You’ve probably heard the joke about the two psychiatrists who meet in the street.
‘You’re fine,’ says the first, ‘How am I?’.
In fact you don’t need to be a health professional to have a reasonable idea of how those around you are feeling, simply by using your senses.
In my own case, I know that some outward signs of a low mood are having less inflection in my voice when I talk; moving more slowly; having ‘sad eyes’; being less productive.
Some of these may ring a bell for you.
Perhaps you’re aware of having others too.
Of course, while it’s relatively easy to detect a friend’s mood when you’re physically in front of one another, it can be much harder to spot how someone’s feeling when all you’ve got is an email or text message.
(Unless of course the message actually tells you.)
I think in general that it helps when those we’re closest to are able to understand us, and empathise when times aren’t so good.
It’s worth remembering, therefore, that in electronic communication it’s much harder for friends to pick up on our signals.
Taking that step to disclose your emotions and share your feelings could feel scary or even selfish.
But it’s often a good thing to do.
We all want to understand each other, we all want to be understood.