Tuesday, September 13, 2016

#Mental Clutter,and How to Get Rid of It.

Physical clutter is very much noticeable,and we try to get rid of it so that we can work unhindered,but what about mental clutter?It largely goes unnoticed.We may not even be aware of its existence;yet it has the power to make us feel restless,weighed down,and ill at ease.

What exactly,is mental clutter?I think it denotes thoughts which are not germane to our occupation at a given moment.Naturally,this obstructs focused thinking and screws up our performance.

Sometimes these thoughts are about the current scenario,the pending jobs,looming deadlines,or other responsibilities demanding our attention.These are easy to deal with.

At other times we clutter our minds with worries about the future;brooding about a number of 'what ifs',like the loss of a job,inability to pay off a loan,health issues or the culmination of a deteriorating relationship.These distractions are more distressing.

And then,we fret about what happened in the past.Painful memories of rejection,abuse,loss,failure,injustice,victimisation and humiliation are hard to forget.We shove them to the back of our minds so that we can get on with our work,but they continue to simmer and pop up from time to time.

We often harbour guilt feelings about something we did or failed to do,and this too amalgamates with our mental clutter.

Perhaps the most damning and all-consuming element of mental clutter is intrusive,obsessive thoughts.Even though irrational and out of character,these thoughts cause a lot of anguish.It is very difficult to junk them.This post can help you do this. 

Phew,what a long list!If only there was an automatic delete system in our brains to do away with redundant,detrimental thoughts.But since this is not the case,we shall have to do it ourselves.Regularly!

You can start by identifying thoughts which serve no purpose and erase them determinedly.The ones which have more validity can be prioritised and dealt with.Making a list puts it down in black and white and facilitates execution.But there is a hitch.

Some people go to the bottom of that list to jobs which are less urgent but more enjoyable.Procrastination is the name! Beware of this habit,because it leaves many loose ends in the brain and then the niggling reminders of things which are more important create unrest.This site contains excellent tips for beating this habit. 

Another effective way of snipping mental clutter is to put a quick closure on episodes which are likely to linger on and ruin your peace of mind.If you tackle the injustices and infringements dealt to you,as and when they occur,rather than brooding over them long after the moment,then you shall have greater peace of mind.

Sometimes,because of many personal or practical considerations,it is not feasible to accost the perpetrator.In that case it is best to forgive and move ahead. 

The best way to delete mental clutter is to live in the moment.Those who do so are a happy lot.What happened in the past cannot be undone,but making amends where possible and taking care to not repeat your mistakes is a good way of ridding your minds of regrets and guilt traps.Worrying about the future will not prepare you to combat upcoming challenges,it will only up the levels of anxiety and apprehension.

Some people devise a cue,like a wristband,a bracelet,or a coin in hand,to warn them that their minds are wandering.

Meditation too,imparts a lot of clarity and stability to anxious minds.It augments the ability to concentrate on the job at hand without being distracted.A good night's sleep,healthy diet and relaxation techniques give much needed rest to noisy ,vagrant minds.

No matter which technique you employ,keeping your mind in check will not only improve your productivity but also help you to feel light and positive.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Drawbacks of Being # Highly Sensitive.

Life is stressful enough these days without adding an unwarranted burden to our minds. But we do exactly that when we react excessively to external stimuli,ponder reflectively over everything,experience emotions strongly,and take little things to heart.

Those who fit this description have been termed as highly Sensitive People or HSP by Dr.Elaine Aron who has been researching this trait since 1991.This is not a disorder but an innate tendency found in 15 to 20% people according to her.She says they are born,not made.You can check her site to judge for yourself whether or not you too,are highly sensitive.

The HSP have many admirable qualities.They are empathetic,caring,conscientious,creative and methodical,but being highly sensitive can sometimes also be detrimental.

*It is a given that now and then our plans will be foiled,we shall be defeated,and we may also suffer mishaps or setbacks. Such things sadden everyone,but if we accept them and move forward  it is one problem left behind. On the other hand,if we give undue importance to a negative event then we carry that negativity along with us,much longer than is good for us.

*In this way we accumulate more stress than is mandated by the circumstances. It not only affects our composure but could also morph into an anxiety disorder.

*When we pay excessive attention to a negative element in our lives,we lose sight of other positive aspects.Life appears dark and dreary and we become unduly morose.

*Moreover,when we allow run-of-the-mill instances to overwhelm us,it is possible to lose sight of other pressing matters which might really be important.

*Emotions cloud our reasoning faculties and distort perceptions. Naturally,this obviates problem-solving and leads to more stress in our lives.

*Too much sensitivity can cause loneliness.It is not uncommon to be rejected, cheated,betrayed or humiliated by someone.If we obsess about such episodes and retreat into our shells,we will cut ourselves off from many people.Others too will be wary of stepping on our toes and steer clear of us.

*The greatest danger in reacting strongly or experiencing emotions too deeply lies in the realm of relationships.A chance utterance,criticism,or an angry retort can mark the end of a relationship for those who hurt easily.It is best to give some margin to those who really matter,who could lighten our burden,who want to be with us,and without whom we too would be unhappy,otherwise that relationship could come to a sorry end,and then we would really have something to worry about.

In order to be happy,it is essential to view everything in its proper perspective.Difficulties,obstacles or unsavory incidents cannot be ruled out,but by allowing even negligible events to influence us hugely,we perpetuate tension and preclude serenity.

A related post:--

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Far-reaching Consequences of a Dysfunctional Family.

Parul was a twenty-two-year-old,well employed unmarried,graduate girl when she came to me for counseling.She had various problems.Her personal life was a mess and her past too had been no better.Her parents divorced when she was in the sixth standard.Both mother and father lived in other cities.Her elder sister belonged to low middle class.Only her brother,who lived in a metro,was doing well.

When she was still a child,a man with whom her mother lived tried to molest her.She left that city as soon as she got a job in Kota.So far,so good.

Here,she got entangled with a boy who was doing a small time job-nothing much to speak of.She developed an intimate relationship with him and went twice for an abortion.

He used to   fleece her for money and gifts.Hungry as she was,for a sense of belonging and recognition;she used to give in to his demands.Then he began to two-time her.So she asked him to return her money and stuff.In response,he became violent,as did his brother and cohorts.Overcome by despair,she took sleeping pills and Celphos.Her friend took her to the hospital and she recovered.

It was after this episode,that she came to me.Despite all this,she wanted to marry him because one,she believed that no one would marry her because of her parents' divorce;and two,because he belonged to her caste.She was determined to marry him even if it meant hell for her,such was her desperation to get married.Her parents were not at all bothered about what was happening in her life.

Her boyfriend too had a murky background.His mother had committed suicide and his father had two wives.Both he and his brother were henchmen of small-time politicians.

I tried to make her see the fallacy of her decision and the logic behind it but she was unmoved.It appeared that her questionable lifestyle had left her with little self-respect.She was convinced that she would not get a better option than what she now had.After a few days,she told me that she had patched up with him again.