Category: Psychology

Stumbling upon ZERO!

Life shouldn’t be a zero-sum game, but how do we make sure it wouldn’t? Sometimes we stumble upon a big zero dwindling either side of an infinite axis aka experience. We will never realize on which side we might land but we may always choose to be optimistic. However, the moot is, our experience is so dynamic that we never realize that the goal post had already been shifted forcing us to recalibrate our vision. Taking control of the circumstances that lead up to change is far-fetched. Instead, we can make our experiences richer by simply not stumbling upon a zero rather embracing the things with open eyes per se senses.

Undoubtedly, 2021 was very painful for most of us. It etched some deep wound that is hard to heal. Even though we weathered the storm gallantly but it took the most from us; be it physical or mental. The almost gone year taught us very tough lessons from bizarre experiences which cornered us vehemently. It relentlessly made us aware of our deepest fear leaving us in mental agony with our futile efforts to get life back on track. To some it went far in smashing ruthlessly with the biggest truth of life; that it goes on, no matter what. So either you accept it wholeheartedly or get bogged down. I personally came across a situation that made me realize that sometimes giving up a good fight is not losing. It’s a naive effort of our soul to move on and open up to daunting or never done before activities to find peace and joy.

Now, when I retrospect on how few situations transpired in such a manner and how I could have handled it differently, my own limitations or hardwired beliefs surfaced. I randomly picked up “The Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts” by Shane Parrish and it indeed refined my understanding. The book broadly talks about Occam’s razor principle which states that “a simpler explanation or solution to the problem is more likely to be correct than a complicated one.” However, on mulling over the facts, I found the simpler solution although the correct one but it’s tough to act. And then the principle of acceptance comes in when you have to just live the moment irrespective of the outcome. 

Anonymity gives us wings!

In the pandemic era, I only see the eyes, and it too speaks — the soulful language. The good thing about this pandemic would sarcastically be an opportunity to play the favorite childhood game — hide and seek. You may hide your feelings but let someone seek it from your eyes. Naturally, you may find yourself in haywires as to whom to let steal from you.  As all, you see seemingly incomparable beauty around. And thus, the game begins, which will ask you to sail over the bubble of hope with perseverance to meet the true seeker with those gleaming passion.

Sometimes I feel like the masked face reveals the true identity of oneself. You may be what-not or in emotional turmoil. But when you disguise, your arms flail like a wing to fly. How many times have you anonymously complimented someone or someone’s work? It lifts off the heaviness of your heart and shuns all the exaggerated rationality. In some cases, according to the famous book The Lucifer Effect — the conditions that make us feel anonymous when we think that others do not know us or care to can foster antisocial, self-interested behaviors. So what your anonymity unveils?

You can’t stop thinking!

The most beautiful aspect of human life that makes us special can be the reason for mental health issues for many is depressing. In a day, unimaginable and bizarre thoughts come into our mind out of nowhere. You been working fine and suddenly a flash of some unhappy event flashes and hijacks you to plumb in a hopeless attempt to land on some conclusion. But you fail miserably, and the feeling it engenders drives you crazy. Sometimes you react and yell at people you love and care, which later makes you feel so sorry. While sometimes you swallow the bitter inexplicit conclusion you drew which leads to repressed anger and frustration. This overlong repression transforms into a suppressed rage awaiting a trigger to explode, which is detrimental and must be avoided on all accounts. But how? It’s simple  — all you need to practice emotional self – awareness and playing a con artist to yourself.

In my previous article on “ The power of now “, it was clear that one can’t shun the cascade of thoughts inundating us completely and to our chagrin, we sarcastically welcome them warm-heartedly. Anyway, you can still welcome them, but you must count on time and have a check on the feeling it incites. Let the thought comes in and let it go, don’t hold on to it. If it’s good, savour it for a while then move on in contrary if it is unhealthy or in other words making you anxious — shake your head, tune in to your best music playlist and leave the place, grab your favourite candy or whatever it is.  See there is nothing you can do, you will never come to any conclusion so make peace with yourself; there is no one to blame for so accept what it is. It doesn’t exist anymore in your conscious experience; it’s gone, in one of the best psychological books — Emotional Intelligence. The author and psychologist Daniel Goleman states — “any emotion can be — and often is — unconscious. Sometimes we tend to develop definite likings for things we do not even realize we saw it before. The physiological beginnings of emotion typically occur before a person is consciously aware of the feeling itself. Emotions that simmers beneath the threshold of awareness can have a powerful impact on how we perceive and react, even though we have no idea they are at work.”

