The price of Exaggeration
Dr Aditya Rattan mulls over the negativity created by the habitual use of hyperbole and suggests curbing this tendency to keep away undesirable energies
It was an extremely busy day in the OPD, and I was getting edgy. I enquired from the reception and got to know that only two more patients were left to be examined. A lady in her mid-fifties entered the cabin; it was her first visit. She started narrating her symptoms, explaining every aspect of the pain a doctor needed to know, like the location of the pain, its triggers, the duration of the episode, and the frequency of such episodes. It amused me that she could go on and on without me having to work hard at extracting all the clinical information. She explained the exact location and could trace the pain to the back of her head very specifically and added that this was disturbing her sleep of late and interfering with her schedule. I consoled her and prescribed her some medicines asking her to revisit me after a week.
Her exit paved the way for the last man waiting to enter my chamber. This young guy had come for a follow-up for his stomachache. It didn’t take me much time to modify his prescription and wrap up the morning session after he replied he was feeling better.
On my way back home, I got lost in a volley of thoughts. Though nothing unusual had happened, it led me into contemplation: How common it is to keep on reinforcing our bad thoughts. How often we keep on spreading our negative energy through discussions with our friends, family, colleagues, and everyone around. How unaware we are when we keep on spreading this negative aura. Here, I don’t deny the relief the sufferer gets from sharing their pains, but the fact is that we keep on explaining each aspect of our unpleasant emotion to the listener. As we keep discussing the specifics of our suffering, each cell, each atom of our body begins to vibrate in that frequency. Not only this, as we go on dissecting the particulars of the botheration, we also impose such vibrations on our fellow beings. A sharing of our emotions is appropriate, but we try to magnify it by exaggerating what could have been a simple narration of our wretched emotions. Psychologically, it provides us mental peace to get the attention and sympathy of the listener.
Have you observed how the psychology of exaggeration rules our mind to impress others? Just ponder over the times when we overstate to prove our point. Not only in times of agony but also in our ordinary day-to-day conversations, to justify our being. Consider these statements:
“I have noted this a million times before.”
“I have been waiting for you for 10 hours.”
“I am seeing you after ages.”
“I have told you 30 times not to play video games.”
Magnifying the mundane
What I am trying to emphasise is that we go overboard to communicate the intensity of our emotions and to strengthen the validity of our statements. While it’s passable to use this kind of language in our daily parlance, it does seep into our habit of explaining things and impressing others. The habit goes awry when we try to communicate our raw and tender emotions. If we go on reinforcing our negative thoughts, we are creating a negative aura around us. We are allowing these unfavourable energies around us to gain more strength. The wave of healthy emotions, positive energy , and peace won’t be able to enter our field easily. We are indeed causing the healing of our bodies more complex.
Though we convey our agony, pain, and emotions to others to get their help and support, we should desist from giving agonising details to everyone around, like the intensity of pain, its frequency or all other associated symptoms like lack of sleep, disinterest, or lack of appetite. Consider conveying your feelings in a crisp manner such as ‘not feeling well’ or ‘a headache’ or ‘lack of sleep.’ One need not know the whole sequence of the events such as, “I could not get a wink of sleep the whole night. I went to bed after dinner. But the thoughts kept bothering me. Then I got up and watched a movie. I still could not feel tranquil. So I took some pills, but that didn’t help. The bed was not comfortable. Sounds were coming from outside. I kept on glancing at the clock and failed to get sleep.”
You are reliving your traumatic episode in horrifying details. You are reinforcing to your mind that it is difficult to get peaceful sleep. You are causing a set of undesirable energies to envelop all those around you. A direct communication of being unable to sleep would have conveyed the same message to your companion and would not have reinforced your sleeplessness to your mind.
You need not become a storehouse of your disturbing emotions either. Your consultant physician is the best person to whom you can purge all these miserable thoughts. Spare all the facts for him. All these specifics would aid him to establish a diagnosis faster and make your treatment easier.
By reaching a state of equilibrium and keeping our responses or descriptions short, but enough to communicate our condition, we allow the positive energies and vibrations a space to enter. Since we don’t build a fuzzy cloud of undesirable energies and don’t spread the aura of gloominess around, it is expected that our bodies, emotions, and energies achieve a neutral state faster.
Also, consider that whenever we are in a reasonable state of health, we don’t go on detailing our feelings to everyone. In fact, this is exactly what needs to be done at such times. Don’t just give a concise, crisp response of being fine if someone enquires after you. On the contrary, convey your state of health in a charming, radiant and dramatic way, making the most of the situation. Create a positive energy zone all around by replying:
“I am on top of the world!”
“I feel loaded with energy, full of vigour and vitality.”
“I feel like a powerhouse of energy.”
“I feel extremely blessed and full of gratitude.” Why do we fall short of describing our balanced state of health? Why do we feel shy to create a constructive and optimistic zone around us? Our happiness aura should be enviably infectious. We should carry a force of positive energy and passion. That can be achieved if we go on reaffirming our blissful and healthy state of body, mind, and soul. Let’s decide to be aware of our negative thoughts and be reminded of our exaggerated or unmindful explanations of our pains. Let’s build an aura of positivity around us. Let’s live in gratitude.
Filled with these thoughts, I reached my house and parked my car. My wife was strolling in the garden. As soon as I entered the gate, she hugged me tightly and asked me, “How was your day?”
“Great and wonderful, full of energy,” I replied, and we laughed together as we entered the house.
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