It’s a common question that most of us use everyday to family, friends and colleagues. Often it is a throw away line that we say without really listening to the answer. Often the response will be something like:
“I’m fine and you?”
It’s a polite exchange, we use it so often that once said we give it no more thought and just get on with our day. Unless we are met with a different type of response e.g. I am really ill …. then we pay attention and offer sympathy.
However, what if instead, we listened, really listened to the answer and what if, we didn’t politely ask everyone else but instead we asked ourselves?
Why not go ahead and give it a try now?
Place you hand on your heart.
Close your eyes.
Bring your attention to your breath, don’t change it, just notice it as you inhale and exhale.
Now ask yourself, “How am I feeling today?”
Ask it with a curiosity and the same concern you would ask a child or an elderly relative who had been unwell.
Don’t rush it, focus on your breathing, and allow the answer to come. You may find nothing comes up at first because a strange thing can happen when we acknowledge our thoughts, they get shy and try to hide. Just give it time. If you don’t get anything mentally then start by focusing on your body and how you feel physically, is there any discomfort or aches and pains. Then slowly come back to the mind.
You are not looking for solutions to problems, you are simply acknowledging how you are feeling today, in this moment. Are you feeling?
It is just an acknowledgement of your mood. Instead of bottling up all our emotions and locking them deep inside as we put on our social mask and head out to face the world, we are acknowledging to ourselves how we really feel inside. You are talking to yourself, no one else is listening so be as honest as you can be.
Stop hiding behind a shrug, and an “I’m Ok” before getting on with your day at 100 miles per hour focusing on sorting out all your problems and all everyone else’s problems.
Just breathe in and listen to your soul, your inner wisdom, or whatever name you prefer to call it. You are just looking for a feeling deep inside.
No one feels great all the time, our moods are on a continuum, and if we ask ourselves this question at different times in the day, the chances are the answer will be different.
Whatever the answer is, it’s ok, all you are trying to do is to acknowledge and bring out into the light how you are feeling in this moment, you don’t need to do anything with the answer.
When you ask someone else how they are feeling, the simple fact that you show you care will make them feel better and that is all you are doing, showing care and compassion to yourself. Acknowledging that you are more than a list of tasks that you need to perform. Acknowledge that it is ok not to feel great all the time.
It is normal to feel a wide range of emotions during a day, we can even change in a moment. We may feel down and receive a telephone call or a text from a friend and our mood improves. We may be feeling great, and we receive an unexpected bill and our mood lowers. You haven’t changed but events external to you have brought a change in your mood.
Start listening to you, acknowledge the ebb and flow of your moods as you focus not only on ticking off all the things that you need to do today.
Be that best friend to yourself that is always asking,
“How are you feeling today”?