Give expression to your emotions: Feeling fine every day | Sunday Observer

Give expression to your emotions: Feeling fine every day

Do you want to feel fine? Then forget about absolute self-control. Forget complete relaxation. Forget the promises of total fitness.

Only a few of us are capable of such ideal states. But, all of us have the capacity to feel fine - to live happily in a stressful world without being overwhelmed - if we will only take charge of our lives and become involved in a program of self-care.

This doesn’t mean life should be a matter of constant self-denial. In fact, the full enjoyment of life is the best prescription for staying healthy. To feel fine, you have to know what your feelings and desires are and pay attention to them.

Of course, you can’t neglect your diet or physical fitness; they’re both part of feeling fine. But, just as important are emotional and mental health, the keys to our total well-being. Here are a few suggestions.

Break a taboo

Did you ever want to read an interesting book in bed until midnight, but found yourself turning out the lights at 10 - the regular hour? Have you ever wanted to talk to a stranger, or do something you avoided in the past because men or women simply “don’t do” such things? Have you ever wanted McDonald breakfast, but wound up eating home-cooked meal again?

We all live with restrictions that may not be appropriate to us anymore. You can break out of those inhibiting habits if you make a list of some of the things you’ve never done, but would like to do.

How often do you touch - without feeling? Eat - without tasting? Breathe - without smelling? Look - without seeing? Listen - without hearing? Most of the time your senses are asleep. You turn them off so they won’t distract you from the tasks you are doing.

Start to awaken your body to the pleasures that lie within. Cut a piece of fruit or a fresh vegetable into slices. How does it taste? Look closely at a familiar surface - a leaf or your hand. How many things are there that you never noticed? Close your eyes and count how many different sounds you can hear in three minutes.

Take half a dozen jars from your spice shelf. Close your eyes and smell each one separately.

How long does it take for you to distinguish each of them without reading the labels? These are only a few of the opportunities waiting to stroke your senses - if you let them.

Show appreciation

Long ago, when I became a group leader, a colleague told me how discouraged some of my team members were because they were putting out their best, but my attitude seemed to show that I didn’t care. “Of course, I care,” I answered.

“Then the solution is simple,” he replied. “Let them know.”

Earlier, when my team members finished their assignments, I always asked whether they had double checked the work. After the advice, I tried to tell them how good their assignments were, and sent them notes with a few kind words, too.

A funny thing was happening. I noticed more nice things in my life. My people were more fun to be around with, or maybe I was more fun to be around.

Enjoy your treasures

Fifteen years ago, I bought three bottles of a much-acclaimed champagne in Paris. I bought them because the shopkeeper assured me I’d never get another chance to buy champagne like that. For 10 years I kept those bottles, just waiting for an occasion big enough to pop the cork.

Then someone told me that champagne can spoil if kept too long. That night, with no occasion at all to celebrate, I called a few friends and opened the bottles one by one.

Of the three, two were undrinkable and the third was just so-so. It was a hard way to learn that the treasures of life have no value if they go unused.

Find the treasures you’ve been hoarding, and use them. Serve dinner to the kids on your best china. Pour the milk into crystal glasses. Display those family heirlooms that are locked away in a closet.

Trust your feelings

“Forty-Five Swiss francs,” the artist said. My heart pounded as I looked at his work. It was no Vincent van Gogh, but there on an easel was a painting that captured all of my feelings about snow-filled Swiss mountains.

Still, my practical side told me the price was too much. ‘ ‘Thirty- five,” I whispered. The artist’s expression said not a penny less.

Ten Swiss Francs stood between me and the portrait of the mountains that I loved. My feelings said, “Buy!” but I walked away.

For months, after I returned from that trip I relived the decision, wishing I could take it back. The experience taught me a valuable lesson: pay more attention to feelings.

Always, listen to your inner feelings. You may have to change a decision, apologize to someone, or take something back to the store - but you’ll be feeling fine when you do.

Let yourself go

One of my American friends, who was born in Vermont, a state in north-eastern United States, known for its natural landscape, sent me an email recently. “Last month, I was on vacation in Vermont with my family. I was walking up the steps of the state capitol building when a wave of excitement hit me.

I had returned to my boyhood home, and couldn’t contain myself. Standing next to an old cannon, with one hand on the barrel, I shouted,“Fellow Vermonters, your long-lost son has returned.”

As I continued my speech, the natives stared in disbelief and as I finished my 3-minute speech, there was a thundering applause.”

My friend has not gone crazy. He was allowing his excitement to reach the surface and come out in action. I am sure he was feeling very fine.

Life has many special moments, times when your emotions are at a high pitch. Don’t stifle them.

Give them expression. Jog down the street instead of walking. Sing when the band plays. regain that lovely quality of a child.