Lessons for Living
Reducing Emotional Distress

[ Awakenings Home ] [ Back to Lessons for Living ]

How often do you talk about your feelings?








Do you want a simple way to control emotional distress and reduce it by at least half? The solution is to share it.

Don’t keep your troubles to yourself. Resist locking your feelings up inside. If you are having problems or caught up in conflict, tell someone what’s going on. Sharing your experience with another person is helpful because sharing a burden makes it lighter.

Sincerely talking to another person about how you feel and what you think is like letting the steam out of a pressure cooker. It eases the intensity of emotion and avoids an explosion.

Another benefit of sharing your problems is called "reality testing." If you keep worries to yourself, they tend to grow larger in the privacy of your mind and can snowball out of control. However, when you try explaining your overblown fears to a friend, they tend to shrink as you hear yourself say them out loud. Once voiced, they may no longer appear as reasonable and begin to seem less likely to happen. Furthermore, your friend may offer challenging observations or new information, which gives you a different and more hopeful perspective on your situation. The result is that you see reality more clearly.

One necessary caution is that you must carefully choose who to tell. It must be someone who cares about you and whose judgment you trust. A friend, respected relative, minister, or counselor would do.

Also, you don’t necessarily have to talk to share your concerns. You can write about it as in a journal. You might draw it or paint it. You could even dance it or sing it. The important thing is to express it and not keep it all to yourself.

Remember, sharing your pain will reduce it. And, while you are at it, don’t forget to share your joys as well because when you share a joy, it begins to grow.

[ Awakenings Home ] [ Back to Lessons for Living ]