Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Switching from a Despondent Disposition to a Cheerful one :-)

Our disposition controls the way we think,feel and behave.Dictionary.com defines disposition as 'the predominant or prevailing tendency of one's spirits;natural mental and emotional outlook and mood;' or 'characteristic attitude'.Obviously it is of prime importance in determining the direction and quality of our lives.

It is very natural to be disheartened by an adverse event.When a few such events come close together it becomes difficult to be bullish and buoyant.But for some of us it takes very little to push us into the depths of despair,and dejection becomes a dominant quality of our nature.We lose interest in everything,do not converse with family or friends,can't even muster a smile at the best of jokes and give a negative reply to every query or suggestion.

When we believe from the core of our heart that nothing good will ever happen to us,we give up constructive efforts and are so engrossed in malaise that we fail to notice promising openings or dismiss them as mere chimeras.Even if we pursue a lead,our defeatist attitude prevents us from going all out for success.It is as if our unconscious mind wants to prove us right.And lo,the prophecy is fulfilled.As a result,our belief in the hopelessness of our condition is reinforced and we become even more apathetic. 

A despondent temperament is injurious.It vitiates our personal,social and professional life.As if that was not enough,it also ruins our physical and mental health.There are bound to be valid reasons behind such a temperament but these blocks can be overcome and we can change our attitude through deliberate and persistent efforts.If you feel that you too can do with more enthusiasm in your nature then read on,here are some tips to take you there :--
                               Self-talk
Your self-talk is your constant companion and therefore the biggest controller of your moods.Consciously,regularly,appreciate and encourage yourself,applaud your past victories and affirm that you can earn more plaudits.Weaknesses?Everybody has them.It is in your hands to climb over them or hold them up as insurmountable barriers.
                              Conversations
Whenever you meet someone,talk about the good things which are happening around you.Appreciate the goodness in the other person.Never ever crib about what is wrong in your work place,society or neighborhood.It does not serve any purpose.It will only add to the blackness of your mood.If you make an effort you will be able to find many things you can be happy about.Talk about those.

In a similar vein,your response to a 'How are you?' should be a chirpy 'Good'.Those who start off on a litany of their woes,deepen their anxiety,worsen their mood and are subsequently shunned by others.Fake it and you will make it.
Friends
Associate with those who are optimistic and progressive.Their enthusiasm will motivate you to shed your ennui,view the future with hope and take positive steps to improve your lot.
Stimulants
The stuff you read,the songs you listen to,the movies and shows you watch;all these determine your mood.A downcast person automatically chooses the diversions which mirror his state of mind but this is the exact opposite of what he should be doing.When you go to a dark room you switch on the light;you do not draw the curtains and make it pitch dark.Watch comedy shows.Laughter they say,is the best medicine.

Life becomes much more pleasant and satisfying when we switch over to a cheerful disposition.Life being LIFE,there are occasions when it is impossible to retain one's composure.Even the toughest will find it hard to be calm in the face of certain circumstances.Tragedies and traumas are hard to get over and everybody has his or her own way of coming to terms with such events.But it is also essential to make sure that dejection does not become a permanent state of mind.If we keep the faith and look to the future with hope,the rest of the journey becomes easy and more satisfying.

Let me give you some tips for instant tranquility:--

http://jeeteraho.blogspot.in/2014/03/mantras-for-instant-tranquillity.html

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ek Bhool Kafi Hai--A Poem From My Collection,Very Touching and Poignant

This poem was written a long time back by Mahesh 'Santoshi'.It is full of pathos and very much contrary to my philosophy of life but I love it-don't know why!

Ek Bhool Kafi Hai

Yaad bhool jane ko ek umr kam hai par--
Ek bhool kafi hai umr bhar rulane ko!

Ek saans jivan mein ek baar aati hai,
Baar baar lekin kyun aankh dabdabaati hai?
 Manchaaha aanchal to mushkil se milta hai,
Isiliye aansoo ko dhool bahut bhati hai!

Rup ke badhane ko laakh phul kam hain par--
Chaar phul kaafi hain arthiyan sajaane ko.

Kuch to man mrigjal ke peeche bharmaata hai,
Kuch man kaa meghon se maruthal saa naata hai,
Aashaa hi aasha mein honth sukhe jaate hain,
Kaun bujhe pranon ki pyaas bujhaa paata hai?

