We’re just a few weeks out from Bell Let’s Talk Day, another wonderfully successful day that had people tweeting, sharing, texting, and talking about mental health. But, why is talking such an important part of taking care of ourselves and managing any mental health concerns? Here are just 4 reasons why talking can be helpful:
We often spend time denying or trying to talk ourselves out of struggles. “I’m not that stressed”, “It’s not a big deal”, or the all-too-often heard “It’s just anxiety”. Anyone who experiences ongoing anxiety will tell you that there is no “just” about it. It and other mental health concerns can be debilitating and exhausting.
And talking about it makes it real. If we focus on what is actually happening, what we are really feeling and thinking, we can let go of the inclination to minimize and dismiss what is getting to us.
You’re not alone
So many people say that they feel like nobody can relate to or understand what they’re experiencing. But, once they talked to someone and heard “Me too” or “I hear you”, they didn’t feel so alone. Being with your thoughts and feelings on your own can be lonely. Talking means that you are sharing with someone else and even if that person can’t change or fix anything, it can help release pent up emotion and isolation.
You can get perspective
Thoughts can seem different when they are outside your head rather than inside. Keeping things in can make them grow and overtake your other thoughts and feelings. But sometimes saying them out loud can give us a new perspective and diminish some of their power.
For example, you may feel overwhelmed by demands, but sometimes saying out loud what you need to do can make it seem just a bit more manageable and help you make a plan to move forward.
It’s about you
Whether it’s with a friend, a neighbour, or a counsellor, it’s nice to know that you are the focus of a conversation. We can spend so much time caring for and focusing on others that we don’t take the chance to check in with ourselves.
A safe space where you know you will be listened to without judgment can be immensely powerful. Embrace it when you have it, and seek it out if you don’t. And know that it’s OK for it to be about you and what you need.
Want to talk but not sure where to turn? Check out our free walk-in counselling available throughout Halton.