How to Talk About Stress

We’ve mentioned social support is great for stress. In fact, we know that talking to someone (a friend, family member, loved one, or a mental health professional) can usually be really helpful in alleviating negative emotions. But how do you broach bringing up your stress? You might feel selfish, self-centered, or guilty – maybe you don’t want to burden someone else with your worries and problems.

  • Set expectations. Are you hoping who you’re talking to will fix your stress or do you just need to vent? If you don’t need a problem-solving approach – say so. Try saying, “Hey, I just need to vent for a minute”.
  • Do it in a safe space. It can be really hard to open up and share everything going on. Often times we’re in our own head space and others may not even be aware of what we’re experiencing. Set a time and meeting place where you feel comfortable.
  • Be open-minded and listen. We know when we’re stressed, we’re often more irritable or short tempered than we usually are. Be ready to listen to what the other person has to say – maybe they’re going through something similar.
  • Just do it! Odds are you’ll feel a lot better after talking to someone about the stress you’re feeling.
  • Remember to be there for them, too. Relationship are bidirectional, meaning that they go back and forth, and to keep them healthy, we have to give, too.

If you’re feeling down, stressed, or irritable and you don’t have anyone to talk to – try reaching out to the Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741).

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