RCC, Posted on Sep 13, 2021
BOTH SIDES: NOW
Tears and Fears and Feeling Proud, to say “I love you” right out loud
How are you? No, really, how are you?
You probably can’t count on one hand how many times per day you are asked that question. It’s polite, it’s social banter, it’s benign. And your reply? Usually, “I’m fine, thanks, you?” or “fine” or “I’m good” ….all equally polite, benign, knee-jerk responses. And it may depend on who’s asking, right? If it’s your partner or good friend you may elaborate with a little more information: “feeling kind of stressed today” or “would really rather not be going to work today” etc. If it’s the clerk at Whole Foods or the colleague in the elevator, you stick to the socially appropriate one-word reply. Fair enough.
But really, how are you? And who knows how you are? Who cares how you are? Do you care how you are? What can you do about it? It’s easy to think that by saying “fine” we are fine. Which is fine! Except that it’s not – not really. Right now, you’re thinking….”oh here we go, another radical bleeding heart saying I should “get in touch with my emotions” and that I should ‘listen to my body’” …you’ve heard all this woo woo before. Someone else is going to tell you something else that you need to do in order to “better your life”.
Well, that’s not the intention here. “Bettering your life” is not up to me and it’s entirely subjective. It means different things for different people. So, there’s no panacea. No blanket “remedy”. However….and you knew there’d be a “however”! However…..sharing your emotions, your perceptions, your thoughts, your reactions, your failings…..with another person is helpful, no, helpful is too mild a word. It’s nourishing, enriching, rejuvenating, and restorative. Better yet, when you know you are truly heard, truly validated, those endorphins kick in – the ones that contribute to “feeling fine” and you have a little more jaunt in your jauntiness.
when you know you are truly heard, truly validated, those endorphins kick in – the ones that contribute to “feeling fine”
Besides, it's absolutely normal to have a wide range of emotional responses and internal reactions to everything that is going on in the world at large and in your own personal and professional world.
Whether you’re working from home, headset firmly in place, or whether you’re back at the office – everyone has moments (varying in length and frequency) where you feel despondent, anxious, like an imposter, grief-stricken, heartbroken…. the whole gamut. You’re presenting your report at that all-important meeting and there’s an inner critic taunting you with “you’re not prepared enough!” “Who are you kidding? You don’t know what you’re talking about!” or you’re frustrated with a colleague and you don’t know what or if you should say anything, you’re angry about the work schedule and not sure who to talk to, you’re anxious about getting everything done on time….and it’s exhausting!
If you are reading this, you are a human being. With the capacity for executive functioning, unlike any other mammal. With the capacity for dreaming, hoping, longing, regretting, forgiving, planning, detaching, speaking up, standing down…. you are amazing! But you can’t be expected to go it alone. We weren’t meant to go it alone. Even if you’re an introvert – you still need others.
You can do yoga, run 5K, drink your protein smoothie, and make time for your life coach…..all good practices…..but if you’re not talking about what’s really going on for you, if you’re not willing to look at what could change in you or if you’re holding back from examining some of those dark corners, then you are missing an opportunity.
But it’s scary. You make yourself vulnerable. You reveal fears of failure, you display weakness and you don’t want to reveal stuff. And maybe you tell yourself “there’s nothing I can do about anything that has happened to me anyway” or, “ talking about it (whatever it is) won’t change it”…….and there’s truth to those rationalizations. BUT…. the process of talking it out, the experience of being listened to, being validated, is POWERFUL – and that in itself can lead to change, provide more clarity, build more confidence. And, you can talk to a partner, a friend, or a family member but sometimes it helps to talk to someone who can be more objective – someone with no skin in the game – a counsellor or therapist. And, no you don’t have to be “crazy” or have a mental illness…. you just need to be willing to share from your heart and be open to making some changes in how you think and what you think about.
We are more than just people who go to work each day and when you take steps towards your mental health you are also taking steps to improve your physical health. According to Everyday Health (www.everydayhealth.com), there are physical benefits of talk therapy:
- Less back pain (and other physical ailments)
- Improved end of life care
- Better heart health
- More restful sleep
Mental health is something we all have. The state of that health is up to each individual to maintain. Look at the recent decision by Simone Biles to take a step back from her Olympic dreams in order to pay attention to her mental health. Also, Michael Phelps, who acknowledged his struggles with depression in 2018 – and who has now become a spokesperson for Talkspace – an online counselling platform. There are countless others from all walks of life, who have made a commitment to their mental wellness.
We are given one body, one brain, one soul in this lifetime. No matter what you believe about why we’re here… We. Are. Here. Now, on this planet, working hard, having good intentions, wanting to show up, needing to matter, and feeling everything in the process – everything that comes, on the roller coaster of this life.
So…talk about it! Get curious about what’s going on for you and ask yourself, "How are you?" and have the courage to discover the answer.
with our counseling team today! we are here to humanize your work and life experience.