When was the last time that you really opened up about your feelings and your mental health? Women are seen as generally better at it than men, but many can still struggle to express how they’re feeling. Whether you’re stressed or feeling depressed, opening up to other people about it can be tough. You might feel like you don’t want to burden others or maybe you think that they won’t understand. While talking about your mental health can be hard, it offers a range of benefits. Talking to anyone, from friends and family members to medical professionals can help you to confront your feelings, instead of burying them.
Deal With Stress and Enjoy the Release
Many people find that talking about their mental health is a huge release and a relief. When you’re trying to deal with everything on your own, it can feel like a weight on your chest. You feel like you’re having to carry this weight around, and that it’s your burden alone to carry. However, once you begin to open up to someone else, it can feel like that weight is lifted. While talking to someone won’t necessarily make everything better, getting everything out there can be extremely cathartic.
Find That You’re Not Alone
One of the most surprising benefits of talking about their mental health for many is finding that they’re not alone. Whether you’re discussing how anxiety affects you or talking about feeling stressed at work, you can discover that you’re not as alone as you think. A lot of people manage to convince themselves that they’re abnormal and that everyone else seems to be getting on with things while they’re struggling. But opening up about your feelings often helps you to realize that other people share your experiences. We’re all very good at pretending that everything’s fine when we should really be more open about when things aren’t so good.
Understand Your Feelings Better
Opening up about your mental health can help you to get a better handle on your emotions. By talking about what you’re thinking and feeling, you can start to get a better understanding of what’s going on in your head. When you keep things to yourself, everything can get confusing and overwhelming. But once you start to voice your thoughts, you can organize them better. Talking might help you to see how irrational some thoughts are, or help you to understand why you’re feeling the way that you feel. The people you talk to can help you understand yourself too, especially if you choose to speak to a therapist or psychologist.
Understand Other People’s Feelings Better
Being more open about your mental health can also help you understand other people’s emotions better. You might not always be able to relate exactly, but you will understand what it’s like to share your feelings and open up to others. Examining your own mental health can lead you to develop a new perspective on other people’s. Whereas you might have found it difficult to empathize before, you could discover that you’re more willing and able to see things from someone else’s perspective. By getting in touch with your own feelings, you can be more understanding of other people’s emotions, and a better listener when they need someone.
Avoid Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Talking about your mental health is one way to avoid developing unhealthy coping mechanisms. Many people turn to unhealthy solutions to drown out their thoughts or distract themselves from what’s going on in their head. It could be anything from drinking or drugs to working all the time. If you do develop unhealthy coping mechanisms, talking therapy is one of the key methods that can help you to give them up. It’s not uncommon for people in outpatient drug rehab to be dealing with both a substance addiction and an underlying/co-occurring disorder, such as depression. These unhealthy coping methods tend only to make things worse, but talking about your mental health can help you to overcome them or even avoid them altogether.
Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Speaking to others about your mental health also helps you to find healthier coping mechanisms. Talking itself is one way to deal with things, whether you speak to a friend or have regular appointments with a therapist. Opening up about your mental health can also help you find other ways to cope, especially when you find people you feel comfortable sharing with. Many people swap tips for self-care and advice about how to deal with things day-to-day. You might have a group of friends you share with or even a support group. You can use things like arts and crafts, physical activity, meditation and many other things to work through your thoughts and emotions.
Get the Medical Help You Need
Another excellent benefit of opening up about your mental health is that you can get help from medical professionals and therapists. Some people can find that they benefit from medication, while others can find that a range of different therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can be helpful. Being able to talk about your mental health means that you can ask for help from your doctor, make an appointment with a therapist or ask a family member or friend to help you get the help you need.
Help Others By Being More Open
Being more open about your feelings can help other people too. If people you know see you willing to talk about your mental health, they might see that it’s ok for them to do too. By listening to you talk about your experiences, they might feel like they’re not so alone and start to open up too. All of the benefits that you experience from opening up about your mental health could be benefits that they enjoy too. Championing the advantages of talking about mental health can help you and allow you to reach out to others as well.
Talking about your mental health can help you in lots of different ways. Start opening up more if you want to grow as a person.