Many people have heard that talking about your mental health is good for you - and it’s true. But sometimes the what to do is easier than the how to do it. We’ve explored more of the how below…
Communicate in a way that feels right for you
Whether it’s in person, letter, voice note, text, FaceTime - whichever way allows you to express your feelings the best - that’s the right way to do it! Don’t pressure yourself to conform to any norms if they don’t work for you.
Find a suitable place
Particularly if it’s in person, finding the right place is super important. Think about a place that makes you feel relaxed. Consider how busy or noisy you’d like it to be and whether you’re okay with other people being around.
Find an opening line
Starting the conversation usually feels the most daunting. Phrases such as "I've not been feeling like myself lately", "I'm finding it hard to cope at the moment" or “I need some support mentally right now” - could provide a good starting point.
Be clear about what you want
What do you want from this person? Decide whether you want a listening ear and general support - or if it’s actionable and practical solutions you’d prefer.
This will help the experience to be as beneficial as possible, as well as allow the other person to decide whether they can give you what they need or not.
If you’re talking to someone without any mental health experience or you’d like a little help to explain what you’re going through, examples can be very helpful.
It could be a useful description online or in a book; a scene in a movie; or a YouTube video. It could even be a scenario from your own life that demonstrates the mental health issue you’re facing.
You can then build upon it after showing your example.
Don’t put so much pressure on one conversation
You might psych yourself up to tell somebody everything that you’ve been feeling, and then when you get to it, you only offer up very little. That is okay.
You don’t need to add to your troubles, just understand that these things can take time - it’s a process!
The person you speak to may not react the way you expected either. Everyone needs time to process things. We all react, behave, and try to help in different ways. You just have to recognise the person’s intentions and decide whether it’s helpful or not in the long term.
If the answer is no, then don’t demonize the act of speaking out. Instead, find another trusted person or healthcare professional to talk to.
We hope you can find your how because speaking about your mental health is so important for the overall state of your wellbeing. Good luck!
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