A Shoulder to Cry On Ep. 3: The Healing Power of Listening
“A Shoulder to Cry On” is a podcast series that is created to provide encouragement and support to those who are struggling with mental health issues. In the third episode of the series, the theme is focused on the healing power of listening. The host, Lila, takes the listeners on a journey of understanding how listening can be an effective tool in alleviating the symptoms of mental health issues. In this article, we will explore the insights shared in the podcast and how they can be practically applied in our daily lives.
The podcast begins with Lila sharing her personal experiences of being a therapist where she shares that most of her clients come to her wanting to be heard, wanting someone to listen to them without any judgment or prejudice. She emphasizes the fact that listening is not just about hearing what the other person has to say, rather it’s about actively engaging with them, showing empathy, and connecting with their emotions. She shares that research has shown that listening can reduce emotional distress, increase trust, and promote healing.
Lila then goes on to share some practical tips on how to be a better listener. The first tip is eye contact. She explains how eye contact can help establish a sense of trust and openness. When we maintain eye contact, we are communicating to the other person that we are present and are listening to them with our full attention.
The second tip is to be present in the moment. She explains that being present means avoiding distractions, putting away our phones or any other device that can divert our attention from the conversation. When we are present, we are fully engaged with the other person, and we can connect with them more effectively.
The third tip Lila shared is to validate the other person’s feelings. She explains that emotions can be overwhelming, and when we validate someone’s feelings, we are acknowledging their emotions and showing them that we understand where they are coming from. This validation can go a long way in enhancing our connection with the person and can help them feel understood and supported.
Throughout the podcast, Lila shared real-life examples of how listening can make a difference in people’s lives. She shared stories of clients who found comfort in just being heard, of people who were able to open up and share their deepest fears because someone was there to listen, and of people who were able to find healing and closure through the simple act of listening.
One of the most powerful stories that Lila shared was the story of a woman who had lost her son in a car accident. The woman was devastated and was struggling to cope with the loss. She was unable to express her grief as she felt that no one understood how she was feeling. But one day, she met a person who was willing to listen to her story without any judgment, and for the first time, she felt heard. The simple act of listening helped the woman to process her grief and move forward.
The podcast ends with Lila encouraging her listeners to practice the art of listening. She shares that listening is not something that comes naturally to us, but it’s a skill that can be learned through practice. She encourages people to take the time to listen to their loved ones, to be present, and to validate their feelings.
In conclusion, the healing power of listening is evident, and it’s a tool that we can all use to support those who are struggling with mental health issues. The act of listening can help people feel heard, understood, and supported. It can alleviate emotional distress, promote healing and increase trust. As Lila shared in the podcast, listening is not just about hearing what the other person has to say, but it’s about actively engaging with them, showing empathy, and connecting with their emotions. Listening is a skill that we can all develop, and it’s an essential tool in building strong relationships and supporting those who are struggling with mental health issues.