SAY NO TO NEGATIVITY

I am allergic to Negativity, like seriously! And that is one thing that totally drains me emotionally. I can handle being physically drained, but being emotionally drained is something I cannot manage, the reason being, the outburst and the manifestation of emotional drain is very pathetic and pitiful, at least in my case. I cry, apparently for no good enough reason, I withdraw in my shell and prefer to hibernate. I am always in a sulking mode, followed by heavy head and mood swings. This behavior impacts not just me but my family as well, needless to say, in a negative way. Thus, negativity invites negativity and it traps you in a vicious circle.

It can be very easy to succumb to the negativity. Why, and how, you may ask. Let me tell you. We encounter Negativity every day, everywhere. Below are a few examples.

  • Negative thoughts: This is the basic and most common trigger of Negativity. Sometimes our mind just acts like a devil and dwells only on the negativity. At times, we can’t help but think that something bad is going to happen. You cannot live a positive life with a negative mind. It is very important that we train our mind to look at the positive side, it works wonders.
  • Negative people: Goodness, you will find plenty of them around you. Negative people are those who keep complaining or cribbing about how things are wrong, how they suffer so much, how bad things only happen to them etc. Trust me such people bring in the epidemic of negativity. And unknowingly, you start thinking like them. I just hate such kind of people. Who doesn’t have problems in life? So why cry and complain? Is it going to solve any of your problems? No, right? Rather invest that energy in clearing the clutter in your mind and focus on solution to improvise your life. There is one more type of negative people – those who start with a NO. For example, if you suggest them something, the first thing that they have to say is “NOT possible”. Why start with a NO? Try at least! These people often fail to understand their own potential. Stay away from Negative people; they have a problem for every solution.
  • Negative relationships: Some relationships are meant to bother you. I call a relationship negative if it is the one that you do not want to keep but have to. Like putting up with bitter relatives or the relationship between the husband and wife who cannot stay together but can’t divorce for some reason. This is the toughest trigger to negativity. Just imagine having to be with someone you can’t stand! Every single thing that person says or does pushes you further in the quicksand of negativity.
  • Negativity at home: It is said that you can sense the vibes of the place the moment you step there. It is so true! You will be easily able to make out a place or a home which has lot of fights within family. Fights within family is the worst thing that can ever happen, at least in my eyes. I can fight with the world, but not with my family. Continuous fights in family creates a bubble of negativity around the family members and eventually they start hating each other. End result – family breaks, a home breaks!
  • Negativity at work: This is very rampant of late. The cut throat competition in the corporate world often results into negativity. It is common to witness the jealous colleagues who hate you for progressing. Note these words, they hate you for progressing, they do not have a problem with the fact that they are not progressing, but they have a huge problem with you stepping on the next rung of the career ladder. Such people spread negativity easily. They elaborately talk about how undeserving you are, how you are the favored one and how you have more ways than your contribution to work to achieve success. Fortunately, such people don’t bother me much, because I stay at one arm’s distance from everybody at work. But yes, this breed is certainly harmful.
  • Negativity in media: I am sure you will agree that we are witnessing the era of negative journalism. Every day the newspaper is flooded with negative news of rapes, accidents, abuses, murders, robberies, deaths and scams. Where are all the good news like some remote rural man inventing something big, some satellite reaching a new height, some under privileged student securing high grades in board exams? May be such news occupy a small corner which is left after publishing all the negative news! I just so hate reading newspapers these days. I don’t even remember when was the last time I read one

Above 6 triggers of negativity are something that we witness every day, every hour in one form or the other and it is bound to have a negative impact on you. Thus, it is very easy to succumb to negativity.

Over the years, I have learnt the “Negativity Management”. Here is how I safeguard myself from negativity.

