There’s more khổng lồ the age-old advice to just “talk it out” than there seems. Here’s some of the evidence that explains why it is so helpful.

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When your car breaks down, you either know how lớn fix it or how to find someone who can. Emotions, on the other hand, are a little harder to fix. There is no wrench you can grab or repair cửa hàng you can take your feelings to. But you do have one tool in your kit you can always use: talking about your feelings. Even just speaking about your feelings out loud to lớn another person can help. So why vị we avoid it or believe it doesn’t work?

There are a lot of reasons talking about our problems can be difficult. Some people (especially men) are socialized to lớn internalize feelings, rather than give voice khổng lồ them. Sometimes the very emotions you’re dealing with — like guilt over something you did, or shame about how you think you’re perceived — can feel so overwhelming that you can’t get up the motivation to lớn talk it out.

Regardless of the reason you might keep it in, talking has powerful psychological benefits that might not be obvious. “Talking about it” is a broad phrase, though, so let’s clarify a bit. When we discuss talking about your problems, it can take a few forms.

Venting to a trusted friend. Sometimes you just need lớn let out how you’re feeling with no real plan for a solution. “I had the worst day at work!” can be the start of a conversation that helps you process the áp lực of a hard day.

Being xuất hiện about your struggles. Sometimes venting lớn no one in particular can help not just you, but others as well. For example, in năm ngoái Sammy Nickalls, a writer, started the social truyền thông hashtag #Talking
It to encourage people to be xuất hiện about their struggles with mental illness. The act of sharing what daily life is lượt thích can help you và others with the same struggles realize that you’re not alone và that what feels overwhelming is actually normal.

What all of these forms have in common is that they are conversations specifically designed to examine và express the emotions you are having, rather than building khổng lồ a specific solution. Figuring out things you can vì to improve your situation is certainly good, but just verbalizing how you’re feeling can, itself, be part of the solution as well.

Why does talking about it help?

Getting a new job, breaking up with a bad partner or investing in your own self-improvement are all practical things you can vì to solve problems in your life. But what good does just talking about it do? When you’re fighting the exhausting uphill battle against your own negative feelings, it can seem as if talking about it is the least productive thing you can do.

In reality, your brain and toàn thân get a lot out of talking.

When you are feeling very intense feelings — especially fear, aggression or anxiety — your amygdala is running the show. This is the part of the brain that, among other things, handles your fight or flight response. It is the job of the amygdala, & your limbic system as a whole, to figure out if something is a threat, devise a response to lớn that threat if necessary, & store the information in your memory so you can recognize the threat later. When you get stressed or overwhelmed, this part of your brain can take control and even override more logical thought processes.

Research from U.C.L.A. Suggests that putting your feelings into words — a process called “affect labeling” — can diminish the response of the amygdala when you encounter things that are upsetting. This is how, over time, you can become less stressed over something that bothers you. For example, if you got in a oto accident, even being in a oto immediately afterward could overwhelm you emotionally. But as you talk through your experience, put your feelings into words and process what happened, you can get back in the oto without having the same emotional reaction.

Research from Southern Methodist University suggested that writing about traumatic experiences or undergoing talk therapy had a positive impact on a patient’s health & immune system. The study argues that holding back thoughts and emotions is stressful. You have the negative feelings either way, but you have to work khổng lồ repress them. That can tax the brain & body, making you more susceptible khổng lồ getting sick or just feeling awful.

None of that is lớn say that talking about your problems, or even talk therapy with a licensed therapist, will automatically fix everything và immediately make you happy và healthy. But, like eating better & exercising, it can contribute lớn overall improvement in your well-being. More important, it can help you understand how and why you feel the way you do, so you can handle your emotions more effectively in the future.

How can we bởi vì it better?

Crucially, not every size of talking about problems aloud can help. In fact, multiple studies examining college students, young women & working adults suggest that co-rumination — or consistently focusing on & talking about negative experiences in your life — can have the opposite effect, making you more stressed and drawing out how long a problem bothers you. Khổng lồ talk about your problems more constructively, there are a few key things you can do.

Choose the right people khổng lồ talk to.

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If you’ve ever talked about how you’re feeling and it seems as if you got nothing out of it, you might be talking khổng lồ the wrong person. Having a trusted friend who will support you (without enabling bad habits like co-rumination) can help. If you need specific advice on a problem, find someone who has faced similar problems and, ideally, has resolved them. And if you need a lot of talk time, try spreading your conversations out lớn multiple people. One person can get worn out, and having a broad social tư vấn system lets you distribute that load.

Choose the right time lớn talk. Just as important as choosing who khổng lồ talk khổng lồ is when you talk lớn them. Your friends may want to tư vấn you, but they have their own lives. Asking if they have the time and energy to lớn talk before unpacking your emotional bags can help you both be better equipped for the conversation. This also means being courteous about their time. Sometimes crises happen & you might need to lớn interrupt someone, but most supportive conversations can wait.

Give yourself an endpoint. Not all conversations about your problems need to lead khổng lồ a plan of kích hoạt for tangible change, but they vì chưng need khổng lồ lead khổng lồ something other than more complaining. Give yourself space khổng lồ vent about your feelings and, while doing so, focus on how you are feeling throughout the process. If you are getting more worked up, take a break. If you find yourself talking about the same things over và over without gaining any new understanding or feeling any relief, try something else lớn process how you are feeling. You may not be able to lớn fix the external problem that is bothering you, but the goal should at least be lớn improve your mood about it.

Talk about the good as well as the bad. Expressing how you’re feeling is healthy. Expressing yourself only when you feel bad isn’t. Whether you are talking khổng lồ friends, partners or on social media, be sure to share your good experiences & feelings when they come up. Talking about these experiences can reinforce them in your brain và make it easier lớn break out of negative thought patterns later. Plus, it helps build your relationships with the people you are close enough to lớn talk to.

Of course, this process can still be messy. Some days, talking about your problems may just be complaining about something that happened at work, but others it may involve crying into someone’s shoulder for an hour. It can feel embarrassing or uncomfortable the first few times, but the more you mở cửa up, the easier it will get to tóm tắt how you feel.






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