‘Anxiety’ and ‘Stress’ are small words. In truth, however, they are very heavy mental issues to handle. The strongest of minds give up when they are confronted by pressure that is beyond their capacity to handle. At times we can bear the worst of happenings but during other times, it becomes more than difficult to even think about them. Each one has different bearing capacities and each one looks at similar problems in different perspectives. Just a change in thought process can lead issues into a completely different direction.
And that is the real technique for dealing with the stress monster. If you know yourself better, you can handle all your feelings.
When you are feeling anxious or stressed, use some of the following strategies to cope up:
Take a time-out and pamper yourself. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. You can’t just keep thinking about the problem all the time and figure out a solution. Just leave it for some time. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
Don’t show anger on your meal routines:
Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand. Always remember that not eating or eating too much does not solve any problems.
Stimulating your mind is not a very good idea when you are under mental pressure. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. Juices and more fluid intake will throw off toxins which will make you feel lighter.
Sleeping helps in rejuvenating the body and the mind both. Get enough sleep. Relax yourself completely. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest. When you feed yourself with relaxing gesture, you definitely feel peace within you.
Maintain Your Health
Health maintenance should be our first priority in any case. This includes physical and mental health both. Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health.
Focus on Breathing
Claustrophobic feeling is common in anxious people. Don’t fall prey to it. Manage the feeling with simple tips like taking deep breaths. Inhaling and exhaling slowly.
Don’t be a slave to the rat race and the social competition. Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get and celebrate. Don’t try to copy others or imitate people’s success. Feel satisfied and live at peace.
Life is not a machine:
Some things will always be beyond our understanding and capacities. Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective. Talk positively to yourself and ask valid questions.
Laughing works wonders:
It is the best medicine as rightly said. Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way. Learn to enjoy conversations. Smiles and laughs can be best psychological tools.
No matter what, be positive:
Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. What you think becomes your language, what you speak becomes your action and what you act becomes your destiny. Choose what you think.
Get involved in other people:
Help them solve their issues. You will end up finding solutions to many of your own problems.
Some things affect you more than the others. It’s important to observe yourself. Learn what triggers your anxiety. It could be work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Make a feelings diary and note down when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a common pattern.
Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling sad, and let them know how they can help you. If this is not a possibility, then take help from a psychologist. It’s good to take help them suffer
We miss out on one all important fact, that is the beauty of our life. Understanding the value of life is one of the biggest virtues one can possess. Every problem has a solution, have the courage to find it.
Anxiety and stress are not the disease; over thinking, negativity, low self esteem and lack of confidence are the real killers. Don’t let these killers make your life difficult. Deal with them in the best way.
A Multi-Faceted Person: A Psychologist, Counsellor, Corporate Trainer, Co Cognitive Therapist (CBT) and Wellness Consultant, among many, Dr. Swapna feels very strongly about her subject of emotional intelligence saying that it is connected with every person no matter which profession they belong to, if one wants to sustain in this world and live peacefully, successfully and harmoniously, the knowledge of this is essential.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences organised a 2-day conference on OD, Change and Leadership (ODCL) on 31st August and 1st September 2018 at the TISS Convention Centre. The conference was seamlessly woven and orchestrated and the whole experience was a revelation. Here are my key Learnings from the various speakers of the conference…
Don’t try to change the belief rather transform the believer.
Failure in a nice way is not a great performance.
- Annaswamy Vaidheesh – Vice President & Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Nature is the longest lasting institution.
Think child like, Think nimble, Think humble.
Hierarchy is a bias and we need to be a snipe to attack the biases.
- Deepak Garg – Managing Director and CEO, Rivigo
A tree cannot be happy, if forest is not.
Co Creation starts with deep listening and embracing the brokenness of all stakeholders.
- Manish Srivastava – SPT Teacher & Practitioner, Presencing Institute, USA
What makes people stay in the organization?
Why do people look around for other jobs?
Bring a change in your organization than changing jobs.
- Savitha S R – Delivery Manager, Zensar Technologies
People have tremendous potential only if they can be identified; nurtured and channelized.
If one isn’t improving, one is decaying.
When we walk into an Organization, we put on a ‘facade’ and fall prey to “Imposter Syndrome”.
