Are you the type of person that has a hard time communicating when things are bothering you? Do you let things bottle up until you can no longer hold them in?
Perhaps you’re all too familiar with those moments when you catch somebody completely off guard, verbally vomiting everything that’s been bothering you.
The other person just stands there speechless – looking at you like a deer caught in headlights.
Poor communication or a lack of communication is not only harmful to personal relationships, family relationships, and work relationships – it’s harmful to your health.
When you bottle things up and don’t communicate your feelings, you are hurting yourself more than anything.
Here’s what’s happening in your body.
You are releasing a hormone called cortisol – a steroid hormone in the glucocorticoid class of hormones, that is produced by the adrenal glands which sit on top of your kidneys. When this hormone is overproduced (as a result of frustration that isn’t released), it can increase your risk of chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Did I mention abdominal obesity, diabetes, and inflammation?
There are three steps that you can take to overcome poor communication and reduce the release of this powerful hormone.
1. Identify why you’re afraid to communicate and talk it out.
Many people fear communicating openly because they don’t want to disturb the peace, they fear the other person’s reaction, or they truly believe that the problem will resolve eventually. Sometimes it does, but most of the time a person is simply suppressing their problems and burying the emotions deeper.
Time and time again, people learn the hard way that problems don’t resolve on their own. Communication is key.
2. Recognize the feeling of relief, bonding, and satisfaction that comes when you bite the bullet and let your emotions out.
Most people will agree that once they “talk things out”, it feels as though a heavy weight has been lifted off their body.
Perhaps it’s time to stop saying “I’m okay, everything is fine” when you’re really not. Getting to the root of the problem as quickly as possible is the only way to resolve what’s bothering you. Think about how great you’ll feel once you talk out your concerns.
3. Don’t blame, just share.
Many people avoid communication because they don’t like fighting, arguing, or being around negative, toxic energy. However, what they fail to realize is that communication does not cause unpleasant situations – poor communication does.
Rather than blaming others, try a different approach.
Avoid starting your sentences with “you said, you did, I can’t believe you would….” If you want a different outcome, you’ve got to change the language that you use when communicating.
Say “I feel” “I noticed that” or “I’m concerned about.” Rather than pointing fingers, simply share what’s bothering you. Others will be much more receptive to this approach.
Holding what you’re feeling inside disturbs your inner peace.
Remember that not communicating your feelings will affect your overall health and well-being. Besides creating unhealthy distance in your relationships, it may cause changes in your sleep, your appetite, and your mood.
Not only that, with increased cortisol circulating in your system, you’ll weaken your immune system, decrease your metabolism, reduce your absorption of vitamins/nutrients, and increase your risk of developing chronic health problems.
Cheers to healthy communication and expressing your feelings!