IN THE SOLITUDE OF TREES…

Nature has always been my best friend. It has amazed me many times, inspired me in numerous ways. There are many lessons we can learn from each and every element of nature.

Gardening was always my thing. I vaguely remember, may be I was 8 years old when I first started making pits, sowing seeds, covering them with leaves so that birds don’t eat them off, feel happy when they bud, water them, feel pride when they grow up to become big plants. In my childhood we had a big garden with a variety of plants and trees. A stroll through the garden was not just making my lungs healthier but was soothing my soul too.

Plants are the first and foremost from the beautiful nature around us, where I get most inspired from. I can spend hours and hours staring at them, don’t ask me why.

featured-seeds
(Image Sources: Google Inc.)

It is very interesting how plants teach us valuable truth of life. A seed to germinate requires perfect moisture and temperature. Adverse climatic conditions or due to seasons, or natural calamities, if the seed could not germinate, it would do so when the conditions are right. In life if we wait with patience and look around for opportunities, there is always a new beginning. Post germination, a plant needs nutrients and minerals, likewise as humans we need nourishment and care. There may be many obstacles in our path, fight through them.

When plants are young, they are very tender, they also suffer from pests at this stage, utmost care is needed during this phase. When we are re-bouncing from pain or grief, we are weak too, this is the stage where we have to hold ourselves and grow stronger. Remember, it is the struggle for existence that makes us stronger.

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(Image Sources: Google Inc.)

If a plant is infected, we cut off the branch to not infect the other branches, similarly we have to recognise what is bad and get rid of it at the budding stage. That reminds me of pruning, every gardener knows the importance of pruning, in life it is some times very important to pause or take a back step, this helps us in attaining a better understanding and clarity. We may be cut back by others, see the positive side of it.

Every day, when I see the plants in my balcony I do not see much change in them, in fact the change is non noticeable. Over a month or so, when I see new flower buds, new branches is when the progress becomes evident. In life we may not see progress everyday. Over a period of time when we look back in life, there are achievements, new stages of life, changing careers, we would have lived through many hardships and yet are surviving. That’s progress !!!

There are a variety of plants, ornamental plants, fruits, nuts, root vegetables, aromatics and spices. Each one is unique and is there for a designated purpose. We are made to serve a unique purpose, never compare yourself with others, they are serving their purpose which may be different from ours.

Do you remember the tree which offered shade last summer? Do you know from which grape yard the delicious grapes you had for supper came from? or the tree from which the wood used in your house is made of? All of our basic amenities including air we breath, food, toilet paper comes from plants. Selflessly plants are serving us, yes, they are completely self less, they never demand or ask us anything in return before helping or even afterwards. I do not think we value them as much. Even when others do not value the love or care we give them it is important to continue to give. Being able to give selflessly is the best gift ever. Don’t be greedy.

As seasons change, circumstances in life change. Being able to endure and adapt is the key. We may not be the driver of the change or in control of it, in which case the best thing to do is to accept, if not agree to it.

When I travel to other countries, I try to study the life cycle of plants specific to that region. The climatic conditions of the region aid to the survival and growth of the plants. Especially in countries where there are 4 seasons, some types of plants start withering earlier than others, but by the time it’s winter they are ready to embrace the snow. I wonder if plants have a kind of conscious that we aren’t aware of, which helps them adapt so well with conditions of the climate.

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(Image Sources: Google Inc.)

In Europe, during summer they grow colourful flowering plants, they look so beautiful hanging in the patios, on the railing of balconies and in the parks. They are seasonal, so they cease to exist by the time it’s winter. We are in this world for a limited period of time, when it’s our turn to make someone happy we should, in deed we should look forward to such opportunities everyday.

So, plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

-Jorge Luis Borges

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WHAT MOTIVATES ME?

Neuroscience – Motivation is a desire to perform an action…

Psychological Theories – Motivation can be conceived of as a cycle in which thoughts influence behaviors, drive performance, affects thoughts, and the cycle begins again.

