How sharing your darkest thoughts can help others

Are there things you really dislike about yourself – things you try hard not to think about if you can avoid them?

Me too.

Yet, today I had lunch with a friend – a fellow trainer who specialises in Mental Health First Aid courses. She and I talked about work, love, parenting and a whole host of other things and we ended up delving quite deep into our limiting beliefs and darkest thoughts. Since I’m writing a book about the habits it takes be intentional about your happiness, we talked about our habits – the ways we habitually think and the things we repeatedly do – and those are the things that emerged.

It was fascinating – and massively comforting! We ended up laughing about thoughts that have eaten us up for months or years. It felt liberating and cathartic and it helped us uncover things we hadn’t voiced before or hadn’t even realised before.

Neither of us is a therapist. We’re just two people who made space for each other to talk. It felt great to be trusted with her thoughts and feelings and it felt great to share my own.

When it came time to leave, we both said how much better we felt; how much more accepting and less judgmental we felt of ourselves and how confident we felt in our abilities to tackle the various challenges that lie ahead of us.

As I drove home I wondered how different the day would have been if one of us had ‘protected’ ourselves and closed up. It took both of us to be vulnerable in order for that trust and space to develop.

If the chance presents for you to open up to someone you trust, it’s entirely possible they’ll be able to help you but it’s equally possible your openness will help them too.

Is this something you’ve experienced?

Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash

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