- Tanuja Abburi – HR Thought Leader, Founder, Beyond Pinks
How do you transform business models to keep up with time?
With an intelligent blend of strategic planning, operational consulting and
- Sushma Rajagopalan – Managing Director & CEO, ITC Infotech
Live your life as if it were your last day, Go for it.
I want to honour my life, my time on this planet.
Nourish, fulfil and value yourself.
Ask your inner compass, would this make me happy?
- Manisha Koirala – Actress & Activist
Briocolage – French word for being resilient and bouncing back
The term “psychological bricolage” is used to explain the mental processes through which an individual develops novel solutions to problems by making use of previously unrelated knowledge or ideas they already possess.
- Santosh Babu – Chairperson, OD Alternatives
Three ways to have a conversation – debate, discussion & dialogue.
Stories matter a lot – what attracts most – Algorithms or ‘Lion & Mouse story’.
An ounce of practice is much better than tons of theory.
Conversation should not lull us into status quo
- Manish Advani – Head Change Management, Marketing & Public Relations, Mahindra SSG
- Satish Agnihotri – Professor, Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas, IIT B
- T T Srinath – Organisation Development Consultant & Facilitator, Human Processes
Keep your head above water, the way an old man carrying a sewing machine held above water and a smile on his face, in a picture.
- Biswa Dash – CEO ,MindCrux
Make a impact that matters, be holistic, be nimble & response ready
- Madhavi Chalamalasetti – Delloitte University
- Chandrasekhar Katuri – Delloitte University
Theatre is a fugitive – It’s gone. To be able to communicate quickly you have to be aware of your body instrument
- Stefan Haves – Cirque Comique
We find ourselves in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. We need humility to help each other, help embrace the world as it is in the pursuit of human excellence
- Gary Mangiofico – Associate Dean, Pepperdine University & Chair, OD Network, USA
99 % of our behaviour is non conscious & our decisions are emotional. Context alters behaviour and heuristics are efficient short cuts.
- Biju Dominic – CEO & Co-founder, FinalMile Consulting
Too many people are miserable at work; not enjoying work is like saving sex for old age. Wealth is going up but happiness is going down.
- Birender Ahluwalia – Founder, Positivity Company
Use self as instrument of change.
Is my presence evoking evocations of provocations?
Find out your weirdness quotient
- Sushma Sharma – Founder & Executive Director, Swayam Shiksha Prayog
Leadership is fluid & boundary-less. It is like a hummingbird, small but with a good range of adaptation.
Agility is a continuum and one must have the compass of alignment, internal & external.
Work on radiating confidence & crafting yourself.
All people are important, together we are fixing something
- Abhijit Mazumder – Chief Information Officer, TCS Ltd
- Shabbir Merchant – Founder & Chief Value Creator, Valuead Consulting
- Manoj Varghese – Academician
- Swatee Sarangi – Head Capability Development, L&T
Evoke the compassion in you to be effective & impactful
- T V Rao – Chairman, TVRLS
Disruptive leadership and engagement works
Your customers do not know what they want; you have to show them what you have.
Comfort zones kill zeal, energy & conviction
- Prashant Srivastava – Consultant
Thank You TISS
An academician for over 25 years, Dr. Puja Sukhija is a Passionate Trainer, Soft Skills Consultant, Curriculum Developer, and a Seminar Leader. Armed with two Doctorates in the fields of Education and Environment, she has worked with Educational Institutions, Corporate, Aviation and Hospitality industry, Media houses and NGOs.
How many of you like to make friends on Facebook, or follow people on Instagram or make strong connects on Linkedin. The reason we do all these networking is for our benefit to have lasting friendship, to be a trendsetter and to get better career prospects. Surprisingly our brain does the same by creating neural networks that help us increase our awareness and our knowledge base. Eg: When I say apple, what all can you recollect. I will recollect the colour Red, a Doctor, Iphone, Kashmir and Switzerland. I am able to associate the word apple with 5 different things because that is my knowledge base and that’s the neural connection my brain has already established for the word apple.
Our Brain’s neural networking works in similar fashion as the social networking we do in our social life.
THE LONGER YOU SPEND TIME, THE STRONGER THE CONNECTION
When we spend more time with someone the social networking that we create with that person is also longer and may at times last a life time, very similar to the neural networking, more we associate our brain to a specific thing stronger is the relation between us and the object. Eg: My strong social connect with my childhood friends and the neural connections in my brain between me and my friend.
