From the desk of a psychologist!

Posts tagged ‘Mental health’

Indisciplined Demons

 

If we don’t shape our kids, they will be shaped by outside forces that don’t care what shape our kids are in. ~ Dr. Louise Hart

This lead to me reading and working on understanding discipline and annotating it in a positive aspect. Authors, Psychologists,Researchers have shared their profound knowledge & experience with us. They have provided us with various ways for positive discipline. It is definitely insightful and empowering, gearing up with these useful tools.

Parents & educators feel ready & groomed to take the plunge. They, equipped with their new found understanding  start implementing these strategies to the tee but most of the time their skills & efforts go in vain. The real change in behaviour is a far cry from the expected guaranteed one. Often blame goes to the expert but the simple reason is our naivety in not being conscious of the relevant protocol.

Read books with a plethora of strategies and ways to positively discipline your kids or students but realized a major ingredient of a successful recipe missing from the best there. You expect individuals to implement the strategies but what happens to the flavors they are bringing with them. There can’t be a blank sheet as we are human beings with our individualities, our strengths & our challenges.

How do we expect to implement the strategies with our subjectivity?

Our life’s journey fill us up with resentments, anger, grief apart from tons of other emotions. We carry the baggage. If we aren’t able to identify and deal with the things in our baggage, our perspectives will be colored. We will deal with our children with these shaded emotions making the questionable behaviour worse if not better.

I feel the sharing on discipline and behaviour modifications are great but for doing so one needs to deal with one’s demons first. One has to think, if I have my own insecurities, how am I going to be non judgmental in my approach which is the biggest pillar of positive disciplining. hqdefault

I would say learn, imbibe, implement but be aware of your own challenges otherwise your education is futile. Your angels & demons live inside you, choose to excel or fail. When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

“We like Batman – we understand him, we suffer with him. On the other hand, we want to be Superman. But they’re conflicting philosophies. Let’s bring them together in one movie and see how we, as an audience, wrestle with our inner demons.”-Wolfgang Petersen

 

Colored Shaded Perception

“We perceive the world the way we see it, not the way it is” The Talmud

We wear shades every day. Shades, which color the way we look at the world. The world remains the same, yet we find it different each and everyday. Our emotions & experiences color our shades of perception.

If we are wearing a bright shade, the world looks brighter however it is dark and gloomy when our shades are changed to the dark colors. It’s interesting to observe how we perceive everything on the basis of the shade we are wearing on a particular day. The exactly same experience,situation & people could yield the opposite effect because of the difference in the shades worn. 2012-12-04 12.54.38

We are oblivious of these invisible shades and as a consequence try to find external reasons for our different feelings & emotions. We waste our time in changing the external setup without changing what’s inside ( & the source of our perception). It frustrates us that we changed so many things still the positive change is not happening,unaware of the true source.

Our social interactions are also very complicated as that brings together a lot of colors and shades which results in a totally new color each time mixed & matched. When we are not a part of the mixture we are able to see the shades and be objective and appreciative of its beauty. But when we are drenched in that color we need another eye to define the exact shade of the color for us!

Then how do we wear our best shades on each day that we are blessed with?

I know it is not possible to wear bright, colorful & cheerful shades everyday but being aware of this concept enables us to deal with situations.

When we are physically not well we take care not to get into something we are not able to do or which could weaken us more. The same should be true for our mental health. If we are aware that this day I am not wearing the best of my shades, we should avoid getting into situations which expose us to harmful rays and could push us into negative outputs.This knowledge would also help us in identifying the kind of shades the person/s we are dealing with is wearing.                      tumblr_muo3vdeOhp1qevqz6o1_500

Upgrade your self!

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way                                       199260_1944591455313_1258298182_32372566_4581018_n

I love this song. It sums it all. I am fine the way God has made me and should be proud of it.

Then why the world talks about changing? They say it’s never too late to change your life or your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change and so on.

When you think about it in this way it is confusing, you get entangled in your thoughts.

