5 Reasons Talking Helps Mental Health | Guest Post

--- August 2018 ---

Hello everybody! I'm Chloe and I blog over at Chloe Elizabeth, about all things fashion, lifestyle and mental health. I’m a psychology graduate from the UK and so mental health and illness is something I’m really passionate about, so if you’re interested please do head on over and take a read!

I hope you are all well! I'm guest posting on Victoria's blog today and so I thought I'd talk a little about the power of talking when it comes to mental health. I discuss a little more about my mental health on my own blog, but long story short, I've found that talking therapy is something that helps me. Therefore, I've been super excited to share five reasons why I think talking can help your mental health. It doesn't have to be talking with a therapist; it can simply be a heart to heart with a friend or family member. And, just to clarify, mental health does not necessarily mean mental illness. We all have mental health!

It Helps You to Show Gratitude for What You Have

I really think that talking can be important to recognise what you have, rather than what you don’t have. My therapist was talking to me once about what I have and it completely changed my outlook. I was upset because I hadn’t passed my driving test, and I didn’t have a job. But, I have a roof over my head and a loving family. The sad truth is that, that's so much more than some others have in this world. Obviously, I didn't get up and jump with excitement but it did help me to put things into perspective a little - I am not 'a complete failure', I was just not where I wanted to be at the time and I was in a good position to start changing the things that I didn’t have. Fortunately, I write about my goals on my blog and as you can now see, I have achieved a lot more, including passing my driving test!

Friends Can Offer a Different Perspective

I'm sure you'll all have experienced this before! Whether it's a friend picking out an outfit for you or helping you to make a huge life decision, different people have different perspectives and often, friends will come up with ideas that you've never thought of. When I told my therapist how demotivated I was feeling he told me to get volunteering, and I genuinely think that it's one of the best ideas I've heard. I'm shocked I didn't think of it myself. There's nothing quite like a friend suggesting a new coffee shop for a catch up and it turning out to be the best place ever! 

It Helps to Understand the Root of Where Your Thoughts and Feelings Are Coming from

Understanding where your feelings come from is very important in realising your thought processes. There are some emotions, which we may try to repress and deny, such as jealousy and upset. When this happens, they tend to manifest in unusual ways and sometimes we don’t even recognise where it has come from. Recognising such feelings is the key to being able to change the subsequent actions. It can be really hard to swallow, my therapist told me once that I sounded jealous and it was only at that point that I realised I was harbouring negative feelings because of jealousy, without even realising that I was jealous! Now, a few weeks later, I can recognise the jealousy and rationalize it out. Without going into details, I really had nothing to be jealous about and I've been able to get rid of those painful feelings and thoughts. 

Self Reflection and Self Improvement

This does somewhat link in with my second point, but I genuinely believe that self-reflection is really important. A lot of my own self-reflection comes from looking at my interactions with friends. Sometimes, friends will tell me things and my response to that sometimes says a lot about myself. I learn how to deal with certain things and often, I realise that I'm much stronger than I think I am. My friends and family are a huge motivation when it comes to self-improvement as I think we all want to better ourselves. I believe that everybody has their own path in life, but it's really important to realise that it is much easier to bring each other up and help each other grow, rather than knocking each other down! If you do have friends that bring you down, perhaps that is something to look at and reflect on. Do they make you feel happy, or would you be better off without them?

You Can Help out Another Person

This has been happening more and more recently, but the more I talk to my friends about my own feelings, the more they disclose their own worries and struggles. Obviously, I wish my friends felt happy all of the time (wouldn't it be great?!) and I do want the best for them, but I'm also happy that they feel they can turn to me in their time of need. I can only speak for myself, but when I'm having a tough time with my depression, all I need sometimes is for somebody to listen. To be able to do that for somebody else is a blessing and it is something that I will continue to do for him or her for the rest of my life!

Do you think talking to others helps to improve your mental health? Do you talk about it often? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. First off, huge thank you to Chloe for writing this guest post! Mental health is such an important topic that NEEDS to be talked about in society. As for the questions at the bottom, I absolutely think talking to others helps to improve my mental health. I find that if I keep my thoughts in my head, I get quite grumpy and frustrated. When I'm able to articulate what I'm feeling out loud (even if it doesn't make total sense sometimes) I feel a heck of a lot better. Also, a lot of my friends apologize to me for 'venting' or 'complaining' but THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR! Let's all be there for each other and support one another.

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