A problem shared is a problem halved
Keeping our burdens to ourselves is quite normal (if not necessarily helpful). We often feel we don’t want to talk about what’s bothering us, we don’t want to complain to friends or family about work, we don’t want to appear weak, feel like were overreacting, getting the wrong end of the stick or want to be seen as a whinger. Despite not wanting to moan or rant it’s really not helpful to keep these thoughts in, small things multiply over time and turn into big things that can really have an impact on our mental and physical health.
Even if we’re blowing things out of proportion, there’s usually an element of truth in most situations, you have every right to be unhappy with a situation you are in and talking about it can help. It may let you see someone else’s point of view, double down that you’re right, maybe give you a different perspective or even help you realise that you are wrong. Simply saying things out loud to someone else can help agitate the mindset and change how you feel.
Sometimes we get into a situation where we disagree with someone where there can be a power dynamic and where we are unable to express fully how we feel. Talking to someone else can allow you to vent your frustration, this can be a form of therapy.
We all have a friend, family member or colleague who you can’t disagree with (if you don’t it’s probably you!), they have to be right, won’t see someone else’s point of view or are not prepared to be wrong, they will either shout you down or belittle your point of view. Arguing with these people is folly, all that can happen is they dismiss your feelings and you get more frustrated. Having your say can be more important than a discussion in this situation.
Write down your thoughts
You can even write a letter to the person explaining how you feel. It’s nice to express yourself without being interrupted. It’s amazing how easy it can flow once you get going and sometimes you can gain real insight into how and why you feel the way you do. You may or may not need to send the letter once it’s written, you can burn it, tear it up or keep it in a safe place, but understand that it’s the writing that’s important, not the being read, the recipient is unlikely to change their position.
You get to unburden yourself of the feeling and the emotions, and you get to say what you need, it’s definitely better than carrying around all the emotions and the frustration.
It’s really important that you have safe outlets to discuss how you’re feeling; if you can’t, writing things down is an excellent option.
As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Author: Taz Faruqi, Health and Wellbeing Coach at Trinity Health Group PCN