From a young age, I remember the phrase ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and with my experience of working in PR, I have become all too familiar with the reality of this statement… Similarly, my experience within leading peer support groups and from my counselling studies, I’ve learnt the importance of understanding that unfortunately people are not mind readers and unless you tell them how you’re feeling, you should not expect them to know… This is the core foundation for why it’s important to learn how to effectively communicate your feelings. If you struggle to do so, this post may be of interest to you…
Your feelings are both important and valid
First and foremost, your feelings are valid. It’s natural to have feelings and it’s important to understand that no matter how irrelevant or over the top you think they are, you’re entitled to have your feelings – they are important and they belong to you. It’s both far too common and far too easy to invalidate your feelings by playing them down, suggesting they’re either dumb or that there are more important issues in the world… This does not devalue your feelings and generally your plea to play them down will be transparent and this is an important fact which you need to bear in mind.
Vocalising your feelings allows you to acknowledge them
In order to heal, it’s important to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings. It’s common for people to push their thoughts and feelings to the back of their mind, in the hope that they will disappear. Unfortunately, the reality is that these thoughts don’t disappear and refusing to acknowledge them doesn’t allow you to take control and begin your healing process. Vocalising your emotions allows you to accept and acknowledge them and once you’ve done so, you can begin to understand the cause of your emotion and discover the most effective way of resolving them.
Communicating your feelings can relieve the burden
Are you familiar with the saying: ‘ a problem shared, is a problem halved’? It may not be entirely accurate, however it’s evident that sharing your feelings with others may alleviate the burden you feel whilst bottling them up and keeping them to yourself. Whilst trying to contain your emotions for whatever reason, you are allowing them to consume you and manifest in a number of unhealthy ways. Communicating your feelings allows you to release the feelings which are weighing you down, hence the description ‘a weight of my shoulders’. Give communicating your feelings a try, you might surprise yourself.
Communicating your feelings, allows you to take control
Internalising your feelings and keeping them to yourself allows them to consume you which can be detrimental to both your physical and mental wellbeing. Once your emotions consume you, they begin to influence the way in which you think and behave. Once you decide to communicate your feelings and therefore acknowledge them you can regain control and this then gives you the power to decide how you wish to heal from them and decide what you can do to change them.
Communicating your feelings allows others to offer support
As I previously mentioned, we have to understand that with the best will in the world, people cannot read our minds. When you communicate to others about how you are feeling, not only are you easing the burden which you are carrying, you also open the opportunity for others to offer you support and take your feelings into consideration. Communicating and sharing your emotions allows others to offer support, share advice and let you know that you’re not alone. It’s highly probable that somebody relates to how you are feeling.
As with many things in life, making changes is rarely easy to begin with and at first they can appear to be overwhelming. Despite this, after your first attempt the practice of communicating your feelings will become easier and with this I hope you can see and feel the benefits. Please remember, your feelings are valid and sharing them with others isn’t selfish. Keeping your feelings to yourself and internalising them isn’t healthy and can in turn be detrimental to your emotional wellbeing. How do you feel about sharing your feelings? Please let me know in the comments below.
Next in this series, I’ll be discussing the importance of doing what makes you happy!
If you’re looking for more simple and effective selfcare suggestions check out my Simple selfcare bucketlist for more self care ideas and 26 ways to practice self-care to read the other posts in this series…