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How are you

How are you doing?

Wait, stop there for a moment. It’s all too easy to breeze by that question without really thinking. So here’s what I want you to do: Read the question again, close your eyes, take deep breath, and sit for at least 10 seconds and search deeply for the answer.

So, again . . . how are you doing?

Are you feeling calm, peaceful, relaxed, content? Or do your emotions tend to be leaning more toward feeling anxious, fearful, worried, disconnected, overwhelmed?

One feeling that seems to be extremely common right now is loneliness. That’s because humans weren’t designed for isolation. We were designed for connection. And right now, there are many people feeling disconnected from friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers, so loneliness is quite amplified.

Feelings are like fuel gauges on a car with positive emotions reflecting a full tank and negative emotions indicating a depleted tank.If you are experiencing positive emotions in light of all that is happening, that’s great! Keep topping off your tank with mounds of gratitude throughout your day.

Maybe your emotions are indicating your tank is empty. Don’t get upset with yourself and add to the negative emotions you feel. You don’t get mad at the gas gauge on your car when it’s gets low, do you? No, you just pull over at the next station for a fill up.

Likewise, when you notice your emotional tank is low and negative feelings are rising, you have an opportunity to fill up. Maybe you need to shut off the news for a while and read an encouraging book. Maybe you need to video chat with a friend, write in a gratitude journal, or play a board game with a loved one in lieu of spending time on a digital device. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is something that fills you up. You can’t show up for others well when you yourself are depleted.

If you let your feelings speak to you rather than control you, you will find yourself becoming the type of person who can stand in the midst of nearly any storm. That, in itself, is reason for joy.

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