Saturday, November 3, 2018

#Histrionic Personality Disorder

There are three kinds of people:those who are happy in their own selves and merge into the background even if surrounded by people,those who like company but can also do without it,and those who are happy only when they are the center of attention in any group or gathering.

The last,as you might have guessed,is the histrionic personality.Mostly it is women who fall in this category.All activities of a histrionic female are designed to attract attention and adulation.

She uses her physical appearance to achieve this end.She is always spic and span, immaculately dressed.Her speech is highly theatrical and emotionally charged.She is capable of paying false compliments and making never-to-be-kept promises in order to increase her fan-following.She professes lofty ideals to gain approval but ultimately turns out to be shallow and unreliable.

She is emotionally unstable,extremely self-centered and callous of others' emotions.She is quick to spot competition and will lose no time in undermining her rival or indulging in melodrama to grab eyeballs.In order to safeguard her reign she may even choose to hang out with those who pose no threat to her supremacy.

Her behavior is often inappropriately seductive and voluptuous.She is cheerful and charming,and it is easy to see why people are drawn to her.They are impressed by her charm and she believes she enjoys strong relationships.But when the veneer fades she loses her credibility.As people spot the real person underneath,they slowly distance themselves:making way for the next bunch of gullible souls. 

Dealing with a histrionic personality is very taxing.How long can you continue to feed someone's ego and overlook her lies and underhand ways?The best way is to recognize her tactics and save yourself from being walked over.Walk out if you can but if she is a family member,this too is not possible.All you can do is,avoid being manipulated by her and ignore the spurious stuff. 

It is not easy to be a shining star 24/7.Why does she do it?Maybe early abuse and neglect set her off on this road.Perhaps there is an inner insecurity and not enough confidence in her own worth.She finds it only through others' validation.It is quite pathetic actually.Her life is very glitzy on the outside but inside?Only she knows.

Experts tell us that this is a lifelong condition-it is not possible to cure it.But Talk Therapy can offer relief.An histrionic female may feel depressed but even then she is not likely to seek therapy unless a major life support crumbles.In extreme cases she may indulge in suicidal threats or behavior to grab attention.It is up to those who are close to her,to persuade her to seek psychotherapy.It can ease their predicament to some extent.

Do you know  any histrionic personality closely?Which other characteristics did you spot in her?And how do you deal with her?

"The exact cause of histrionic personality disorder is unknown. Scientists believe it is an outcome of both environmental and genetic factors."

Image courtesy google search.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Good Old Days

Is there any specific age at which one begins to reminisce about the good old days?I don't know.I only know that I often dive into the good old days.Not that I have any complaints about my life today.But there are certain phases of life which appear to me to have been just perfect-full of joy de vivre.

We all have good and bad stretches in life.When we are dissatisfied with a certain component of our lives we slip back into an era which we believe was idyllic in every way.But is it really possible?Can life ever be so utopian as to not have a single jarring note?If we dig deeper we will realize that those days too had their own pin-pricks and rifts but we skim over those unpleasant episodes.

Why do we do it?A very strong reason is that some of the people in those memories now exist only in our memories.They have been gone long.Like I said in Something Breakswe just love to relive the moments we had with them.The memories of our family life,old homes or dear friends were so enriching that they have strong connections with our mind and whenever we look back;maybe due to ennui or lethargy,we just bask in the cool breeze of those memories.

Yes,there must have been squabbles and fights too,but with hindsight we realize that whatever the unpleasantness,we too were not entirely blameless and therefore we forget the ugliness and appreciate the good times.

It is easy to go into a nostalgic trance but this can also be a way of disassociating from the present and it's demands.So it is better to stir ourselves and come back to the present.If we give it all we have,some day we will recall these days also as the'Good Old Days'.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

If You Have Anxiety,Don't Think About This.....

When you have anxiety it is natural to think about your self and how this scourge has changed your personality,moods,thought processes and behavior.It has curtailed many of your activities too.You are naturally aggrieved by these changes.Your self image has dipped and you shy from facing people.You have become reclusive and inactive.Since you don't feel like going out or doing anything,you merely sit and think,and these thoughts are naturally very depressive.The more you ruminate the more lethargic you become,and the more lethargic you are the sorrier you feel for yourself.Thus a vicious cycle is established.

In order to feel better once again,the first requirement is to stop thinking about yourself.But what to think? The mind cannot be stopped from thinking.What you can do is to think of those things which make you feel,if not better,then at least not worse.Open some new channels for it to roam and discover.

