The Life-Changing Reasons You Should Ask Yourself, 'Am I OK?'

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The One Major Question You Should Be Asking To Check In With Yourself On Mental Health
Self

How often do you take the time to ask yourself this important question?

If never or rarely, I strongly suggest you start doing so today!

Since 2009 in Australia, the second Thursday day in September each year has been dedicated to reminding people to ask family, friends and colleagues in a meaningful way the question, "R U OK?" 

It encourages us to ask others who may seem to be unhappy, depressed or potentially suicidal, how they are feeling. 

Since its inception, 'R U OK? Day' has proven to be a powerful initiative to highlight the importance — and potentially life-saving power — of simply caring for others. 

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Indeed with each passing year, the R U OK? Day movement has grown from strength to strength. There is no doubt that prompting awareness on this special day of how others around us may be feeling has proven to be an effective and a life-saving initiative.  

It seems to me, however, that an equally vital yet all too often overlooked question that we should also be encouraged to ask on a regular basis is … 

AM I OK?

For many of us in the world of today, at times juggling the pressures of life as we strive to achieve while also managing the demands and disappointments of our personal life is likely to leave us in a state of stress. 

Indeed for far too many of us, stress is such a constant companion that we take it for granted. Symptoms such as continual conflict in our relationships, fatigue, an inability to sleep, a short temper, moodiness, anxiety, or feeling depressed can seem to be just part and parcel of our everyday life.  

Alas all too often we can ignore such signs that all is not well until our body or mind — or both — succumb and we are finally are forced to seek help … or ignore our ill health at our peril. 

At such times, knowing that we have one or more people who are there for us, regardless of the circumstances, can help us to weather even the worst of storms. 

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Unfortunately, not all of us have the support we need to help us manage the pressure of stress and maintain health and balance in our lives. Indeed it would seem that depression is so common today that it could be regarded as part and parcel of everyday life and it is up to us ‘to get over it’.

Maybe, like millions of men and women of all ages in our technology driven society, you often feel isolated and alone? 

This is especially likely to be the case if much of your social contact is via the web with strangers rather than with one or more real friends who you know are there for you regardless of life’s  ‘ups and downs’.  

While today’s technology has made it much easier for us to connect, many who spend most of their time in front of a screen communicating via mediums such as social media miss out on the benefits that being together in ‘real life’ make possible. 

No computer can enable us to reach out and touch each other, to hold and be held, or provide a warm, human shoulder to cry on. Indeed it is likely that many millions of people in our world of today rarely experience the benefits that holding and being held at times of distress — or joy — can bring.

Alas, in an era where we can claim to have hundreds of online ‘friends’, it has become increasingly difficult ‘to know’ and ‘to be known'. For singles seeking a partner, meeting on dating sites often leads to a series of brief encounters. 

Developing a real friendship takes time … something that unfortunately seems to have gone missing for many of us in a fast-paced world be this online or at large. All too often today relationships seem to be as disposable as tissues.

If you are not feeling OK, acknowledging this is a powerful first step to making positive changes in your life that will assist you to find more joy and fulfillment each and every day.  

Making an appointment to talk to an appropriate helping professional such as a doctor, psychologist or counselor would be a wise next step if your world is colored gray.  However, being there for others in need of support could also be a rewarding start.  For example, volunteering that involves connecting with others who are like-minded could bring more joy and a sense of purpose into your life. 

Meeting like-minded people and knowing that your time is being spent in a positive way will bring morale boosting benefits that prompt smiles and make your day!

RELATED: 7 Ways Mentally Strong People Deal With Stress

Yvonne Allen is an author, public speaker, international relationship expert, and well-known media consultant. Visit Yvonne's website or discover her eBooks on Amazon, including "Love Today: What's Gender Got to Do With It", "Working Women: Having it All", "Winning with Women", and others to learn more about how to improve your mental health and find your ideal relationship, so you can reach your goals for love.

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