The five-plus years I spent in working in a law office – no, I am not a lawyer, but I work with lawyers – were the most stressful of my career. I knew it was unhealthy, but I didn’t know how to reduce stress, and it kept piling on.
I was responsible for getting disability benefits for people suffering from injuries and severe illness. I was also one of the most experienced advocates in the office. That meant I was given the toughest and most challenging assignments.
Most of the clients experienced extreme tension and stress. It was my job to alleviate their anxiety while getting their disability benefits.
While I lessened their stress, I pushed myself too much and too hard. I went home from work many nights emotionally, mentally and physically drained.
I encountered stress on a daily basis, and it was intense. This type of prolonged work stress can be dangerous.
But I bottled it up and kept it to myself.
Now I know, there are always ways to relieve stress, one of the best ways is by talking it out.
Some studies show that people who talk out their stress have a greater ability to cope than people who are solitary.
Talking alleviates stress in several ways.
Imagine you are are carrying a heavy backpack filled with rocks of stress on your back. You walk around hunched over in terrible pain. Talking out the stress allows you trim the fat, so to speak, and reduce the weight of stress.
Yes, you can reduce stress by talking, but to whom?
Who To Talk To About Your Stress
For talking to be effective in reducing stress, you must speak with the most suitable person for your situation. For example, it wouldn’t be helpful to talk about job stress to a 10-year-old.
It is also a bad idea to talk to toxic people. Avoid negative people because they bring positive people down.
You want to avoid the side effects of a pessimistic co-worker. The last thing you need is to talk with someone who complains endlessly about everything.
Sometimes the best person to talk to about your stress is someone further removed from the situation. Make sure you talk to someone who will lift you up, not tear you up.
So keep these tips in mind when choosing someone to talk to about your stress.
Talking With Family To Reduce Stress
To some, the first inclination is to speak with someone close. Naturally, this could be a family member. After all, there is no one like family.
However, it depends on what is causing you the stress. Family members can provide significant relief and support during life stages like dealing with children, marriage issues, parents, money or grief.
If you have a supportive family, pulling together during difficult times will make your bonds stronger. If this is the case, talking can help.
But if your family is not supportive or just not capable of taking on one more crisis, you should consider talking to someone else.
Talking With A Friend To Reduce Stress
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your family about your stress, or if they are the cause of your stress try talking to a friend. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a friend than to relatives, especially if your friend is a good listener. Hopefully, your friend has positive energy – a negative friend will only add to your stress. Studies show that people with close friends have a greater ability to deal with stress better.
Talking With A Therapist To Reduce Stress
There are many experiences in life that can leave you overwhelmed. When this happens, you may need to speak to a professional – this is known as talk therapy.
A remarkable benefit of talk therapy is that it not only helps you understand yourself better, it also helps you know your stressors better. Even better, talk therapy is judgment-free.
Talking With A Stress Coach
Stress is a real blocker for success. Unfortunately, many people cannot overcome stress on their own and require outside assistance.
This is where a Stress Coach can help.
A stress management coach is a life coach with a specific focus to help you respond appropriately to stressors.
The role of a Stress Coach is to help master stress-relieving skills and practices such as improved breathing techniques, relaxation, and visualization.
The aim is to reduce stress and to increase happiness using your new found skills.
Talking To Yourself To Reduce Stress
Sometimes when you are in a stressful event calling someone is not an option. If this is the case, talk yourself through it.
Don’t worry about appearing crazy, according to new studies, talking to yourself may help reduce stress. But just general self-talk is not enough; it has to be in the third person.
What you have to do is silently tell yourself in the third-person that everything will be okay. This allows you to take mental step back, which is a form of self-control.
For example, you might say to yourself, “Why is Mary so tense?”
This will unleash your ability to control your thoughts, feelings, and behavior while under stress.
Talking Is Cathartic
Talking it out can help all sorts of people in lots of different situations. Besides being calming, cleansing and de-stressing, it can lead to new solutions.