A woman on her phone. Text reads: 27 Real Life Texts That Help People Get Through Anxious Moments

27 Real Life Texts That Helped People Get Through Anxious Moments

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When you’re stuck in an anxious moment, with racing thoughts and feelings of panic ricocheting throughout your body, reading an “inspiring” cliché may not be quite what you need to move past it. But inspiring words coming from a friend or family member who knows you — those can be different. Although it isn’t a “quick fix,” a perfectly timed text can at least remind you you’re not alone in your feelings and that you indeed are loved.

To celebrate friends who know what to say (or at least try their best), we asked people in our mental health community to share a text or message they received from a loved one who helped them during an anxious moment.

Here’s what they shared with us:

1. “I don’t know what to do right now to help you, and that’s OK. All I can do is be here for you and I can accept that. I know I can’t make everything go away, but I can hold you while it feels like the world is shattering around us. Your struggle is my struggle, and your fight is mine.” — submitted by Brooklynn G.

2. “Hey, you’re a beautiful, young mother. And I know shit’s always hard… Please, please, please keep being the beautiful mother that you are because even if you’re not in direct contact with the people who support you, you are an inspiration.” — submitted by Rachel M.

3. “After being diagnosed with depression/bipolar disorder/anxiety over 10 years ago, I never imagined I would find someone who could put up with me or better yet fall in love with me. I receive texts like this all the time from my fiancé, but this is the only one I could find right now. Sometimes all someone needs is a little motivation and support, to just to know their effort is not going unnoticed. He’s been my backbone, and I’m so thankful to have someone like him in my life, forever…

4. A tip for anyone with a significant other who’s battling mental illness — if there’s nothing else you can do, just be there to lean on. Mental illnesses are no joke and receiving a simple text with a little bit of encouragement could be enough to turn your partner’s mood around (even if it’s just for a bit).” — submitted by Kristy M.

5. “Progress, not perfection. Telling me and your therapist are both really hard steps to take, give yourself some credit for that. You haven’t truly lost because you’re still here and you’re still fighting. I’m proud of you for that and thankful too because having you in my life has made it better, and I know how hard the fight is, but you keep doing it.” — submitted by Theresa S.

6.  “Keep writing to me. You are never a bother to me. Stay in the present, you will get through this. You may not believe it, but I do. I have faith in you.” — submitted by Ariana M.

 7. “My fiancé sends pictures of our dogs when I tell him I’m not doing well.” — submitted by Erin W.

8. “My sister: ‘It’s OK to feel this way. I am here for you.'” — submitted by Erica F.

9. “You are not your thoughts: you are the person who you always were… and that will come back.” — submitted by Heleen K.

10. “I’m sorry… do you want to offload on me? I’m here for you whatever and whenever you need. Huge hugs xxx” — submitted by Emma L.

11. “I don’t know how to fix this, but I love you.” — submitted Steph B.

12. Submitted by Sarah P.:

13. “This one is kinda silly but from my boyfriend, ‘Think of pink giraffes.'” — Isabel M.

14. “My friend sent me, ‘I don’t know what you’re going through, but I’m here for you if you need me.’ That meant everything to me.” — submitted by Matt N.

15. “My co-worker, ‘Take a deep breath. You got this!’ It was so nice to feel empowered in a moment of weakness.” — submitted by Ashley M.

16. Submitted by Katie L.:

17. “My mom randomly texted me one day while I was having a particularly bad day, and all the message said was, ‘Breathe. Love you,’ and it helped me make it to the next day.” — submitted by Rayne S.

18. “‘I love you.’ Part of my anxiety is worrying that friends and family don’t love me enough and will leave me of their own will.” — submitted by Megan E.

19. Submitted by Grace D.:

20. “Life is shitty, but you got this.” — submitted by Emily W.

21. “My best friend texted me, ‘Maybe you need some rest.’ I changed my ‘plans’ for that moment and laid on my couch and took maybe an hour nap and woke up feeling much better… it was so helpful in that moment because I don’t think I would’ve done that.” — submitted by Lisa L.

22. “I remembered that you have to go through the bridge to get to my apartment. Remember: you will get through the bridge come hell or high water, and plus, you can’t have beer or my company until you get through it, so be brave. You got this, and if you don’t have it I’ll come get you.” — submitted by Brittney L.

