Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day. For over 10 years Bell Canada has actively been raising awareness of the role of mental health in the quality of our lives and relationships, inspiring change and promoting the importance of self-care , all the while breaking down negative stereotypes and stigma associated with mental illness. It is often referred to as the world’s biggest conversation about mental health. Suffice it to say, that for many of us, this rings even more true now than ever before! For it is only 10 months ago-March 11th to be exact- that the World Health Organization declared a global coronavirus pandemic, plunging our planet into crisis mode — creating a world filled with much anxiety, fear and distress, and we haven’t stopped talking about it since.
Coping with uncertainty is often challenging enough, but when you are predisposed to feeling extra-worried or overwhelmed, coping amid a catastrophe such as a pandemic can feel more akin to panic or paralysis! All the greater when past traumas are involved! Regardless, when mental health issues take centre-stage in our lives, finding an outlet for our complicated feelings -such as through supportive conversation- can often help us recognize and reduce future symptoms and reactions, even create positive change. In turn, by being a good listener, simply letting someone know you are there for them can be the kindest gift you bestow.
When you Listen to Learn and Speak to be Known, Your Relationship Grows.
The art of conversation is about vulnerability: to speak to be known and listen to learn. Being mindful about how we communicate matters. A lot! Especially when it comes to showing understanding. Probably the most important thing to remember is to validate feelings and show compassion. Putting yourself in your partner's place and paying special attention to feelings and what is going on for them helps you see their world through their eyes. Framing our conversations this way can help steer the dialogue in a meaningful way. It can also prove useful to stop and ask questions such as:
And listen in a way that shows strong interest by putting your own thoughts and feelings on hold and attend with an open mind and heart. Why? Because when you put your attention on the other person, it sends the message that they are important and you want to understand. That, and ultimately you find yourself teaching each other that carving out a safe space for expressing emotions can help you better deal with life!
Hi, I'm Lydia- a modern-day warrior of the heart with a mission to reconcile the mystery and mastery of Love.