Why you Should Share Your Feelings and how to get Started

How communicating your feelings can improve your interpersonal relationships.


Love, Happiness

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What do a picturesque sunrise, a bottle of fine wine, and the holidays have in common with feelings? These are all experiences that are much better when shared with friends and loved ones. Sharing joyful emotions with family, confiding to loved ones about our deepest anxieties, or describing to our friends how much we love them, and in general being open about our feelings, can improve our interpersonal relationship and our relationship with ourselves. Here are some reasons to start sharing your feelings with others.

Feelings connect us with others
Existential and relational psychotherapist, acccording to Psychology Everywhere about how to make sense of your feelings and how sharing those feelings with others promotes emotional attachments.

According to Verywell Mind , when it comes to relationships with spouses and significant others, knowing how to express your feelings is key to creating closeness and deepening  intimacy. Opening up to others about the depths of your feelings can be scary, but it is precisely that vulnerability that builds intimacy and bonds you to your loved ones. 

Opening up keeps emotional intensity down
A study conducted by UCLA that used brain imaging to uncover the mental relief unlocked by sharing difficult feelings. After study participants verbalized their emotions, brain images showed that the brain activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with feelings, calmed down and had less brain activity than before. The researchers concluded that talking through emotions decreases their intensity.

Sharing your feelings boosts physical health
According to The New York Times, holding everything inside and not expressing your emotions creates stress and anxiety. But choosing to share your emotions by confiding in a trusted friend or mental health professional can help you stay both mentally and physically healthy.

Speaking about your emotions gives you validation and support
When you verbalize what is in your mind and heart, you are making that experience or emotion real, instead of ignoring it. Speaking your feelings out loud is a way of validating yourself, according to a blog on Feelmo. In addition to self-validation, talking about your feelings allows your loved ones to support and validate you. Your family and friends are naturally concerned and looking for ways to help you. By letting them know exactly what you are going through, they can find a productive means of offering support. 

Sometimes, that support will come in the form of empathy. When you experience difficult emotions, it can seem like you are the only person in the world who feels this way. After opening up to friends and family, they can also share their emotional worlds with you and remind you that you are not alone, and others have similar experiences.This realization is validating as well.

Promoting mental health
Unfortunately, there is still a bit of stigma attached to seeking mental health care. By sharing your mental health needs and your feelings, you can normalize speaking about emotions and emotional needs. This can help not just you, but others as well.

How to get started?
Verywell Mind outlines the process of how to open up to others. It starts with accepting your feelings, even the negative ones and learning how to manage them. Next, describe your feelings. If you have difficulty figuring out how to put your feelings into words, stick with a one word label like, “happy,” “embarrassed,” “hurt,” or “angry.” 

You can practice labeling and sharing your feelings with your partner or another loved one on a regular basis. It is important that when you are sharing your feelings or your loved one is sharing their feelings with you, that you refrain from judging yourself or the other person.

Try to make sharing your feelings a daily practice. This can help your relationships and your mental and physical health. Feelmo sums it by sharing a Swedish proverb, “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow.”

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