It happens every time we say hello. In person, in text, on the phone. Someone asks us how we’re doing. It’s politeness. It’s a social convention. But it’s also a way to check-in, find out how we’re all doing, and connect with each other.
But more often than not, we automatically answer with “fine, thanks”. Also politeness and social convention. You may have been taught to push your feelings away, and not share with others. But maybe, just maybe, if we said more than just “I’m fine,” we would know ourselves better and have more meaningful connections.
When we understand and work with our emotions, even the negative ones, it helps protect our mental health during tough times like the pandemic and all stages of our lives. And, when we understand how we are feeling, we’re better able to understand and empathise with others, too. And that helps create a climate of support and acceptance.
That’s why the theme for this year’s Mental Health Week is about understanding our emotions. Recognizing, labeling and accepting our feelings as a way to protect and promote good mental health.