Emotional Fitness

Harness the power of emotion to deepen your love with your partner, become more successful at work, and more

Share Your Difficult Feelings With the One You Love

Having a partner who is willing to listen, and not judge, is a wonderful gift

When things aren't going well in your world, are you the kind of person who talks about it, or do you push down your discomfort, so you can try to avoid thinking about your problems and feeling bad? 

Research has shown us that people who repress their feelings usually have a harder time dealing with life's disappointments. In addition, holding in painful emotions has been linked to illness and emotional distress. It also sucks up a lot of time that could be used for much more pleasant activities.

Some people have great difficulty dealing with disappointment. And when additional things in life are troublesome, like problems in your relationship, those issues become magnified. That rush of emotions can easily throw anyone off course. The trick here is to concentrate on what stabilizes you and talk about your troubles with the people in your life who are care about you. They are usually readily available to talk, especially if they know that showing their concern in a conversation will help you during an emotionally challenging time.

They say talk is cheap, but it is really one of the most valuable things you can do to move your life forward and lessen your pain. It is also a true gift of friendship and love. When you take the risk of putting yourself out there to someone you trust, most often you’ll find yourself rewarded with some relief and perhaps some new ways of dealing with a problem that you’re having.

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Truly, if you feel you have no one who will listen to what’s going on in your life, or no friend with whom you can talk about your difficulties, it is time you found someone. You can go to a licensed counselor or other helping professional. The hardest part may be picking up the phone and making an appointment.

Sometimes you want a different kind of emotional support, and that's perfectly fine. Just don't pour your heart out to a bartender. Finding a good support group would be much better. In that context, you’ll find other people dealing with similar issues to your own, so you won’t have to feel judged or alone.

Along these lines, when you are ready or you get the opportunity to share your feelings, it’s best to do it sober, because you will be unable to purge the pain if you are intoxicated. Alcohol is a drug that numbs our feelings, and while having a drink may seem appealing at times, it is not a lifestyle that will keep you healthy and feeling good about your world. Talking about your troubles over a glass of wine may seem like a good idea, but it really only works in the movies.

Unburdening your head and heart, or simply talking about what’s going on inside you, may be something you have thought of doing for some time but have been reluctant to try. Please consider how much you can lighten your life and the lives of those around you by using your words to gain clarity and release your pain. Give yourself that gift.

 

 

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, columnist, and radio host. His latest book is The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.

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