Amira: Welcome to the very first episode of the 2 Minute Happy Place podcast, a show where we invite a guest each week to talk about mental health and relationships. I am your host, Amira Ismail, and today’s topic is how good behaviours make our life much easier. Our guest, Thomasina, is a psychologist, as well as an accomplished writer. Her most recent book was on SCMP’s bestseller list for three consecutive weeks. Welcome, Thomasina. It’s great to have you.
Thomasina: Thanks, Amira. It’s wonderful to be here.
Amira: In your latest book, you talked about how our behaviour towards others affects our mental health. Could you please tell us more?
Thomasina: Sure - it’s a really simple concept of treating others as you want to be treated. Certain such good behaviours create a cycle when we interact with other people, and this makes our life easier and, of course, happier.
Amira: Could you talk about some of these good behaviours?
Thomasina: To start off, learn to listen well. Taking in information, when you’d rather scream, can be hard to do. But other people might be making points you need to hear. Remember, good listeners always make more informed decisions, and bad listeners only make enemies.
Amira: Right. How about being sensitive to others’ feelings?
Thomasina: Definitely. It’s a good idea to ask the people who will be affected by a decision you’re making if they are all right with it. Let them know they can always tell you if they feel uncomfortable, and give them your full attention when they are speaking. This takes practice, though.
Amira: That’s very true. Some of us might feel so strongly about something that we forget about others’ feelings.
Thomasina: Also - and this might come across as a no-brainer - but always think before you speak. Don’t start ranting because you are upset. Think about how to solve the problem rather than attacking a person right away.
Amira: I see. So an example might be: “Look, I disagree with you. But we should both think about it first and meet up tomorrow to talk, instead of arguing over the phone right now”?
Thomasina: Yes, that’s a good way to turn an argument into a discussion. While you can’t control the situation, you can control how you react to it. Be bold enough to ask people what they’re feeling and ask what you can do for them. These behaviours will help you build your relationship with others and reduce stress in your life.
Amira: Thanks for these tips, Thomasina. They are incredibly useful.
Thomasina: You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure.
Amira: And that’s the end of today’s episode. Tune in next week when we’ll be sharing tips on how to create your own version of a happy place.