Towards Tranquillity in a Troubled World?
Tackling troubled and pressure situation.
What to do when confronting troubled and despaired circumstances.
By Sajjad Amin Bangash
If we take an analytical look at our lives, then we will find out that we often get perplexed, confused and scared even before the possible birth of troubled, terrified and despaired circumstances coming ahead of us. For instance, when you reach your office and come to know that last night several of employees in your office have been fired from the job. Now, what would be the state of your mind during that particular moment of time even if you’ve not been informed yet that either your name is included in the list of those unfortunate people or not?
Well! for sure, you’ll fell in a paralytic shock and your mind will be driven in a static barren island of despair and disbelief.
Usually, by confronting with a troubled and despaired situations, we often get ourselves into a shocking state which replicate negative effects on our brain and we tend to make unwanted and dangerous steps and the reasons of such are ” not having the necessary ability, qualification, or strength to perform some specified act or function during those confused and perplexed circumstances.”
Hazrath Ali(R.A) a companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that “getting scared and terrified during troubled situations is a high degree trouble itself.”
What happens is that with the fall of sudden pressure and distress our heart spontaneously starts beating above the normal pace and our brain gets confused by which a person starts feeling himself ‘helpless’.
According to Mairead Tagg, clinical psychologist, University of Glasgow, Scotland.
” Depressed and anxious people are prone to fall into thinking errors that help to create a cycle of distress. Catastrophising – thinking that the worst is going to happen, “What if” thinking – predicting that terrible things will happen if we pursue a certain course of action, and jumping to negative conclusions on the basis of little evidence are all examples of this kind of thinking which takes people further and further from reality and deeper into a world of despair and apprehension.
A popular form of therapy used for stress, anxiety or depression, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy takes the view that it is the way that we make sense of our circumstances that affects our emotions and thoughts and that by changing what we think and what we believe about a situation or set of circumstances we can radically alter our mood and behaviour. For example if you were walking down the road and you saw coming towards you someone whom you would normally greet. You turn to say “Hello” but to your surprise and chagrin the person completely ignores you and walks past you saying nothing.
People typically say that at that point they would feel hurt, surprised, shocked upset and even angry. They also describe their thinking in terms of “What have I done wrong?” or “What a rude person”. Most say that their mood is negatively affected to a greater or lesser extent as they ruminate on what has just happened. Imagine then meeting a mutual friend of this person. You describe what has just happened and that mutual friend starts to laugh. He says to you “Well actually our friend accidentally washed his contact lenses down the sink this morning and can’t see anything at the moment.” Nothing has changed about the reality of being ignored, however the way that we make sense of what has happened is fundamentally affected. We no longer feel slighted or disrespected, irritated or disgusted by our friend’s behaviour. We smile, we feel sympathetic, our sense of well-being is restored, yet the only thing that has changed is our understanding and beliefs about what has just happened.
More recently another dimension; that of Mindfulness, has been added to the cognitive-behavioural aspect of this therapy. Mindfulness, as a Buddhist concept has been shown to enhance recovery by allowing people to connect better to their body through working with their breathing. By focusing on breathing properly it is possible for people to connect more effectively with their body and their feelings. It has been shown that this enhances our ability to withstand the pull of negative thinking and to connect effectively with the issues that trouble us, allowing us to find solutions to problems in a more holistic and healing way. It also works to stop the unhelpful, busy thoughts that exhaust and depress us, not by fighting these thoughts, but simply by saying to ourselves when these ruminations appear, “Thank you for these thoughts, but right now I’m focusing on my breathing and then gently returning to focus on breathing slowly and deeply and letting the thoughts go. This practice is excellent for people who have difficulty sleeping – another problem for the stressed, anxious and depressed.
It is encouraging that an effective synthesis of Eastern and Western approaches can effectively end the suffering of people who are troubled and distressed. ”
Similarly, according to an American clinical psychologist Milton Silverman ” We often find ourselves trapped in real life situation where we are proned to make unwanted mistakes and decisions.”
Similarly, if further complicated, and are recurring at repetitive sequences then it may convert into ‘mental diseases’. Besides, several physical weaknessess can also cause ‘mental illness and associated diseases.’
Experts state that of all the physical diseases, 70% are caused by mental and emotional complications. In today’s fast paced world, the problems and their natural complexities are incessantly changing and variable over time.
Hence, according to psychological experts and practitioners, an overall collective medical assistance for ‘mental nurturing and counseling’ is desperately needed.
In developed countries, there are several 1000s of groups are actively formed and working for tackling ‘day to day life’s complications, troubles and issues’ and now, this has been a thriving industry.
While, on the contrary, in our part of the world (South Asia), all those physchological and mental illnesses are known as ‘insane’ or ‘mentally retarded’ persons which is very shameful way behavior towards them.
Therefore, there’s a wide range of social awareness on a national and international level is needed that when our body gets sick or ill, then the mental capacity of our also gets effected by the tiredness and sickness of our body.
According to experts, ‘during severe mental pressure conditions, several people momentarily tend to loose the mental control which is a temporary state and to help stopping the recurrence of this condition, professional psychologist must be consulted.’
They further state that ‘although during stressful conditions, this mental disconnectivity and loss of temper is for a temporary state but if turns out to be recurring repeatedly then an expert clinical psychologist must be consulted. ‘
There’s a group of people who tend to take keen interest in enhancing human capacity and capabilities during stressful circumstances. In their point of view, if human’s will power exceeds in strengths and solidifies then he/she can easily get hold of and tackle all stressful circumstances.
Another expert states that ‘ during any mental illness, we tend to loose our nerves since we unconsciously loose our sense of understanding and thinking process to disintegrate. In order to avoid this, we need to remain stable, calm and hold our nerves stabled, try to see the skeptical circumstances in a profound way.’
