Find out why talking is good for your mental health…
Why Is Talking Good For Your Mental Health?
Talking about your thoughts and feelings helps you process and deal with them. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, or there’s a worry niggling away at you, it can feel like a weight off your shoulders to open up and talk about it.
Talking over your problems helps to give you perspective, too. Sometimes, that one thing you’ve been agonising over for days can suddenly seem less important when you say it out loud. You may even find a solution to your problem as you talk through it.
It’s healthy to talk. Your mental health can suffer when you keep worries and fears bottled up inside. You feel more stressed, anxious and, sometimes, depressed. Sharing your troubles helps you relieve these pent-up feelings.
Who Could You Talk To?
You might find talking uncomfortable and awkward at first but, the more you practice, the easier you’ll find it. When it comes to choosing a person to confide in, that’s entirely up to you. Ask yourself: Who do you feel most comfortable opening up to? Who do you know that is a good listener? Will this person be judgemental?
You might want to talk to:
- A friend
- Family member
- Teacher or lecturer
- Family friend
- An anonymous therapist on a helpline
Starting A Conversation
Talking about your feelings can be scary. You might be worried you won’t be able to put your feelings into words or wary of the reaction you might get. Often, people who have mental health problems feel isolated and lonely, making it more difficult to speak up. Try to put these worries aside and focus on the benefits you’ll get from talking about your mental health. It’s the crucial first step to getting the support you need.
These ideas might help you:
- Choose a moment when you won’t be interrupted and take a deep breath. To get the conversation started, you could begin by saying, “Recently, I’ve been thinking/worrying a lot about ____________ and it’s making me feel ____________.”
- You could take notes with you if you think that might help. Write down everything that’s been on your mind or the topics you want to talk about. This can help to keep you on track if you feel overwhelmed or struggle to communicate your worries clearly.
Peer support groups can be another option. They’re a great source of comfort for people who are facing a range of issues. Groups are available for people who share common struggles or experiences with things like:
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Racial prejudices
Peer groups can be an effective tool to help you cope with whatever challenge you’re facing. It can be reassuring to talk to and hear from people who are going through similar experiences to you. Having the support of your peers makes you feel accepted and understood.
The great thing about peer support groups is that everyone who is there is equal. Everyone’s experiences matter. Everyone’s voice will be heard. It’s a safe space where you can share your stories, ask for advice, and give advice. There’s no pressure to speak if you don’t want to – you can simply listen. Hearing others’ experiences and their individual ways of coping can be helpful for your own healing journey.
For more information on peer support, click here.