Making of a militant pacifist 

Sometimes the aftermath of dealing with ‘difficult’ people can be a complete hangover. You feel drained and exhausted. You have to slowly get up and pick up the pieces and put them back together to get life rolling again. The need to get rejuvenated is essential.

I am sure we all have our own share of difficult people in our lives but some of us have it harder when they are unavoidable, falling in the close family/friends circle. But, first and foremost, who are these ‘difficult’ people?
They are the ones who simply cannot let you be. They consider it their duty to pick on each and everything you say or do and correct you because, according to them, whatever you do is wrong. They watch your movements, sometimes quite obviously, and pass their unwanted comments about where you lack. They hurl false accusations at you. They negate your actions and preach and preach and preach.
Their activities put you in a fix. If you remain silent are you deeming them right? If you react are you behaving in an immature way? You cannot decide. Leave decisions, you cannot think. A mental block takes over. You fret all day. You cannot sleep. Your helplessness in dealing with it is eating at your brain.

 

In my case, I can actually trace the stages of my relationship with these people. At first, I was unaware of their intentions. I’m sure they might not have enjoyed my ‘ignorance is bliss’ stage at all.
The second stage was the dawn of realisation. I remember trying to please them then. To do everything it was that they wanted at the moment, just to stop the complaints. But of course, to no avail. I tried hard to explain and got agitated when my explanation was not taken. I tried to reason with them and even point out that they had it all wrong about me. Was there any use? None!
The next stage was when I switched to mode ignore. I would only respond to neutral things. The effect was counter effective. It drove my antagonist up the wall trying to diffuse me and in the process I felt drained trying hard to ignore and ignore and ignore. It resulted in an unwanted outburst and an almost mental breakdown.
Then there was a period of depression. I walked around in a daze, like a zombie, ashen faced. I would often break stuff out of carelessness or make mistakes at my job desk. I believed that I was good-for-nothing. A complete loser like my enemy would have me believe. Deep down though, I knew I needed to pull myself together before an emotional meltdown happened.
I did the right thing then. I sought help. I talked to a wise friend. My wise friend pointed out all my positives, giving me a hell lot of inspiration to stand up for myself. She cited reasons on why I should not give up. My family needed me. I had to be strong for them. My kids emulated me. No matter what happens in life I had to square my shoulders and stand tall, she advised. I did just that. Thank you, my wise friend.
It was hard at first because it agitated said difficult people and they in turn left no stone unturned to “win” or whatever.
I was, however, over it. I had figured out that I needed to distance myself from them for any peace of mind.
When I look back on those trying months, I know where I went wrong in the first place. Like a child, I let myself be fooled into believing that I was incapable and irresponsible. That I had no knowledge about anything material, no values and not a bit of talent in anything worth mentioning. It looks appalling to me now that in my own eyes I became the very person my enemy purported me out to be. I became socially inept and sober. I couldn’t talk two sentences without stammering. I had lost my vitality and self esteem. All because of someone who didn’t even know me.
No more, I hope. The next time I face such people, I resolve to be unaffected. I know that I am what I am. I am strong and independent. I am intelligent and knowledgeable. I know where my faults lie but don’t we all have our fair share of negative traits? At least I know my faults do not lie in my character. I never try to hurt anyone on purpose and I try hard not to do it by accident either. I am an honest and straightforward person. I like to enjoy my life. I am practical and I know that hardships shall come and go in life. I am willing to take that.
The funniest part is when I realise now that the whole fiasco was not even about me. It is people who have problems in their life that they are helpless about that go about destroying others who seem happy and cheerful. If you notice them, most of these ‘difficult’ people find it hard to get along with others around them. They have something negative to say about almost everyone in their lives.
According to the law of mirrors, What you are inside, is the way you will see those around you.

A note to self:
Every cloud has a silver lining. Each ordeal make you stronger. Practice patience and take the right steps until you are able to take it all with a pinch of salt and a smile.
A note to my not-so-well wishers:

This is me

Leave me or take me

But do not try to break me!

Make not a militant,

Out of a pacifist…

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13 Ways to Combat Depression

If you are depressed and you know it,

read on to find out ways that can help you lift your own spirits.

depression

  1. Travel

Basically any vacation, whether long or short, near or far, adventurous or relaxed, works! The idea is to get away for a while for a refreshing change of scene. While on your trip, take countless photographs and selfies. Once your trip is done, browse through the pictures to relive those precious moments. 

travel

2. Relax 

Be a couch potato if that’s what makes you happy. Sleep in or snuggle with a good book and a cup of hot coffee. 

3. Read a feel good book

                     or

Watch a feel good movie 

Movies and books have a strong impact on our minds so much so that watching morbid movies can make us feel miserable while feel good movies and books – the kind that have happy endings and/or good messages – can work wonders on our emotional well being. I always feel lighter after having read a lovely book or watched a rom-com. 

books

4. Take an effort to be happy 

Sometimes, happiness needs effort. A lot of cheerful people are so because they chose to be. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, fake it! Plaster on a smile! When you look happy with a smile on your face, you find that you are treated better. When you are treated better you become genuinely happy. It is a whole virtuous cycle.  

happy

5. Forgive people 

Keeping grudges not only makes you a sour and grumpy person, it drains all the positive energy from your system too. Understand people. Maybe there was a reason for them to demean you the way they did. Maybe they didn’t mean to. Maybe they were struggling with their own inner demons. Forgive. Maybe there wasn’t any reason. Maybe it was done out of spite. Ignore. Walking around unaffected is the best way you can pay back to those who hurt you on purpose!

