Generic texts of the “hey, how are you” variety are always welcome. But if you’re texting a friend who has anxiety — particularly if you know they’ve been having a tough time — take it as an opportunity to offer a little extra love and support.
“Anxiety can really send people to a dark place,” Alexa Shank, MS, LPC, CEDS, a psychotherapist and owner of Relief & Recovery Psychotherapy, tells Bustle. Your friend might feel alone, overwhelmed, or completely consumed by worry. And while your text certainly won’t be a cure-all, it might just offer a brief moment of relief.
There’s also the fact that many folks with anxiety find it hard to ask for help and support, Shank says, so if you haven’t heard from your friend in a while — or sense they’re covering up how they feel — be the one to reach out.
“Checking in and offering non-judgment and concern can feel extremely validating and reassuring to those who might feel alone,” Shank says. “Additionally, unlike a phone call, they can re-read your text multiple times if they start to feel down or lonely again.” Here, 20 sample texts to send to a friend with anxiety for a variety of situations.
Alexa Shank, MS, LPC, CEDS, psychotherapist
Tom Jones, APC, MAMFT, mental health expert and clinician
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