Natural Theories – The natural system assumes that people have higher order needs, which contrasts with the rational theory that suggests people dislike work and only respond to rewards and punishment.

The above three theories made me conclude about what motivation actually is….

It is a desire to do something influenced or driven by our thought processes for achieving a desired goal or something that satisfies us. 

I am a person who is very unstable. Now don’t get disturbed with that word ‘Unstable’. I fail to motivate myself when it comes to a routine work. I am mostly a very creative person and feel very de-motivated doing a regular and routine job every day.  Probably, most people can relate with me and that’s why the natural theory mentions about two factors to which usually my kind of people respond or get motivated to – reward or punishment. 😉

That may be about my work life or daily household chores but in my life I have always felt that I get motivated when I see a need in a human heart. Let me explain…

Last couple of months were bit tough for me. A month back I was in a very extreme mental condition. I was grumpy, sad and absolutely disturbed when I received a ping on my Whatsapp. One of my closest friends who said: “Chiradeep, I just want to cry.

When I am down, I usually don’t go to any social network or chit chat with anyone but just sulk into my own sadness. But I quickly responded to her, “You can cry if you want to… Are you in a position to cry over the phone?” She said yes and I called her to talk with her. She cried over the phone while talking with me and I let her do so.

And you know what?

I was out of my low state and was ready to take up the challenge I was facing.

Many persons with empathy can relate with me too in this regard. I tend to feel better and rejuvenated when I see others in pain. My heart goes out for them forgetting my own challenges and struggles.

I also tend to get motivated when I was given a target or reminded of my higher calling. Like when I feel down and de-motivated being an expressive person that usually reflect on my statuses or profile pictures or timelines or quotes on YourQuote. Lo and behold my friend Prabhjot usually asks almost within an hour of such changes, “Why have you changed your privacy settings? Why can’t I see the blue ticks when I send messages to you? See, Chiradeep if you stay negative then what will happen to us?”

That pricks me harder and motivates me to be back on track again.

There’s a saying that, “the one who loves you more, hurts you more”. And if I add to that line then I would say, “The one who is the cause of your irritation, is the cause of your motivation as well”.

Yeah, you guessed it right!

My wife has always been the factor of my motivation and inspiration. If no one encourages me for my work or song or write up it is she who never fails to appreciate and praise my work whatever may be the case. Sometimes she says it on my face that she doesn’t like this or that. But that makes me to do it in a much better way to get praise at least from her. I would like to say that if I could compose music today it’s all because of her or she being my motivation behind it.

I perform well when I am challenged and have a target in front of me. And both the above cases motivate me out of challenges that I wish to take on.

There’s one last but not the least of all which has been my motivation since my childhood. And I can’t hide it from you.

The Bible says,

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

And He was truly faithful to what He had promised from the beginning. Whenever I lose that motivation in my heart He encourages me from within and gives that desire in my heart to do what is right. And that is why I kept on moving with a smile on my face despite of all my follies, all my weaknesses, all the adverse situations around me, all the struggles that I have to go through.

Friends! Never lose heart… look around you… there will be motivation somewhere lurking at you and waiting for you to grab it for your benefit.

Keep reading, keep getting motivated…

Stay Blessed!

FINDING YOUR WAY THROUGH LOSS

Loss – a small but extremely heavy word. It brings along a negative feeling and challenges our survival instinct.

The saga of loss starts from our birth and continues until the death. When a baby is born be loses the comfort of mother’s womb. He strives and struggles for survival in a bright and noisy world – Totally contrast to the dark and quiet womb of his mother. As the baby grows he suffers different types of loses at different times in his life and the impact these loses bring is also different. The intensity of impact of a loss increases as we grow old. Well, that also depends on what kind of loss we suffer.

