Why talking boosts your wellbeing

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When you’re feeling down or stressed, sometimes letting it all out and talking about your problems can feel like a load off. Here’s why something as simple as talking can improve your wellbeing.

Humans are social creatures, and whether you’re an introvert or the life and soul of the party, we all need someone to talk to sometimes. Communication is crucial for building strong relationships but it’s also essential for your mental wellbeing. Here’s why.

Getting support
One of the best benefits of talking to people is the support they give us in return. Talking through a problem with someone else can give you new ways of looking at things, put things into perspective and make you feel validated.

Even if you talk to your mate about something that goes way over their head and they don’t have any practical advice to give, just letting it out can feel great if you’ve been bottling it up. Feeling heard is important, and knowing you’ve got someone to turn to can make all the difference.

Having a support network around you has many benefits. Studies have found that those with people they can turn to are more likely to recover from illness, experience less stress and live longer than those who don’t.

Understanding your feelings
Talking is a great way to release emotions you may have been holding onto, giving you the space to process them and begin working through them. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how you feel until you start talking, and if you’ve been holding it all in for a while, they might all tumble out as soon as you start.

Identifying what you’re feeling can help you begin to act to resolve what’s bothering you. If you’re not sure what you’re feeling, that’s ok too – just keep talking and you may find that through the course of the conversation you’ll chance upon something that makes sense.

Knowing you’re not alone
All too often when you’ve got something weighing on your mind it’s easy to think you’re the only one going through it. That can make us feel isolated, and make the problem feel huge and difficult to deal with.

Opening up can help you see that what you’re feeling isn’t rare. It’s thought that 1 in 4 of us suffer with mental health problems, so you can see how likely it is that the mate you confide in will have some experience of what you’re going through if that’s what’s going on.

We all know that stereotype of men not talking to one another about anything deeper than footie or booze, but we’re not Neanderthals. Chatting to your mates about whatever’s on your mind will encourage others to share too, and it’ll bring you closer.

Improved mental health
Talking is so good for your head. Airing out your problems, thoughts and feelings releases tension and improves your mental health, even if your problems aren’t solved immediately.

Getting support from friends and family is a fantastic idea that can give you a much-needed outsider’s perspective, but sometimes you might find talking to a professional more helpful.

Talking therapy is extremely effective for things like depression and anxiety. It’s so effective because as well as releasing all that’s pent up in your head, a good therapist can give you tools and guidance that’ll help you break free from negative thinking and help you handle stress in a healthier way.

Not ready to talk? That’s ok. Talking about things you don’t usually talk about can feel awkward or overwhelming. If you’re not ready, try journaling instead – grab a notebook and a pen, or even the notes app on your phone, and write down thoughts, feelings, or anything you want to get out of your head.

This is more one sided than talking to someone, but sometimes writing can also help you make sense of what’s going on in your head, so it’s worth a shot.

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