Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Violent Ends to Intimate or Personal Relationships

These days more and more intimate/personal relationships are meeting a splattering end.When romance dissipates or is spurned,or infidelity (actual or perceived),strains a relationship;violence sometimes comes rushing in.Why?I guess there must be as many reasons as there are instances,but the bottomline is,that we are very short on tolerance.We cannot take 'no' for an answer.

I wonder  where this kind of reaction stems from.Is it because of a desperation to find a mate by any means?

A colossal lack of self-esteem?A nagging fear that if this proposal is refused,another one won't be coming?

Or is it due to a mammoth ego which cannot bear a rebuttal or the hint of deceit?

Perhaps those who resort to violence had a very gruesome past and know no other way of reacting to rejection.

Or it could be due to the rush of anger,an inability to control oneself during a barrage of emotions.

Or else the culprit modelled himself/herself on violent,aggressive members of his/her family.

Alcohol and drugs too can result in poor coping skills ending in violence in face of denial.

Then there are certain psychological conditions like narcissism,antisocial personality disorder,psychopathy or brain damage,which predispose a person to aggression or violence.

Whatever be the reason,it is imperative to be able to spot the red flags early in the day.If you are in a new alliance try to find out about that person's antecedents like where his homeplace is,how long he has been living at the current address,where his family is,what kind of friends he has,and what happened to his earlier relationships,if any.

Everybody is on perfect behavior in the initial stages of a relationship but as time passes and familiarity increases,some danger signals become apparent.Therefore be vigilant.Watch that person's body-language for any clues--the clenched fists,a grim jaw,narrow eyes,a hostile expression,an abrupt full stop during a conversation--it could be anything.Body-language precedes incriminations,insults or physical and verbal abuse.Shouting and swearing could denote the first rungs of violent behavior.Possessiveness,jealousy,excessive interrogation also spell danger.

Psychopaths especially are known for their charming ways.They are adroit manipulators and can easily fool someone.They have scant regard for others emotions and no compunctions in spilling blood.

If you have some doubt about anyones intentions please confide in someone.Maintain a safe distance if you do not want to break off just yet.Avoid going to lonesome places and keep a pepper spray handy.

If you find yourself in the company of an agitated,aggressive,intoxicated person don't turn your back towards him.Allow him to vent out his aggression through speech.Don't interrupt him and don't argue.Keep an escape route open.See if a nearby object can help you to shield yourself from the attacker.

However,it is best to steer clear of any precarious situation as soon as possible and take the help of suitable authorities.

You may also like :--

Marital Abuse--The Deadly Tie

Image and links courtesy Google search :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

So, Are You Emotional or Logical ?

Some of us-ie,those who are predominantly rational or emotional,will answer this question in a jiffy,but many others will have to think hard in order to find the answer.Most of us possess these two characteristics in varying proportions;except the psychopaths who have bare traces of emotion,and the profoundly mentally retarded who have very little intellectual ability.

The logicians pride themselves on their ability to find their way out of a complex maze.Of any kind.They can assess the pros and cons of any situation and arrive at quick decisions.So much so,that they are rarely caught on the wrong foot.They can easily espy deceit or treachery.

Logic is a very handy tool no doubt,especially when someone is in the midst of an emotional turmoil or a challenging situation.But those who are hard core rationalists need to  be a little more empathetic.This will make their personalities more appealing and wholesome. 

What of the highly emotional people?They are gentle,kind,empathetic,tactful,caring,passionate and more perceptive of others' emotions.They are the ones who will give you emotional support when you need it.

They find it difficult to make decisions,and their inner dialogue intensifies when important issues are at stake.But they often follow their heart's diktat even if their rationality pulls them in the opposite direction.Given their vulnerability,they are more susceptible to disappointments and mental disorders.

The HSP find rationalists hard and uncaring,while the rationalists fail to understand the workings of an 'emotional brain'.It is generally believed that rationality and emotionality are mutually exclusive-that one cannot be rational if one is too emotional,and that,the profoundly logical have few emotions.But recent research informs us that though it is hard to be logical when you are too emotional,you cannot be rational if you are not emotional.

The neurobiologist Francisco Damasio points out that rationality depends upon a deeper system of regulation that consists largely of emotions and feelings. Emotion can disrupt reasoning in certain circumstances, but without emotion there is no reasoning at all. “Traditional cognitive models don’t understand that reduction in emotion may constitute an equally important source of irrational behavior,” Damasio claims.

