Happy first of May!
Just a warning ahead: today’s post isn’t the usual cheery array of random thoughts I usually go with on Thursdays. Instead, I’m taking up Amanda‘s invitation of Thinking out loud to [finally] let go of what’s been on my mind lately.
How are you? Can you recall how often you’ve been asked this everyday question this month so far? This week? Or even just today? How many times you smiled and said ‘fine, thanks’? And: how many of those times you were being honest? Unless you’re in the enviable and – let’s face it – unlikely situation of living the perfect life 24/7 you will probably have glossed over the truth at least a little. Or a lot. Because no, we’re not always feeling fine. Life can be a tough game to play at times throwing you curveballs when you least expect it. Yet we still don’t feel comfortable baring out true emotions towards others. Admitting we’re having a bad day, a rough week or even a general funk we can’t seem to climb out of. Maybe it’s because we’re having stress at work. A serious fight with a friend or loved one that we can’t get off our mind. Changes ahead that scare you. Whatever it is:
“But people ask just out of habit – they don’t really want to know how I am.” <- Wrong. No, not everybody wants to or is prepared to listen and give advice to you. Rambling on about personal problems to your boss or the cashier at the supermarket probably isn’t the smartest choice. However, there are people in everybody’s life who genuinely care and will listen – if you ask and open up. Blends were my saving grace these past days once more.
For me, it’s been a rather long-term turbulence I have yet to sort out completely. However because I was worried that others would judge if I opened up towards them or think of my problems as inane I kept silent. Or tried to switch topics when it came to talking about my current situation. And sure: that strategy of avoidance works for a certain time. But as the problems and the anxiety persist it becomes hard to keep up a cheerful mood. Don’t feel like you had to – others aren’t expecting you to be the strong person all day every day. There are many reasons why – taking a clue from Amanda’s motto for today’s link-up – saying it out loud* is a wise choice:
1. It helps sorting out your thoughts: Sometimes we’re stuck because there are a million and one thoughts flying around in our head and we loose ourselves in them. The mere act of telling somebody else forces us to bring them in an order and can help us see the facts more clearly.
2. Getting a new perspective: Allow others to assess your situation from their standpoint. They might be able to see points you overlooked or – if you had an argument with somebody – understand the others’ perspective and lay it out to you in a different way. It’s never a bad idea to get a variety of outlooks on your situation to find some clarity and structure.
3. Knowing you’re not alone: Whatever is keeping you from being your happiest self might have – in one or the other way – happened to others, too. Simply hearing that somebody can relate and (!) knowing they were able to work their way out again can be a huge relief.
4. Give and take: Maybe somebody else needs somebody to talk to right now, too. And if you open up towards them offer to listen to their problems, too. Actually, I’ve often found myself able to get to the ground of my own struggles better when trying to help others with their worries.
5. Distraction: Even if there’s really no way others can take the urden of your struggles off your shoulders a chat about whichever random topics is a great way to get your mind off of them for a while. Never underestimate the powers of some beauty or recipe talk in times of change and worry :).
* sorry to all Twilight fans but I’m not going to post that picture you’d expect here. Go and ask google. (:
I’m not posting this to ramble about how hard I have it or for sympathy. My intention in sharing these thoughts to encourage you to reach out. Because I know for a fact I’m not alone in holding back and thinking I had to work things out on my own. Tell others how you’re actually doing. Don’t bottle up your feelings because you want to seem like a strong and happy person on the outside. It only works for so long and then your feelings will overwhelm you. Call a friend. Mail somebody. Write a blog post about your feelings. Find your outlet and let others know you need some help. I’m here to listen, too.
Happiness inducing today: Sleeping in thanks to a national holiday.
Stay in touch!
No questions today – just your thoughts on the issue. And: How are you [really] doing today?