By Roz Jones
Most of us spend time every day surrounded by friends, colleagues, strangers and loved ones. Whether it’s on our daily commute, sitting in the park, at home, at work, or visiting the supermarket, we see plenty of people.
Yet many of us – particularly caregivers – have a self-imposed feeling of isolation. We might say a quick “hello”, but don’t bother to have a better conversation than that.
It could be because we’re simply consumed by our own thoughts, but it could also be because we believe reaching out to a stranger will make us both feel uncomfortable, or maybe that the other person is too busy to talk.
These beliefs are unfounded. Research suggests that having regular conversations with others has positive impacts on the lives of both conversation partners. Here are five of my favorite positive developments that come from having better, deeper conversations:
- Having a conversation with a stranger may leave you feeling happier. Connecting with others won’t suddenly turn a life of misery into bliss, but it can change an unpleasant moment (like waiting in line, or spending time at the doctor’s office) into something more pleasant.
- When you have better, more meaningful conversations with others, you often learn things you didn’t know about. As you ask questions and listen, you pick up on little nuggets of information that help you understand and grow, as a person and even as a caregiver.
- Having conversations keeps you from feeling isolated and depressed. It can also help to relieve stress. By simply opening up to your loved ones when you are having a stressful day, you will feel more relaxed. Connecting with others regularly builds a sense of belonging we all crave.
- You can develop self-confidence by having meaningful conversations. When someone takes the time to listen to you, it shows you that you are valuable. Surprisingly, even conversations that make you a little uncomfortable can also boost your confidence!
- Better conversations can help repair relationships. When you don’t communicate your needs, hurts, wants, desires with the ones you love, it festers and grows and can become irreparable. Taking the time to have a heart-felt open conversation puts you on the path to healing and understanding one another.
I’ve just launched Shop With Roz, my online store filled with supplies and gifts for every caregiver. You can find a wide variety of products in the store to help yourself and your loved one. Check it out here!
After you have a look through the store, see any products you use and love as a caregiver, and think we should share them with everyone? Let me know!
It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called CircleOf….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.
Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on addressing mental health as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!