In our social life when we meet a person we not only know that person, but all those people who are associated with that person. This helps us to make our social connect stronger. Similarly when we create an association between us and an object, we are able to relate or associate that object to many other things thus creating stronger neural network. Eg: My strong social connect with my childhood friends make me associate to her other friends as well, similarly in our brain I am creating neural association for my friend and her friends.
A CHAIN THAT KEEPS GROWING
Social life is all about the chain of people we know, neural network too is about the chain of neural connections that is build over time.
As kids our social circle is limited and as we grow older our social circle goes on increasing. Similarly our brain’s neural connection as a kid is weak and often breakable too but as adults it gets stronger. Eg: As a kid I had only few friends but now as an adult I have friends some of whom I know since childhood.
LOSE CONNECT, FORGET FOREVER
Though we as humans are social animals, we are also selfish. What if I stop meeting a person after few years, slowly the social connect between us would reduce and at one point may be in our old age we may not even remember this person. Neural network too works the same way, when we stop creating associations we lose the connecting neurons sooner or later.
Like it’s not easy to build social bonds it’s not easy either to build neural bonds. But once the bond is built it’s for the life time. Eg: the social and neural bond between a mother and her daughter.
So for better social life, network more and for better neural life, associate more!
A post-graduate in Industrial Psychology, Harshana Uchil Kuveskar believes that psychology is the crux of human behavior. She also believes that since we deal with people from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis, the art of being emotionally intelligent is crucial.
I recently had a friend message me: I had a fantastic facilitation session. I just cannot tell you how it was … am so emotional … it was magical!
The message set me thinking. Why are we so overwhelmed by our emotions? Why does connecting with our emotions give us a feel good factor? For that matter, what is it that makes a TV series, fairy-tale stories and movies so popular?
If a book, a TV serial or a movie can get you emotional, to the extent of making you cry, more often than not, it is responded to positively, and thus get created many best sellers and superhits.
Maybe the emotions we experience while reading or watching a movie are those that we identify with somewhere deep within us. Sometimes pent up and kept away, and at other times, blissfully unaware of these emotions within us, when released through whatever medium, they give us relief.
Moreover changing times that call for increased responsibility and stressful lives, leave us with little time for ourselves. We are often caught in a web, either between one activity and another or from one thought to the next. With lifestyles and work becoming highly competitive and task oriented, we are simply left with no time or energy to connect with our emotional side.
Rationale takes over, and before long, we have overused this aspect to the extent of either being emotionally drained or emotionally dry in either case, with similar results – lack of awareness, insensitivity to others and the self and living an imbalanced life with just half of our faculties working effectively (Considering that emotions and rationale are two of our major faculties).
Sometimes facilitation sessions with experienced trainers, sensitivity training also help. However one must be careful, not to take this to another extreme.
When excessively emotional, people tend to be more vulnerable and volatile too. They place so much importance to their emotions, that all else fades away, taking them to another level of insensitivity.
It is important then, to strike a balance and practice self-awareness. In nature everything works operates on a principle of balance. Cause and effect seen in every aspect of nature is but a manifestation of that principle of balance. The first step to striking a balance is being self-aware.
While one may feel adequately self-aware, a simple way of verifying this, is to keep a note of the various emotions you experience through the day, what stirred those emotions, and whether you feel your emotional response to that situation or thing could/should have been different (e.g. Anger replaced by compassion). This could also be referred to broadly as analytical meditation.
Done on a daily basis, this first step to getting in touch with our selves could indeed be revealing!
An HR professional, Trainer and Coach for more than 12 years now, Vineeta has done her MBA (HR) from ITM Business School. For a large part of her career, she worked in the field of HR in the corporate sector with companies like United Phosphorus Ltd, STAR C. Currently, she teaches as Visiting faculty in the areas of Business Communication, Interpersonal Communication and Organisational Behavior in colleges in Mumbai and consults at organizations like Poddar Developers Ltd.