  • Prayers & Meditation: Praying to God and meditating everyday works wonders for me. It clears my mind of all the anxiety, stress and insecurity that any or all of the above triggers have had. Consistent prayers and continuous practice of meditation builds an aura around me which acts as a shield and protects me from ill effects of negativity.
  • Cut down the interaction with Negative people: The moment I realized that the person I am interacting with is negative I immediately cut down the interaction with him/her. I keep it to the bare minimum. This helps me staying away from them, thus, not attracting the vice of negativity. I have literally walked out of a few friendships for this reason and I do not regret a bit. You may not be able to control someone’s negative behavior but you can control how long you can participate in it.
  • Choose what you read: This may sound funny, but I truly avoid reading negative stuff, not just newspapers but also novels and other fictions. I choose reading love stories (with a happy ending) over murder mysteries or other abuse stories. I do this consciously because when I read a book, the characters stay with me for a very long time 😁Hence it is important that I choose good and positive characters which won’t harm me or change my actions for worse even if they dwell on my mind for a long time. Some great inspiring and positive quotes also do wonders to me.
  • A coin has two sides: I have this fact clear in my mind. Like a coin has two sides, every difficult situation also has two sides. If one side is difficulty and obstacles, the other side is opportunities and learning. There is always a take away from a negative situation, just that you have to have a right frame of mind and identify the learning.

While the above points can help you to safeguard yourself from the negativity what is important is to build immunity within. And for that, every day, every moment you have to keep reminding yourself that life is good, if there are things to complain, there are more things to be thankful for. Trust in God and surrender yourself to Him. No one can protect you better.

Negativity perpetuates itself, breeds dissatisfaction and clutters the mind. And when the mind is cluttered with negativity happiness is much harder to come by. Negativity is a very nasty and contagious disease. Remove yourself from all the negative people, situations, and things. Choosing to be positive will help you maintain a better attitude, better health and a better mindset. Protect yourself; don’t let negativity drain you emotionally.

How do you handle negative people and negative situations? Does it drain you emotionally? I would love to hear about your experiences and learning.

THE HOLLOW FEELING

Till last year, I kept wondering how strong are those women who handle long distance relationship with their husbands…living alone, managing work, kids and chores. And, life gave me a good experience of one whole year to hone my skills of living that way.

Although I was lucky to be in joint family with supportive in-laws, there was a lot to do. My husband kept calling me ‘sherni’ (lioness) to boost me up. Yeah, “there are many great women who live alone and manage everything on their own”, I kept telling myself and so kept trying myself to be a perfectionist, but failed terribly.

With frequent backaches, almost once a week a bout of migraine and  feeling physically weak, I was getting emotionally drained too, which resulted in my tetchy mood and hence I kept losing my temper on my sons, because that’s the easiest way to do. And, at the end of the day, I would go to bed with full of regret for yelling at my kids. I wanted to just run away from the situation, but I kept telling myself the ‘situation will change’.

On a positive note, I had become an online shopping pro, just because I wasn’t able to go out shopping with my kids. I had the experience of travelling alone, with my naughty sons, by air and rail as well. Phew (Somebody give me a reward for that)!

However, thanks to my work friends with whom I could talk endlessly and enjoy laughing out loud in their company as well.  I witnessed how difficult life gets at some point or the other. I realised that no one else is responsible for your happiness and emotions, except you, yourself. So, I started enjoying with my kids, listening to music, even singing and dancing with them. Though I still get frustrated at times and yell at my kids, my six year old makes sure I calm down by saying silly things and asking me to kiss him every time he doesn’t listen!

I guess when one is emotionally drained out, the physical strength inside the body also drains out, because it’s all in the mind. If you are emotionally exhausted, you feel feeble and out of energy. The solution- look for everything that makes you happy, be with everyone who give you positivity and happiness. And, keep the faith!

IDENTIFY THE DRAINS IN YOUR LIFE

Identify the drains in your life

Emotionally: I am done!

Mentally: I am drained!

Spiritually:  I am dead!

Physically: I smile!