One way is to go out and relax in the lap of nature.The greenery all round and the chirrups of birds are incredibly calming.Have you noticed,every tree or bush has a different color,shape,texture or smell?Look at the flowers,inhale their scent,feel their softness.What a wonderful variety!

Now pay attention to the bird calls.Try to trace a call to it's owner.You will soon be able to identify a bird from it's call. Isn't all this very engaging?

And the children-are they playing and screaming near you?Watch their antics.Even a small kid clearly denotes whether it is going to be a leader or a follower;whether it is amiable or aggressive.

And what about the adults?You may see people of various ages around you.Some may have aged well and some others not so well.Some may be accompanied by friends and some others may appear lonesome.An aged person might be walking determinedly,while another may just have sunk down on a seat soon after reaching the park.What does this signify?That everybody has some problem or the other.You are not the only one.

But you can obviously not sit in a park the whole day.So how to ward off those negative thoughts when you are at home or in the office?Look around you carefully.What is it which needs organizing?How can you declutter your work place or spruce up your wardrobe?If there is anything which you have been postponing since long,take it up now.Expending energy doing random jobs subdues anxiety and makes you feel more in control.

You might be harried at present,but one reason why you are feeling so low is,because you are focusing only on the gnawing aspects of your life.Change your perspective.Think of those who have always-well almost always-stood by you.Recall happy memories,look at the bigger picture.Count your blessings.You have to accept the thorns with the roses and learn how to deal with them.Self pity is not the way to do it.Shift your gaze from the thorns to the roses.You will feel good.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Five Habits Which #CauseUnhappiness

We all want to be happy.No one in his right mind would choose unhappiness.Yet we could be harboring habits which make us unhappy.Habits which have become a way of life,of dealing with or reacting to people and circumstances.These habits govern our behavior, shape our perceptions and generate corresponding emotions.

Delving into the past
This is easily the most potent cause of unhappiness.If your past life was much happier than it is today and you are constantly yearning for the days gone by,how can you ever find peace?On the other hand if it was traumatic then too,always going back to those dreadful times will divert you from appreciating and enjoying the gladdening features of your life today.Similarly,dwelling on your past blunders or misdeeds will detract from the happiness which could have been yours if only you had consigned your past to the past.

 Worrying about the future
If ruminating about the past is harmful,worrying about the future unleashes fears and apprehensions--all mere conjectures,or the work of an overactive imagination.Your child is leaving home for higher studies abroad and you begin to speculate if he will successfully counter unhealthy trends and temptations he might be exposed to.Why not have faith in your own upbringing and the child's sagacity to overcome evil influences?Worries and apprehensions do not have the power to change future,they only causes trepidation.Don't anticipate problems,solve with them when they really appear.

Breaking relationships over trifles
Strong relationships can be a mighty source of joy and support.If you are very sensitive or quick to anger,and break off with people whenever you feel wronged or hurt,you are likely to feel lonely and isolated after the fervor has dissipated.Therefore don't be hasty in breaking relationships.Understand people,mingle with them,care for them,forget minor squabbles;and you will be happier.

Overthinking about everything said and done by you or someone else,or even about daily events;causes anxiety,restlessness and fatigue.It will make you suspect others' motives,intentions and allegiance.Such skepticism destroys confidence and peace of mind.Instead of spending so much time in analyzing every word and deed,get into action,address the issues which confront you and take charge of your life.This will put a brake on overthinking and lessen your anxiety too.

#Negativeselftalk and a defeatist attitude
Negative self-talk is an insidious enemy of happiness.It usurps confidence and discourages you from going forward and proving yourself.It might even blame you for things which were not your fault.A defeatist attitude is it's natural offspring.These two will not allow you to advance and find happiness.You will have to silence this inner critic if you want to be happy.
You can read more about it at this post.

We are creatures of habit and it is difficult to change habits which have become instinctive reactions.But it is our happiness which is at stake here.We cannot avoid the unhappiness which arises from external factors but we can delete the sadness which is the result of our own habits.Quite a lot of our happiness is in our own hands. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Self-help,Psychotherapy or Medication?

When you catch a disease you know exactly what to do:you go to a doctor,follow his advice and get cured.But a Mental Disorder is a different ballgame altogether.The treatment is delayed first of all because it's incipience can easily be misconstrued as a transitory emotional state and secondly because of the stigma attached to it.Any doubts that you might be on the threshold of a psychiatric illness are quickly expunged.