Actually it is quite simple. We all are born in a certain way ( which is beautiful & perfect) but we need up gradation.

Think of it as a software which is inbuilt in your system but needs constant update otherwise it will be obsolete. You need to imbibe change to stay away from spam and run antivirus regularly.

We are born perfect but in our journey of life we catch a lot of viruses. These corrupt the system, that is why the need of CHANGE is there.

As a child we are pure, perfect and that’s our true self. As we grow our values, beliefs & attitudes are altered through our life’s experiences. We keep on putting layers on our true selves to hide our insecurities & challenges.

It’s time to stop, reflect, get rid of the many layers ( viruses) and accept our true beautiful self.

Trust me nothing is going to be more EMPOWERING!

Its only the mould which breaks them!

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. – Dr. Seuss

I am a true believer of the uniqueness of each and every individual. We differ in a lot of ways from each other and this certainly affects our learning too. Some lessons work for us while some fail miserably, why is it so?  1for-a-fair-selection-everybody-has-to-take-the-same-exam_787144ec8906c416d5b842d5d9412257

I won’t give the whole credit to the instructor of the class but the power is in the hands of the learning environment. I am going to explore three learning environments, which according to me is instrumental in deciding the future of an individual learning outcome.

1. **A learning environment which encourages the right way of using multimedia**:
This environment provides educators with an opportunity to engage learners in an immerse and interactive environment that requires knowledge, decision making, and information management skills.

( http://www.educause.edu/eli/programs/learning-technologies)

The world is changing and how? Being in India, we are living with technology. I work in a school where we are preparing our kids to be successful in the next decade. We still have no clue what advancement in technology would be there by then but one thing we couldn’t deny is the growth of multimedia.

I have seen children who learn genuinely through games, simulations & virtual world. They are excellent in it and any given day could teach you skills you can use life long. But they aren’t learning the way we are teaching them. We become too instructional with something which is made to be explored & experimental.

I have seen special students doing fairly well and learning effectively when given the opportunity with multimedia.

My only, but not trivial concern, with this learning environment is the inability of children to stop and draw the line when requires. It still needs vigilant supervision.

2. **Learning through Nature :**

My next environment is just the opposite of the first one. I have never seen the happiness and contentment in learning than when students return from a field trip or external learning environment.

Play expert Stuart Brown ( 2009) provides compelling evidence that a ” play deficit” exists. It is sad but true and if you are blessed to be in an educational environment you can actually feel it.

The brain develops in a healthy way and it also enables creativity. The addition of fantasy also encourages students to role play and conquer their fears. The flip side actually emerges from here when it goes beyond learning and the child is unable to come back to reality and the practicality is lost.

3. **Sociocultural Learning environment:**

To meet the goal of “preparing people for an ever-changing world”, instructional programs need to apply strategies that focus on the development of critical thinking, problem solving, research, and lifelong learning.

Every day you learn something due to your individual, social & cultural factors. The best learning is when you recognize these factors and make full use of it while most of the time sadly it goes unnoticed. If properly used and made an aide to learning, it impacts our growth for life.

So, my whole point is wear the suit which suits you the best. No need to run after what works for the people or what is in these days.

Remember most of the time ““Its only the mould that breaks them!!!”

True Essence of Beauty

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
Steve Maraboli

It’s not the men or society. Our insecurities, our need for approval & our struggle to fit in a certain type/model makes us vulnerable.

We starve ourselves to look exactly like the popular model all the boys talk about. It’s all over your daily newspaper supplement.

We show them we are helpless, to boost their egos, and make them feel superior. We are expected to behave and carry ourselves in a certain way and we oblige. We have forgotten who we really are; we have somehow perfectly fitted ourselves in the moulds we have been provided with.        article-2214227-139F4748000005DC-401_468x286

Let’s be honest, popular among boys are the girls who are dumb & beautiful. And why not so, smart women comfortable in their skin, makes Them uncomfortable… that’s competition right?

Sadly, we women are unable to understand this simple fact. Without using our brains, we jump in the rat race.

