How Can You Be More Open About Your Thoughts and Feelings?
Personally, this is something that I believe comes naturally to some, and for others, it is like a skill that must be developed. Speaking in terms of myself, I am naturally a very reserved person by nature, yet I have learned with age to be more open and vulnerable. However, I have also learned that there are just certain people that you can not open up to in that way and people that you shouldn’t open up to, either. It’s all about knowing who you are safe with and setting boundaries as to who you share your inner self with.
In this article, a Hello Lovely Living contributor shares some practical advice as to how you can be more open about your thoughts and feelings for overall mental wellness. I think it is so important to let things go, and that includes things that can’t be seen or touched in physical form. We must be very conscious of what we are holding onto because it can harm us down the line if we don’t deal with it in a healthy way.
Sharing your thoughts and feelings helps you to cope with many things in life. When you're too closed off or feel unable to communicate with others, it can cause you to feel isolated and alone. If you struggle to open yourself up to others, it doesn't mean that you don't want to or that you can't benefit from doing so. However, sharing your emotions and opinions when you're not used to it can be hard. It can take a while to learn to open up and share more about yourself, but doing so can benefit you in a number of ways. Here's how you can start to be more open about your thoughts and feelings.
Start with People You Trust
Opening up to people can be hard, but it can be easier if it's with people you know that you can trust. Think about who is able to trust you when they want to talk, and you will probably be able to trust them back. You might have very good friends who will listen to you or relatives who love you. You might even find that many of them have encouraged you to open up more before, but you have been reluctant for various reasons. If you're not sure who would be receptive when you want to talk, simply asking someone if they have time to chat can be helpful.
Discuss Facts, Feelings and Opinions
If you want to be more open, there are lots of things that you can talk about. It's a good idea to talk about a variety of things, rather than just focusing on one area. Not everything must be plain facts or all about your emotions. Sometimes you might be asking for practical advice for a problem, or sometimes you might just want someone to listen to how you feel. Other times it could be a good idea to share your opinion and ask others to offer their own opinion in return.
Be Willing to Listen
When you open up about what you're thinking or feeling, it's not just the talking that's important. It can also help to be willing to listen to what the other person has to say. It helps you to get more from the experience, making it a conversation that you can benefit from. When you talk to others, they can offer you advice and feedback, or just give you their opinion on your situation. Sometimes the best thing that they can do is to offer words of comfort, and listening to them when they comfort you is definitely a benefit of opening up to others.
Find Anonymous Places to Open Up
It can sometimes be a struggle to open yourself up to the people you know and love. You might not want to tell them something that you would rather keep to yourself for a number of reasons. Perhaps you don't want to worry them or you're unsure if they will judge you for what you say. Sharing your thoughts and feelings anonymously can offer another option. You can find anonymous peer support groups online that offer you people to talk to. You can share your thoughts without revealing who you are and get valuable advice from others. It's a great way to connect with others while still maintaining your privacy.
Try to Be Honest
If you want to open up more, honesty is key. It's essential to try and be honest about what you want to say, otherwise there's not much point in opening up. Sometimes you can end up being closed off because you you don't want to tell the truth about yourself. But if you open up more about who you are as a person, people can start to trust you more. Avoid telling people what you think they want to hear, which is something many people do when they have a hard time opening up. You have to try to push away your fear of being rejected or judged for what you say, although you should still think carefully about what you choose to say.
Don't Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable
It can be difficult to let other people see a more vulnerable side of you. There can be a lot of fear connected to how they might start seeing you or even if they might use the things that you say against you. But if you want to be more vulnerable, you need to let go of these fears. Talk to people who you know you can trust about more personal things, whether it means talking to a friend about a painful experience or sharing a relatable story with your support group.
Try Talking to a Professional
There are some cases when talking to a professional who can help you with your thoughts and feelings is the best thing to do. If you're struggling to talk to the people you know and love, you might find that a therapist is able to help you. When it's someone you don't know personally who has to keep what you say confidential, it can feel easier to share. Not all therapists will be right for you, but finding someone who you do feel comfortable with can help you. Once you start opening up to them, they could help you to be more open with others.
Choose the Right Things to Share
If you want to be more open, you should think about what sort of things you want to be more open with. Just because you want to share more, it doesn't mean that you have to share everything about yourself. Everyone is allowed to have secrets or keep some things to themselves. Some things also might not be appropriate to share with some people or just might not be necessary to share with others. There are also occasions when you could offend or hurt someone's feelings. Being open and honest doesn't mean having no filter at all, so think about what you want to say before saying it.