Stress happens to all of us, but it doesn’t take very many years of friendship to realize that some people have more stressors in their life or are more prone to feelings of anxiousness. As a friend, you just want to help, but you can’t always make the stressors of life go away. However, you can give the gift of calm to your anxious friends through products that can help them cope.
Whether it’s their birthday, a holiday, or a just-because-we’re-friends day, a gift is always a great way to show you care. Friends come in all shapes and sizes with all manner of stressors. From coworkers that have a lot going on to the new parent in your life to the loaded down college student and everyone in between, stress happens.
While stress may happen to us all, prolonged amounts of it or heavy periods of it isn’t good for anyone. Sometimes, people experience stress long after the cause has ended, and this is called anxiety. So, how do you spot an anxious friend? What can you give them to help?
Signs of an Anxious Friend
Spotting the effects of stress on yourself is sometimes hard, but spotting it in others can be difficult as well. How do you know when your friend might be suffering from a little too much stress and worry?
- Tense Body Language - Muscle tension lingers in people experiencing anxious feelings. Look for clenched fists, foot tapping, and just not sitting still.
- Racing Heart - Stress puts us in a fight or flight state of readiness. Listen for comments about pulse racing or statements about feeling like their running on the inside.
- On Edge Vibe - When people feel on edge from their feelings of anxiousness, you can almost feel it in the space around them. You may pick up on it so much that you start to feel anxious yourself. Are you feeling your own feelings or theirs?
- Worst-Case Scenario Mindset - Does your friend talk about what’s wrong like the world is ending? Are they resistant to any suggestion that things might be okay?
- Poor Sleep Habits - Your friend always needs to grab a coffee first because they never seem to get enough sleep. Your friend is posting cat pics online at 1 a.m. before their deadline.
- Suddenly Irritable - If your friend is snapping a lot more than usual, their struggle to deal with stress may be to blame. Anxiousness causes spiked levels of adrenaline, and it can lead to irritability.
- Control is a Must - When we lack control over what’s bothering us, sometimes we turn to controlling other things. Your anxious friend may come across as bossy, but are they really just needing to feel like they can influence something?
- Situational Avoidance - Your friend will avoid situations where they have to be sociable. However, they may be avoiding other things instead. People, places, activities, or things that might make them worry more will be added to the list of things they avoid.
If you think you have a friend or know a friend who is experiencing anxiousness, it’s always nice to show you care, and when you can combine that expression of friendship with something that can help them self-soothe their mental health, that’s a win-win.
What are some gifts you can give your anxious friends?
Gifts For Stress Relief
Remember, there’s no shame in getting yourself a gift too if you find yourself a little stressed as well.
1 - Smart Essential Oil Diffuser
Your friend knows when they feel the most anxious, and they could probably use the benefits of aromatherapy to help them relax and unwind when they’re home. A smart essential oil diffuser can let them program the diffuser and humidifier to adjust to their needs at different times.
Include a gift of different oils to try to find the aromatherapy that works to soothe their mind. Some of the best options for people suffering from anxious feelings are:
- Ylang ylang
- Lemon balm
Scent is connected closest in our minds to our memories and emotion. Calming scents can help some people bring emotional wellness back into focus.
2 - Noise Cancelling Headphones
Elton John said, “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” He’s also said that we should never be afraid to say, “I need help.” If your friend is in need of help, noise cancelling headphones and some time to decompress with a playlist of some good tunes might be the music therapy they need.
Music therapy can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiousness. Music can also help normalize blood pressure levels and heart rate, which can both be elevated during times of stress. Music can impact the amount of stress hormone levels the body releases as well. Lowering adrenaline and cortisol can help reduce the anxious feelings in the body.
3 - Supplement Gummies For Stress
Telling your friend to take a supplement is probably some good sage advice, but your friend may have trouble remembering to do their every day tasks. Adding something to the shopping list can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task to an anxious person.
Helping your friend by doing a little research can help you choose a supplement that’s formulated to relieve stress, helps keep anxious feelings at bay, elevate their mood, and can help them focus. Some key ingredients to look for on the product label:
- Saffron extract
- Lion’s mane extract
- Rhodiola extract
- Lemon balm extract
- Terpenes like limonene
Finding a supplement like Complete Calm De-Stress Gummies makes taking the supplement fun, and because your friend only has to remember to take a tasty treat once a day to start feeling better, it’s an easy gift for your friend to use.
To guide your friend in using their supplemental gummies send them a link so they know how it will help and what to expect.
4 - Therapy Dough
When kids start to feel anxious, we often take them to do something fun or give them a fun activity. We do this to help them, but what happens when the adults in our life feel anxious? Sometimes adults need a little recess too.
Therapy dough for adults exists to help through aromatherapy and play. Fidgeting is great for taking the mind off of a problem and helping to work through them in the subconscious. There are scented therapy doughs that release calming scents like lavender, peppermint, or orange as your friend kneads and fidgets through their stress.
All of these gifts can tap into a variety of ways to help your friend have a calmer mind and boost their mood. A simple kind gesture from you, a hot cup of tea, a talk, and a gift that will be there after you have to go home may be just the prescription your anxious friend needs.
Remember to look for signs in your friends that let you know that they’re experiencing a bit too much stress. Sometimes stress can manifest itself in a variety of unfortunate ways. Your friend may not even realize that they’re overwhelmed.
Knowing how to help a friend that’s feeling overwhelmed by the stress in their life can be hard. A gift that lets them know that you see them and hope to help them can mean so much. Aromatherapy, music therapy, and calming supplements are all great ways to help naturally reduce feelings of anxiousness.
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert
Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.