The SHKP Club has once again asked professionals from the Mental Health Photographic Society to offer advice and encouragement for living happier lives in the Relaxation Station online column.
Home is a refuge from outside pressure and fatigue and everyone likes to rest in its warmth, but we should also respond to the emotions of other family members and have empathy in addition to relaxing. Clinical psychologist Tony Wong says it's necessary to calm down as quickly as possible if arguing with a family member, to prevent relationships from being strained. Here are some suggestions for cooling down:
- Ceasefire – Put a firm halt to anger or anxiety. Tell yourself: "Stop! This can't go on."
- Find space – Clearly express your need to cool down before any more discussion. Withdraw from the charged scene to give both sides space.
- What next? – With space to cool down, think seriously about solutions and consider both your expectations and the other person's needs.
- Discuss afterwards – Find time soon after everyone is calm to have a deeper discussion and bring harmony back to the home.
Everyone wants to be happy, but it can be difficult to achieve when there are external factors beyond control. Psychiatrist Chan Ka Yee says it's easier to face difficulties with a thankful, content-with-life attitude and trying to learn or gain from hardship. A Chinese proverb says 'the spectators see the chess game better than the players do', so consider the following if you want to help family or friends out of trouble or disturbing moods:
Be positive yourself to spread the optimism.
Be empathetic and put yourself in the other person's shoes.
Provide company and a pair of ears, even if you can't do anything to change the facts.
Show your care verbally or through body gestures; even a small pat or a hug might help.