Active listening is the most important aspect of effective communication. In today’s high-tech and high-speed world, we often ignore the ‘listening’ part of communication. That is mainly because we are not mindful. Active listening is, honestly, a skill. It has to be developed and practised until you get a hang of it and it starts coming naturally to you. The following is a list of benefits that come from practising the art of active listening:
- It makes the speaker heard and understood.
- It helps to build stronger relationships.
- It also helps to build deeper connections.
A good listener creates a such a comfortable workplace environment that everyone feels safe to express ideas, opinions and feelings. Good listeners can creatively solve problems and they save time, avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.
4 effective ways to enhance Active Listening are:
1. Keep complete Focus on the Speaker.
Give complete attention to the speaker, observe their body language, verbal and most importantly their non-verbal queues. Make sure that you do not distract yourself by on checking on to your cell phone or talking to a third person or simply drifting away.
2. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker.
We speak about 125 – 150 words per minute and our brain can comprehend around 600 words per minute. It is safe to say that our minds are under-utilized while listening to others. We often digress or go off the topic or jump into conclusions or are hit by boredom which might break the conversation.
Here are the 3 ways to stop interruptive behaviour:
(a) Close your mouth while listening: Keeping you mouth open might give out a wrong signal to the other person, he may interpret as you trying to counter-attack him or that you are feeling bored. A good way to cope with this is to keep your mouth closed.
(b) Take Notes: This technique is a highly effective one as you’ll end up noting down a few important points which will help further in reflecting.
(c) Change your Focus from Talking to Listening: Listen more than you talk. This will have a drastic impact on your habit of interrupting.
3. Avoid Quick Judgement.
It is not necessary that you always and 100% agree with the speaker.Instead of cutting to the chase and dismissing the point of view completely, you can try acknowledging and giving it a good amount attention which will definitely lead to a profound connection.
4. Show your Interest -:
You need to genuinely look interested like nod occasionally, smile at the person talking. Furthermake sure that your posture is open and inviting and use smooth verbal comments like, ‘yes’,’right’, ‘really’.
you need to note that the more you practice it , the more satisfying and rewarding it is.
I would like to throw some light on the barriers of active listening as well.
- External Distractions:
Distractions like the ringing of the cell phone ringing or vibrating or continuous checking of social media while listening to the speaker is a signal of ignorance and shows that you just don’t care about his or her opinion.
- Being internally preoccupied:
A preoccupied mind is as dangerous as pseudo listening. A million thoughts could be running through your mind which could make you miss out on important details.
- Being too focused on details:
Develop an attitude of looking at the big picture and try listening to the overall message. That does not go to say that details aren’t important, but to be caught onto in-consequent details may ruin the essence of the conversation.
- Monotony of the the topic -:
Sometimes, the topic of discussion can be very dry and monotonous. It can make you want to walk away from the conversation but being at such times is advisable. You never know, you might end up liking the topic at hand.
- Rebuttal Tendency -:
Instead of being a competitive listener, try being sympathetic and wait for your turn to speak.
Onkar a passionate and a living optimist who always sees disappointments as an opportunity, challenges as an adventure and who believes that “winning is about coming out right and not coming out on top” would like to throw light upon how active listening has helped him in his journey so far.
What is truth? Is there any truth? Well, all I can vouch for is that there is no truth there is only perception, your perception, my perception the third person’s perception. But what is perception? Perception is how we see things, our view of the world.
I remember about 6 months ago I went for an eye checkup and the doctor put my face in a machine and changed lenses to see which one was better. There were so many variations, so many lenses, sharper or blurrier and in just about one minute my view of the world changed ‘8 times!’ That’s when I realized how everyone sees their lives through different lenses, different perspectives – each perceiving things in ways that best suit them.
Let’s take a look at the factors influencing perception. Amongst the various factors, our perceptions are largely influenced by our interests, experience, expectations, values and beliefs that are inculcated in us by our families
To help understand the influencing factors better, here are some examples:
Interests: I like presenting myself well in terms of outfits therefore my perception on how much I should spend on outfits is often different from others.
Values: one of my core values is honesty if I observe a person being dishonest my perception about that person and my attitude towards that person won’t be positive.
Beliefs: I believe that the better looking the food, the tastier it will be. Due to this belief a perception is automatically formed is that restaurants that present their food well must have tastier food than the restaurants who don’t.
