How Are You, Really?

Two brunette women talking and smiling next to blue vase with green plant

Mental Health During The Coronavirus Pandemic

As mental illness continues to rise as the pandemic progresses, many of us continue to ignore how others around us are doing because we are too busy focusing on ourselves. Some of us continue to be polite and show interest in others, but deep inside, we only care about ourselves, hoping that the conversation will focus on us and not the other person. But this is the problem with society; we care more to address how we are feeling than how others are feeling. This has to be changed.

From now on, rather than superficially asking another person “How are you?”, let’s add an extra word and take it a step further, “How are you, really?” By just adding one extra word, you place so much more emphasis on the question by showing the other person that you’re willing to engage and listen on a deeper level. This results in the other person opening up about things that he or she would have never previously opened up about.

One approach that you should start using with anyone who you interact with is focusing on what they really have to stay and not what you want to hear. You may not be trained to do so as you’ve been living your entire life focusing on what you have to say or not really listening when others are talking to you. But it’s time to retrain the way you interact with others and this starts by attentively listening to others’ emotions and struggles.

It’s actually fun when you make conversations less about you and more about them. Developing your listening skills is a great tool to have because it actually sets you up in a better position during conversations; it prevents you from divulging unnecessary information without first processing it. It also helps you learn more about others and their ways, helping you understand how different people function and view the world.

People will also appreciate your time more when they see that you really care about what they’re saying. The truth is that even if you try this approach, you may not really care all that much about what others are saying, but with time and practice, it will become part of your repertoire and you will see that you’ll actually start to enjoy listening to what others have to say about themselves.

But most importantly, do it for mental health. So many people are afraid to share their struggles, believing that others don’t care or will make fun of them. Let’s change that for good. Let’s show humanity that we are different and that we are here to help others open up and talk about their struggles with mental illness. We are here to carefully listen and guide others, providing them with hope, strength and power.

How are you, really? Try it.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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Being Happy For Others

Three young women sitting on bench on beach

It’s Not All About You

Being happy rocks! There’s no better feeling than having everything go your way and riding the wave of happiness; cloud nine becomes an understatement. But just being happy about yourself takes away the excitement from your relationships. Relationships strive when both parties can share each other’s happiness.

Being genuinely happy for others will improve your relationships: it shows people that you are not selfish, are empathic and able to share someone else’s happiness. It feels great to feel happy for someone else, even if it’s for a person who you are not close to; empathy has no boundaries.

When you redirect more attention towards others and less towards yourself, you are training your mind to be more caring; you are working towards altruism. In the process, you become more empathic, a better listener and more willing to help others out. You actually start to appreciate yourself more.

But when you don’t share the happiness of others, you are emotionally isolating yourself in your selfishness. At first you are distracted by your cloud nine experiences; you’re on top of the world and nothing can come between you and your bliss. But over time, your selfish joy gets old and you find yourself desensitized to your own happiness.

People can tell when you care about them; it’s a natural feeling that is easily detectable. But someone who does not radiate empathy often comes off as narcissistic or emotionally detached; it’s all about them and little about you. Don’t be that person! Life is so much more pleasurable when you are able to feel someone else’s happiness and enjoy it with them.

Remind yourself that life is not all about you! Inflating your ego to the point of forming an impenetrable barrier will only distance people from your presence. Your goal is to find a happy medium where you are happy for yourself but just as happy for those around you. Life is meant for us to be happy together!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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