The Importance of Talking
Being able to open up and talk about your life is not always something that comes naturally. For many of us, an experience – good or bad- a trauma of some kind, or simply that you are not much of a talker can harbour a greater fear of sharing your thoughts with others. It could be because of a worry that you will be burdening others, you may feel embarrassed or ashamed that you are struggling to cope, or simply that you are a private person.
However sometimes just letting go of some of the worries, concerns or thoughts can pave the way for you to gain back some control in your life. You may not realise it, but keeping those feelings locked away could be impacting on your everyday existence.
National Conversation Week (18-24 March) is a good opportunity to open up those lines of communication. Whether it be with a loved one, friend, colleague, stranger or a wellness coach like myself, just letting go can be extremely liberating. You may have come across the old saying of a problem shared is a problem halved and nothing is truer when it comes to talking to others at a crucial point in your life.
All too often I meet with people who have been through, or are in the middle of, a crisis and dealing with the many, often conflicting, emotions that run alongside can sometimes be too much to cope with. Shutting off the feelings or adopting an ‘I’ll deal with it later’ approach often backfires, not always immediately, but at some point down the line.
The importance of talking from the outset is key to tackling these emotions head on and leaving your mind free to deal with the bigger picture. Any overarching worries that you are going to bring someone else down with you will be forgotten if you can share your concerns with someone you trust. What is most important is your emotional wellbeing. If your mind is in a good, positive place, it becomes so much easier to tackle any obstacles as they arise.
Sometimes just admitting that your thoughts are even there in the first place is the first hurdle. Distractions and no down time can leave those negative thoughts festering and by the time they reach the surface they are often accompanied by more negative emotions and you are not at crisis point. Equipping yourself with the skills to recognise these negative thought patterns and stop them in their tracks is a life skill that will serve you well both in your personal life and also in business.
Mindfulness is an excellent resource to tap into and can assist with calming the mind and, in turn, the overall situation. Alongside this, talking also dampens the negative or intense thoughts and helps to regain some level of control over them.
Taking that first step is never easy, especially if things have been building for a while. Here are my top tips to help you feel comfortable with starting that conversation.
Find someone you trust who will listen without passing judgement and who will be sympathetic. Quite often the best person here is a professional, especially if what is troubling you could cause conflict. A professional will listen and hear everything you are saying without bias, they could then help guide you on how to have that conversation with the people in your life in a calm way.
Talk somewhere you feel comfortable. There is no point having a chat in a busy coffee shop if you are a private person for example or being in a friend’s house if you would feel more comfortable at home. Simple things like a gentle white noise and making sure the temperature is correct seem odd but they actually aid relaxation.
Do not limit yourself to one conversation. Different people offer different perspectives so talking to more than one person may be beneficial. Likewise, you may need to speak with the same person on a number of occasions as you may need to build trust or find it too difficult and overwhelming to chat about everything in one go.
Remember the vast majority of conversations that happen will have a positive outcome. Try not to think negatively or predict the responses you may receive.
If talking with those you know does not sit comfortably with you, then I can help. Together we’ll explore any obstacles and blocks that are holding you back and I’ll help you to work through them. I’ll be with you each step of the way on your journey, giving you support and guidance.