Praan-daan paane ko ek boond mushkil par--
Ek boond kaafi hai jindagi dubaane ko !

Praat kab hansaata hai,saanjh kab sulaati hai,
Kis kis se saanson ki kathaa likhi jaati hai,
Samay sabhi ghaavon ko,poor nahin paata hai,
Dabi hui pidaa bhi ubhar ubhar aati hai!

Dard ke mitaane ko,sau sau sukh kam hain par--
Ek dard kaafi hai laakh sukh bhulaane ko!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

# Anxiety is a Liar-Kill it Before it Destroys Your Life.

Anxiety does strange things to people.A hitherto well-functioning individual begins to feel powerless at the mercy of his thoughts.He has misgivings about his health,or his ability to succeed at upcoming events like an exam,an interview,a meeting,or even to efficiently conduct his day to day activities.Or he may fret endlessly about the health and safety of his loved ones.Whatever be the subject of his misgivings,they are mostly baseless  or  at least disproportionate to reality.

But they cause real damage--to both mental and physical health.If not checked at the beginning,this kind of negative thinking becomes a habit--with the brain.The more we think along these lines the more entrenched it becomes,so that anything and everything can give us jitters.

The roller-coaster of anxiety goes through four stages.
1-Thoughts
2-Emotions
3-Sensations
4-Reactions.
                               Emotions
It is a well known fact that thoughts cause emotions.A preponderance of ominous thoughts gives rise to fears.There is a pervasive feeling of impending doom-as if something terrible is going to happen.Then,there are mammoth self doubts.We doubt if we will be able to drive a car,purchase groceries,attend to our official duties or even interact with friends.Each day begins with dubiety about our proficiency and the night starts with fears of not getting enough sleep.

Naturally,this is very upsetting.We realize that our fears are groundless,our personality is deteriorating, but we are unable to stem the slide.We are jealous of those we see gadding about,free of any hassle.A feeling of inferiority and incompetence takes hold of our mind.Happiness is a distant dream.We remain miserable most of the time and pay scant attention to anything else but our own worries.
                                Sensations
When the mind is tense and apprehensive,it has an adverse effect on the body too.An anxious person experiences many physical symptoms.According to:-
http://patient.info/health/psychosomatic-disorders
This is how mind affects physical diseases:--

"It is well known that a turmulous mind can cause physical symptoms.For example,when we are afraid or anxious we may develop:
  • A fast heart rate
  • A thumping heart
  • Feeling sick (nauseated)
  • Shaking (tremor)
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • A knot in the stomach
  • Fast breathing
These physical symptoms are due to increased activity of nervous impulses sent from the brain to various parts of the body and to the release of adrenaline (epinephrine) into the bloodstream when we are anxious."
                               Reactions
The cumulative effect of our emotions plus these sensations impels us to take counteractive measures.If we are scared of being killed in a road accident we will stop driving a car,crossing the road,or even stirring out of the house.A fear of tripping and falling could force us to give up all physical activity.And if we are chagrined because of a marked deterioration in our looks and personality,we may avoid going out and meeting people.Fears about our loved ones may compel us to enjoin upon them unreasonable controls and regulations.

No doubt all these measures are intended to curb anxiety but they have the opposite effect.The result is a stilted,inactive,asocial lifestyle which adversely affects our sleep,appetite,diet,weight and a general feeling of well-being.The worst part is that it isolates us from others,which itself is a common cause of depression.

In this way our reactions intensify our anxiety and the whole cycle of thoughts>emotions>sensations>reactions rolls out once again-but at a higher pitch.Anxiety is self perpetuating and treacherous.

What makes matters worse is that catastrophic thoughts deplete feel-good chemicals like serotonin,dopamine,oxytocin and endorphins while they boost stress hormones--adrenalin and     cortisol--which make us tense and nervy.We feel physically and mentally exhausted.The physical symptoms are interpreted as signs of a horrible disease.The end result of all this   is that we feel helpless and hopeless in the  face of mounting anxiety.

If you feel that your anxiety is getting out of hand,if it has brought all your activities to a halt;it means that your own efforts to curb anxiety are insufficient and you need professional help.In such cases it is best to consult a psychiatrist.Psychiatric medicines will grant you a good night's sleep so that the next day you will wake up fresh.Your anxiety levels will decline due to the release of more happy hormones.As your thoughts improve your emotions too,will follow suit.Many of the irksome sensations will subside.You will be able to take up some of the daily tasks which you had shunned till now.

