what “it” is). As a friend, the best thing you can do is steer clear of talking about “it” altogether, and bring up just about anything else to the person’s mind.

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6. “Get over yourself.”

Those who don’t understand anxiety might think the sufferer is just throwing a pity-party. If anything, though, it’s the complete opposite. People suffering from anxiety hate being in the spotlight and don’t want to be the center of attention. They’re not making a huge scene because they want people to feel bad for them; they truly cannot help themselves.

7. “What do you have to worry about?”

A person who truly suffers from anxiety will probably answer this question with “everything and nothing all at once.” They know that, for the most part, there really is nothing to worry about, but since they can’t stop worrying about something (usually an intangible, unreachable something), they tend to worry even more. And insinuating they don’t have anything to worry about, of course, only exacerbates the issue.

8. “You just need to try harder.”

Though anxiety obviously creates observable reactions from those who suffer from it, it’s an internal disease of the mind that can’t be seen by others. Saying that a sufferer needs to “try harder” to deal with their issues makes it clear that you have no idea how much they are struggling to keep it together at any and all times.

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9. “It must be horrible being you.”

File this one under “Gee, thanks.” While you might think such a statement is a sympathetic way of saying “I feel your pain,” a person with anxiety is just going to hear “Sucks to be you.” They really can’t imagine what it’s like to not suffer from anxiety, but would do absolutely anything to live life free of chronic worry. They know it’s horrible; they don’t need you to reinforce that.

10. “Everyone feels that way sometimes.”

Again, this is a vain attempt to commiserate with an anxious individual, but all it does is minimize everything the person is going through. Sure, everyone feels uneasy every once in a while, but the definition of anxiety is a chronic feeling of uneasiness. By definition, unless you feel anxious all the time, you have no idea how a person with true anxiety feels.

11. “You’re just lazy.”

At least the rest of the items on this list are attempts at being sympathetic; this one’s just straight-up mean. It goes along with “you need to try harder,” as if a person with anxiety deserves to have to put extra effort into beating their disease. And, again, just because you can’t see how hard they’re trying doesn’t mean they’re not.

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12. “It could be worse.”

Of course it could be worse. But then, once you say that, all an anxious person is going to think about is how much worse it could be. As I said before, those suffering from anxiety tend to extrapolate and predict chains of occurrences that will lead to even worse scenarios. Saying “it could be worse” might be an attempt to let a friend know they don’t have it that bad, but all it really does is lead to them coming up with hundreds of what-if scenarios leading to pain and suffering.

Featured photo credit: Anxiety / Diane Northman via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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