So here is the rub, you been stuck in your subconsciousness. You already grieved the moment everything ended for you or else, and you were aware. But you are continuing your suffering, and unconsciously your mind is working overtime to find the reason for this emotional and rational dichotomy. Your subconscious thoughts will never vanish instantly. You have to replace your moments of awareness with something that makes you feel good and build up slowly and calmly until the activity enervates you. An excerpt from the book corroborates this practice – “It is not that people need to avoid unpleasant feelings to feel content, but rather that stormy feelings did not go unchecked, displacing all pleasant moods. People who have strong episodes of anger or depression can still feel a sense of well – being if they have a countervailing set of equally joyous or happy times.” But you have to step up and push your limits. Believe me, once you put your best foot forward, there is no stopping.

(The views are personal and don’t validate any claims. If you are battling any mental health issues speak up to your family and friends and consult a doctor)

The sagacity of creative writers

All creative thinkers and writers embody a split personality. But in no way do they portray a false persona. The closer one gets to them more astonishing they appear. At times they get bombastic in depicting the duplicity of this world. But who are they? Fascinating, aren’t they? These creatures create a facade to indulge with worldly desires, sometimes up to the level of amalgamation. But they never lose their mind and always know what, why, when, and how? And, slyly sneaks amid all the commotions, to enjoy the date with self. They seek inspiration in doing to understand the vagaries of human life by injecting themselves as a test specimen.

In whichever way you leave them, you may always expect the best out of them. Even in plucky moments, their engraved feelings carved out in anger and frustration may seem beautiful. Or their splendid narration of a love story maybe just a figment of their imagination. A writer lives in his world of metaphors and remains secluded only to infuse every corner with his thoughts. And at the end, after playing the other side of his character while savouring every moment of life. He finds himself in the reflection of his thoughts. A writer never dies, nor he lives alone, he leaves behind his imagination in an illusionary world.

The power of now

If we ponder on our thought process, we unsurprisingly most of the time either mourn over past or dread the future. It takes a lot of courage to shun useless and nasty thoughts coming into our minds. And, it’s plausible to feel anything about the situation, which is naturally subjective. We can’t always be optimistic when we firmly believe that this may never happen. Being realistic about the situation is more important than nudging into the dead zone.

The cascade of thoughts coming from nowhere is worth to be taken care of lest it would make us blind. What we see and listen is what we believe; however, we can’t generalise it. According to the author and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman in his famous book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” says that most of the impressions and thoughts arise in our conscious experience without knowing how they got there.

The surrounding has the most significant impact on our impressions. The exposure to a healthy environment is the genesis of good thoughts; however, much to our chagrin, we can’t always control it. Instead, we can take charge of the feelings it engenders. The author stresses on the fact, “A Human mind is very poor in contradiction. It usually creates a false story for us to believe. When we get surprised, the world of System 1(fast, intuitive, and emotional) gets violated then the surprise activates and orients the attention to System 2(slower, more deliberative, and more logical), which thus searches the memory for a story that makes sense of the surprising event.”

We cannot prevent System 1 from doing its job, and sometimes it gives a false impression. The only way to resist the illusion is we must learn to mistrust our perceptions thus preventing it from transforming into a belief on pretence. It might be tricky, but questioning our thoughts and acting on it now might change our attitude towards an activity in the long run.

Are you a Procrastinator?

It is pretty tough to follow a healthy regime. However, when you shrug off the weight of procrastination, the results are awe-inspiring. Despite technical prowess, an ever-increasing desire for largesses and negligence are also some vitriolic takeaways from our evolution. But we surely haven’t inherited these traits. Because our ancestors were not privileged, they had to foray for food risking their lives. Sarcastically, the idea of risk and flimsy-flossy words masquerading our ignorance never existed that time. Every day was a survival mission. In juxtaposition, now its the mission survival for our mother nature and our degrading immune system.

In a book, “A Mind for Numbers” author Barbara Oakley speaks about how procrastination badly affects our daily lives and why it is crucial to get away from this feeling. According to the book, we focus more on the outcome of an activity rather than the process. And, the dread of completing the task drains much of our energy, which is why we usually skip an activity that asks us to unhook from indolence, redirecting our lazy system in vaguely justifying our actions

Our mind is such a powerful machine that it may make you believe something which never exists in reality. It is very sophisticated yet fails to change the status quo and some hardwired facts. If we trick a mind the way it does most of the times will be productive. When you start questioning your thoughts and focus more in a moment, you will find that all it was required is to take the necessary first step. And once the cover is blown, you are set free to achieve something which you always wanted to with least effort.

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