The modern lifestyle is very hectic and stressful. Societal narrative dominates all of us; it shapes our thinking and actions.
As soon as a child gets birth, parents start planning the child’s future. Indirectly they are forcing the child to follow a path which they think fits not the other way. In India, taking science, clearing JEE, NEET is some of the examples. The story does not end here: with the advent of social media, there is unrealistic pressure on everyone. It further creates stress, anxiety, inferiority and makes our life a living hell.
Our environment shapes our life. This environment includes physical, social, economic, and cultural aspects of our surroundings. Our friends, parents, coworkers, neighbors are part of the environment. They can make us happy or sad, help us to succeed, or force us into depression.
Now, the world is more connected than ever before. It helps to build virtual communities, get connected across the globe, do commerce etc. The flip side is, we are comparing ourselves to others at an unprecedented scale. Some of us are comparing ourselves even with celebrities. Unreasonable and non-productive comparison only creates mental pain that translates into misery. Misery leads to under confidence, dilemma, anxiety, and depression. A depressed person can not help himself, forget about society.
Thus, vicious cycle continues, with no foreseeable end.
Comparison in our society begins with birth and ends with death.
Now, what to do if you are trapped, in this vicious cycle? I would say, “ Build hope.”
Hope is a powerful tool yet underestimated. Hope is the foundation of our civilization. Someone hoped that humans would be able to fly like a bird, would eat cooked food, would move faster than horses, would go to the moon etc. When you create hope and build it, magic is on the way. Does the question arise how to create hope?
I will try to give my perspective from my experiences.
1 — Take small targets = Take tasks that are realistic and achievable within a week or so. An example would be setting a target of morning or evening walks as convenient to you. Another may be related to reading some pages of your favorite book daily.
2 — Start Writing/Creating = Writing is a slow form of expression; write what you want. It does not have to be sophisticated or scholarly writing. You are not Socrates, don’t try to pretend him.
3- Connect with your loved ones = When you are in pain, seek help. Ask your loved ones to read your work, discuss your problems with them. Go for a movie or a walk, engage with them.
4 — Consider yourself lucky — The world is an unfair place, it was, and it will be. More than 90% of the world population does not have enough to eat; forget about the internet. If you are reading this, you are fortunate. Don’t compare yourselves with others every time; compete with yourself.
5 — Meditate and Exercise = Thoughts and feelings are deceiving; master them, do not become their slave. It is your thoughts that are compelling you. Understanding your thoughts with the help of meditation helps you in distinguishing useful and not-useful thoughts. Exercise will help you to burn the stress chemicals in the brain and help avoid rumination.
All these steps are simple and easy. They help you to have a sense of fulfillment which further boosts your morale. When morale is up, then you will feel confident about yourself. An only a confident person can help himself and his surroundings.
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