 23. Submitted by Brandi W.:

24. “A close friend of mine assures me my brain isn’t ‘stupid,’ it is just trying to help and is misguided. And then sends me a bunch of pics of whatever her cats are doing at the moment. I do the same for her.” — Chriss T.

25. Submitted by Sammi G.:

26. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here.” — submitted Lynsey G.

27. “We’ve got this.” — submitted by Michelle B.

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5 Things That Help My Anxiety When I'm in a Relationship

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When you’re an anxious person, dating can be daunting, especially when it’s a new relationship. Within the first few months, there are several things that could cause your mind to race and your anxiety to spike.

How will we handle our first fight? 
What if they leave when they see how bad my anxiety is? 
How will I get used to a new person’s way of coping with emotion? 
What if they leave the bathroom door open and my dog gets into the trash? 

Having anxiety is hard enough — balancing it with being in a relationship can be even harder. For me personally, it’s been an amazing learning experience.

I’ve picked up tips along the way that help keep my anxiety at bay.

1. Be clear about plans.

With my anxiety, change can be difficult to manage. Particularly sudden changes in plans. For me, the solution has been to create a Google calendar. It may seem weird, but hear me out. I’ve found my anxiety is triggered or spikes when my boyfriend has a change in plans. Creating a calendar helps. My anxiety can’t be triggered if I already know the plans for the weekend.

2. Be patient and understanding.

Getting frustrated or angry with someone who is experiencing anxiety doesn’t help. It can even lead to shame, which is not a positive result. If your partner is going through an anxiety attack, or even just a small episode, be understanding. Be with them in that moment and make them feel safe and heard.

One day my boyfriend and I were hanging out. I went to walk my dog and saw his allergies were kicking in and he had a gigantic bloody spot he wouldn’t stop itching. The entire walk all I saw was the spot, and by the time I got back to my place, I was in tears. My boyfriend asked what was wrong and I started sobbing because one little thought morphed into several ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). Instead of being confused or telling me to “think happy thoughts,” he held me and said, “everything is OK, you’re OK” over and over again until I was OK. With his immense patience and understanding, he brought my mind back into reality where everything was fine. I was able to deal with my thoughts and move on.

3. Replace “I’m sorry” with “thank you.”

I learned this recently while reading and doing research on mental health and wellness topics. I stumbled upon a Huffington Post article where the author replaced apologizing — in situations where she had done nothing wrong — with an attitude of gratitude.

With my boyfriend (and honestly other people I’m close to in my life) I find myself apologizing when I’m anxious or think I’m not good enough. When I need to vent or just talk, he makes time to call me and ask what’s wrong but I have a strong urge to immediately say, “I’m sorry for wasting your time,” or “I’m sorry you had to do that.” So instead of saying things like that, I try to express gratitude. Like, “thank you for making time for me.” This can give your partner love and appreciation, and can make you more confident in your own voice and what you’re feeling.

4. Take time for self-care.

My boyfriend has taught me that taking time to recharge is really important for a relationship and also for yourself.

Self-care is necessary for me to help me manage my anxiety. It helps bring myself back to reality from all the fear-based, negative thoughts that swarm my brain on a daily basis. Because of society’s expectations (which I feel are unrealistic) I’ve always thought to have a good relationship, you had to be together all the time, every minute. But that’s not true. Because of my anxiety it took some adjusting, but when my boyfriend takes a few days to have his own time and space, it actually has nothing to do with me. That’s crucial to remember. I can’t make it personal. This is where being clear and communicating plans and feelings is also important. Thankfully my partner is good at communicating, so I don’t feel like he’s not wanting to hang out.

5. Don’t stop learning from each other.

This may sound cliche, but it’s so true. When I get out of a therapy session, there are three people I call or text. My dad, my close friend, and my boyfriend. This is because I want to keep these specific people updated on my constant bouts with anxiety and share with them the things I’ve learned that week or any realizations. I need a partner who is actively interested in knowing more about my anxiety and how to effectively make things better.