Expectations: Our expectations, also play a role on our perception, once you expect something from a person and they live up to that expectation you perceive that person very favorably and may always perceive the person positively (halo effect), similarly if a person doesn’t live up to the expectation your perception about that person may not be favorable. This can apply to oneself as well.
Experience: once I had a bad experience when I tried a particular cocktail, after which, I have always perceived that particular cocktail as bad and therefore have formed a negative attitude towards it.
Our attitudes are our favorable or unfavorable opinions towards people, things or situations. Many things affect our attitude including our perceptions, values and beliefs, which in turn, shape our personality. My attitude towards boxing was initially negative, because I viewed it from the same lens as my mother, who disliked boxing. My attitude however, changed when I gained more knowledge and experience about it. Therefore, our attitudes can change despite long held beliefs, when we gain more knowledge and expand our world view..
Perceptions hold a lot of power because these perceptions shaped by our values and beliefs, further translate into attitudes, which in turn shape our personality. Our personality is defined as a set of traits that can predict and explain an individual’s behavior (be it habitual or not) and emotional patterns in a variety of instances and situations. It is a set of characteristics that reflect the way we think or act in a situation.
Personalities can be shaped because of our biological factors as well as the environmental factors. Sometimes others perceptions of us also form our personalities, people may have a perception of you that you are very outgoing and fun which starts showing in our behavior, which in turn changes your belief about yourself and your behavior towards others also becomes very outgoing and it goes on cyclically. This phenomenon is also known as the Pygmalion effect or more commonly known as ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.
Our personalities are the reasons for the way we interact with others, if used it wisely at the right time it can open doors with tremendous opportunities for you, help you build relationships. Our perceptions also play a role in forming our personalities, because we perceive things a particular way (due to our values, beliefs, experiences) our attitude towards those things also changes and when attitude persists for a longing period of time it becomes a part of our personality without us even realizing it. It comes in our behavior subconsciously and it takes a very deep level of reflection, understanding and self-awareness to understand as to why we are the way we are and why we behave the way we do.
Our behavior, a direct reflection of our personality and its influences, is vital to forming and sustaining human relations. If human relations is the tree that bears fruits then our personality, attitudes, perceptions, values and beliefs are the roots, soil, sunlight, air and water that helps the tree grow and sustain itself in the forest/ garden (being the organization or a social setting). Once we understand more about ourselves and thereby our personalities we can make the desired changes we want which are beneficial for our personal wellbeing, our prosperity and of those around us.
My name, Riddhi Salla, got an elastic heart with the tastebuds of a food enthusiast, the mind of a corporate strategist and the soul of an altruist. I have a humongous deal of interest in the way our minds function and how each one of us thinks differently.
“Respect is Love in action”
“Respect other people’s feelings, even if it does not mean anything to you, it could mean everything to them.”
We have heard many quotes like these at some point of time in our lives, but have we actually made an effort to know what it means to you?
Let’s see what Google has to say about the word RESPECT: a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements OR admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Does this give you any clarity in feeling or seeing what respect is in your mind?
What is respect for you? Have you ever asked this question to yourself? Respect is such a profound term that it cannot be restricted or bound by a few definitions taken from Google or Oxford dictionary. It is what you feel and express through your gestures for someone such as letting your female friend talk about her likes and dislikes of the type of make up or it could be listening to your male friend speak endlessly about how Ronaldo swings the football.
My definition of respect might differ from what Google has to explain. For me the intensity of respect is driven by the type of relationship I have with the person and how much I am willing to accept them as they are and giving them a space to be their own true authentic self without attributing or labelling their behavior. It is the level of admiration, and fear that makes it more deeply rooted in me for a particular person.
Here I’ll tell you all my example of how respect differs for me, the two most important people in my life are my dad and my teacher. I respect and love both of them immensely, the only difference is I fear my dad because there is a responsibility that lies with me which has to be kept intact, and with my teacher it is the shear open communication and understanding that puts a thought in my mind “even if I do something wrong she will not judge me, instead she will empathize and understand me”, this mindset has given me a freedom of committing mistakes and then asking for forgiveness which led me into various forms of guilt, realization, and learning.
The value respect holds in our life is far deeper and crucial than we can ever realize, but as we say it’s never too late to understand and communicate.
