How are you?

A question we hear at least three times a day, and often we respond with quite a blasé answer. How many times have you heard, ‘How are you?’ and you’ve automatically responded, ‘Good thanks, and you?’ without even contemplating it?

We’ve become so desensitised to that question that we no longer actually talk about how we’re feeling. I always respond that I’m doing grand, but if I actually responded with a hint of truth my answer would be more along the lines of: ‘I’m stressed, tired, and on the verge of a mental breakdown. I’ve got a pile of work to do and no idea what’s going on. People keep asking me what I want to do after uni and I have NO idea. I just want to sleep for a week. But how are you?’ 

That answer is probably a bit much to handle in everyday conversation, especially if you’re stuck in a social situation you’d rather not be in so you give the shortest answer possible to get the interaction over and done with. But when you think about it, how many times are you asked that question and you are never honest? 

Everybody needs to become more comfortable with talking about how they’re feeling. It shouldn’t be such a taboo to talk about your mental health, and you shouldn’t feel anxious about telling someone if you’re not doing so well. If you’re struggling with something, tell someone. If you feel down, tell someone. If you are always stressed, tell someone. If you’re incredibly happy, tell someone!

It should be more common for everybody to honestly talk about how they’re feeling, and it shouldn’t be frowned upon. If someone comes to you with their problems, take the time to listen to them, it doesn’t matter if you have no solution, sometimes just a pair of ears and a shoulder to cry on is all we need.