But when you finally realize that you might be suffering from,anxiety,depression,OCD,hypochondria or Bipolar Syndrome;there is no alternative but to do something about it.Educated people like you and I will search the internet and adopt self help measures to get relief.These might extend from a physical routine comprising exercise,jogging,yoga,pranayam and meditation to spirituality,going out,meeting people,and talking out our problems with friends or family.

But if any of this does not work,then?Obviously the next option ought to be consulting a counselor or a psychologist,but lots of people have compunctions about this, lest they be branded as a mental patient.In this way they unknowingly prolong their suffering and enable their problem to take deeper roots.

Therefore when you realize that your own efforts have failed to perk you up,psychotherapy is the next option.Look for a counselor or a psychologist.Find one with whom you can establish an easy rapport.This is important because only then will you be able to reveal your innermost thoughts which will hasten your recovery.Moreover you will follow the guidelines suggested by the counselor only if you trust him/her.

If psychotherapy too proves to be insufficient,consulting a doctor is the last resort.He will rule out the possibility of a disease being the cause of your problems and also prescribe the required medicines.But very few people go to a doctor for a mental affliction.

According to World Health Organization mental disorders affect one in four people at some point in their lives and nearly two- thirds of them will never seek help from a health professional.

Stigma is not the only factor which bars people from consulting a psychiatrist.There is a general distrust of psychiatric medicines and their side effects.These could range from nausea and vomiting,sleepiness,weight gain,diarrhea and sexual problems to other more serious ones. I am reminded of a lady who suffered from OCD. She has been on psychiatric medicines since many years,her symptoms have subdued but she is only a caricature of her old self.You can read her full story over here.

But we cannot condemn psychiatric medicines altogether.What if a patient is severely depressed,suicidal,or excessively violent?What if the symptoms shown by the patient far outweigh the side effects?WHO's report has this to say about the efficacy of psychiatric treatment:--

Over 80% of people with schizophrenia can be free of relapses at the end of one year of treatment with antipsychotic drugs combined with family intervention. Up to 60% of people with depression can recover with a proper combination of antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy. Up to 70% of people with epilepsy can be seizure free when treated with simple, inexpensive anticonvulsants.

At the end of the day I would say that the decision to take psychiatric medicine should be considered carefully.If you start the medicine but experience some ill effects,collaborate with your doctor and get it changed.Mental turmoil is extremely tiring for body and mind.It almost always disrupts sleep and this itself,creates a lot of stress.A sedative or a sleeping pill given by your doctor could provide enormous relief.

A short spell of medicine might even revitalize you enough to once again adopt one of the earlier two options.I have seen this happen.But if you wish to stop the medicine,then too do it under the doctor's guidance so that you do not have withdrawal symptoms.

Ideally,medicines should be accompanied by psychotherapy and lots of family support.The term 'family support'has been kept to the last but it's importance overcomes everything else.I say it from my own experience.

Stress,anxiety and the accompanying problems are omnipresent today.If you happen to be bogged down by such problems it does not reflect on you as a person,it is just a reflection of the countless demands being made from a person today.Look at the larger picture and you will perceive many saving graces too.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Hidden #CausesOfUnhappiness

Life,characterized by varying degrees of joy,sorrow,hope,despair,lassitude and initiative,is a dappled path.Everybody passes through different phases from time to time,but some people look inordinately bogged down with sorrow and despair.An objective appraisal of their life-conditions fails to explain their despondence.An unknown factor seems to be at work.

Could it be because of their thought processes-the way they interpret what happens to them and around them?Very likely.Because the same event elicits different reactions from different individuals and gives rise to corresponding emotions.Those who look at everything with alarm and distrust will have a lot to be pessimistic about.

A small disruption in life,an unsatisfactory relationship,a deficiency in personality,occasional bouts of anxiety or listlessness:any of these will impact different people in different ways.Someone who is satisfied with less,who is a happy-go-lucky kind of person,will just take it in his stride and not think twice about it.But a perfectionist who wants everything in his life to be just so,without any jarring note,will be unhappy even at the presence of a minor shortcoming,and fail to savor the advantages he has been blessed with-until he lowers the bar a bit.

