Expressing feelings - being honest and let it out

Rebecca Marks | Author, Founder & Wellbeing Coach

Expressing our feelings and talking about it with others is another powerful way to stop feeling overwhelmed. So powerful in fact, it’s actually an in-built biological instinct. Research shows we release a hormone, oxytocin, that encourages us to seek social support during stressful times. This has been called the ‘tend and befriend’ response to stress.

“I've learnt that the thing that works for me is to talk about it, verbal or written and to realise that I may not be in control of everything (perfectionist tendencies) and to tackle one thing at a time (easier said than done) and to remind myself to go easy on me.” – @infj_heart

“I think/find the best thing for me is talking about it. Letting my feelings out and being honest with myself.” – @truthful_mummy

What’s interesting is that women have been shown to reach out to others significantly more than men. What’s even more interesting is the theory that this relates to women’s higher life expectancies; the hypothesis is that the male response to stress (which includes higher levels of social withdrawal, aggression, and substance abuse) puts them at higher risk for adverse health-related consequences.

In contrast, the ‘tend and befriend’ response used more by women has been shown to reduce our stress response by lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol, and thus is protective to health.

If you don’t feel you have anyone you can open up to right now, there are ways to do this anonymously. For example, the website and app 7 Cups connects people with volunteer listeners for free. There’s also the app Pacifica that has many great features including supportive community forums, guided meditations and mood tracking.

Research also shows expressing our feelings in a journal can be powerfully therapeutic!

So there we have it - 4 powerful methods to stop feeling overwhelmed:

1. The One-Focus Mindset

2. The Can-Control Mindset

3. Practising Relaxation

4. Expressing Feelings 

Why not bookmark this page and return to it next time you feel overwhelmed? There are many steps we can take to stop feeling overwhelmed. You got this!