We who lead others spiritually are not always so good at sharing our feelings, sometimes just talking about stuff. Yet studies, history, the bible, and even our own experience tells us it is good for us.
Opening Up Is Good For Your Health
About 20 years ago, James Pennebaker, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, began a series of studies that scientifically examined the effects of disclosing personal thoughts and feelings.
Participants were randomly assigned to either: (a) talk or write about a difficult, traumatic, or upsetting event or (b) write or talk about a trivial topic. While the disclosure process produced immediate feelings of distress, participants who engaged in this process experienced a number of benefits over time, including improved mood, reduced symptoms of psychological distress, fewer illnesses, and even improved immune functioning.
Furthermore, Pennebaker and others found that the health effect is greater when people are less inhibited, disclose more deeply, and when their disclosure helps them form new meaning or insight on their experience. In short, the study underscores the important and powerful effects of confession.
Psalm 32 says:
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, "I will confess my rebellion to the Lord."
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
The Making of An Ordinary Saint
Confession is the spiritual discipline that allows us to enter into the grace and mercy of God in such a way that we experience forgiveness and healing for the sins and sorrows of the past.
Both forgiveness and healing are involved in confession. Forgiveness positions us in a right relationship toward God
Healing frees us from the domination of our present by our past.
I love this quote:
"Concealment makes the soul a swamp. Confession is how you drain it." – Charles M. Blow
For 29 years, I have had people ask to speak to me because of problems, worries – challenges that seem bigger than them. I have learned to sit, listen, listen, and listen some more. And at the end, I may even have a few insights to offer
Often the problem is resolved just by saying it out loud
Many times, a solution becomes evident in saying it out loud
Once it is said out loud, a problem presents for what it is.
Talking Through Problems
If we don't talk about our problems, we may find our pent-up tensions or feelings burst out in embarrassing or inappropriate ways. You might also find that things may worsen if you don't try to get on top of them straight away.
Talking to someone you trust about something upsetting may help you to:
sort through the problem
see the situation more clearly
look at the problem in a new or different way
release built-up tension – this can help you to gain further insight into the position that is causing the problem
find out that you are not alone – you may find that many other people share your feeling
identify options or solutions you hadn't thought of before.
The stuff in our gut or our heart or our head is hindering us. Say it out loud. To be measured for what it is.
 Murray-Swank, Aaron. The Healing Practice of Confession retrieved from https://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/2012/01/28/healing-practice-confession  Foster, Nathan. (2014) The Making Of An Ordinary Saint: My Journey From Frustration To Joy With The Spiritual Discipline - Understanding Confession. Retrieved from https://renovare.org/articles/understanding-confession  Retrieved from http://practicetheseprinciplesthebook.com/discipline-of-confession_424.html  Retrieved from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/talking-through-problems