Here are the results of the poll from last week, and the results indicate that emotions are not often broached at home. School systems that I know of also do not focus on this topic. How does one learn how to manage emotions if the topic is not even broached at home or in school?
From my experience (pre-internet), I had a few close friends with whom to do activities together (e.g., sports, hobbies, etc). We had ample time to simply hang out and do nothing. Part of that “do nothing” time turned out to be a life changer as we chatted about what was on our minds, including our emotions and feelings about anything and everything. In hindsight, I was lucky that I had such a network.
How did others deal with it? Besides friends and siblings, some discovered their own outlets (e.g., journal writing, drawing, etc) for emotional release where they can pour out their negative emotions so that it didn’t get bottled up. Some learned from watching television, as many shows are good at exploring such topics. Some went to therapists, though it was such a stigma decades ago that people did not pursue it (at least not openly) as they do today. For some, they are still learning to manage their emotions today.
Today, the situation is more more challenging, for both children and adults. While we are closely connected digitally, deep relationships seem more distant. Instead of chatting with friends and providing an outlet for our emotions, our escape is staring at our phones. Seeing pictures of other people’s inflated social lives or reading disturbing comments on blogs does not bring us that outlet we need. Not sure about you, but I never feel better after spending time on Instagram, TikTok, or similar social media. Thanks to Covid, we also added two plus years of virtual work/ schools to that mix. Before in schools and at the workplace, even people who are not really close served as a sympathetic community who share the same frustrations with homework and assignments. Even that avenue is now gone.
For students, I know of high school and college students who cannot name any close friends that they spend time with in person as all of their connections are online. For those working, not being in the office have exacerbated the situation as the unmanaged situation becomes stress. Stress level is at an all time high for most firms. All in all, I feel that the impact of going digital, Covid and other other “advances,” we find ourselves in a critical state where all of us need to address and manage emotions (aka, mental health) for ourselves and those around us.
In the next post, I will explore some basic tools that have been helpful for me and then followed by some thoughts on the role of employers and school systems in this day and age. However, I would love to hear any advice or lessons that have helped you up to now in managing your emotions and mental health.
#DeliverbyWenSzuLin #TheUntaughtLessons #mentalhealth