The ideal situation would be to have a perfect balance between the two.I am sure by now some of you must be wondering where you stand in this duality.So here is a quick test to help you decide:--
Emotional Rational Test-Brain Entertainment

PS:-I think before I look forward to reading your replies to the question posed above,I should divulge what the test revealed about me.I am supposed to be 62% rational and I need to inculcate more emotions in myself.No wonder I have often wondered if my children found me too harsh :(.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

How,Not to Double Our Troubles

If there is one thing we cannot control in life,it is upcoming situations which suddenly erupt.It is a given that health problems and unfortunate events too,will crop up from time to time.The way we tackle them determines whether or not we will double our troubles.Any untoward event or a trial on the horizon does give us the jitters,but it is in our own hands to panic or sustain our composure.

Recently I had to undergo an eye surgery.This was going to be my first experience under the doctor's knife.We asked our family doctor to recommend the best clinic and went there.The doctor who first examined me cautioned me that I should not expect full recovery,it might be only 20%.

We went to another clinic for a second opinion.This one is very well known for its various achievements,it is all over the local newspapers.They assured me of good recovery.But I did not like that place--it was more like a mercenary establishment.Their package too,contained hidden charges while the first one was all upfront and honest.

So we went to the first one.At least they had been honest with me and our GP too had recomended them.I chose the first possible day to be operated upon because I wanted to minimize the period which might have been claimed by the heebie-jeebies.

Opthalmic procedures require you to sit for long periods with your eyes closed.I had to undergo many such sessions.Those who have read my earlier posts know that I don't like to sit idle,twiddling my thumbs.So I devoted such times to meditation.It was very calming.

The preliminary investigations and the running of my home kept me busy.But when the day dawned I could sense butterflies in my stomach.I concentrated solely upon how bright and shiny the world will look after the operation.I also reminded myself that since I had taken all necessary precautions,there was no need to panic.

The operation was slotted at 8pm.Throwing myself into all kinds of chores kept me busy till that time.I went along with my BH and son and that was that.Now I am back fully satisfied,happier and healthier than I ever was.

Suppose I had searched the internet for what could possibly go wrong,or the percentage of failures,I would have given a free run to the worry-horses.Cyberchondria or the tendency to search the internet for the outcome of every disease can easily turn us into a hypochondriac.It is true that the internet does come handy when the problem is opaque or we are skeptic of the treatment being meted to us,but half knowledge or too much of knowledge too, can sometimes be counter productive.

At the end of the day I would say that anything which has the possibility of keeping us on tenterhooks should be dealt with at the soonest.Staying active,refraining from imagining the worst,having faith in a decision taken after due consideration,and the support of our loved ones makes it easier to sail through a rough patch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ten Tips For Coping With a # Crisis

We try to fashion a life which has order,progress,harmony and growth;but sometimes it takes a u-turn.A major disruption hits like a bolt from the blue.Critical ventures fail,gainfully employed people become jobless,a robust person is crippled,diseases diminish mind or body,relationships wither,or a dear kin departs.

The aftermath of such incidents is unsettling to say the least.We look frantically for a way to revert back to that earlier state of cheer and fitness,but some changes are irrevocable, and it is impossible to wind back the clock.All we can do is,find a way to minimise collateral damage and start anew.

Major upheavals entail drastic adjustments which are not easy to make.Is there any tool-kit to deal with such crises?The following may help:--
  • The very first requirement is to express your agony.Cry,shout,scream,vent your feelings,if that is what you feel like doing.Find a deserted place where you can be yourself.You will feel lighter after you have done this.
  • Now calm yourself.Don't panic.Say to yourself that this too shall pass,the pain will diminish and life will become easier.
  • Express your feelings to someone who understands you.If noone else,then consult a professional.Don't hesitate to ask for advice.
  • Don't dwell on what you have lost,it will aggravate your pain and prolong the status quo.If it comes to that,even the past must have had some elements which were not to your liking;and this turning point could even be beneficial in the long run.Silver lining,you know!
  • Check the instinct to react with rash behavior.Many people respond to a crisis by taking recourse to violence,self-harm or suicide.Avoid any kind of addiction-whether it be of food,drugs,or alcohol.  
  • Try to maintain your routine as far as possible.Eat well,sleep well.Stifle the urge to just hide under the covers,shutting out all else.
  • Hold on to the good things which still remain.If you have a loving family,savor its warmth.Go out,meet friends.Take up the activities which give you pleasure.
  • Look up,google those who have gone through a similar trauma,find out how they restructured their lives.
  • Plan out how you want to rebuild your life.Set small,attainable goals which will take you towards normalcy.Recount your own strengths and tap other resources which could help you to stand up again.
  • Remind yourself of the many blessings which you still enjoy in order to ward off depression.
Some crises definitely are very hard to adjust to,but if we do not accept the reality, modify our thinking and reset our goals,then life becomes a hopeless disarray of haunting memories  and toxic emotions.

