While some people like to keep to themselves, experts advise opening up for better health.
My sister phoned me this morning. She said she was about to cry, and so I listened.
Too much stress. Her long list of pending household duties rolled off her tongue, along with details of her sick children, the need to deal with parasites (!), a list of clients waiting for her to finish already-delayed work, and now, a suddenly-broken washing machine was flooding her basement floor. She was overwhelmed.
We talked. We shared experiences. I listened, and tried to provide support.
By the end of our conversation her voice was lighter. There was no crying. We were joking about how crazy it can be when the heavens break and decide to rain down all at once.
My moral of the story? Venting works.
According to Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D, of Psychology Today sharing your problems with others is better for you than keeping them bottled up inside. Repeatedly holding them in can have a negative effect on your emotional and physical health. It can help you feel balanced once more to share them.
But of course, vent in proper doses. If you unload on the same person too often, (as I have been known to do once or twice, I admit), it can damage that relationship. You don’t wish to exhaust the person on the other end.
And, remember to avoid venting directly at the person who may have caused your distress in the first place. Find another friendly ear to lean on, so that you don’t cause an argument by bringing on more conflict.
For more on managing stress, click here.