Typically the phenomenon of loss has three stages – denial, acceptance and motivation/breakdown. The stage of denial is the toughest. Next two stages are relatively easy. More often than not, when we lose something the very first question we ask is why me? Why did this happen to me? I didn’t deserve this or I deserved better than this. We trap ourselves in the loop of denial by repeatedly emphasizing to ourselves that this should not have happened. Then gradually we overcome the weeping part and look through the reality. We try and come to terms with the truth. We may or may not be deserving the loss that we suffered but at this stage we just accept it. We condition our mind to agree to the fact that the loss has actually happened and it cannot be reversed. Some may break down with this acceptance while others may choose to move ahead in life. It is this third stage of loss where our survival instinct is challenged. Those who break down sink in to depression or may take their own life while those who choose to move on try to find some motivation from the loss. For example if someone has lost a loved one or his companion to death then he may not want to live further alone. He may want to kill himself and even if he doesn’t he would just drag his life. He will make his life full of tears, sadness, lack of will to do nothing, preferring to stay isolated etc. These are clear signs of breakdown. On the other hand someone other person going through the same situation may find motivation to resume a normal life. The motivation could be anything like raising his kids or may be his career or perhaps his loved one’s wish to see him happy after she was gone.

Each loss brings you a lesson. Some are busy weeping over the loss while some other are smart enough to learn from it.

Ever wondered why we need to go through a loss at some point or the other? And here I am talking about a big loss that etches itself on your mind and heart. The suffering from loss is nothing but karma and this karma is not necessarily from your current life, more often than not it is from your past life. Once you realize that the pain we suffer from a loss is the outcome of our own deeds it is easier to accept the loss. You may ask how foolproof is this Karma theory. Karma theory has been proven with the help of past life regression. I will not get into details of it since it is not the topic of discussion this week but you can read Dr Brian Weiss’s books (Many Lives Many Masters, Only Love is Real to name a few) wherein he has explained Karma, suffering and past life regression beautifully.

Having said that, is it possible to reduce the sufferings from loss? I would say NO! It is not possible to reduce the suffering from loss but if you surrender yourself to the Almighty He will definitely grant you the courage. He is always watching you and He will never let you suffer more than you can bear. Also, meditation and willpower also goes to a very long way in shielding yourself from the suffering.

It is certainly easier said than done but from my personal experiences I can vouch that it is not impossible. Like many of you, I have suffered many losses. The very first loss was my first love. We were like a “made for each other” couple only to part ways later because the guy’s family did not approve our alliance. I wept and cried my heart out because I thought I had lost the best man in this world and thought that I will never be able to give myself away to any other man. Little did I know that I was destined to meet my husband – a real gem a year later. This was the toughest loss because I was so naive then. I suffered the most during this time. Slowly, life happened and it groomed me. The next loss that gave a very strong blow was the death of my father-in-law. It was a sudden death because of cardiac arrest because of which my husband and mother-in-law went into trauma. It was a very tough time for me because I had to be sane, gulp down the pain from loss of a fatherly figure and stand up to support my family to slowly take them out from the grief. It took time but it happened eventually. During this phase it was not as difficult as it was the first time. The third grave loss that I suffered was two pregnancies. This loss was beyond everything else. Words cannot describe how broken I was at that time. It was during this time that I understood and experienced the Karma theory. When I reflected upon my life I could connect dots as to why did I lose what I lost. It was during this time that my relationship with Almighty improved manifold because it was only this time that I completely surrendered to Him and to His will. Eventually I followed the path He showed and now I am a happy mother!

The list of loss is endless and so are the lessons from it. It is up to us whether we let the loss make us or break us. Gail Cladwell has made a great quote

“We never get over great losses; we absorb them and they carve us into different, often kinder creatures.”

As I progress with life some or the other losses will keep giving me a blow. I cannot escape these losses and I do fear that the worst is yet to come. I may not be fully prepared yet but I know that I shall be able to over come those losses because

I am a fighter, I will not give up,

I will stumble and I will fall but

I will stand back up.

And it might take longer at times

But I WILL stand back up and keep fighting.