On the other hand,when we strive to make a new beginning we become wiser and stronger,better able tolerate any kind of adversity in the future too.Bear with this egregious change because:-- 

Image from google search.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Prevent a Relapse of #Anxiety or #Depression

A cure from Depression or Anxiety Disorders is often brought about by the twin efforts of psychotherapy and medication.It is often a steep up-hill climb,but even after a cure,the danger of a relapse,The Black Dog lurking in the shadows,cannot be ruled out;given the patients susceptibility and the exigencies of life.

The problem is compounded for those who had been on psychiatric medicine for a long time.As they phase it off--under the guidance of a doctor of course--it is necessary to be prepared for the appearance of withdrawal symptoms.These are often similar to those of a relapse,and it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two.The withdrawal symptoms are best left to the doctor to manage,but the patient can take some precautions to guard against a relapse.

As with all mental disorders,it is best to nip such an eventuality in the bud.A few simple measures given below can prevent this from happening:--

1-First of all,smother this fear that you are slipping back into a mental disorder.Everyone has low moods now and then,and gets out of them too,as you too shall.You have left the jungle far behind,these bushes and brambles cannot push you back there again.

2-Identify the triggers which bring on the blues and avoid them as far as possible.

3-Don't focus on the many ways in which you find yourself lacking,negative self-talk is never judicious.

4-In order to divert your mind,think about those you associate with-what sort of lives they have and the difficulties which they probably face.Note how they solve their problems.

5-If a specific problem is giving you the jitters,shelve it for a while.You can take it up later when you are in a better frame of mind.

6-Consult a mental health professional if you are unsure of your ability to handle this on your own.

7-Desist from thinking about the future,imagining sorrowful scenarios.Live in the present,nurture it with enthusiasm.

8-If you rue the lack of love,companionship or excitement in your life then think instead,of how you can fill this emptiness.Take prompt action.

9-Treat yourself to a good meal,a nice buy or a much awaited excursion.

10-Don't skip on your daily routine,adhering to it will give you a sense of control and accomplishment.It will also keep you from ruminating,which is what you will likely do if you have more spare time.

11-Wear,clean,well-ironed,trendy clothes;you will feel good if you look good.

12-Go out,meet people,smile at them and talk to them.

Anxiety-prone individuals tend to think too much about minor ailments,routine problems or upcoming challenges.Negative thoughts and concomitant fears plunge them into depression,post which they become asocial and inactive.With so much time on their hands and not many people around to cheer them up,their depression deepens more.

Therefore,whenever you find yourself leaning towards negativity,get busy doing something you enjoy doing or come out of your shell and meet people.These are simple measures but they work.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Want to be # Happier Than You Are?

We often blame our life conditions,destiny,or other people for our dissatisfaction with life.But as we focus on the externals,we fail to peep inside our minds where actually,the genesis of every emotion lies.It is possible to be happier than you are at this moment,in this very situation by modifying your attitudes and your general outlook on life.

Ten simple steps will do the trick.You will find them at my eleventh post on Speakingtree:


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.

Light Shining Out of Darkness--- by William Cowper

William Cowper was an English poet and hymnodist.His life was scarred by misfortune and sorrow.He suffered bouts of  depression and insanity, and thrice,he attempted suicide.He was even admitted to an asylum.

Yet,consider this poem below and you cannot but marvel at his positivity and of course,his literary prowess.

Light Shining Out of Darkness

God moves in a mysterious way
    His wonders to perform;
    He plants His footsteps in the sea
    And rides upon the storm.

    Deep in unfathomable mines
    Of never failing skill
    He treasures up His bright designs
    And works His sov’reign will.

    Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
    The clouds ye so much dread
    Are big with mercy and shall break
    In blessings on your head.

    Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust Him for His grace;
    Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.

    His purposes will ripen fast,
    Unfolding every hour;
    The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flow’r.

    Blind unbelief is sure to err
    And scan His work in vain;
    God is His own interpreter,
    And He will make it plain.

Source-google search.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

# Somatic Symptoms Disorder

It is common to feel weak in the knees before a crucial event or develop a headache merely from thinking about a taxing assignment.These instances illustrate the fact that mind and body are intimately intertwined.It is easy to brush off paltry effects of tension but this very phenomenon can engender untold distress when it is aggravated.

Some people experience a large number of physical complaints or a couple of pain-related ones which cause them a lot of suffering;so much so that their thoughts,emotions and behavior center around those symptoms.Even normal bodily sensations alarm them and they are convinced that they have a terrible disease.Their complaints may fluctuate,but they never feel completely healthy.