Large number of people have one of their terminal value (the basic driver of their behavior) as Respect (including myself), that motivates them to refrain from situations where their respect is at stake and leads them towards placess where their values are respected.
“Maybe it’s not about knowing it all, it’s about diving into the unknown and experiencing it yourself”
I am Poorva Bhatia and this sentence explains my entire being, because I am a person who would want to learn by going through the experience, implement it and let the Lotus of wisdom blossom in form of my Inner Transformation.
Never give up! Let Go! Please Understand. Acceptance is the way!
People keep saying that every now and then, especially the ones who have gained their strength over time by going through thick and thin. Obviously, it’s easier said than done.
Implementation of such factors requires the mental and emotional strength of Vibranium (That’s Unbreakable metal in Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you follow Avengers, you’ll know.)
What those strong people don’t know is that they have overcome those factors and now they might have the endurance towards such scenarios, but people who are still suffering from mental trauma, inferiority, low self-esteem, broken confidence, not feeling accepted by their close ones and many more reasons, these people are still vulnerable and what they need is little more care and time to mend their broken hearts and confidence.
I understand that everyone has their own life goals, priorities and etc., so they might not have enough time even for themselves. What I am requesting from the strong ones is that, as a human being it is also our responsibility to give little time and support to the ones in need, because when we were suffering someone had given their shoulder to cry on, who had given help to lift you up and come out of the suffering and even when no one was there for you, Don’t let anyone else feel the pain of not being supported. Because we are here for higher purposes, to lift up people and make a better society to live in for future generations.
I am asking you to BE THERE for them! Even if it’s for two minutes, call them, text them, make your presence felt in their life, make them realize that they are not alone in this, it may be your ex-husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, colleague, roommate, classmate, teacher, neighbor or anyone who genuinely needs help. They might be irritating or clingy or wants attention, we need to understand that this is their behavior not that person and a person is different from their behavior! Please always know that humans and their behavior in various situations are just a product of their emotional fluctuations.
Even if they have caused you suffering, don’t find reasons to get back at them, they are also humans and they deserve forgiveness too. What you should do is YOU FORGIVE them, DO GOOD for them because YOU are a GOOD PERSON and in the end it’s what you GIVE is more important than what you can take.
Being there for someone will not only give the other person a feeling of comfort, but it will give you a warmth that you might not have felt while expecting certain things in return instead of giving. It is always the feeling that remains with you in your unconscious mind, the warmth you had felt by someone’s presence, the feeling of being heard and taken care of.
The time when I understood the power of merely being there and giving the other person a safe space to be who they are, to express what they feel is the time I understood that this is the easiest thing a person can do for someone. Many time people say that we all are connected with one thread of humanity that leads us to the unity and harmony with each other. It is the pure intention of care that has power of making your presence count and felt. Things may or may not be in your favor always, but what will be in your favor are the good deeds you took initiatives and completed them successfully.
My experience has taught me that it is not only the downfall that teaches you to rise above your ground, but when you lift others selflessly you lift yourself up with them. Love, care, respect, trust, motivation are the things that come back to you in unexpected ways, hence people say what goes around comes around!
Never ever, let your own insecurities build a wall around you, let your guards down, be vulnerable, show them that it is okay to be vulnerable, communicate openly, support each other, remember details, learn to respect and give them the space to be vulnerable, express that you are there for them and you will be there for them, be the backbone of Vibranium for them that you have never been, but most importantly BE THERE, for them.
At one point of time you may feel that it’s not working, or helping them, but we never know what a simple call can do for them.
One of my friends was suffering from severe depression, all I wanted to do is help that person to come out of it although I did not know how to do it. That time all I did is I gave my time and care to that person, and it worked! It made that person feel heard, and the fact that someone is there and cares for them has given them power to continue with struggles of life.
In the end all I want to say is ‘DON’T GIVE UP ON THEM’ even if they are the ones who gave up on you, because sometimes WE HAVE TO BE THE BIGGER PERSON WITH A BIGGER HEART.
“Maybe it’s not about knowing it all, it’s about diving into the unknown and experiencing it yourself”
I am Poorva Bhatia and this sentence explains my entire being, because I am a person who would want to learn by going through the experience, implement it and let the Lotus of wisdom blossom in form of my Inner Transformation.
