#GetReal About How You Feel. Name It, Don’t Numb It
by Lisa Malowany, Program Manager and Trainer
The week of May 3-9, 2021, will mark the 70th annual Canadian Mental Health Association Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is #GetReal about how you feel, and name it, don’t numb it.
What does it mean to #GetReal?
What does it mean to get real about how you feel and name it, don’t numb? Well, first you need think about your feelings. The truth is that it’s common to feel a variety of emotions, whether positive or negative, and that experiencing different emotions is human nature. However, is it human nature to talk about how we are feeling, particularly if that feeling isn’t a positive one? Most people would say no. Getting real about how you feel is admitting to yourself how you’re truly feeling and then taking the next step of sharing it with someone you trust. Although you may feel powerless over the feelings you are having, when you get real with others and talk about your mental health rather than numbing it, negative feelings lose their power over you.
How to Name it and Don’t Numb it
Recognizing, labeling, and accepting your feelings is all part of protecting and promoting good mental health for everyone. Call the feeling what it is! Admit that “today, I feel sad,” or “right now, I’m feeling anxious.” By identifying and naming those feelings, you’re not pushing them down but rather bringing them to the forefront. If you continue to push these feelings down, they could fester and worsen. Remember, experiencing complex emotions is a part of human nature and, although we sometimes don’t know where those feelings are coming from, we know that they aren’t positive for us.
How to Find and Ask For Help
It’s important to remember that there is help available if you’re struggling with your mental health. If your emotions feel overwhelming, are persistent, and/or interfering with your daily life, it’s important to seek mental health supports. Once you’ve named it and called it what it is, you’re in a better position seek specific supports for that. Talking with your doctor or a mental health professional can get you the help you need.
Additionally, looking for resources through your employee assistance program or various websites, will help you to not allow those feelings to have power over you. Both SARC’s Learning Central website and the Canadian Mental Health Association website have information on mental health.
So, this Mental Health Week, #GetReal about how you feel and name it, don’t numb it.