They will talk endlessly about the state of their health and give vivid descriptions of their complaints.They spend a lot of time and energy chasing their health concerns.It is an endless occupation for them.So much so that their daily routine is drastically disrupted and they become dysfunctional.Even pleasurable activities hold no charm for them.#Anxiety about their health devours everything.What is remarkable is,that their #worries and 
#fears are out of all proportion to their symptoms.

They visit many doctors and undergo various tests but negative results or the doctor's assurances fail to pacify them.It is almost as if they are looking for a confirmation of their fears, but in reality,they do not suffer from any physical illness.

It is important to note that they do not fake these symptoms;they do feel the pain and the discomfort.This condition is known as Somatic Symptoms Disorder,which in effect means that there is no physical cause to explain the manifested symptoms.This disorder mostly begins before the age of thirty years and afflicts more women than men.The symptoms could range from minor aches and pains or gastrointestinal disorders to other more serious ones.Generally,the patient consults a health professional only after having suffered those symptoms for a long time.This retards recovery. 

The most likely explanation is, that when  psychological or emotional pressures breach someone's tolerance threshold they come out in the guise of bodily symptoms.The sufferer fails to realize that it is the mind which is playing tricks on her and consults a number of doctors to get relief.She is unaware of the emotional storms which rage in her subconscious mind and attributes all her symptoms to a nameless disease.
1)Genetic or Biological--The patient has heightened sensitivity to pain or bodily sensations.
2)Negative Personality--Distorted,catastrophic thinking or a pessimistic strain precipitates fears of suffering from a terrible disease.
3)Inability to process Emotions--Somatic symptoms disorder in such cases is the result of an inability to cope with psycho-social stress which that person is not capable of looking squarely in the face.
4)Family Influence--Maladaptive behavior of family elders could predispose a child to behave similarly.
5)If a child,or even an adult,feels neglected,insignificant,or uncared for in his environment;s/he could unconsciously develop the habit of magnifying common complaints in order to gain attention.                                       Treatment
The best treatment for this disorder is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

The therapist helps the patient to realize how her cognitive distortions are projecting a false picture of her health.

She is guided to have reasonable expectations of her health and not be alarmed by normal bodily sensations.

She is encouraged to delve into the psychological and emotional problems which could be causing those symptoms.

She is taught how to reduce the symptoms.

She is also taught how to mitigate stress.

If she suffers from #depression then that too is taken care of.

She is encouraged to take up once again,the activities which she had relinquished for fear of getting hurt or sick.

Family Therapy forms an important part of treatment.It aims at resolving hidden conflicts in the patient's family and also educates the members to treat the patient with care and patience since their support and understanding are vital for her recovery.

When the problem is severe medicines will soothe the patient's anxiety but they should be used only for short-term benefits.The real solution lies in extracting the thorns which are pricking the patient's psyche.

This disorder entails certain risk factors.In order to rule out possible complications, it is essential that there should be a good interface between the doctor and the patient.The latter should have complete faith in the former so that s/he does not undergo unnecessary procedures or ingest clashing drugs through consulting a number of health professionals or charlatans.At the same time, the doctor has to be alert to symptoms which could point to a real disease.

Even when the doctor diagnoses Somatic Symptoms Disorder the patient hesitates to accept it because of the stigma attached to mental disorders.Some will downright reject this possibility.But unless and until they accept this fact they will continue to roam in the wilderness of multiple complaints and repetitive consultations.

A word of caution--just as the mind influences the body,the body too has repercussions on the mind.Some people experience chronic unexplained physical symptoms like gastric disorders or persistent pain,and since they have suffered these symptoms for a long time they do feel considerable distress because of them.Even if no biological cause is found for these symptoms,such persons should not be labeled as suffering from a mental disorder in haste.
Related post:--
Resource:-- http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/mental-health-disorders/somatic-symptom-and-related-disorders/somatic-symptom-disorder

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Crossroad

 The future is inscrutable
The crossroad has been left far behind.
Submerged forever in a dark ravine.

Uphill it's been,since that very day,
Pebbles and thorns all the way.

I wonder about that other road,
Was it shady?Where did it go?

Barren land or lush terrain,
Welcoming arms or quick disdain?

Widespread meadows,beckoning flowers,
Serene satisfaction of happy hours.

 A symphony resonating all around,
Filling the air with joy unbound.

So easy to picture a perfect place,
Omitting all,that we truly hate.

But nature has some definite norms- 
Want the flowers?Deal with thorns.

Image courtesy google.