Once your mood stabilizes and you are sure that you can now carry forward this improvement through your own counteractive measures;you can phase out those medicines with your doctor's help.Sudden stoppage of psychiatric medicine can cause withdrawal symptoms.No doubt these medicines help to tide over the worst but it is essential  to remember that they can also have damaging ill-effects.On the other hand if anxiety is allowed to persist for long,it can degenerate into GAD,panic attacks,hypochondria,OCD or depression.Taking this decision--of whether to continue taking medicines or stop them-- is like walking on razor's edge.

If you decide to tackle this ogre on your own,there is a wide range of measures to choose from.Those which are in tandem with your temperament,inclinations and beliefs are more likely to succeed.If you tell a sporty person to paint or solve puzzles it is not likely to click with him.He is more likely to benefit from vigorous physical activities like running,swimming,gardening or washing his car.An intellectual type will benefit from knowing more about his disease,searching self-help measures,journaling or playing brain games.Artistic individuals can find relief through sketching,painting and craft work.Apart from this there are many other options to choose from--like meditation,yoga,exercise,massage,dance,music,watching comedy shows,indoor/outdoor games or juggling balls . 

Anxiety can be very stubborn.Sometimes it will not respond to any of these measures.In such cases it is very likely symptomatic of a deep underlying emotional conflict which the person is unable to share with anyone.It could be the memory of an abuse or guilt about something the person did or failed to do.Whatever it is,the only way to find peace is to process that turmoil.If not with kith or kin;such feelings can be discussed with a mental health professional,a priest or a guru.But the main thing is that this conflict needs to be talked about.Only then can the feelings of guilt or victimhood be resolved.

The early stirrings of anxiety should not be ignored.Nip it in the bud before it gobbles up your health and happiness.Choose the weapon you like but stick to it till you are tension-free and can look back upon those angst-ridden days with a smile on your face.Kill anxiety before it destroys your life. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Good,Bad,Better and Best Half !

The Good Times

The first flush of marriage is good.For most
everybody.Both are at their rosy,syrupy best.Even the extended families can be recognized by the overflowing milk of human kindness.Best clothes,best manners,best behavior;what more could a couple want?Each vies with the other to please and be pleasant.
The Bad Half
Like all good things,this phase comes to an end.The polish begins to wear off.Hidden kinks emerge.They see each other in their true colors.Why do you climb the bed with dirty feet?Change your socks PLEASE!Hang out your towel to dry.You have burnt the vegetable today and yesterday you burnt my toast.Your chapaties are so stiff.My mom is such a fantastic cook,you should learn from her.You can go back to HER !

This is the general refrain after the incubation period ends.The disease is at it's vilest.Expectations crash down to the Down Under.Dreams wither and tempers flicker.A power struggle ensues.Each tries to gain control by playing the blame card.And then there are attempts to fashion the other person according to one's own specifications.If you can live through this phase,your ties are as good as cemented.
The Better Half
Ting tong!The apple of your eye arrives.There is a lot of flurry.A new bond is created.Self obsession gives way to a common obsession.Both sides give in a bit.Can't scream or bang doors when the baby is sleeping--can you?There are more important issues to be taken care of.The childish games of one-up-man-ship are relegated to the background or deferred to a more convenient time(which never arrives).A slip here or a lapse there is ignored.Good old adaptation has made it's entry.Both can truthfully refer to the hitherto ogre as their better half.
The Best Half
Ting tong!Another baby?After twenty years?Nah,this is middle age knocking at your door.The birdie has flown the nest.The original combatants are again face to face.Now what?More sparks?Nah!The heart is heavy with a hollow feeling.There is no inclination to fight.Both try to reorganize their lives once again around each other.

Soon one or both of them retire.Even more of togetherness.Will we see some fireworks now?It has been so long.But no,there is little energy left for a proper ding-dong.I think both have resigned themselves to their differences.And some of them have even been erased to meet at the equator.There is very little impetus to gain the upper hand.

Meanwhile old age slips in without knocking.Infirmity
or disease of one rattles the other.There is a lot of concern,empathy,caring and finally,genuine,unadulterated love.But unfortunately,this is not the proper age to say 'I love you.'