“How are you?” When you are asked this, do you actually answer honestly or do you answer with the common “fine” answer that everyone uses. When someone asks you “Are you okay?” Do you answer “yes” honestly or just because you know that that is what the questioner wants to hear? I believe we are all guilty in doing this to some extent — in asking a question that we do not really want the honest answer to, so that we can move on and not complicate our lives. But this brings me to this point — if we cannot be honest with others, are we honest with ourselves about our feelings and our emotions? Or do we hide it, not wanting to examine ourselves too deeply?

Your emotions and your overall emotional well-being plays an important role in your life – mentally and physically. Depression, living a high-stress life, being highly emotional, etc.-all of these factors can affect your health. Studies have shown that a person living with constant high-level stress is more prone to disorders such as ulcers, high blood pressure and heart attacks.

When you answer with the word “fine” when you are not fine means that you bottle up your emotions. This is okay if you are those who release your emotions in a constructive manner at another time. But there are others whose emotions get bottled up and is repressed, which then festers and builds until there is a breaking point. This is not good. When your emotions erupt when others have not expected it to, it makes others think that you have “lost it” because they did not know about the festering emotions since you always answered with the answer “fine”.

Try to live in a calm and peaceful environment. I know you have a job, family, relatives, friends and other responsibilities that all comes with stress. But try to minimize your stress. When you are at work, focus on work and when you are at home, do not worry about work; instead, focus on your family. Some couples make a pact to never go to bed angry so you can start each day fresh, but just remember that there may be nights when you go to bed late, very late. If there are some individuals that always seem to be “downers” and they drain your energy or make you feel depressed in return, try to limit your time with them or remove them from your life. That may sound harsh, but sometimes it is for the best.

Have you ever heard the expression, you use more muscles to frown than to smile? So why work harder than you have to. SMILE!

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