I was out to dinner with my boyfriend and he asked what I talked about in therapy that night (you do not have to talk about it if you aren’t comfortable) and I said, “Are you sure you want to know?” to which he replied, “Yeah because the more I know about it, the more I can understand what you go through.” Right there. That’s the kind of person I want in my life.

Anxiety should not be the reason I can’t be in a happy, healthy relationship — I am enough and deserve happiness.

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5 Responses That Make It Difficult to Talk About My Anxiety

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At times, I am reluctant to talk about my anxiety. It can be uncomfortable for me to share about my anxiety with family and friends. I have tried but when I did, sometimes it was difficult to cope with how people responded.

Here are some of the stressful responses I’ve received when I talk about it:

1. Listening to respond.

Some are concerned with planning a response to what you are saying rather than truly listening. This is a huge issue. I don’t want solutions, other stories or suggestions of things to try as potential cures. I just want to be understood.

2. Sharing a story or experience similar in nature.

Unfortunately, this similar tale may be an attempt “one up” my story about someone  who has a more serious illness or worse symptom. If I tell you about my anxiety, please listen.

3. Offering possible solutions.

I have been offered all kinds of cures from referrals to doctors to magical herbs. Right now, as I am sharing my story with you, I simply want to be heard.

4. Offering religion as a cure.

Prayers are wonderful and I gratefully accept them. But I do not want the power of prayer to shut down an open and honest conversation about my anxiety.

5. Questioning my treatment choices.

When I have shared the story of my anxiety and my subsequent choices about how to manage it, not everyone has agreed with my choices on doctors, medication and lifestyle. People have suggested many other options instead of listening to me and giving me options later.

What I am hoping for when I do share my anxiety with a family member or friend is simply for that individual to listen and demonstrate caring and concern by nodding, saying yes or asking follow up questions. That would show me a person is listening to me and that I am being heard. Simply listening would be a big help to me and my anxiety.

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When Anxiety Showed Up in My Life

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Anxiety.

A seven-letter word that struck me out of nowhere. I can see traits of anxiety in my life before I even knew, but when my anxiety became “a thing,” it took me off-guard.

One night while in bed, I felt a crushing sensation on my chest, shortness of breath, hot and clammy hands and feet and absolutely freaked out over the thought of someone breaking into the house. I knew this wasn’t normal for me.

I spent sleepless nights consistently peering my head out my bedroom window to make sure no one was there. All my senses were alert with any noise I heard. My car — which I had saved up all my money to buy — became a trigger, because I couldn’t bear the thought of my hard work and savings for that car being taken from me. I was checking the front door to make sure it was locked 20 times a night, just in case the last 10 times I checked it wasn’t enough — perhaps I had accidentally knocked the lock the last time I checked and it was now unlocked. These were the outrageous thoughts sweeping through my mind at night. I began to dread nighttime. I hated the thought of coming to the point in the day where everyone was off to bed, the house was dark, and we were meant to sleep.

It then spiraled into my day-to-day life. Leaving the house, driving off before the garage door was down  oh no, better circle back around the block and make sure the garage door came all the way down. Did I turn the hair straightener off? I didn’t use it, but maybe Mum did this morning and she forgot to turn it off, I better go back and check. I can’t be late to anything. I’ll wait half an hour to go through the register and not self-serve because if something with the self-serve goes wrong and someone has to come help me — this is too much.

After becoming severely sleep-deprived while trying to cover all this up, I went to my doctor and said, “I have a problem with anxiety and I need help.” Those were the hardest words to say because never in a million years did I ever think this would be me. That this would be my life.

I can now talk openly about the initial first year of my anxiety and those irrational moments and thoughts I had because I’ve gained some control over it. “Control” seems to be the one thing anxiety doesn’t like; it thrives on having no control. My anxiety is not gone, it never will be, but I can accept that my anxiety is a part of me because it doesn’t take over my life.

I now sleep most of the night, with some hiccups here and there. I can lock the door once and be confident it’s locked. My car can be parked out the front of my house and it’s not a worry for me every night. I still experience my anxiety, but in smaller doses. I feel anxious when I post a letter, hoping that nothing happens to it on the way. When I hear loud wind I hope the roof doesn’t blow off. I feel anxiety when I’m running late or plans don’t run on time. It makes me tired, so bloody tired, 1,000 things running through my head at the same time, two parts of my brain fighting with each other trying to gain control.