TEAR DOWN THE BARRIERS THAT SEAR THE HUMAN HEART

The silent tears of a heart torn apart often stir the soul than many an uttered word.

Ever observed the tear of a mother sending her son into the Armed Forces to safeguard the nation – proud, yet fearful? Ever observed the tear of a young widow by the casket of her beloved husband, her world ripped apart? Ever observed the tears of a sick and ailing helpless man unable to fend for himself or his family – wallowing in abject poverty? Ever observed the tears that wet the pillows of lovers unable to break societal barriers and bring their love to its desired destination?

The welcome tears of the cry that tear across the din of the hospital wards and the anxious hearts of to-be-parents and relatives, marks the beginning of our tryst with tears. And life’s unending travails make sure that the lacrimal gland functions to its optimum potential amidst situations both joyful and sad.

It is a hard heart that doesn’t shed a tear when the circumstance so demands. ‘Boys don’t cry’ is the opinion of a culture that shuts the doorway of normal expression of intense feelings, so much so that generations become insensitive and rigid to their own biological make-up. And such a thought makes ‘cry-babies’ of girls/women, who give vent to their emotions through harmless streams of tears.

I once heard someone say – ‘Men are men only if they are aggressive; and women are women only when they know how to cry’. I pity the lack of understanding of human emotions this person had! Men of character, all through history are men who have known how to shed a tear. The inability to shed tears is not a test of manliness!

Without getting into gender battles on this ground, it is the need of the hour to be sensitive and sensitize each one to the tears of others.

Tear down the dogmas that bring tears in the eyes of others. Sometime back, I watched a horrific video of some upper caste women stripping two lower caste women naked in front of fellow villagers, tying their hair to each other’s and kicking them. The crime? The two women had taken water from the place belonging to the upper caste people because there was no water in their area! Broods of brutes were watching and filming the episode, but for a long time no one had the sense and sensitivity to step in and raise their voices, till the authorities were informed. The tears of the two women had no effect on the crowd! How those two women sighed later that – dying of thirst would have perhaps been more honourable than quenching our thirst at the cost of such humiliation which is worse than death itself! If your dogmas cause misery to others and bring painful tears to their eyes, tear down those dogmas.

Tear across dividing lines to spring open oases of joy in parched hearts. Nothing ever can stop you from making your way into human hearts that yearn for showers of love, care and tenderness. All that is needed is the desire to look beyond – to look beyond ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’ and ‘mine’. Wipe someone’s tears before you think about yours. Provide for someone before you worry about your wants. Look for opportunities, look for aching hearts, look for ailing people, look for lonely ones – and you’ll be surprised how less painful your aches will be and how less lonely you will feel. Sensitize yourself to look beyond the dividing lines – to venture into less trodden territories.

Let’s do our bit. Will my sensitivity change the world? It may not. But, tiny drops of water make mighty oceans. The ripple effect which your and my sensitivity will create will help wipe the tears from many eyes. We cannot create heaven on earth, though our hearts so much long for it. However till we experience heaven in reality, let us open its gateway for ourselves and for others in planet earth.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – The Bible

This is the promise of Heaven!

 

ARE WE CONNECTED TO BE ENSLAVED?

Whoa! What a world! What an opportunity to know the outer world!!! What a way to explore all hidden desires!!! What an excellent platform to let my wild imagination be played out!!! There’s no one to know!!! There’s no one to restrict!!! There’s no one to shout at!!! All I have is me, my imagination and freedom! Absolute Freedom!

I spent a lot of money after Yahoo chatting… I made many new friends… I was all alone in the city and there was nobody to control me. I was on my own. Soon my favourite pastime became going to the café and chatting for hours over reading books. Later I was introduced to Friendster.com, then Myspace.com and then came Orkut.com. But I was not addictive to all of those because nothing could beat the attraction and allurement of Yahoo messenger. Interacting with people has been my favourite thing. And Yahoo messenger gave the scope to interact with a wide range of people.

