Benefits of talking to someone
Though it can be hard to build up the courage, telling someone you trust how you’re feeling can help in loads of ways:
Sorting through your feelings
Talking out loud about what’s going on in your head and explaining it to someone else, even if you think it doesn’t make sense, helps you to clarify the things that are worrying you. Saying them out loud, often makes them less scary, and at least by having to sort through your feelings you know a bit more about you’re dealing with. Keeping things inside only lets them build up and get confusing.
Putting things in perspective
If you have been keeping things to yourself a situation can seem way more overwhelming than it actually is. The person you tell might help you see the situation in a new or different perspective. Someone outside the situation will be able to be more objective about what ‘s going on and might have solutions that you hadn’t thought of.
You mightn’t even realise it, but carry a worried head on your shoulders every day, full of pent-up emotions, creates a lot of physical tension too. You’d be amazed at what a release it can be to get things off your chest – your muscles can relax a bit, and you can literally feel like a weight has been lifted. And feeling good physically makes you feel better mentally. It’s all connected, see?
Deciding who to talk to
Deciding who you want to talk to is an important first step. You need to trust them, and to feel comfortable opening up to them. The possibilities include close friends (who might relate to what you’re going through) family members (who can sometimes give you great support), teachers or youth workers (who are often good listeners and trained to deal with loads of issues), or going to talk to a counsellor who’s outside the situation (sometimes the best plan).
Talking to someone outside the situation
One of the advantage of talking to someone like a counsellor who’s ‘outside the situation’ is that they don’t know your friends or your family and don’t have opinions about how you should be living your life. This means it can be easier to open up and tell them things you might not tell other people, and you don’t have to worry about them being judgemental.
What you say to them won’t leave the room, except for very particular situations where they fear for your safety or are legally obliged – check out confidentiality for more information on this. They also have experience dealing with loads of different problems, and are pretty unshockable.
If you have a particular concerns, there are also counsellors who specialise in particular issues. Some of these speciality areas include:
- mental health issues
- addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
- sex and sexuality
- family issues
- eating disorders
- family issues
- money and housing worries
- school and careers
Counselling Directory gives you an overview of the counselling process and of the different types of counselling available, and check out the helpful sites below for more information on specific issues and services.