Some of you would say that the condition is not that grave and may be you are right too. But I definitely would like to share one of the random Facebook posts which made me think even more about the intensity of the condition.
The piece I am referring to talked about patriarchy.

It talked about how women silently are becoming an integral part of destructing their own stature. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, gives the interests of boys and men a so called approval over our bodily integrity and dignity.

This epidemic of us pulling down ourselves is subtle, gradual, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.

Let them see what a woman looks like.

They may not have ever seen one before.
You are a woman.
Skin and bones.
Veins and nerves.
Hair and sweat.

And know this:

Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.
Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.
You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You were born to build.
– Sarah Kay

Rogue Relationship

Sometimes you know that some relationships are more toxic than being a support. You understand that it’s a mistake making your life heavy and exhausting . You spend all your energy & happiness meeting the expectations but nothing suffices. In this vicious cycle you lose your personality, identity & the want of living.

Deep down you also know the only solution but refuse to accept it to yourself let alone the world. There could be several reasons for you being in the dysfunctional situation:

  • You are scared of hurting yourself as well as your loved ones.
  • Have become addicted to this relationship and like a substance abuser know the repercussion but doesn’t have the power to come out of it.
  • You even refuse to accept the truth to yourself & live with the hope of a miracle going to happen someday.
  •  Don’t want people to feel sorry for you.
  • The fear of unknown.

If any of these rings a bell, break the chains and start living your life from today. Let go of it because this relationship is like a virus, which will eat you and make you forget to live the only life you’ve got.

I know saying it is really easy while even thinking of implementing makes you shiver. Take the step to liberate the real you. In the beginning, go through the process of  healing which may involve grieving for your dead relationship but all of this will actually empower you. You would love to find your confidence again and letting go of the shame & guilt developed during the relationship.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

Warning: Before taking the step be sure that you are in a dysfunctional relationship. Don’t take a low phase as the whole relationship. Be objective and if you can’t seek external help to decide. This post is strictly for those you are a part of an emotionally abusive relationship.

 

 

What to knit your life with?

Have you ever felt drained sitting next to a person while some just refreshes you?

Life is simple ; each individual is unique, no two can be the same . A logical question should be “Why are we called social animals then?”

It’s the connections we have with individuals at various levels. We humans have social needs which are fulfilled by these connections. But the million dollar question is could you fill all these places with any random person? To answer this  I have to ask you one thing, could you put any piece to a puzzle and make a sane picture?

There is a  click with some people and it has nothing to do with how similar you are . You connect  with someone and find that person fulfilling a certain social need of yours making you more contended and happy but that doesn’t mean he/she is the only one for all your needs. This person is just a part of a whole huge picture which is made of many such connections. You connect with someone as a friend, someone else on an intellectual level while someone looks after the call of your heart and so on. 

But there is also a major unsaid pressure from the society on us to form these connections. It is not necessary that at the beginning of our journey we would find the exact piece to fit in the puzzle of our life but when we see or assume these pieces fitting in other people’s life we force to fake these bonds. Our hunger for social satisfaction also forces us to make hurried decisions. We make friends with whom we aren’t comfortable, we become close to people with whom we have few/no things to celebrate about.

This pressure is on both introverts & extroverts. As an introvert, you are pushed to be with people, even if it drains you and you aren’t comfortable with them. You are refused to wait for beautiful connections to happen which makes you enjoy your solitude more and more. While an extrovert, due to his compulsion to be around people, finds lots of them but end up feeling still lonely most of the time.

This in place of making us more contended, takes away the zeal out of our life. The human threads which are supposed to support us actually burdens us. We forget our individuality and instead of growing start carrying baggages. Sometimes we find the bonds which make us stronger but lose them with time and in search of the same kind of support find people who are not our match.

If we are in such a kind of relationship, are we doing justice to it and the other person/s involved in it. I am sure he/she is tolerating us the same way, we are tolerating them in our lives. This whole arrangement is unhealthy. The beauty of relationships and human connection is lost. Wake up before it’s too late and you become responsible for either hurting someone or ruining your experience as a result. Wait for the right piece for your puzzle and trust me it is worth waiting!