Overthinking is another habit which can make you miserable despite having all the amenities required to enjoy a perfect life.An analytical brain blows up tiny flaws to gigantic proportions.Your thoughts go into a downward spiral accentuating negativity and preventing curative measures.Overthinking being a big issue these days,requires a separate post later.Suffice it to say that it causes stress and anxiety.

You can read more about the ways to control anxiety in this post.

It is not the situations,but how we react to them which makes us happy or unhappy.For example,a major obstacle might be taken as a moment to think up another strategy by one person,but a dead end by another.Naturally the first one will be fired with enthusiasm while the latter will give up hope and initiative.The former will be happy and well adjusted while the latter will be downcast and full of misgivings.

A fight with a friend may impact a girl to the extent of her concluding that she is not likable,does not know how to get along with people,and is likely to be ostracized by the whole group.She is obviously generalizing one episode to pass a judgement on her entire personality, predicting the future,and making a mountain of a molehill.Sounds very erroneous doesn't it?But we often do blow up something out of proportion and lose sleep over it.

Another likely cause of unhappiness is jumping to conclusions.Your partner informs you that he will be late at work.You immediately begin to speculate if he had a date with his secretary or if he was cheating on you.An overactive imagination will go into the worst possible scenario and leave that person worried.Jumping to conclusions or visualizing the worst possible outcome of any development is common where health issues are concerned.A tension headache might be construed by someone as the beginning of a brain tumor,depressing that person without any basis. 

You can learn more about illness anxiety or hypochondria at this post.

It is obvious that much of our unhappiness is the result of faulty thinking.Loss,pain and grief are an inseparable part of life.We cannot escape the sorrow which some events inflict on us,but we can stop ourselves from ruing over baleful scenarios concocted by distorted thinking.

In order to do this it is necessary to recognize the incipience of such thoughts and nip them in the bud.Don't let these thoughts entrench themselves in your brain lest they become a permanent feature.Divert your mind when you see it running into a wrong channel.Start something you really enjoy doing.Try to be more balanced and logical in the conclusions you draw and the opinions you form.This simple course correction will yield greater happiness and peace of mind.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Common Cause of Unhappiness:Comparisons

They say happiness is a state of mind.It follows that the various constituents of our mind are what make us happy.And if we are sad,then too it must be because of the workings of an element of our mind only.In order to be happy we need to weed out that element,tendency or habit which  cooks up despondence for us.

One such culprit is the human tendency to rate oneself in comparison to others.I hasten to add that comparisons can be useful too.When we recognize we are far more talented than many others,our self esteem climbs up many notches.Even negative comparisons can inspire us to jack up our performance or cultivate in our own selves a quality which we admire in others.

But this happens only if we remain level-headed and do not bemoan our inadequacy or mediocrity every time we come across someone who is more accomplished than us in any way. When unfavorable comparisons become a habit,they also become a major source of unhappiness because they  spawn discontent and wither our self esteem.This  throws a damper on our confidence and zeal.Even a hitherto happy person begins to feel restless and dissatisfied after such comparisons.Anxiety arrives,followed by jealousy and rancor.Peace of mind goes out of the window.

You can read this post to raise your self esteem.

All of us are different in each and every way.No clones around.When our genes,upbringing,education,backgrounds and responsibilities are all different,then what is the use of rating ourselves in comparison to others?We are born with certain innate talents and aptitudes which,if nurtured,will take us far.But negative comparisons can deflect our attention from the goals which best suit our abilities. They may even goad us to take an inappropriate route in pursuit of that charisma which we espied in someone else.

By all means keep a benchmark in front of you to guide your journey.Evolve and learn new skills,but imitating anyone is not the best way to do it.Even if you do come abreast with the person who unknowingly kindled your race;given your tendency to compete,you will soon espy another person who is superior to you and in this way the race will never end.You will remain dissatisfied all your life.

For more on the merits and demerits of competition you can read  this post.

It is no doubt very disconcerting to realize that you are less than someone else; but instead of getting upset,seize that moment to discover the potentials which you have and make the best use of those God-given gifts.Compete only with yourself.Better yourself every day and one day people will look admiringly at you and strive to equal you.

I am reminded of Anand (name changed) who was depressed because he was was doubtful of gaining admission in a prestigious institute.When I asked him if he had a plan B in mind he said his uncle and his son had graduated from that very institute and if they could,why not him?He was determined to end his life if he failed.See the extent to which a comparison can disrupt our thinking? It led this boy to the brink of suicide.