Time went on like that…

I was late yet finally got the taste of a new networking site called FACEBOOK.COM. Yahoo messenger became boring and outdated as soon as I started exploring the charm of FB. Yahoo Messenger had allowed only a coffee shop to hangout but FB gave a city to live in with the people we found on internet. Life changed literally I would say. The new world of interaction seemed very interesting, captivating and extremely addictive. I have been always very imaginative from my childhood and when I came to know about Role Play I was hooked to it for hours. Role Play gave me the scope to do whatever that I had ever dreamt and desired in life though in the forms of imagination only, it devastated my focus on the most important things of life. I could have achieved lot more in my life if I would have mastered the use of internet instead of being enslaved to it. I deeply regret it today.

No doubt there were lots of benefits of being connected to internet; I am not denying them at all. Candles Online is part of being connected. But despite of all those benefits there are some adverse effects of social networking sites or being connected which had alarmed us over the last couple of years.  And the effects are devastating. Let’s look in to them one after the other as under: 

  1. Lost skill of Face to Face Interactions: This is one of the biggest setbacks which social networking sites have brought in to our lives. People are busier with computers and smart phones than person to person interactions. Sometimes we joke even husband and wife communicate each other through whatsapp inside the same house as both will be busy in their mobile phones instead of being with each other. We can laugh about this but this has killed the effectiveness of personal human interactions. 
  1. Causes of Break ups and Divorces:Sometimes I talk rudely with my wife when she asks something because she interrupts my communication with others on my smart phone or laptop. That should not be the case. I regret it later but the relationship gets affected. I am quoting an article which I found on web which talks about how FB causes break ups in relationships which reads as under:

“It’s not official until it’s on Facebook,” they say. But keeping it off Facebook could be the best way to ensure your romantic relationship stays strong. Individuals who use Facebook excessively are much more likely to experience Facebook-related conflict with their partner, which can lead to non-digital conflicts as well, including emotional and physical cheating, breakups, and even divorce, a study says. 

  1. Induces Jealousy and Peer Pressure: My friend Prabhjot once wrote about this in her article on our webzine. She says, 

Looking at all the goody goody pictures of people you are hardly in touch with gives a feeling that – whole world is having fun and living a perfect life but me. It is a very obvious feeling.” She also described the story of a 17 year old boy who killed himself while taking a selfie. He wanted to take a “cool” selfie on a railway track with an approaching train from behind. He got run over by the train.

That’s what peer pressure or being liked by others can make to you. This is how social media induces it. 

  1. Vulnerable to Criminal Activities: Crimes on internet is when computer networks or devices are used as means to perform fraud and identity theft through social engineering as well as cyber bullying, cyber stalking and cyber warfare. And when we upload all our personal details we get exposed to the danger of being harassed and bullied online by the criminals. 
  1. Obsession and Addiction to Internet can be fatal: The obsession and addiction of internet makes life worse. Women [64%] are more likely than men [55%] to consider themselves addicted to the internet. In the 13-17 age demographic, up to 3 out of every 4 kids could be considered addicted to the internet. The percentage of 18-24 year olds who would qualify as being addicted to the internet today: 71%. These obsession and addiction can spoil the students as they lose concentration on their studies. It makes the adult neglect their real life by spending more time on virtual world and spend life idly. 
  1. Severe Health Hazards:There’s an interesting article on ‘whashingtonpost.com’ that I read which my cousin shared once really alarmed me and can really make you worry as well.

The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.

That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. The study will appear next month in Surgical Technology International. Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.

Long hours in front of the screen can spoil our eyes, makes us lazy and obese when it is continued as a daily practice.

What can we conclude now after understanding all these alarming facts and information?

Couple of verses from the Bible comes to my mind:

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

From childhood we are told, “anything excess is bad“. If we don’t make the social medias and our being connected our slave today then they will rule over us, destroy us and devastate our peaceful lives. It is we who are responsible for allowing being connected to be a boon or bane; the choice is ours.

