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Weekly Insights: Talking Is Medicine...

Studies show that holding in our emotions and not talking about how we feel can lead to mental illness, heart dis-ease, intestinal problems, auto-immune disorders, headaches, and insomnia. They also prove the "affect labeling" process, which is when we put our feelings into words, the part of the brain that responds to upsetting things starts to calm down and offer a much more diminished response. In other words, we become less stressed over things that would normally bother us deeply when we have an outlet of communication. When we talk to anyone - even perfect strangers - happiness increases, the mind becomes sharper, we feel less lonely or isolated, and our level of trust increases.

Look at our world today. Could it be that a big reason why so many people are experiencing loneliness or fear of strangers is because no one is talking to one another as much as they used to? We have all of these social media outlets to hear about everything happening in everyone's lives, but how authentic is that? Are we always being honest about what we are going through? Do we feel heard or are we truly able to be real with one another in the mask of the internet? We say no... Our most honest and humble conversations have happened behind closed doors with each other, our clients, family members, neighbors, and friends. There is a stigma about "airing your dirty laundry", and people are hesitant to be real when it is safer to be perfect. The best thing we can do is find at least one person in life that we can discuss deep and meaningful feelings and experiences with. It could be a spouse, best friend, parent, co-worker, or family member - it doesn't really matter who it is as long as we can talk to someone about what is happening in our personal inner world. Each of us lives in a bubble of thoughts and a completely different reality than anyone else - as we are all uniquely different. It can be extremely lonely in the mind of an individual, but it can be so healing in the shared mind of friendship. Do you have someone you trust that you can talk to about anything and everything? If the answer is YES, then you are truly blessed. If the answer is no, then the goal is to be a friend to oneself first, and friends will appear in one's life. Animals are good friends as well. Sometimes they are the best friends we have been seeking. Life is so much better when we are able to communicate, share, and listen. Together, we can help one another through the tougher times and make this life journey a little more pleasant.

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