Sometimes, life becomes too overwhelming to bear. You lose someone you love or a job or find yourself stuck in a rut and anxious all the time. In such situations, it may feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.
It’s worse when everyone around you seems to be having the time of their life. You start believing no one can relate to your situation. As a result, you find that you feel lonely, even when people surround you.
If you’re not the kind of person who is comfortable opening up to others, it’s even more challenging. Bottling up all the emotions can affect your overall well-being. You may end up developing depression and other mental health problems.
You shouldn’t let it get to that. When you’re going through a rough patch, it’s crucial to open up. The benefits of talking to someone about your problems cannot be overestimated. We’ve included some of these benefits and a guide on how to get the help you need. Let’s dive right in.
Why It’s Important to Open Up to Someone
Most people are afraid to open up because they fear being judged or misunderstood. There’s also a chance that the person you talk to won’t offer the solution you need. However, you shouldn’t go through traumatic experiences alone.
Whenever you’re feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed or sad, talking to someone can ease the burden. As they say, a problem shared is half solved. Opening up comes with a plethora of benefits. Some of these include the following.
It Allows You to Sort Through Your Feelings
When you’re stressed out and in a state of heightened emotions, it’s challenging to pinpoint the cause of the issue. You may feel like you’re a spectator in your own life. You try to play an active role in your life and fix what’s bothering you. Still, your emotions have the better of you.
It happens. However, keeping it to yourself and hoping the feeling goes away won’t help. When you talk to someone, you allow yourself to express how you feel. Not to mention, you’re in a better position to figure out how you started feeling that way.
You Get to See Your Problems from a Different Perspective
Another reason why it’s essential to talk to someone is that it gives you a different perspective. If the person is a good listener, they’ll be able to repeat what you’re saying uniquely. When they do it, you may gain a new understanding of the situation you didn’t have before.
Furthermore, when you’re talking to someone, there’s a possibility you’ll articulate something you didn’t understand before. This back and forth communication allows you to stop focusing too much on your emotions and see what the reality is. It also offers you different solutions on how to move forward.
You Realize You’re Not Alone
When you’re going through a rough patch, you may feel like you’re the only one experiencing what you’re going through. Most people also feel very lonely and can’t find someone who can relate to their troubles. Opening up will make you realize that your situation is not unique.
The person you talk to may have gone through a similar situation. If not, they may know someone who has been in your shoes and overcome. Hearing it will encourage you to keep going and may inspire you to pick yourself up and move forward.
It’s an Excellent Distraction
In times of anxiety, worry, grief, or stress, the last thing you should do is be alone. Isolation only gives you more time to think about what you’re going through. As a result, you only get worse. It’s for this reason why you need to talk to someone.
While they may not offer the solutions you seek or say what you want to hear, it’s an excellent distraction. During the time you’re talking to them, you step away from your emotions for a while. Doing so is more beneficial than sitting alone, thinking about how terrible life is.
It’s Good for Your Relationships
In life, you need the kind of friends who will show up when you need them the most. If your friends are fair-weather friends, you won’t think of anyone to turn to when facing challenges. However, you won’t know until you ask.
When you begin these in-depth conversations with your friends or relatives, you’ll see a change in how you relate. If you’ve not been checking up on each other, there will be more of that. Furthermore, you’ll find that you’re more sensitive to everyone’s feelings, including those who always put on a brave face.
Start Opening Up: How to Get the Help You Need
As you can see, talking to someone about your problems has a chockfull of benefits. However, if you’re not comfortable opening up, you may wonder how to go about it. Do you talk to your friends, family, or start seeing a therapist?
Everyone is different. While some people prefer sharing their troubles with friends and family, others would rather talk to a stranger. Whichever you prefer, the bottom line is that you need a reliable support system to get through rough times. The following are some of the best places to turn when you need to talk to someone.
Your Support Environment
Challenges are inevitable. Everyone goes through a rough period at some point in their life. Therefore, it’s essential to build a strong support environment to help you cope and get on the other side stronger. For most people, the obvious choice is friends and relatives.
However, just because you’re close to someone, it doesn’t mean they’re the right people to talk to. Also, you’ll find that you need different persons depending on what you’re going through. There are several ways to identify people who make up your support system.
- How trustworthy are they?
- Do they have excellent listening skills?
- Do they give reliable advice?
- Will they offer guidance without fear of hurting your feelings?
- Does the person always show up when you need them?
Join a Support Group
There’s nothing as comforting as knowing you’re not alone when facing challenges. Talking to someone who has been in your situation and overcame can prove very beneficial. It also helps to be around people who are going through what you’re going through. You can inspire each other to make a difference and share effective coping mechanisms.
A support group is an excellent place to find such people. Since everyone in the group understands your situation, they’re in a better position to give you the support you need.
There are several ways to go about finding such an environment. If you prefer to stay anonymous and don’t want to interact face-to-face with the participants, online groups and forums are the way to go.
Talk to a Friend or Family Member
If you have a close friend or relative, you should also consider talking to them. They’ve known you for the longest time and will be able to understand how to comfort you. Not to mention, friends and relatives have probably seen you at your best and worst. Therefore, they will know what to do to cheer you up.
However, if you decide to talk to a friend or relative, you need to ensure it’s someone you can trust. The last thing you need is someone spreading thoughts around you shared in confidence with other people. You also need someone who will offer advice and a listening ear without any judgment.
Call a Hotline
If you need immediate help and can’t think of anyone in your circle to talk to, a hotline may help. There are different hotlines in various situations. Search for a hotline relating to your case and call them. For instance, if you’re having suicidal thoughts, a suicide prevention hotline would be the best to call.
The best thing about relying on hotlines is that the person on the other end of the line is trained. In most cases, they’re individuals who volunteer their time to listen to problems. The hotlines are run by non-profit organizations focusing on different issues.
Therefore, you can rest assured the person will offer you the help you need. Not to mention, they attentively listen and provide you with additional resources for help.
See a Therapist
If you need someone to talk to, you should also consider seeing a therapist. Therapists are trained to listen and address various life challenges and mental health issues. Also, therapists are impartial to your situation. Therefore, they are in a better position to help.
If you’re going through a specific challenge such as grief or anxiety, find a therapist specializing in that area. The specialist will know how to address your situation and guide you on making changes.
However, if you’re not keen on waiting in line or commuting to your therapy sessions, consider online therapy. You can access your therapist anytime, anywhere, and you never have to wait in line.
There you have it — a comprehensive guide on how to seek help when you need someone to talk to.
The key takeaways are:
- Don’t be afraid to open up because everyone goes through challenges
- Find someone you can trust
- Know when and where to seek professional help
If you need a professional therapist, fill out our request form here. We will connect you with a professional who will help you begin your journey to recovery.
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has worked in healthcare since 2017. She primarily treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and grief, as well as identity, relationship and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience has focused on individual and group counseling, emergency counseling and outreach.Read more