Enjoy your solitude and grab opportunities to connect with people with similar thought processes or for that matter someone with whom you can just have FUN! Never rush yourself, everything has a time. When we are waiting we feel that it is never going to end, this makes us impatient resulting in bad choices. But, that doesn’t mean that when something/ somebody does make sense, you still wait for the perfect one ( we all know no one/ nothing is  perfect). 

Life is all about trials & errors. Start living and exploring new human connections, even if it is not going to be your life altering relationship, it sure will teach you some new things.

“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.”
― Albert Schweitzer

Partial Acceptance

If you’ve read my posts, you would know I am a firm believer in the first step of acceptance.

For any change in us, we need to ACCEPT that there is a need for change.      

For any growth in us, we need to ACCEPT that there is a need for growth.

For any desire in us, we need to ACCEPT the need for it.

Even for being at the same place, we need to ACCEPT that we are happy with our present state.

So, acceptance is the key but what is acceptance?

You’ll say when you realize and give your approval to a particular situation or thing. And it is so right, when we start gaining  insight of a situation. It starts from becoming uncomfortable with a certain thing/ situation, realizing that something is not right and some work need to be done.

Analyze the situation, understand the issue and then accept that we need to change!

A mother having problems with managing her child with a disorder, won’t be able to do the needful until she accepts that her child needs help. A marital problem can’t be sorted until the people involved accept that there is a problem in their relationship. You’ll only be happy if you accept your original self with your challenges and strengths.

As an individual, when do you feel complete and secure. When you accept yourself as you are without any ifs and buts but is it so simple to achieve?

We struggle with the acceptance with our excuses and reasoning. We accept our challenges but not fully and consequently our work with  them is also partial. We like to go for partial acceptance because it allows us to live in a fake world without dealing with our inner conflict. This also makes us look for recognition from others, makes us lose confidence in ourselves. We stop the process of growth because we start living in the denial of there is no room for improvement.

Think about it, when was the last time you accepted something without any buts. If you are honest to yourself, you’re going to have a problem in recollecting it. May be you were fully accepting but that lasted for some time and if the time length was long the acceptance was not 100%. The moment you start having problems with acceptance, your growth goes through a downfall. You start putting your reasoning and stop the process.

So, what is the way of working on acceptance?

Be honest to yourself and embrace yourself the way you are. There is no place for bargaining. The moment you’ll surrender you will see the possibilities. You enable yourself by giving the strength of acceptance and working on your limitations.

For eg., Tina needs to work on her empathy. She realized that  a lot of time she is insensitive to people’s emotions. In the beginning she had issues in accepting her insensitiveness. Whenever she tried, her brain told her yes you did cross the line but what about certain situations where you were not so bad. This struggle went on for a while, until she realized she really need to do something about her situation, otherwise would end up as a loner. She understood her need to surrender to her insensitiveness, which in turn will help her accept it and work on it.

Until you live in denial you are snatching opportunities from yourself for growth. You’ll keep on fighting acceptance of your challenges and would fail in leading a contended life leading to restlessness and confusion. You’ll try to find the answers without any success.

Do remember acceptance is a process and need to be worked on everyday basis. If you are ready for being a better individual come out of your partial acceptance mirage and then you’ll see there is no limit for growth!

“Self-acceptance comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. Don’t numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.” – J. Donald Walters

Why do people lie, when it is not even required?

I really liked this lady. Found her very friendly, charming and easygoing. She was so much fun to be with, real friend material. We started hanging out a lot together…and then it happened for the first time, she lied for no proper reason. It was a shocker for me because there was no need to lie in that situation but she did it. Then eventually a pattern appeared. She just lies, reason or no reason!

First it did put me off and I thought of just maintaining my distance but then I understood that this lady is also seeking a friend. She is lonely and slowly  understood the reason for people walking away from her. She complained about the world being devoid of genuine people, without understanding the simple equation of her getting back what she is throwing at the world. She has no clue why people are trying to get as far as possible from her. This lady needed help!