So much has already been written about forgiveness. All our religious texts emphasize on forgiveness and its importance. Then why is that very few people are actually able to forgive? What holds us from forgiving others? Why should we forgive when it seems so hard?
Most of us have had a story about how we were wronged, hurt, cheated, abused or betrayed. Few years ago, I had a group of friends, we had been as thick as thieves for years. One misunderstanding – and they stopped talking to me, left me all alone, just by myself. Well, this really wasn’t the idea about how I would have wanted to spend the last year of my school – spending all of my breaks, sitting all by myself. I was filled with anger, hatred, hurt and embarrassment and forgiveness was really the last thing on my mind. Even when others told me to forgive them, I asked myself – Why should I forgive them?
After all, forgiving them meant betraying myself. After everything that they had put me through, forgiving them would mean that I didn’t care about myself enough to stand up against what they did to me. Forgiving them meant that I was weak and they were stronger. Forgiving them meant that I had to forget everything that I went through. Memories are real and strong, especially when they are painful. Erasing what had happened was impossible for me. Moreover, why should I ever forgive them, when they hadn’t even bothered to apologize. Forgiveness requires the other person, doesn’t it? An apology is the precedent of forgiveness.
All of these incorrect beliefs that I had, harmed my relationship with my friends, making it beyond repair. It affected my other relationships, too. I often lashed out at my family and was unable to trust people around me, but the worst of it was that it affected my relationship with my own self. I was holding so much against them that my entire focus was on being a victim. I secretly wished that some time in life, they would feel the way I had. The constant turmoil hampered my mental peace.
It was shortly after this, that I decided to seek help for this and other related issues.
Over a period of few months, I opened up to my mother who showed me the path of spirituality. She made me realize that to ‘err is human’. Just like the way my family had forgiven me every time I had lashed out at them (and for several other things I had done in the past), I needed to forgive others too. Articles, books, audios and quotes were my companions, my source of inspiration to turn to a new leaf. Reading Lord Buddha’s teachings made me realize that holding on to anger was like grasping a piece of hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; I was the one who was getting burnt. I read about how Lord Mahavira forgave the serpent that bit Him. Sri Sri Ravishankar made me aware of the fact that the highest form of forgiveness is to realize that the other committed a mistake out of ignorance and having a sense of compassion for them. Forgiving others with a sense of compassion is the best form of forgiveness.
I had the opportunity to go for self-help workshops. It was a roller coaster ride. It gave me a chance to get rid of the vengeance and bitterness that I had filled myself with. I got a new and changed perspective to the situation – I put myself in the shoes of the people who hurt me, understood what I felt and took responsibility for my feelings.
Forgiving them, would become a gift that I would give my own self. A gift that would set me free from the past, the hurt and the anger. A gift that would put me back, in control of my own life. A gift that would actually empower me. The act of forgiveness had to take place in my own mind. It really had nothing to do with the other person. The reality of true forgiveness sets oneself free from the pain. It’s simply an act of releasing myself from the negative energy that I had chosen to hold on to. It symbolized letting go. Forgiveness didn’t necessarily mean, what they did to me was right or was justified, but forgiving them did mean that I could finally stop reliving all the trauma that I went through.
On the day of Kshamavali (last day of Paryushan – A Jain festival) I finally let go of everything that I was holding against them, freeing myself from everyting that was me holding back.
Forgiving them was my way of caring for myself – my physical, emotional and spiritual self. Forgiving them was my way to heal and bring peace to myself and to the relationships I had with others. What we often forget is that a simple act of forgiveness can restore all relationships and they can even deepen and thrive, not in spite of what happened in the past but because of it. The act of forgiving strengthens people’s commitment to a healthy relationship and they become more committed to not allowing divisive and hurtful conflicts occur in the future. Forgiveness is that glue that bridges the gaps caused due to miscommunication, difference in perspectives and anger in any relationship. Forgiveness is the cornerstone of human relations.
“Being committed to the practice of forgiveness is key to creating relationships and a life filled with love.”
– Jennifer Twardowski
Niyati Mehta aspires to be a life-time learner and add meaning to one’s and other’s lives. Her passion to understand human behavior makes her want to contribute more to the field of OD, L&D and Psychology. She believes in, ‘ I can I must and I will!’