Tip #1 It’s Good To Talk
Honestly – it really is. It is true that a problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes that means talking to friends, family or work colleagues. Other times, it means talking to an expert. It does us good to get things off our chest. Talking things through with someone can often help us to find our way forward, or at least offer respite along the way.
The problem with internalising stress is that we can end up ruminating over a warped sense of reality. We can find ourselves running internal storylines through the eyes of our fears, and mostly they just aren’t true. Before we know it, we have convinced ourself of a worst-case-scenario. Talking to someone will help give us another perspective, options, and a way forward. We will realise that we are not alone, stupid, or stuck.
That said, it’s essential to talk to the right people. It won’t help to speak to people that just want to bitch about the issue. It won’t help to talk behind someone’s back if they are really the person you should be talking to. It does us all good to let off a bit of steam, and sometimes that does mean having a good old moan about someone to our friends or partner. I am just saying that it won’t help if you end up on a bitching and moaning loop without actually doing anything to address the cause of your stress. It might give temporary relief, but in the long run, it won’t bring you closer to solving the problem.
Talking to the right people brings comfort and helps us move towards solution. If we think about stress being the gap between where we are and what we face, speaking to the right person can help us to close that gap. An expert will help us with knowledge that we don’t have. A friend will offer support and comfort which in turn can give us the confidence to take whatever next step we need to. Talking to the person we have an issue with, rather than about them, will close the gap between any misunderstanding.
Most importantly of all, talking to people will remind us that we are never alone, and there is always someone that can help.
Tip #2 Be Honest
If you want to have meaningful conversation with people and you want to be proactive in solving problems then you need to be honest. You need to be real. This sometimes means a need to be honest with yourself in the first instance.
Tip #3 Do You Listen?
Can you be fully present and hear what another has to say, in a non-judgemental way?
Listening fully, as well as speaking honestly greatly reduces misunderstandings, and the potential stress that arises from such misunderstandings. When we are stressed it can be easy to be blinkered in our thinking and to disregard another’s point of view. We can become defensive and that gets in the way of us truly hearing what another is saying. It is a choice to truly hear another, and it is a choice to switch off from listening to them.
As an experiment, try having a focus on paying more attention to how you have conversations with others. Notice if you are fully listening to them in a non-judgemental way, or are you distracted, or just waiting to speak again? Your life will likely be considerably enriched by being fully present during conversations – you may find the side-effect to be one of deep felt connection and heart opening humility.