”Why can’t we have the luxury of saying – ‘I am not fine’ when we actually feel so: not fine and emotionally down?”
This question is haunting me for a week and it all started when I asked a friend of mine, who is an expert in Psychology: How are you feeling? He clearly seemed to be feeling down and mentally unhealthy. But his – simple reply was ‘All good, I am fine’. I am sure he might not want to share it but my question is: Would he say the same if he had a headache or fever or fractured hand? I am sure, no!
When WHO has defined Health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’; why cannot an individual has a luxury of saying ‘I am not feeling fine’ when they are in a low mood or feeling not good mentally?
No matter how much we try to advocate the change in awareness in mental well-being and how much we talk about our Emotional and Mental Health, unless we be true to our mental wellbeing and emphasize as it exactly like of Physical Health, it’s never going to be any different.
May be we are focusing so much on being strong and portrayal of Heroic figure or controlling our sadness, we force ourself not to speak up about it. May be we are teaching our kids to look stronger and not show our failures. So next time, if you are feeding your kid with these: make sure to remember: Health is the combination of Physical, Mental and Social-wellbeing and to fully function, you got to feel healthy in every ways.
Here are the few statements I tend to hear elders preaching or few songs expressing which I have reservation on. Watch it out, if you are doing the same next time:
- If you are teaching your daughter – ‘Queen will always turn pain into Power’ or ‘Big girls don’t cry’. Stop right there, right then and there. If you feel happy or pleasure or excited or any other pleasant emotion, why cannot you feel suffocated or cry? Negative emotion is just another emotion. Tell them to Let it go, speak it out exactly like what you do with your positive ones.
- ‘Sometimes all you can do is Chin up, Hold your tears and Move on’.
But I ask you-Why?
Why should you ever do that if you feel like not doing so? Why can’t you have luxury to feel down and cry it hard if you wish to? Is there any crime in not feeling well, it’s your life and your have every right to feel anything you feel like. Let people know about it and seek help!
- ‘All’s well that Ends Well (Or, In Hindi: Anta valaa toh sab valla)’. Is it okay to suffer in the journey just with the hope of good end?
- ‘Cowards Cry (Or, In Nepali: marda rudaina)’.
If you are saying so. Seriously?
Trust me, It’s okay to feel. You aren’t weak. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
- ‘Its easiest to Pretend that you don’t care rather than to admit that it’s killing you’.
I don’t think so. Pretending is never easy especially the thing you feel. Like John Lennon said my friend ‘One thing you cannot just hide is when you’are crippled inside’. Also pretending does more harm to yourself.
Dear friend, the one-liners explaining how should you behave in Public or how should you control your emotions will remain in use in every language, in every culture and in every forms. We are brought up in the culture where expressing sadness or negative emotion is the sign of being coward or lazy or the sign of trying to get away from the reality. But psychological and emotion focused researches explains that being able to feel our feelings actually makes us stronger and more resilient. When we allow ourselves to fully experience our feelings, it actually help us sort out what we really want and think. Feeling helps outlef in a safe and healthy and we are actually less likely to act on them in destructive manner.
You can trust on psychological facts and figures that, it’s possible to feel hurt without acting victimized and feel anger without being destructive; it’s possible to feel fear without hiding and feel heartbreak without breaking down.
So when next time you are verbally feeding your kid or explaining your friend on how to behave or stop the sad feeling, think back and ask yourself: Would you do the same if he has bodily pain, would you still ask him to suppress the pain and tell him to be stronger?
I understand sharing can make one feel worse, but how can you say that without trying?. I am sure sharing your pain, insecurities, fear can be daunting sometimes; and here i am not saying it should be shared to every next person you see; but to the ones whom you trust and most importantly atleast to the counselor if you really want to be helped.
Since quoting John Lennon once again: ‘One thing you cannot just hide is – when you’are crippled inside’; so why try it when it’s going to do more harm then benefit, my friend!
Let it out!