Stay Blessed!!!

(Picture Credit: HERE )

HOLDING EACH OTHER …

Couple of days back I was watching a show, a reality show where a single girl/man is given a chance to choose their future partner. In the process of finding the right one, often they develop strong feelings for many. When we can interact with another and completely understand them, it will be very obvious to like them if we admire their personality, qualities, how compassionate they are, how caring they can be. It is very difficult to not love. The girl has to let go of all the men to be with the one she sees her future with.  She goes through  emotional turmoil before she can and also often after she makes the decision.

One question was on my mind, “Can a person be romantically in love with more than one person at a time?”. Quite a lot of religions, castes around the world allow polygamy, to be legally wedded to more than one person. In earlier days, kings had many wives, did they not love everyone of them ? May be they did, may not be equal love for all of them, they cared to a great extent.

The girl on the show while eliminating a man said, I love you very much and care for you, but right now I am not in love with you. I did not understand the difference, as usual my quest started on the internet. A lot of people are also really confused because I have found contradictory answers on several websites.

Love is the most cherished feeling in the world, who doesn’t want love? The problem is, we want everything of the person we are in love with, but reality is quite different. They love many others, they do have many significant people in their life. I am not specifically talking about romantic love here. Have we not encountered siblings being jealous of each other as they think parents love the other more? When we can love many other people, they can too, we should not think selfishly.

Siddu (whom I mentioned about in the article) was my best friend. He became very busy right after we were out of college as he started his own company. There was not a single day when he wouldn’t have messaged, a week we haven’t talked over skype. Any time we were in the city together, we wouldn’t go back to our respective destinations without meeting. If anyone asks me if I had loved him, of course yes, but I never developed any feelings for him, either romantic or brotherly, he is my friend – plain, pure and simple. I was not his only friend, he had many friends, he cared for them as much as he did for me.

We find soul sisters, soul brothers outside of our family. Does that in anyway mean we do not love our siblings ? Or our siblings have never fulfilled our needs, hence we needed a brother outside? I heard this concept from someone I don’t actually remember, it is very hard to love a person without having feelings(romantic), hence no girl can have a soul brother. Wait, that’s absolute nonsense. We do not develop romantic feelings for everyone we love. I have soul-brothers. They cared for me the most and they do even now. Romance is not the only feeling we can develop outside family. Are all my male friends my brothers, sorry No, I cannot develop brotherly feelings for everyone too. Every type feeling is very sacred.

Akshay, one of my friends always sounded disturbed when we talk in the group about our families. I never dared to ask him what the problem was. One day he told me what it was, “I lost my mother 6 years ago. My father married another woman. I do not talk with her, somehow I am unable to see her in the place of my mother“. In the entire conversation he used only ‘she’ and ‘her’, never mother. I can understand the struggle he is going through. “Does she never ask you to call her mom ?”, “We don’t talk Aastha and that’s it”. He was a little frustrated. “No one can take any body else’s place, do you know why? Every one is special. She cannot take your mom’s place, she can make hers. But that can happen only if you allow it. You are not going to get mom back, at the same time no one can take away the love you have for her. Try to give your new mom some place, have a good conversation with her, if you cannot do it on your own, take your brother along with you. Give her one chance, that might change what’s bothering you into something that comforts you“. It took around 6 months for him to accept her, but once he did that there was no looking back. He calls her mom now in our conversations, that makes me happy.

In the process of restricting ourselves that we cannot love more than one person, we have overly complicated “love”.  It is also not true that once we develop feelings we will never fall out of love. Many of us would have read in books that true love happens once in life time, there is only one soul-mate who is made for you. If we really go by these books, half the marriages would have never existed. It is the value that we add to our lives which is very important.

Special people and special bonds happen by virtue, Lucky are those who have people to love and be loved. This week we are going to learn of such special bonds and what difference it made to us. It is going to be a lovely week … 

​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.