They’re interesting things. We all experience them and they sort of just happen at different times as reactions to events but we don’t always understand them. So it’s easier to ignore them instead of identifying them, letting ourselves feel them then releasing them. Our emotions come first, they’re instinctive and our feelings are a reaction to that.

As a society, we find it quite challenging to FEEL and we definitely find it hard to share these feelings with others. You know the drill, you meet someone, they ask: ‘Hey, how are you?’ You respond: ‘Good, thanks’. Sometimes you are and sometimes you feel utterly dreadful, but it’s always better to respond with a safe ‘Good, thanks’, right.

Having experienced PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I’ve really had to acknowledge my emotions. My way of coping was to squash them all down then cover them with a layer of numbness. But they were there, like a snake in long grass waiting to strike.

Obviously it’s not appropriate with a casual acquaintance to launch into a detailed account of our innermost emotions and feelings, but there are times when it is absolutely imperative to listen to our emotional voice. And we’re not encouraged to do that, we suck it up, we slap on a happy face when sometimes we feel empty and disconnected inside. We also don’t want others to feel uncomfortable, we don’t want them to be embarrassed by our, whisper it, sadness. But, in some cases, ignoring emotions can lead to pain in our body or depression. So it’s important to identify how we are feeling, embrace it and then share with the appropriate person or people.

Recently I saw the movie ‘Inside Out’. It’s aimed at children and in an entertaining way it encourages them how to acknowledge their feelings and not be expected to be happy all the time. One of the emotions highlighted in the movie is anger. What a great go-to emotion it is. You may be feeling sad or frustrated but anger is a safer feeling to express; it’s easy to hide behind and lets you ignore what’s really going on. But masking our true emotions just isn’t healthy.

I highly recommend ‘Inside Out’ for all adults, regardless of having children, as it’s enlightening and amusing in equal measure.

So I hope you have a very happy day… unless you’re not feeling that, then have a ‘Meh, Whatever’, shoulder-shrug day!

Karina Penny