Monday, June 20, 2016

How # Negative Thinking Enslaves You and What You Can Do to Get Rid of It.

Updated on 15th Sept 2017

It is estimated that an average man(or woman)thinks between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day,although opinions differ and there is no conclusive proof.Still,it is a huge number. Just imagine,if a majority of our thoughts were negative what would the state of our minds be like. No doubt such thoughts could push us to the brink of anxiety and depression.

The first requirement of a happy life therefore is to jettison negative thoughts.The term negative here denotes those thoughts which entail painful emotions.When we allow such thoughts to dominate our minds for an extended period they engrave a circuit in our brains which reinforces similar thoughts.It becomes a habitual response.

Our mind functions in such a way that when we think a particular thought,associated memories and thoughts come rushing in,so that a negative thought invites more negative thoughts.

Thirdly,negative thinking triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol and noradrenaline,which in turn causes more stress.

These factors aggravate negativity.If this rings a bell with you here are some tips which will enable you to beat negative thinking:--

1)Neuroplasticity of brain offers us hope.An old channel of thoughts can be changed.We can build new pathways.This requires systematic,consistent,repetitive efforts.For example if you are dogged by a belief that you have cancer,then watch out for the incipience of that thought.The moment this worry begins to rankle your brain tell yourself"It is pure imagination-not true at all".If you do this repeatedly the worry will die down.

Suppose you are afraid of getting hurt in a road accident.Tell yourself that not everybody who goes out on a road gets hurt,you yourself have till now been safe,and that you are not a prophet and so you should not prophetize.

In this way you are giving your brain new channels to think along,replacing a negative thought with a positive one and cautioning your mind against predicting worst case scenarios for yourself.Remember that our minds can only think one thought at a time.When you saturate your mind with positive ones the negative ones automatically disappear.

2)One way of defeating negative thoughts is to talk about them with someone who cares for you,whose acuity you believe in.S/he will sooth your fears and put your mind at rest. 

3)What you can do to beat negative thoughts depends upon where you are at that moment.If you are at your workplace then unknowingly you must have retreated in your shell, slouched and etched a frown on your face.Such a stance is bad for your mental state.Get up,straighten your back put a smile on your lips,greet someone,chat with another and lo,the negativity has subsided!Our emotions are reflected in our posture,but our posture too has the capability of affecting our emotions.

4)Alternately,observe your surroundings mindfully.Look at each object-what it is made of,where it must have come from,how it smells and feels like--you get my point I am sure.Just be mindful of your present surroundings.Soon you will realize that your thoughts have changed track.

5)If the tensions and worries get the better of you while you are at home take up a chore which demands your attention.Doing something worthwhile will leave you happy and satisfied.The energy expended on that chore would have absorbed the surplus harmful chemicals which were released because of your anxiety.

6)Exercise too has peen proved to reverse the secretion of harmful chemicals.Even tearing a rag or paper to bits gives relief.

7)In case you are feeling too weak to do some work indulge yourself with a past time which absorbs you.It could be a brain game,board game,writing,drawing,painting,music,TV,or rummaging through your family albums.Anything which interests you will take your mind off your worries.

8)Some of us have no particular hobby.For such individuals getting out of house,meeting people,chatting with them or simply sitting in a park and communing with nature can be a good antidote.Calling up friends too,is a good idea.

9)It is not the events themselves but the way we perceive them which gives rise to anxiety.This happens because of certain cognitive distortions,more about which you can read at this post.

10)Negative thoughts make us feel weak and lethargic and as a result we skip many essential daily tasks like getting up early,making our bed,taking a bath, maintaining a clean wardrobe and keeping our things in order.All this will ultimately make us shabby and unkempt which will definitely depress us further.Therefore make it a point to religiously follow your daily routine-it keeps you occupied and less likely to ruminate.It is not for nothing that an empty mind has been likened to a devil's workshop.

11)Yoga and meditation are useful tools for soothing the mind and eliminating negative thoughts.

12)Another way out is to consult a psychologist or a counselor who will help you to explore your mind,your attitudes and beliefs to know why you have so many negative thoughts.Do you process your emotions in the right manner?Are you oversensitive?Are your expectations justified?Does your whole attitude need to be changed?.There might be some underlying issues which require closure.Psychotherapy will help you to sort them out.

13)If your negative thoughts are too overwhelming to allow you to take any self help measures,you can take medicines which will correct the chemical imbalance in your brain and curtail negative thoughts to a large extent.But some people suffer harmful side effects from them.It is best to keep it as a short time measure.

Pick up the antidote which works best for you. It is only after you kill those negative thoughts that you will find peace and fulfillment.