It can be a silent struggle as most people are unaware of what is going on in my head. It doesn’t change who I am as a friend, girlfriend, or family member. Instead, my anxiety means I will do absolutely anything I can for those I love, because the thought of not doing enough isn’t an option. My anxiety makes me open-minded as I know everyone has silent chapters we aren’t aware of. It makes me care more for others, strive to achieve great things and it most definitely makes me stronger.

My anxiety doesn’t define me; it’s just a part of me. I am comfortable and confident with who I am now that I have some control back over my life. I think it’s important I talk about it because there are many others who are probably lying in bed at night — overcome with anxiety — and too scared to ask for help because of judgment.

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11 Strategies I Use to Keep My Anxiety Recovery On Point

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In the recent months, I’ve been really trying to be consciously aware of myself and my environment. Whether it’s watching my thoughts or watching other people’s words, I tap into how specific people and vibes affect my thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. I have cleaned up my environment and realized I am in control of what I watch, what I listen to, what I’m reading and who I’m around.

By nature, nurture or a little bit of both, I’m prone to anxiety, but I am 100 percent responsible for the content I feed my soul. In the past few months, I disconnected from the belief that anxiety is a huge part of me and I accepted it’s just something that happens to me sometimes. My relationship with anxiety is healthier now. I’m able to understand it, instead of blaming it. I accepted I am in control and I took responsibility for what once were my excuses.

It hasn’t all been easy. The negative thoughts, the insecurities, the heart palpitations are all slowly creeping in. Some days are better, some are worse, but I’m smiling through the pain. These are the moments of truth. All the coping skills I have learned and implemented are now being put to the test.

So what do I do to stay on point? Some of these things may seem like a long shot and I get it. I used to think these things wouldn’t help until I actually did the work to see for myself.

1. I show gratitude.

First thing in the morning, as soon as I open my eyes, as soon as the negative habitual thoughts start making their way into my conscious mind, I grab my journal and get to writing. What am I grateful for? The birds singing outside the window, hugs, freedom, opportunities, warm blankets, my family. I can keep going forever. But it wasn’t always so.

When I first started writing down what I am grateful for, I could barely think of one thing. So if you find this to be impossible, don’t give up, the benefits are there. Not only do I show gratitude first thing in the morning, but I make sure I interrupt negative thoughts with showing gratitude. As soon as an intrusive thought makes it’s way in, I start listing all the wonderful things and people I have around me. Then I can watch my negative thoughts begin to deteriorate.

2. I filter my content.

I stopped watching TV. That meant no more “Jane the Virgin.” What we watch on TV filters into our subconscious mind and gets stuck. Turn off the shows that give you negative feelings, they are causing more damage than you think. No wonder my anxiety was at its highest during my obsession with shows about serial killers.

3. I control my interactions.

Stop hanging out with anyone who gives you negative emotions. Whether it’s a Facebook friend or someone you go out to dinner with, if they’re giving you bad vibes, disconnect. At least for now. Do you and say no if you need to!

4. I meditate daily.

Stop what you’re doing and download the Headspace app on your phone immediately! Every morning right before leaving the house, I sit and meditate for 10 minutes. Some mornings it really sucks and I can’t wait for the 10 minutes to be up so I can finally leave the house, but sometimes it’s nice to catch your thoughts.

5. I read books.

Before bed, I try to read as much as I can. Honestly, I should be reading more than I do but I am on my way to developing this healthy habit!

6. I listen to podcasts.

I like to listen to podcasts, especially when I’m driving. I noticed listening to podcasts lifts my mood and empowers me. If you try this, I believe you will feel much more empowered and less anxious!

7. I’m learning to forgive others.

Be like the flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it. I make it a priority to send love and positivity to anyone who has ever hurt me. I don’t hold grudges and I understand if someone has hurt me, they are just seeing me as a reflection of themselves.

8. I move.

Like Tony Robbins says, “emotions are created by motions.” I’ve committed to going to the gym every week, not for a summer body, but for a healthier mental state. If the gym isn’t your thing, find what is and get to moving!

