How Talking to Someone Can Help

 
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When you need to get it off your chest

How can talking about your feelings help?

 

Talking about your concerns can give a different perspective

Are you having a rough day? Have you been feeling down for a while? Everyone goes through tough times, and no matter how long you’ve had something on your mind-whether for just a few hours or months-it’s important that you talk to someone about it. You don’t have to confront your setbacks alone. Here are a few of the benefits of talking to someone about how you’re feeling:

Sort through your feelings. Talking about your feelings can help you make sense of them. Sometimes, just verbalizing what is upsetting you to someone you trust can help you sort through your feelings or make the situation clearer.

Put things in perspective. If you’ve been keeping things to yourself, a situation seem more overwhelming than it actually is. The person you talk with might help you see the situation in a new or different perspective. Someone outside the situation might also be more neutral about what’s going on because the outcome won’t affect them personally. The person you speak with might also suggest options that you had not thought about before.

Release tension. Talking through your concerns can also be a great way to vent and release pent-up tension. Just “getting the problem out” can help you feel better. Not only does it feel great, but it can also give you new insights into what’s happening in your life.

Who should I talk with?

Deciding who you want to talk to is an important first step. It’s important that you can trust the person you decide to speak with. You might want to talk with a friend, or someone slightly older, or a family member. Sometimes potential helpers may not have the experience or knowledge to provide the advice or support you need.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that who ever you’re wanting to speak with can hold space for you and let you vent. A good way of gauging that is by asking the person beforehand if it’s okay to talk about something that’s been weighing heavily on you. If they say no, don’t be discouraged. It’s better that they were honest in letting you know they aren’t in a place to help you so that you can find someone who will be able to fully be there for you. That probably took a lot of courage for you both to say, so honor that courage and find someone else to reach out to.

Depending on your situation, you might also want to speak with a professional, like a teacher, mental health professional, doctor or nurse. If it’s necessary, each of these individuals can point you in the direction of someone specially trained to help you cope with your specific issue. If you can’t find someone you know to talk to, or talking to someone you know might feel too embarrassing, you might want to try youth helpline YouthLine at 1-877-968-8491 or by texting teen2teen at 839863, where trained individuals will listen to you. You can call 24/7 to talk with someone if you are in crisis, or call between 4pm and 10pm PST to specifically speak with youth.

Sometimes it isn’t easy

If you’re used to bottling everything up, it can make it very hard to actually talk about what’s going on. Just know, no matter how much or how little you share and get off your chest, you’re allowed to take time to process your feelings and to become comfortable with sharing yourself. Once you find someone that can honor your story and hold space for you to talk freely, you’ll find it much easier to continue doing so. Remember that it’s okay to move at your own pace.

Acknowledgements: This article was partially developed by youth and staff for us.ReachOut.com