From the desk of a psychologist!

Posts tagged ‘Psychology’

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

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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!

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

When Sincerity Stings

 

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. – Oscar Wilde

I was forced to actually be empathetic towards a sincere close one today. This empathy was forced because it actually overlapped with sympathy. If you are confused by the way I am using this great attribute of sincerity, let me tell you how difficult it is for a sincere person to lead a happy and contended life.

You must have heard about what is inside affects the outside. In other words, your inner self reflects on the outer world. You take the whole world the same way you are. So, it is not a shocker when a sincere person expects the same kind of treatment from the whole world.  Though their experiences have tried to wake them up a lot of times and they have even tried and made ample resolutions, still once comfortable they go back in their usual comfort belief system ( of the world being almost as sincere as they are).

They wait for people to do their part they carry out theirs, which most of the time doesn’t happen. It only frustrates them, disturbs their strong principles and sometimes even make them sorry for being sincere.

They need to understand the world is not going to go by their script. The only thing flexible or one can change is your attitude towards life. I am not asking you to be insincere but urging you to start the process of understanding the coexistence of good and bad. If you are sincere, great for you but that doesn’t mean the world is going to be the same. You are going to get a mix. Be prepared for different degrees of sincerity and accept it.

One more thing which we need to understand is sincerity is also subjective. Your meaning of it could be totally different from how someone else defines it. There is also your sincerity priority; something for you could be of high priority in your sincerity barometer while the same thing could be of medium or low priority for a friend. For eg., for some ppl being sincere in a relationship is top most priority while some feel professional sincerity is a must. If both will be together they are going to doubt each other’s personality finding each other being insincere in life. Try to start looking at the whole picture and not blinded by few situations!

A  sincere friend  of mine ( who goes through this situation on a regular basis) suggests that take your experience as a learning process and build your predictor chart of a situation or a person. He does that combined with his intuition and it really helps him deal with various new challenges of life.  If you assess a person as a threat to your sincere world, maintain a logical distance. It makes sense because as we know, we can never change a person and if his behavior is a threat to our peace, change yourself ( by changing the situation as much as possible).

After saying all of this, I would like to end this post by addressing all my sincere close ones; build strategies, make resolutions do whatever you want but the next time you are put on test, you’ll be  hardcore sincere again as it runs in your blood and that is why you remain so dear to us 🙂

 

 

Why RESPECT?

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
~ Jackie Robinson

What is it that differentiates us from animals?

According to Kazimierz Dąbrowski, the ability of humans to inhibit and transform our lower animal instincts into “higher” forces is what separates us from animals.

Going by this definition, I understood one thing, that we are born with too many basic impulses. These need to be trimmed and tamed to form a beautiful personality. We are also born with a disregard for oneself, others and our environment. As we grow and start building our identity, we start realizing the importance of RESPECT.  It is a major building block of our character.

We are nobody without our self respect. We demand respect from others to make our self esteem grow. If we actually observe our actions on an everyday basis, we will realize that they are governed by the need to be respected. We do our best to earn it whether through our intellect, behavior, heritage, strength or sometimes even try to buy it.

But, this reasoning is at an advanced level, sometimes people aren’t able to understand it. They try to gain respect without bothering to actually pass it on. They aren’t able to appreciate the cycle of respect. It is not a material gain but like all other human values, it is spread through sharing. If you like to be respected, you need to start respecting others without considering their background.

What is RESPECT?

Respect is a need which comes from within, influenced by the way you are treated. It comes from  achievements, contributions & merit. It is not a feeling of fear or obedience. It is a regard of honor which no one could force to happen, but oozes by itself where it is due and then no one could stop it.

Respect is when we show a significant amplification of attention and care through words or actions towards people or our own self.

Respect is when we modify our behavior or choice of words in such a way that it exhibits  a significant increase in attention and care and is supplemented by a feeling of admiration for their suggestions, abilities and achievements.

While researching for respect, I realized one vital point. The meaning of respect varies with age and so does its treatment.

For a child, we generally think that it is as simple as being polite and courteous but actually it is much more complex. A child is very well conscious of whether he is respected or not?

Children deserve to be heard & be dealt in a thoughtful, civil manner. Disrespect a child and he will wait for an opportunity to do the same or worse with you. A child also learns the way he is treated and the way he sees others being treated. The seed of respect starts from childhood. It can’t be taught but it certainly could be shown.

For a teenager, Respect is basically when you consider their decision. When you show them your regard, value their point of view, give them the place of a young adult. Disciplining is not being disrespectful. Don’t ever think that if you will point out their wrongs, they will stop liking you. May be they will but they will definitely start respecting you!

For an adult, the definition of respect goes to a different level altogether. It is not merely a value or attribute but a self fulfilling process. An adult learns to start respecting oneself and takes it forward to other individuals, society and nature. It is a journey of self actualization, finding oneself!

Why RESPECT?

Because we all have worth and value as human beings.

Respect is talked about a lot, people use the word all the time to generate authority, fear, love, obedience but actually it is a culture. When it is present you take it for granted but the moment it is lost, every minute is a slap in your face!

Respect is a healthy choice. Now, we know that it is a cycle, you get respect when you give it. So, for inner peace you need to be respected and your worth as a human being need to be appreciated. The mere thought of being disrespected is intolerable by all of us. I would say start respecting each human entity. Resist your basic nature of payback.

Let’s start the culture of respect by being an example… BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!

Counseling Simplified!

I talk a lot about counseling. I’ll go on and on about it but what does it really mean and most importantly how it helps?

I am an Indian, so by default I am surrounded by people who speak in computer language. But sometimes I feel lost between them. They take it for granted that everyone must be aware of their basic terms like  Download, WiFi, Java etc. I try to keep pace but sometimes it sounds like gibberish and I lose my interest. On observation, I found out that most of the professionals do this; they mix their own basic terminology and unconsciously expect the whole world to understand it.

