Destress by decluttering the mind of negativity
More than gathering knowledge, it is the excess data and facts that we have in our mind that leads to confusion and often results in anxiety and stress. Therefore, it helps to keep only what we need and discard the rest, especially negativity from our minds.
Long back when we were in Mumbai, the club in our colony organised an adventure trip for the families. Most of us joined but one family did not. The lady of that family kept telling everyone that such a trip could be dangerous . She did not give any suggestions on what we needed to take and how to safeguard ourselves against but kept talking about how such safaris led to many mishaps quoting many reports of accidents in recent times and even older ones. The lady in charge politely listened to her, thanked her and requested her not to scare the others, including children who were present there. We went together on this adventure trip and enjoyed ourselves. However, when we returned the lady did not even speak to any of us or ask us how the trip was.
The above incident taught me a key lesson in life. If one has already made up one’s mind, usually no facts change it. This lady felt adventure trips were dangerous so was not interested in learning it could be fun too, It also made me understand that we need to make sure we keep negativity away from our minds and therefore our lives.
In another context, people all around me kept telling me Delhi was a very dangerous city, especially for women when we got transferred there. The fact however is that we have had a great time in Delhi with many well wishers and friends. It is not that there are no untoward incidents in Delhi or anywhere else but my experience of discarding negative thoughts on Delhi and Delhiites made me more open to enjoying the place and all the people around us. If we had convinced ourselves that the place is dangerous, it is unlikely that we would have attempted anything.
These are just petty examples but in many issues, people spend their lives worrying unnecessarily on unfounded fears due to negativity and very often are not able to lead a complete life.
Caution not fear
Life is said to be the greatest teacher of all for it never gives up on us but keeps showing us all its patterns which could sometimes be a challenge. We do know there are challenges all around us and yes, we do need to be careful. For example, it would be foolish to not follow basic rules while driving a car but to keep thinking of the road accidents while driving a car is even more foolish. This unfortunately seems to be happening in a world that focuses on negative news all over the world not for improving awareness and finding or suggesting a solution but just for improving TRPs through negative news.
This is also why worry and not joy seems to be the most common issue being discussed. Worry about the future, worry about the economy, worry about jobs, worry about the future generation and various other such issues. Even when there are no real problems, people often worry about imaginary problems. As this is all imaginary and therefore non-existent, it is also difficult to combat it with authenticity. In other words, in the “what-if” game, it is impossible to win over worry unless one follows the path of faith or self-belief.
Every sportsman is taught to believe he shall win the match before he goes to play. Whether he/she wins or loses, coaches know how important this factor is very important to play well. This is very applicable to all of us in the game of life too.
We could focus on our goals and maybe make a list of what we wish to achieve instead of spending too much time worrying about other events. We need to be clear on what is our control and what is not. This itself will remove a lot of clutter from our minds.To keep ourselves focussed, we could also follow a daily routine that includes meditation and a little time around nature when possible.
In the famous Bollywood movie, three idiots, the protagonist quotes a watchman in a colony who used to keep saying “all is well” to put people at ease, though he himself was blind.
This shows us how the mind can be foolish and how we alone have the power over it.
Now, whether or not a watchman says so, we need to keep saying “all is well” to put ourselves and by extension, the world around us at ease. For in the current situation, it is we who need to know what we need to focus on to create our own world through positivity.
By Jamuna Rangachari