These days it is more difficult than ever to keep away from negative comparisons.The high achievers and the glitterati are all over the media,as are the glossy updates of friends and family.To safeguard your cool,remember that the ground reality may be quite different from what you see on the social network sites. If you pay more than cursory attention to them,you are bound to be frustrated.Instead of being grateful for what you have,you will be depressed because of what you do not have but others do.Give up such comparisons and you will be happy as you are and where you are. 

Image courtesy google search.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Bitter Truth

To tell you the truth
I have no hometown
There used to be one
My heaven on earth
A safe cocoon
A warm embrace

I grew up assimilating 
It's different vibes
Never knew that life 
Also has a flip side
Which revealed itself
When I left it's side.

I went to it again and again
To recover lost treasures
And be my old self again
Like all good things
This too came to an end.

What is a hometown
without a home
And what is a home 
Without those loving souls
What used to be my hometown
Is now a deserted town.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Adverse Consequences of a Lethargic Life.

If overwork is a problem,the reverse too,can be vexatious.Disability,debility,illness,retirement from work and even affluence:all combine to swell the ranks of those who spend the day sitting,lying down or twiddling their thumbs.Those weighed down by work or academic pressure are also inadvertently consigned to this category.
In Complete Relaxation Mode
Some people dislike being idle but some revel in an indolent lifestyle.The immediate gratification of such a life makes them overlook the problems which will accost them sooner or later,because it can lead to many physical or mental ailments.Inactivity causes obesity,which itself is a risk factor for Diabetes,Hypertension,Cardiovascular diseases, Migraines and various aches and pains.Even the brain requires activity to stay fit,which is why lethargic or indolent people are more vulnerable to Anxiety,Depression and Dementia.

Physical exertion is a gateway to good health.It improves the blood circulation so that all the internal organs as well as  the extremities are nourished well and proper.Activity facilitates a good appetite, digestion,and subsequent elimination of wastes and toxins from the body.It also accords sound sleep and better mental health.The body remains flexible and one is  spared the agony of joint pains.

Despite the various benefits of living an active life we do come across people who hate physical exertion.They would rather read,enjoy screen-time,play cards,sit and chat with family and friends or do crossword or sudoku. Passing time is not a problem for them but it is for those who do not have a large family, friends or hobbies to engage them.So they end up lying down,ruminating about the good old days or just sitting and watching the world go by.
                The Disuse Syndrome
No matter what be the cause of living an under-active life,it is indisputable that it undermines health and happiness.Decreased stamina often causes people to give up physical exertion;but this entails the likelihood of losing whatever strength and agility they do possess,because the body parts which are not used,deteriorate.Disuse of muscles leads to atrophy.A limb which has been in cast for long looks thinner when the cast is removed.Similarly the brain too works at it's optimum when the person stays active.

The disuse syndrome is caused by physical inactivity and is fostered by our sedentary society.
"Inactivity plays a pervasive role in our lack of wellness. Disuse is physically, mentally, and spiritually debilitating."

This should be enough to jolt anyone into a bout of activity.If you have been sluggish till now,begin a new chapter by getting up at the right time every day,followed by simple exercises,massage and a bath.Adding Yoga,Pranayam and Meditation to your morning routine would be the icing on the cake.Making your bed,tidying up your room and organizing your belongings come next.You can even make your own tea/coffee instead of waiting for it to come to you.

These activities do not require much energy.Graduate to more strenuous tasks after you have gotten used to them.Look around you and do what needs to be done-pronto.Give up procrastination.If a gadget is not working get it repaired.If there are a number of garments which are not in use give them in charity.If your book-rack holds a number of books which you don't intend to read,give them away.Similarly with other things which are past their utility.Sort out your files and documents,discard the ones which are not needed.

Merely pottering around the house is not enough.Let it be a precursor to moving out of the house,taking walks and doing simple errands.Meet people,socialize with them and become an active member of society.The aim should be to do what you can, to keep the metabolism active.These initiatives will notch up your happiness level in addition to safeguarding your health.

Snoring the day away
An indolent lifestyle is seldom a matter of compulsion and more of choice or habit.Junking this habit and supplanting it with a new one is possible and advantageous.If you doggedly do something new for at least three weeks it can become a habit.

The key lies in understanding and accepting the fact that inactivity is not good for you,it invites disease and decay.Remember the old adage 'use it or lose it'.