Look around you there are so many people going around with a smile plastered on their face but actually they are stuck in an emotionally draining situation. More often than not we don’t even realise that we are stuck in an emotionally draining situation. We just keep going through it till it’s too late.

Take for example the case of Ankita. She was a home maker living a happy life with her husband and two kids. She had a friend Suchita who was unable to have children. Ankita always thought that she was showing empathy to her friend and offering a shoulder to cry on but slowly she realised that Suchita was so full of bitterness, she had issues with her husband, mom-in-law, boss or society in general and after every interaction with her, Ankita herself was emotionally disturbed for a long time. And eventually she ended up fighting with her husband or shouting at her children. The whole atmosphere in her house turned negative. Eventually Ankita had to let go of this emotionally draining friendship. But it took a long time for her to identify the issue.

Sudhir was a manager in a big MNC. When he bagged this new job he thought he had finally made it to the big league. He put his heart and soul into the job and hoped for a good increment and promotions in the coming years. His new boss was a perfectionist. He himself was a workaholic and expected his team to be the same. Office work winding up past midnight. On slightest pretext making the whole team do the work all over again. Shouting, passing negative comments on all team members. All this had become the norm. Sudhir really worked hard to please the new boss with his work but it never happened. He was never satisfied. On the contrary Sudhir started losing confidence in himself. He slowly started believing that he was good for nothing. If he himself was not happy there was an emotional drain on his whole family too. With the help of his family he realised that this emotionally draining job was behind all the unhappiness in his life. Thankfully he left the job before he reached his breaking point.

This happens especially to people who are more sensitive to others emotions. 

The earlier we recognise that we are stuck in an emotionally draining situation like a relationship or a job or school, the easier it is to get out of it. 

So if you feel that suddenly you have 

A lack of zeal of life

A defeatist mental attitude

Bouts of fitful sleep

Creativity and imagination disappearing

Work that routinely excited you has suddenly become too dull to even contemplate

Then you are definitely dealing with emotional stress or emotional drain or emotional exhaustion.

How to get out of this situation? Look around you. 

Identify the cause and try to distance yourself from it. 

Try to put yourself first. You need to start thinking about yourself, find out what makes you happy and pursue your dreams.

You can’t change other people and how they think, but try to change how you react to them and how you communicate with people around you.

Find your strength. Try to break through your limitations.

Identify the drain in your life and try to distance yourself from it.

PARKED BY DRAINED EMOTIONS…

Have you ever felt like you are alone in the midst of a great crowd!

It seems like no one understands what’s going on inside you!

You feel broken and shattered yet unable to interpret the cries of your heart!

The irresistible pain in body and heart is getting heavier all the time!

The only question that punches you – “Why”…

That’s the picture I will draw for “being emotionally drained”.

I was doing all my works, didn’t take a day leave from office, killed headaches and weakness with balms and glucose, smiled just to hide some pain, tried to stay aloof, pretended everyone ‘I am okay’, juggled around the unanswerable “why” but How Long?

Being regularly hoarded for a month in such malady, all that I did is wound me and others as well, the passion of work was paused and creativity was lost in the dreadful shouts of drained emotion. And unknowingly I did lot of mistake.

We never like to catch hold by such woeful situation in life whereas in reality it is quite obvious in human life to be emotionally drained. Being human we are always park by emotions. Sometimes those emotions aid our life and sometimes those emotions drain our life as well. But some of the major reasons that easily drain my emotion are:

Words of People: Words are like two edged swords. A slight careless use of words can cause painful cuts on human heart and the only way to aid those cuts is the right use of words again. If your words have hurt somebody it is better to apologize immediately rather than defending yourself with all sorts of excuses.

The Bible says,

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,

so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Dealings of People: Your dealings are the content of your character. Even a child can understand who loves him and who is pretending. Often in our sagacity of hypocrisy we forget that, there is a pay-day someday!