I am no exception. When I talk to people I expect them to know the meaning of PsychologyMental HealthCounseling etc.

If a person is not able to understand the basic terminologies,                                                      

how do you expect them to follow your discussion. It is more

like standing in a crowd where people are talking in a language,

which you have no clue about. Certainly you will loose your audience, let

alone convey your message to them.

So, today I decided to break this thought and start with the basics of counseling.

The first doubt which I want to clear is the difference between a Psychiatrist & a Psychologist. This is the most common place, where I have seen, a lot of people getting confused.

1. The major difference is in their degrees; A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor ( M.B.B.S.) while a Psychologist has Psychology Degree.

2. A Psychiatrist can prescribe you medication while a Psychologist uses psychotherapy/ counseling like behavioral, Psychoanalytic, Humanistic, Cognitive therapy etc.

3. Psychiatrist usually deals with mentally sick patients while a Psychologist caters to the wellness of emotional& mental health.

So here, I am going to be talking  about Psychologist, for the simple reason that I am one.

So, what we basically do is Psychotherapy/Counseling. A lot of therapists are going to have a problem with this statement of mine because if we go deep down in Psychology there are some minute differences between these two.

The goal of this post is to make things easier to understand and to stick to our aim, we are going to use counseling for both counseling & psychotherapy. Lets try to understand what exactly is Counseling first, I am sharing a definition which makes a lot of sense to me:

According to the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland, COSCA: ” Counselling and psychotherapy are ways of responding to a wide range of human needs. Counselling and psychotherapy provide opportunities for those seeking help to work towards ways of living in more satisfying and resourceful ways. ”

Counseling is not only about the major problems of life but is a tool which could help you resolve something as simple as every day’s issue and concerns. It helps you make full use of your potentials and allows you to get rid of the hindrances in  leading a happy and contended life.

A lot of people think that if you’re seeking the help of someone else you are weak. This is a myth because counseling empowers you. Sometime you, yourself aren’t aware of your strengths, finding those hidden strengths is a byproduct of the counseling process. It makes you more independent than ever.

A Psychologist is a non judgmental person, who helps you in understanding your problem and working on it objectively in a methodological way. In counseling, you will never be told what to do instead the options are laid in front of you and you are equipped with skills to help you choose the best option for yourself.

I love to give this example to understand it in a better way;

I am sure all of us has been photographed whether we like it or not. We always ask ( or want to ask) the camera man about how are we looking?

Why do we do it?

Simple, because the cameraman can see the picture and we can’t.  Same is the case with our lives, sometimes we get so entangled in the details that we can’t see the full view objectively.

You have been given a life, go ahead nurture it, if anything is stopping you to do so, you now know what to do about it 🙂

Life is fun…Live it!

If you are an adult of this planet, I think this post needs your attention. All of us, in our everyday’s hustles are slowly forgetting  about the beautiful journey we are in, called LIFE. We are so stuck up with the smaller issues in life that we are not giving ourselves permission to look into the bigger picture.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” William Shakespeare

We are actors with our different roles which we need to act with a touch of detachment but is it really happening?

Honestly, how many of us can actually raise our arms and say that we are not attached to the roles we play whether its professional or personal. We carry the roles with us as a baggage. The baggage keeps on becoming heavier and heavier but we refuse to let go of it.

 

 

 

 I am not saying stop playing your part but what I am trying to convey here is you need to also remember that all these roles are temporary.Take some time out and enjoy the beautiful journey of life. The ride can get bumpy sometimes, but it is okay…let it be!

If the life you are leading now is what you wanted all along and you are happy; you’re right on track but if it is different then you need to sit back and reflect.

Where did it go wrong? When was the last time I actually had fun? A lot of you are going to think if we are going to have fun, who will do the work? Are you doing things you like doing or are you wasting the precious time of your life?

I am not advocating procrastination of work but I am trying to make you understand the importance of taking some time out to care for yourself. Self care is the most under hyped thing in this world. Once somebody shared this with me, which till date I am not able to forget:

” The way we treat ourselves, if somebody else will treat us even close to that way; we will kill the person”

Why the moment we think about ourselves, we start feeling guilty? Especially in Indian culture, which is based on the tradition of sacrifices, the mere thought of thinking about yourself is being selfish. We keep on doing our duties but at the same time crib and complain so much, that at the end our lives become nothing else but a complaint box. We love to find faults with everything else but refuse to see the change we could make. Fine, there is a problem but does that means we should stop our life there only?

Come out of your ifs and buts. Be positive!It is time. Think about a positive person in your life and how you crave to the company of his. Don’t think about things you can’t change or control and if you’ve a problem with it please refer to the Serenity Prayer. I always refer to it and guess what, it works!

Remember our slam books from childhood which talked about hobbies and we used to happily fill it with different activities. What about now? Any idea what a hobby is?

All of us are different and so the solution is also going to be different. Find something which really refreshes you; it can be as simple as following your favorite nonsense sitcom. Life is too heavy, don’t make it unbearable. Get out of your cocoon and start living it. Even if you’ve a major share of problems to deal with; trust me a little fun is not gonna do any harm.

If you are a person you want to live life by going back to the cocoon, do that. There are no written rules of how to live life. Until & unless you are not hurting yourself or someone else you are on the right track. You just need to be honest to yourself, the rest of the world will take care of itself 🙂

As the Unwritten song by Natasha Bedingfield  beautifully sums it:        

 

Drench yourself with words unspoken

Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten.

 

For a change, be selfish and think about yourself, be stupid, funny, laugh, cry, hug, jump…LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!

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