Images courtesy google search.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

#Depression and Anxiety:Early Detection Facilitates Early Alleviation

Depression:we often use this word casually when we are disturbed,disappointed,worried or lonely.But when this state actually ensnares us we fail to recognize it,or acknowledge it's existence.To some extent this is natural,because there is often a gradual transmission from despondence to depression.

But the onset of depression is preceded by a host of physiological and psychological changes which could presage depression or anxiety.Early recognition of those red flags will empower a person to take charge of the situation and get out of that rut.If he is unable to do this at his own level,he can seek the help of a professional;but it is important to be aware of the portents.Let us look at some of them:
                The Red Flags
  1. A person beleaguered by depression is sad most of the time.
  2. He does not talk.If addressed,he will reply in monosyllables.
  3. He does not like to meet people.
  4. Neglects his daily routine like brushing his teeth,taking a bath,wearing clean clothes etc.
  5. Level of activity decreases sharply,does not want to do anything.Even activities which he used to enjoy,no longer engage him.
  6. Complains of weakness.
  7. Sleep is disturbed.
  8. There is a lot of suppressed anger.Becomes irritable and easily incitable.
  9. May even become violent.
  10. Becomes very pessimistic and sees no good in life.
  11. Eating habits change.Either he will have no appetite,eat very little,or gorge.
              A Word of Caution

The symptoms listed above are not unusual,we all experience many of them from time to time. But if someone experiences at least three of these symptoms persistently for more than two weeks,then there is cause for concern.Being alert to the possibility of things going from bad to worse can be a game-changer.It will motivate that person to do all he can to turn the tide. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Perennial Workers-No Time To #Relax

Just like air,water,food and sleep,relaxation too is an important necessity.But today's fast paced life forces many of us to neglect it.Doling out sufficient time for rest is often at the fag end of our priorities.We fail to realize that working round the clock like a zombie inflicts incalculable harm on our physical and mental health.Diseases like Hypertension,Diabetes,Heart trouble,aches and pains,insomnia,anxiety,Nervous breakdown and Burnout are often the result of a stressful life.Stress mounts when we do not chalk out enough time to replenish our energies by relaxing.

The amount of activity we indulge plays a large role in whether we are happy or sad, frustrated or satisfied,bored or  enthused.No doubt,activity enhances our self worth and also rewards us in many ways-but only till we are comfortable with the amount of work which we have to tumble through.When this point is crossed,the gains of work could be outweighed by the damaging effects.Since these are not obvious in the beginning we go on jeopardizing our health until a major problem erupts.

*To know more about the ill-effects of over-work read this post.

The relentless sloggers
Some people have little choice in this matter.Their circumstances compel them to toil hard because they have many responsibilities and no one to assist them.

But some others have a basic need to prove themselves by achieving lofty targets.To them taking a break means wasting time and stalling on the uphill journey. Overambition definitely has some drawbacks:it denies rest,leisure and peace of mind.

The perfectionists too seldom take sufficient rest.They have to do everything themselves because no one else can do it the way they can.They will check and polish their work till they are exhausted. Relaxing is a waste of time for them:there are so many things they want to set right and control.

Then there are those who just cannot say 'No'.People take advantage of their docility by fobbing off their own chores on them.Naturally this keeps them over-busy.

Some others fatigue themselves because they dislike asking for help.They will even attend to the nitty gritties which could easily have been handled by someone else.

And lots of people today have a hunger for possessing more of everything.They are never satisfied with who they are and what they have.Naturally,this always keeps them on the go.

In the end we have people who are always bowed down with work because they did not plan their schedule properly.A haphazard way of working leaves them vainly scrambling for time.

Easing the burden
If you find yourself fitting in any of the above categories-relax!Find a way out.Be cognizant of the need and importance of relaxation.Learn to take things easy.The fun is not always in doing but also in being:just being there,connecting with people,enjoying the surroundings,communing with nature,observing what happens around you and pursuing activities which may not be financially rewarding but are satisfying in many other ways.

*Allot enough time for leisure.

*Prune your to-do list.Chop off the non-essential items.

*Take the help of technology to lessen your load.

*Outsource what you can.

*Say 'No' to what is not in your scheme of things.

*Do one thing at a time.

*Shelve the less important chores to a later date,but mark them in your diary.

*Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

Now that you have more time on your hands,what is that which you always wanted to do but did not have time for?Take the first step towards doing it.Do you enjoy social gettogethers or solitude? Which is your favorite pasttime-an energetic game,an online game,a brain game,reading,writing,singing,listening to music,doing art or craft work,a leisurely walk,a bit of shopping,cooking,enjoying a hearty meal,connecting with friends,watching a movie,tidying your space or just napping?Lots of choices,select what relaxes you most.Unlike the school or job work,no competition is on your back here.No dreaded judgments or rankings to kill the joy.
What bliss,to relax

Since we live in stressful times,relaxation deserves a regular space in our lives. It can nullify the effects of stress and anxiety.It calms the mind and recharges the body.It allows us time to look at things from a different perspective,and this itself is often therapeutic.It dulls the pain,fills us with hope and energizes us to make a fresh start after a setback or a trauma.Indeed,the gains accruing from relaxation or taking a break,can never be over emphasized.

By the way,which is your favorite relaxation technique? 

William Henry Davies presaged the lifestyle of many of us in this poem:--

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The #Confrontationists :And how to deal with them

If like me you too abhor confrontations,then this is for you.From the time I can remember,I have disliked aggression,domination,accusations,showdowns,acrimony-and even debates.But I have come across people whose only way of communicating is to oppose others.They will not forego any opportunity to butt in with a contradiction to prove you wrong or  hold you responsible for whatever has gone wrong.

What do you do when you are face-to-face with such a person?Keeping quiet after he has had his say shrivels your ego and undermines your public image.But you don't want to be rude or spark long debates.Moreover,answering back requires the knack of serving quick,sharp retorts,which everybody may not be good at.What if you give a smart reply and are silenced with a smarter one?It is not easy to out-smart a confrontational person.

However,learning the best way to deal with such people is essential to conserve one's sanity and safety.How,and to which degree you react depends upon who the aggressor is.confrontationist could belong to either of the following three categories:

2-Close Interpersonal relationships
3-Acquaintances or colleagues

A Stranger
When an unknown person accosts you belligerently:beware.He could be a drunkard or a psychopath or simply someone in a terrible mood.Since he has targeted you without any provocation,he is either boiling with rage or not fully there.Make sure you are safe first.Be alert to his movements:has he increased his pace?Are there any signs of violence?Decide what you will do if the situation deteriorates. Whom can you call for help? The best course is to just nod and move away.As soon as possible.
Intimate or close relationships
Aggressive behavior of close friends or relatives is the most tormenting of all.They are the ones from whom you expect support, cooperation and empathy,but these qualities are rarely seen in dominating individuals.What compounds the problem is:you cannot break free from such relationships.If you did,you would also lose their favorable aspects.

On the other hand if you go on suffering in silence,then one day pent up emotions of anger,resentment and hurt pride will breach the dam to come out in an angry outburst which might even be untimely and out of context to the issue at hand;invoking more ridicule.

My way of averting such a crisis when I have had enough of belittling is,to say calmly when both of us are in a good mood,that this kind of behavior is not good for our relationship and it hurts me terribly.

If the other person is not amenable to my request.I would try to rope in someone whom he holds in high esteem.If even that does not work(it is not likely to have any effect on a narcissist)then I just shrug and tell myself"He is like that only,it is about him and not me.Got to accept the thorn with the roses."

Colleagues and Acquaintances
After the first two categories,dealing with the above is a walk in the park.A thumb rule is to avoid engaging with them unless it is absolutely necessary.It is not possible to avoid an overbearing colleague since you meet him every day but try to maintain a distance between between the two of you because if you are on chatty terms with him his behavior is bound to rile you till one day you give a sharp retort, and that would be the end of a cordial relationship.If you can envisage when he is preparing to aim his broadside at you,make a polite excuse and run away.

Casual,domineering friends can be very irritating.You don't want to dump them but you can also not suffer endlessly.You also don't want to be rude or get into an altercation. If the matter in question is of no import to you,then you can choose one of the frivolous replies given below:
" You think so?"
"Never thought much about it"
"Very interesting"
"Your views are very original"
"I wish I could carry this conversation further but I have to rush now"

Most of the times such answers will do the trick.If not,then a little bit of cold shoulder will help.

But there are occasions when you cannot take the easy way out.Like,when someone encroaches upon your rights or flings false accusations on  you.Then you have to make clear that such behavior is not acceptable.

At the end of the day we have to weigh out the benefits and the disadvantages which entail a relationship and act accordingly.