The Bible Says,

Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

Egoistic Behavior: Egoism slices your relationship every day. Every relationship has it’s intrinsic worth and reflective splendor and that beauty cannot be maintained by one person. My way or High way… is a colonial attitude which has its day to thrash down and the breakdown causes greater damage to both.

Again the Bible says,

Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

If the wounds are not cleaned and treated properly at proper time, it can cause greater damage and often we find its impact on people saying, “I find rest in the hang-over of spending day on Marlboro and Heineken…

While in the Cubicle of Emotionally drained nights I just looked at God and sobbed like a baby because I know my tears have greater worth for Him and He alone can better understand my inner-pain. Human can console me with 1000 words yet can never replace the pain of my heart into a joyful day but God Can…

The Psalmist says,

God, you keep track of all my sorrows.

You have collected all my tears in your bottle.

You have recorded each one in your book.

In the world of billion people it is only your true friend, who can easily identify the pain in your tone and your story from your eyes. We all have had at least one such blessed person in our life.

Bible says,

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

Parked by drained emotions is obvious but aiding its wound within the due time brings joy and glory to our life.

God bless you!

UNDERSTAND THE POINT OF EMOTIONAL DRAIN OUT

Emotionally draining condition brings us to a big Zero. It simply shuts us down of our creativity. It literally makes us to be like a machine which works on a routine basis without any consciousness. It reduces our productivity at work, declines our enthusiasm to interact with people and makes us extremely irritable and loud. We become sensitive for small things… And the irony is when it’s about someone close to us like our children or spouses then we can’t follow the first advice of Rajnandini who asked us to stay away from the persons who are stressors in our life.

Often people we love can drain us the most. Our partners do it unintentionally probably, but life’s demands add up. When at the end of a long day he or she comes home in a negative mood or is needy and imperious. Then the draining behavior may go beyond this where they become aggressive or hurtful.

I get drained out emotionally when the following things happen to me on a regular basis:

Forced Listener: Sometimes when I am very tired yet I have to listen to the problem of others I feel like being forced to listen and I get drained out emotionally. I do consider my loved ones and listen to them even I don’t feel like but that happens only to certain extent and when I lose patience I get angry or frustrated. I can say when people are insensitive to my need I feel drained out.

Complaint Box: Some people are never satisfied. They have all the complaints ready to throw at me, asking me to find a solution. That gets on my nerves. I am a person who’s very content with everything that I have or I don’t have and I get irritated when I don’t see that in people but simply murmuring and grumbling for everything.

Repeat & Repeat: I hate when someone repeats one thing again and again. Repeating one thing many times indicates three things about them: they don’t trust my ability and they are self obsessed.

Taunting Words: Making jokes are fine. Everyone laughed at a joke on me, I laughed too and we had a pleasure time. But when the taunting words are knowingly aimed at me to accuse me of something which is not right about me or it is done intentionally in the public then I get really hyper and I get drained out emotionally.

Problems in Relationships: This actually drains me a lot. I love all my relationships and my friends. If something happens between me and my friends or loved ones I get very drained emotionally. It might be my face to face relationships or virtual relationships that I keep with many.

Strangely financial problems, normal sicknesses or negative life situations really don’t drain me out much emotionally as in case of other people but all the above factors that I described are really the causes of emotional drain out in me.

It is really necessary for us to understand the time we go through these emotional draining out phases which many times we don’t tend to recognise these symptoms and feel that we are just tired, sleep can be just the remedy. We keep avoiding these feelings knowingly or unknowingly and ultimately when we come till the brink of it we suffer heavily. So it is necessary to identify the signs of Emotional Draining Out. I have pointed out few as under:

  1. Irritability and Anger are most common in the people going through emotional drain out. They are usually loud when they present the cause of their irritation.
  2. Incessant Fatigue is the first symptom of emotional drain out. It is something more than just normal tiredness. It doesn’t go with timely rest or sleep.
  3. Sleeplessness added to fatigue can be a horrible experience. I have this experience personally. I will have ample amount of sleep in my eyes yet my eyes are wide open for 2 or 3 hours continuously.
  4. Sense of Detachment and Disinterest are also the signs of Emotional Drain Out. People suffering might feel de-motivated or loss of interest and involvement in life’s different avenues.
  5. Crying Spells are very common when we are emotional drained. People suffering with this easily tend to cry for even petty issues.
  6. Physical Indicators like palpitations or sudden heart rate increase is a very common sign of emotional drain out. Apart from this gastritis and body pain are also the symptoms of emotional drain out.
  7. Hopelessness is a dangerous state because once hopelessness sets in the person might will either resign from life or do things that are not approved in everyone’s eyes or society.

Be careful, if you are finding these signs and symptoms are shown evidently. Please get help and DO NOT IGNORE or else you might not be able to find your way back on your own.

Now, you might ask ‘How then do we handle such emotionally stressful and draining events?’ And in that case I would suggest to click on that question itself which will take you to the article where Rajnandini has beautifully explained how to go about it.

Stay Blessed!

 

THE DIRTIEST DRAIN

You know that feeling, where you just feel nothing at all? Numbness. Not happiness, not sadness can be felt. Cold veins and an absent heart. It’s literally hard to think… let alone have any thoughts on anything going on. You just can’t concentrate. Like someone’s unplugged your thoughts from current life and all your emotions have just drained out. Emotionally drained???

The greatest gift that God gave us while fashioning us, was the gift of emotions. As human beings, we do come to situations everyday wherein we show emotions. It varies as per our situation but it affects us in a big way.

The other day, while sitting in my Out Patient Department I encountered a patient with Abdominal Trauma. The man was bleeding from a wound in the abdomen. When I examined him, I discovered that the wound was penetrating in nature and his abdominal contents were going to come out. I explained to his relatives that he needed emergency surgery, if we are to save him. He was not ready for the same and wanted just medications. Thinking, perhaps that he has a money problem, I also assured him if a good concession but he remained unmoved. It frustrated me to an unreasonable limit and I got angry. In anger, I referred him and walked home. At home, the anger spilled over to my maid, who I thought wasn’t cleaning the floor well. She got in turn angry and threatened to leave her job and walked home and then I got scolded by my wife for shooing away the maid. Nothing worked for me. My world suddenly turned upside down and that too, as per my thinking without my fault. That night, I sat and analysed the situation and came to a conclusion that because I was too emotional, the eventual emotional drain happened.

The incident taught me several lessons of vital importance:

1. Always being emotional is good but everyday we need to ask God to control it for us. Only then can we manage not to enter that dirty drain. To be drained emotionally is then equable with leading a Godfree life. That is unacceptable if we are to stay in sanity.

2. I n our emotional status, we need to not hurt others or for that matter ourselves. When we are emotionally down, we need to calm ourselves down. I could have avoided an altercation with the patient. It actually would have helped me find a better way out to treat him. Helped me also to understand his status better. How is that possible? It’s only possible when we have good friends and well wishers around. They would understand us better and help us out.

3. Emotions can get the better of us when we allow to linger on it longer than usual. We need to break the emotional chain as I call it. The Bible says, A cheerful heart is a good offering but a downcast spirit dries up the bones”.

Friends! When you are drain out emotionally RUN TO GOD, SHARE WITH CLOSE-ONES and STOP LINGERING.

​HANDLING EMOTIONALLY DRAINING SITUATIONS

Just as I sit to write this article, there was a potential stimulus to cause an emotional tension within me. A colleague had posted an obscene video in my workplace WhatsApp group. I had seen the hazy image and realized that it had inappropriate content. So, I decided not to download / view it. With peace still reigning in my mind, I continued with my other daily chores. Meanwhile, other colleagues began viewing it and were enraged at the person who had posted such a video in what is meant to be an official forum. And, as you would expect there was fiery exchange of words in the group. The colleague who had posted the video, pleaded innocence saying that it got posted by mistake. Some colleagues left the group. And the saga is still continuing as I write this article.