6. Get creative 

If you are the creative types, your creative medium can be an outlet for your emotions. If you have a passion for something, you have the privilege of getting lost in your art. So all the painters out there, take out your brushes and colours and paint the canvas red. All the amazing singers let your voice play magic in the air. All the writers and poets, let your imagination run wild.

If creativity is not your thing, get productive. Productivity imparts a sense of fulfillment which in turn can go a long way in maintaining a happy state of mind.

creative

7. Work out and yoga 

It is proven that exercise releases endorphins (or happy hormones) in the human body, the same hormones that are released when you laugh. The fitter you are, the better you feel about yourself. Yoga is known to have long lasting effects on your inner and outer beauty and well-being as well.

dance

8. Sing and Dance 

I envy those who can sing like a lark. Their own voice is all they need to lift their spirits. Mediocre singers like me can always sing in their cars and think that they have the best voices in the world! 

As for those who cannot sing at all, but still enjoy doing it, there are plenty of mobile apps available equipped to transform a cacophony into a melody.  

Dance …to your own tunes of course! 

Literally speaking, dance is a form of workout. So apart from having all the above mentioned advantages of an exercise routine, regular dancing can be a fun way to spend time, be it Samba, Salsa, Hip-Hop or Contemporary.

choc

9. Have dark chocolate 

Munch on a bar of dark chocolate – or any chocolate that you like. Be careful, though, to limit your intake. Binge eating is a common practice of gloomdom. Do not succumb to the urge. Instead if you have enough self-control to stop at one or two squares, chocolate could help. 

10. Socialize 

What depressed people find the hardest to do is to go out and about and face their friends, family and neighbors. Sometimes it is easier to be among total strangers. Taking the initiative to socialize could help forget your problems. A word of caution: Be careful with strangers. You don’t want to trust too soon and end up in bigger trouble!

outdoor

11. Get Outdoors

Out in the open is the place to be when you are low. Breathe in some fresh air, take a nice stroll or a ride or go on a long drive. Do whatever it takes to drive the blues away. 

12. Be kind and do good 

According to the law of karma, what goes around comes around. Kindness begets kindness and evil begets evil. Helping others without hoping for anything in return can be a good way to feel at peace with oneself. 

13. Take deep breaths

Here’s how:

Lie down with your back on the floor, your knees bent and feet apart. Rest one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest. Inhale slowly through your nose, expanding your stomach so that you can see the hand on your stomach rise. Inhale deeply and then blow the air out gently through your mouth.

Breathe in and out this way for five to ten minutes every day. Slowly, increase the time and once you are comfortable with the technique, practice for up to twenty minutes at a time, whenever you feel the need to relax and focus your energy.

A disciplined routine of deep breathing has been known to help heal depression completely.

Image result for deep breathing stock photo

If any of you found this helpful kindly let me know!

NB: This article lists DIY methods to fight depression. If the symptoms are severe you must seek professional help, either consult a therapist or join a self help group. It has been known to be highly effective. 

NB#2: In case you are anxious about going to a therapist, watch Shahrukh Khan in the Hindi movie, ‘Dear Zindagi.’ I swear you will fall in love with shrinks! 

Adios!

A Ray of Hope

There are few sayings more humane than ‘Charity begins at home.’ Because charity is not just about giving alms for the needy. It can be a warm smile, a bear hug, a word of thanks, appreciation or praise. It can be a three course meal, a bottle of water, or even a recharge coupon. It can be a few moments of your invaluable time. It can be anything that is meaningful. Anything to show that you care… for your fellow human beings. 

With Ray of Hope, charity begins at UAE, our home away from home.
Ray of Hope is a charitable campaign that I am proud to be part of. Our first achievement was a shoe collection drive all over the U.A.E. Within a short span of 5 days, over 100 pairs of wearable shoes were collected and shipped to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. What worked in our favor was the connection between like-minded people. 
Looking forward to do more for the less fortunate. Cheers!

5 Reasons you should go on a Cruise 

1. It’s therapeutic.

A cruise trip is an excellent means of relaxation meets fun. You can watch a movie at the theatre or enjoy a live show, plan a candlelight dinner with your partner or order food to your room, dare to rock climb or scuba dive, swim or play basketball, or just let the sea rock you to sleep.

2. Free food.

The foodies can have a gala time choosing from the various restaurants available on board, some of which are absolutely free.

3. Chills and thrills 

Sea farers can bask in the lower temperatures at sea. They can relax on their deck while the breeze blows at their faces. The thrill of being in the middle of the ocean with no land at sight is an experience in itself.

4. Spoilt for choices 

The only thing cruisers are going to have a hard time in is deciding on what to do when the ship docks at a port.  Should they enjoy and explore the ship and try out the many activities on board? Or get off and go on a land expedition? Whatever you decide, you are sure to come back for the next cruise so that you can do everything that you missed on the last.

5. It’s reasonable if you book ahead 

People are generally under the misconception that cruises are Uber expensive. That is not always the case. Booking ahead can give you a 50 per cent slash in rates. Even off peak months can be chosen to go easy on the pockets. 

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and cruise away!