Sometimes the pressure to smile and keep smiling against all odds, shuts the doors for people to express or discuss how they actually feel. We have been conditioned early to answer to a ‘How are you?’ question with a ‘I am fine’; ‘great’ etc. We have not been taught to respond to this question with actually how we feel in the moment. People should know that it’s okay to be not okay. That’s the only way discussion will take place.
Talking about how you feel in the moment acts as a great safety valve to release pent up emotions which eat you away slowly and gradually like termites until its too late. We understand depression only as the point when someone visits a shrink and is in extreme distress. Rarely do we indulge in discussions around the type of depression which afflicts us without actually exploding the way we know of.
The problem is accentuated with the stigma associated with the use of the word ‘depression’ to describe genuine mental distress in people. The need to project a positive self-image and all the talk of positive thinking and positive outlook actually causes people to shy away from addressing the issues as they occur.
The ever increasing cases of stress related or accentuated health problems in the world is a pointer to the fact that somewhere we are missing the point. Talking about how you feel and encouraging others to do so is an excellent way to avoid or overcome problems of a depressive mind.
Imagine if your response to the same question ‘How are you?’ is ‘Not feeling good’ or ‘I am upset’ (only if you feel that way). What do you think such a response will do in the moment? Most certainly it will open the door for some conversation around why you feel the way you feel. I am not suggesting that it will give you answers or quick-fixes for your problems. Talking about how you feel at times and the reasons you feel that way will in itself throw up solutions.
It’s important to talk not just in your personal life but also in your workplace or for that matter any walk of life. It just might aid your mental and physical health.
So let’s encourage people to talk…. Let’s lead by example. Denial is no way to feel good.
Share if you agree. You might just contribute to saving a life!