My purpose of sharing the above incident is to give a peek into how even small actions or words can pose as strains or stressors in our lives and drain us. Imagine beginning a day with such a video! Now, I trace my steps back and put myself in the place where I first saw the video in the group. What would have happened had I not seen the hazy image and would have decided to view it? Firstly, I would have been emotionally disturbed (as I gather from the comments of others in the group that it was highly sexually explicit). Next, I would have harboured a very negative impression about the person who posted it. Ultimately, it would have disturbed my mental peace. It would have continued to linger in my mind for several days and so on the responses would have continued.

That’s about me. However, there would be people who would have enjoyed such a video. There are people who sure begin their day with such content and spend most of their leisure time viewing such content. For them it is not emotionally draining, rather it is emotionally pleasurable – a stress-reliever.

It is then very clear that what is emotionally draining for one, may not be so for others. To give examples – one person may love shopping, while for another it may be physically and emotionally draining. One person may feel cooking to be a good stress-buster, whereas for another it may be a strainer.

And yes, not only do work, sickness, death of a loved one, divorce, disappointment, failure and the like, emotionally drain a person, but also events like a wedding, celebrating a festival, visiting a friend, a kitty party can be equally draining.

Richard Lazarus, a psychologist who has done commendable work in the area of ‘stress and strain’ is of the opinion that there are two ways to cause emotional strain in a person – exposure to certain stimuli present in the environment and the response of the individual to it. Some of the common hassles that drain people emotionally all over the world are – issues of appearance (weight, height and looks), health of family members, rising price of common goods, too many things to do in a short time, tax payments, misplacing or losing things, children’s education, a non-responsive spouse, loss of employment, a dip in the business, a house full of guests, truant/rebellious children, personal disorganization, frequent job transfers, shifting houses frequently, etc.

How then do we handle such emotionally stressful and draining events?

We all have certain triggers in our lives that drain us to the core…so much so that, all we need later is to be left alone for a while. However, since the triggers are different for different people there cannot be a one-size-fits-all remedy. A few general measures that can be taken –

  1. Stay away from the company of people whom you have identified to be stressors in your life. But what do you do, if your spouse/your children fall into that category? Identify what triggers them. Talk them into handling those situations better and show them reason as to how they can make theirs and others lives better by managing those little triggers in their lives.
  2.  Avoid situations that drain you. But what if your workplace stains you? Quitting your job is not the solution (unless of course it is too intolerable). What if your workplace is your stress-buster and your home is where you feel drained out? Leaving home is never an option. Effective management of people and chores at home would lessen the pressure.
  3. Take care of your health. Your health is God’s gift to you. Choose to eat healthy foods, drink healthy fluids, sleep enough and exercise well. A healthy body ensures a healthy mind. Too much toxins in the body and lack of sleep generate irritation and frustration easily.
  4. Spend time alone in the lap of nature. Gazing at the starry sky, listening to the chirping of birds, watching butterflies flutter from flower to flower, lying down on a grassy lawn are wonderful stress busters. If there is absolutely no way in which you can escape to such places periodically, take to gardening. If you don’t have a patch of land, buy some potted plants and care for them daily. You’ll soon notice the difference.
  5. Be alone with God – Pray. The Bible says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you.” No matter what is the draining factor in your life, take it to God. It may be something big and impossible or it may be a petty matter, God can and will help you manage it better if you take it to Him.
  6. Don’t escape emotionally draining situations; find ways of handling them. Avoidance is never the answer. That’s because, how many times can you avoid such a situation? And what would you do each time it recurs? So, a better strategy is to find out ways to tackle such situations.

The above list is not exhaustive, but the space surely is. As we deal with emotionally draining situations, it is also wise to identify in what ways do our words or actions drain others. Intentionally or otherwise are we causing stress in others’ lives? Let’s be mindful and make the necessary amends.