Be Well

How We Feel

Be Well Hawthorn

As humans, we’re emotional creatures. Our emotions influence the decisions we make, the career path we take, the films and music we enjoy, the art we’re drawn to. Emotions help us choose our friends, those whom we fall in love and stay with…and how well we look after ourselves.

Yes, emotions have power. Emotional intelligence is the ability to harness that power–to understand and manage emotions, so that we make decisions that are in harmony with our core values and principles.

I recently started using an app called How We Feel. Created by a scientific non-profit in 2020, their first app was a free survey that let anyone self-report COVID-19 symptoms and anonymously share the data with scientists and doctors.

This has now evolved into a the How We Feel app, a free journal for wellbeing created by scientists, designers, engineers, and psychologists. Over time, you learn precise words to describe how you feel, spot trends and patterns, and practice simple strategies to regulate your emotions in healthy ways.

How We Feel is a really beautiful app, as you might expect from a product team led by Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest. The team includes current and former Pinterest employees who are passionate about creating a more emotionally healthy world. The scientific team is led by Dr. Marc Brackett from the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence.

You can also join with family and friends and set up your own closed group.

I log in once a day and was amazed at the end of the first few weeks reading my analytics. I think I am pretty self aware/high EQ but I learned a lot about myself and my emotional state at given times of the day.

We are all much more aware about mental health and its impact on our lives, families and colleagues, yet still too much stigma exists for too many people. Maybe sharing more everyday information about how we are feeling, or our mind health as I like to call it, will normalise our emotions and feelings as they relate to ourselves and others.

A psychologist friend from New Zealand recently shared ways Maori people approach mental health and wellness. Instead of being purely about the mind, the Maori model of mental health recognises the connection of mental wellbeing to the physical, spiritual and relational aspects that support wellbeing on a whole. The model was developed in the 1980’s by a Maori psychiatrist, Sir Mason Durie. Its called Te Whare Tapa Wha.

There is also a Maori term, ‘tangata whaiora’, used to describe people who are experiencing distress. Tangata whaiora literally translates to ‘a person seeking wellness’. I think this is a beautiful way to reduce the stigma attached to mental distress and instead highlights that we’re all looking for wellness in some way, shape or form.

May we collectively be the people seeking wellness.

Be Well is the first-of-its- kind urban health, wellness and lifestyle club in Melbourne, Australia.  Informed by the science of longevity, Be Well nurtures the relationship you have with yourself and others, to optimise your lifestyle, and live your longest, best life.