I imagine you might answer in several different ways if I asked you how you feel, right now.
You could interpret my question as being about your temperature.
Do you feel hot, warm or cold?
Alternatively, you might believe I was enquiring about your energy level.
Do you feel exhausted or raring to go?
There again, and more likely, your answer may relate to your current emotional state.
Are you happy, sad, angry, scared etc?
The truth is, at any one time you feel a mixture of physiological and emotional sensations, and the overall way in which you feel is almost certain to be based on a combination of factors.
For instance, if you were reading this on your phone at the bus-stop in the rain, you’d probably be feeling dejected, cold and worn-out.
It’s good to talk about feelings, even better when we do so in context.
If all I know is that you’re dejected, I can only guess at why this might be.
But if you also tell me about the cold, worn-out, bus-stop stuff, well I can empathise with you.
I can imagine what it must be like for you.
Perhaps I can help you make sense of it and keep things in perspective.
If someone is (really) interested in how you feel, try to explain.
It can be harder than it seems, but there’s big value in doing so.
Similarly, if you truly want to know how someone else is feeling, you may need to do some gentle interrogation to burrow beneath a simple ‘not bad’.
Finally, if by some bizarre quirk of random mind-reading I’ve happened to pick on your precise current circumstances and you actually are waiting for the number 37 in the rain, sorry. I truly am.
I’m sure there’ll be one along in a minute.