3 Things NOT To Say To People With Anxiety

3 Things Not Say To People With Anxiety | Style Through Her Eyes

Here are three things you shouldn't say to people with anxiety along with what goes on inside my head when I hear these phrases and how they make me feel. You might not feel the same way but I am interested in knowing if these phrases affect you too, and if there's anything else that is difficult for you to hear. To those of you who don't have anxiety, I didn't put this together to make you feel bad but to help make you more aware of how powerful words are. In my opinion, they aren't the best words to use with ANYONE but I think it's even worse for people with anxiety.

1) "Calm down."

It's a very blunt and almost heartless phrase to tell anybody.

It makes me feel like you don't care and/or are annoyed with me. I have felt defensive after hearing these words and my heart would beat even faster which didn't help the present situation I was dealing with. It has made me feel embarrassed and like I'm "being too much" when I'm actually really struggling. I am left feeling even more frustrated because it's not that simple. It's a process. I am not a robot and can't "calm down" on command.

2) "You'll be fine."

You're probably right, but you don't know for sure.

It's more than likely that I'll be fine later, but I feel quite the opposite when I'm going through a spell and I have to get through whatever it is I am dealing with first, which might actually be very tough. Maybe people say it because they don't know what to do or say to make you feel better, but it feels like my issues are just being pushed aside like they're nothing.

3) It's all in your head.

This is probably the worst of them. You're better off not saying anything at all.

To me, that's like saying everything I'm thinking and feeling isn't real and that what I am going through doesn't matter. I feel overwhelmed, scared, and unbalanced so when I hear these words everything seems all the more hopeless. I feel even more misunderstood, which then makes me feel different and like I have a problem. I'll shut down and won't feel like I can talk to you.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and tell me what it's like for you. If you don't have anxiety, was this eye opening at all? I'm curious to know what everyone's perspective on this is.

Here are some other posts I have done concerning anxiety and how to deal with it in a healthy way...

Think Of A Wonderful Thought
Overcoming Anxiety With Truth


  1. Well panic attacks can be bio-chemical so no it is not all in your head and even when the source is not bi-chemical it is still very real. So yes all three of these things are uber annoying. But most people don't get what they have not experienced.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

  2. Thanks for this post! Unfortunately those who've never experienced anxiety attacks just don't understand how bad it can be. It was something I struggled with when I was ill and I remember how horrible I would feel when people would tell me it was just in my head. Really one of the worst things to say.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  3. Thanks for writing this wonderful and helpful post. I wouldn't ever say these things to people with anxiety, although I do tell the hubs to calm down, but only over silly things related to Game of Thrones or something. Hope all is well!


  4. Aw, I'm so sorry you've found yourself in these situations, dear! I can certainly relate. I've been very surprised by how difficult it is to communicate through and around anxiety, even with the people I'm closest to. I think when we're in moments of high anxiety we're at the highest risk for being hurt by other peoples' words, and unfortunately it's at those same times that people can say the wrong thing in an attempt to ease our discomfort. People will often tell me "Don't be nervous" which I know is really them saying "I don't want you to be nervous" and I know that comes from a good place, but sometimes it makes me feel edgy because the reality is if I could simply not be nervous then I wouldn't be nervous! Of course, I've caught myself saying that to people who are worrying over things as well; I think it's difficult for people to not say anything (even when that may be preferable) because they want to show compassion. But sometimes I think it's enough to just hear someone say, "I'm sorry you're feeling that way, it must be really challenging. I wish I could help." Empathy goes a long way! :)