9. I cry.

I love to cry. Crying is my outlet when I’m overwhelmed with emotions. I hop into the shower and allow myself to feel and give attention to the things I’ve been holding inside.

10. I talk it out.

Talk out your feelings with a friend, a therapist or me! We care more than you think!

11. I try to be vulnerable.

I will forever share my experiences with anxiety publicly because vulnerability is my greatest strength. Thank you for reading and allowing me to be vulnerable with you.

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Dear Anxiety: I'm in Recovery and I Forgive You

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Dear Anxiety,

How quickly you’ve grown.

I remember your birth. I was confused by your arrival yet my mind accepted you – with no input from me. You were an extrovert in the early stages of life: not present during the day but made sure you were home at night.

My pillow became your pillow. I began sharing the sheets with you, less because I wanted to and more because you’d refuse to sleep without me next to you. You were becoming too comfortable and I couldn’t figure out how to ask you to leave — an unwelcome stay which turned my home into a prison and my body into its amusement park.

As you matured your interests broadened — it made things difficult for me, to say the least. I would try to sit down for a minute and relax, but you’d become hyperactive in times of silence. You’d cry for attention if I ever tried to ignore you. In an unlikely moment of clarity, where the fog of your presence lifted, I felt whole again. I felt as if I could remember the importance of caring for myself without also worrying about your needs.

Your need for me became an unhealthy obsession.

Despite you being ever-present in my mind, I never noticed your insatiable appetite for destruction. I always blamed myself for canceling dinners, rearranging plans or for not picking up the phone; I was too frightened of what my friends would think of you. I never stopped to realize you deceived me. Your viscous lies were the catalyst to my downfall but I couldn’t let you go. You were so deep-rooted in my flesh, my veins and my thoughts that you and I were no longer two separate entities.

I always put you first. Why didn’t you ever take me into consideration?

By this point, nothing else had a purpose in my life. You were always around: at work, in the car, in the park and in my bed. It took away all of my energy coping with you, day in and day out; you were draining me of all that was good. I accepted my life would never be “normal” without you in it. I think you knew that too.

I remember the day when I considered talking to somebody about you. Despite your attempts to dissuade me from ever opening my mouth about our time together, I had to take a chance. I wasn’t afraid of your temper anymore — I could deal with the repercussions, whatever they may have been.

I let the phrase, “I need help, please, can you help me understand…” leave my lips. It felt like barbed wire was being pulled from the pit of my stomach, up through my throat, out through my mouth, cutting everything on its way out.

You, my dear friend, displayed your anger in full force that day. You made sure my heart raced so that my words stumbled in the hopes I would lose my breath and succumb to your rage.

I finally knew who my unwanted guest was. It turned out you have many forms and frequently visit other people to make them feel like me.

All this time, you made me feel alone.

You made me feel isolated and like I wasn’t “normal.” And just like a rebellious teenager, I began ignoring your instructions, I started fighting back — I believed in myself.

The more I fought back, the more I started enjoying “normality,” the less power you had over me. I would put myself through excruciating pain by doing all of the things you prevented me from doing: you made everything difficult for me, but that didn’t matter. Your stay was coming to an end and you knew it.

Over an 18-month period, we wrestled nearly every day but I grew stronger after every throwdown. Confidence began to replace the fear in my stomach, my smile began to replace the tears and the separation between us was becoming a reality. I knew I was worth more and knew you were not forever. I determine when you’re welcome: not you. Not anymore.

It’s funny — as you packed your bags and left, I felt thankful for you. You taught me so much about strength, about appreciating life for what it is and for showing me the courage I never thought I had.

I have no regrets about letting you in; I am not ashamed I looked for help and I’m proud of the experiences we shared together. Without you, my old friend, I wouldn’t be the determined, compassionate and understanding man I am today.

You visit me far less frequently these days and you often only stay the night. The next time you decide to stay, you’ll find this note. A note commending you for your efforts and thanking you for your tremendous ability to bring the best out of me.

I will always speak about you now. I’ll make sure more people know about our time together — the good and the bad.

For now, I’ll end this note with a thank you. You will be remembered.

Yours sincerely,

Ryan

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