Strategies for stress: talking about it

CREDIT: This article was first published on Nuffield Health, written by Sharon James, senior health and wellbeing physiologist

When it comes to stress, many people overlook the simple strategy of talking. Here’s how it can help you to reduce stress and improve your health and wellbeing.

Talking can help you to:

Build healthy relationships

Social interaction is important for mental health and wellbeing. Talking to friends, family and colleagues can help to build strong relationships and develop trust. With strong relationships, you may feel more comfortable talking about how you feel more regularly. Feeling isolated or not having the opportunity to talk regularly to others can affect mental wellbeing.

Gain perspective

People who aren’t involved in a particular situation or problem can approach it with a fresh perspective. Stress can cloud your ability to see solutions that might seem obvious to an outsider. Talking to someone – whether it is a friend, colleague or trained professional – may help you to gain perspective and have a positive impact on your stress levels.

Find your triggers

Conversations with other people help us to recognise triggers that may be affecting our stress levels. We all perceive and react to situations in different ways. It could be your individual reaction to an event that may be affecting how stressed you feel. Talking to friends and colleagues may help you to understand how other people react in the same situation. Talking to trained professionals may help you understand how your responses are linked to thought patterns and emotions.

Manage your behaviour

How we react or behave when we are under pressure doesn’t just have an impact on you, but may also affect friends, family and colleagues. How you cope with stress may affect your behaviour towards diet, exercise, alcohol, caffeine and smoking habits. All of which can have a negative effect on your health and wellbeing long term.

Know when it’s time get professional help

Stress is a normal part of life and talking with friends or colleagues can help, but sometimes these conversations may help you to realise that you’re not coping and may be suffering from high levels of stress, anxiety or depression.

If you want to take the conversation further, speak to your GP or enquire about emotional wellbeing services from a trusted provider.

Find out more about emotional wellbeing services at Nuffield Health.

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