She  just isn’t able to STOP herself and as she lacks insight in her own self, consequently there is no reason to work on it in her life. In her perception the problem lies with the world and she honestly feels that people are not being straightforward. In a lot of texts this kind of problem is often referred to as compulsive lying or pseudologia fantastica.

The major issue with this condition is the inability to understand that there is a problem. It starts as a non conflicting way of getting what you want but slowly a person loses all sense of honesty. The person starts living in a fake world which is weaved by his or her own lies which in their minds is the reality of this world.

Does that mean the person is happy in this self made world?

The answer is NO!

A person who is used to compulsive lying is a very lonely and sad person. Because of the uncontrolled behavior, there is a dearth of people who even want to be with them. They hurt people and as a result have no real friends or loved ones. It is not that these people don’t want love or relationships, on the contrary they yearn for meaningful relationships and feel frustrated when unable to do so.Sometimes because of their uncontrollable behavior they are also not able to hold a job

The reasons of getting into this pattern could be numerous. It may be a  disturbed childhood, positive reinforcement to petty lying, need for approval, trying to create an ideal image and so on. The problem begins when you stop lying by yourself and it just starts governing you. You see yourself lying and you seriously aren’t able to do anything about it as it is beyond YOU!

The first step towards recovery is Acceptance! If you’re the person dealing with it, accept it and if it is a friend, have the talk.

The next step is to seek a therapist. I am from the school of thought which strongly believes that whatever is learnt, COULD ALSO BE VERY WELL UNLEARNT!

Relationship : What makes it work?

Relationship: is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This is a definition I got from the internet which actually describes the crux of relationships, but as an individual surrounded by it, we know it is not this simple.

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships. “- Anthony Robbins.

In other words, our relationships make us, who we really are! I have read somewhere this amazing comparison; Just as ants make anthills, human beings makes relationships.

All of us crave to make the most of each and every relationship in our life; be it a friend, coworker, family or a loved one. We try and try, most of the time oblivious to what exactly we are working on?      

We work really hard on different relationships and our roles in them. We try to be or get the best possible outcome from these relationships. It is what makes our support system, gives us strength to deal with life issues and be sane. But, have we ever wondered what is the source of having what we call as ‘Ideal Relationship’ ?

As I have already shared, It begins with You!

For the success of any relationship, we need to begin from within. Have you ever even considered a possibility of a relationship with yourself?

Working on our inner turbulence, the miscommunications and disparity of thoughts within ourselves. Have you ever heard more than one voice coming from inside you and sometimes it has reached to a level of chaos? Is there a problem cropping up in your relationships, which reappears even after great effort from your behalf? Are your relationships making you emotionally exhausted and you find yourself craving for space?

If these questions make you stop & think, then it is the time to reflect on your relationship with yourself.

Is this even makes sense because if we go by the definition, it clearly states that a relationship is only possible when more than one person is involved. But, let’s look at where is all this originating from? Isn’t it from a relationship we have so far conveniently ignored?

The way we treat ourselves, if someone else treats us even 1/10oth of that, we would kill that person! We have never given ourselves equal rights, let alone the privilege of a relationship. Imagine someone you won’t even give a second glance, you actually place yourself in the same category.

You are seeking answers in this world but the truth is, it lies within yourself. You’ll listen to anyone and everyone but would certainly make your inner voice shut.

Let’s get back to the Serenity Prayer, the only thing which we can change in this world is ourselves but sadly we spend most of our lives changing others. We keep on doing so ignoring the need to work on the relationship which could yield results.

Break the dynamics of any relationships ( as also shown in the picture) and you would find that the things which need to be worked on to achieve optimal relationship status is a quality you either need to change or inculcate.

Let’s give it a try. Start building relationship with oneself. Take some time out…Say hello to yourself. Let the journey begin!

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with. “-  Wayne W. Dyer

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