Another American counseling expert Helen Layla says that ” one night, one person rudely insulted me by which I couldn’t sleep that night. Eventually, I told myself and rectified my sense with insightful counseling that ‘I’m not like what that person had said about me instead I am an active member of society – I must be doing something which doesn’t hurt or harm others. Hence, that person who stricken hard at my feelings, must be having some physiological and going through mental stress and that his mental state would not be stabled. Therefore, I shouldn’t be worried at all.’
Helen further said that “After that mental counseling, she turned happy and rectified her attitude towards life broadened.”
The sole purpose of this whole literature is that, we all some way or others, pass through certain phases of life where we are totally hinged and bogged into a bizarre, uncomfortable, confused, chaotic circumstances where we are paralyticaly scorched and can’t move ahead, undecided which forces us to make unwanted and dangerous decisions which result in unwanted and disastrous consequences which we dearly hadn’t intended.
But yes, we still can turn ourselves away from such unwanted consequences with corrective and timely instructions and guidelines as:
“If to avoid the scare , “Don’t get scared“.
If you’re into a state of continuous scare and confusion during any stressful and panicked circumstances, then immediately sit down, or if possible, lay down for a while. Remember, when your organs are balanced during stressful conditions, then you don’t get stressed out.
Why this advice is given during such circumstances? it’s because to comfort your organs and they immediately return back to normalization and balanced condition and the body returns back to normal condition.
Then, on a next step, change your place. If you’re at home, try to go out on a pleasant, peaceful environment where there is less crowd and noise. After that, try to divert the direction of your thoughts. You can sing a song, a poem or any recitation which can entertain your feelings so that your attention may be diverted. Now, this will realign and relieve you from the existing stress level and soon you would be able to bring yourself back to normality while your brain will be refurbished based on which, making prudent decisions will be easier now.
Leveling up the ” recurrent scare feelings”
Do you often get scared?
Although, the obvious symptoms of such condition are the direct sources of confusion of our body and brain but usually not that harmful and dangerous. When a feel of “suffocation” is risen, then make it understand that this is the symptom of “stress” which will however, not cause a damage. During panic, little argument doesn’t seem to be that bigger. Therefore, during panicked situation, if you see any physical change due to stress happens, it has to be taken not serious. Since, it’s a spontaneous process of brain and heart collaboration during panic. When such signs appear, instead of getting getting panic and worried, try to ignore them and keep doing your routine work so that you feel yourself engaged and not distracted. Do fight against “the factors creating panic and stress”. This way, you power of resistance against those factors will get strengthen and will be able to forcefully retaliate against their continous onslaught or their intensity will sequentially be reduced.
Whatever you order your body’s organs, they subserviently act according to your dictation. Try to keep your behavior, attitude and character clean and healthy. By this, your overall emotional state will eventually get stabilized and return to normal condition.
Controlling our brain and tongue:
Whenever, we try to express our pain, sorrows, grief or stress in spoken words, their impact is directly relayed back in our brain and conversely to our body as well. For instance, during ordinary pain or headache, we often say sentences such as “Oh my God, this pain is killing me or I’m getting killed by this torment pain etc.” our brain in a reciprocal manner starts to feel the intensity of such pain as well. However, whatever the intensity of the pain is, eventually it will have to reduce at some point. But the selection of your spoken words during this moment of pain, definitely conveys a negative message to your brain and increases the intensity of “restlessness“. Therefore, try to avoid “poetic and exaggerating language” during the period of ongoing pain or stressful condition.
Leaving yourself on a mercy of helplessness:
During pain, restless and panic phase, we often surrender our courage and loose our hearts, in fact we are handing ourselves to helplessness. We start to believe that we are helpless and hopeless. Such negative thoughts in fact, pull us into ‘a barren island’ of inability to think positively and hamper our thinking capabilities.
– During ‘Helplessness state’ in which people conclude that unpleasant or aversive stimuli cannot be controlled.
– A view of the world that becomes so ingrained that they cease trying to remedy the aversive circumstances even if actually can exert some influence. ‘
Normally, in an attempt to soothe our comfort, we count the destiny, others and system for our sheer pain, tragedies, trauma, and troubles while try shift the burden out of ourselves this way. Such negative thoughts give birth to hatred, revenge and reactive behavior towards other.
As long as we do not rehash our behavior and fail to render and deliver “kindness, forbearance and respect” to other, how can we expect the same level of reciprocal kindness, respect and positive attitude from others.
Making mistakes and learning to rectify them.
We are all born with inbound qualities, talent and attributes but it never means that we know everything. When we start to consider ourselves to be “perfect” by which we start to get scared of mistakes and take them to our heads and later, repent on those mistakes. So whenever, you make a mistake, try to learn to accept it which will rectify your sense and then provide a great level of satisfaction with an ultimate sense that at least I have tried to rectify it.
Seek the truth and facts:
During panic or stressful condition, do not dramatize your feelings and emotions because, incomplete and incorrect facts, broken misconceptions and allusions are taking to form simultaneously at the back of our mind. Several people due to excessive workload, seem very tired or with a continuous tendency of similar repetitive routine habits or tasks, turn them depressed and lethargic. During such moments, their lives seem faded and colorless while every activity of life seems to them meaningless which turn them to reduce interest in the beauty and charm in life’s offerings and they pay less attention to even ordinary matters and events. Lack of interest gives birth to “uncertainty” which eventually leads our life to confront unknown troubles, worries and complications arising out in life.
Do you think that turning our face off the world will solve our day to day problems?
There comes a phase in time, where severe feelings and sense of deprivation become the source of “constructing a house in our brain and heart”. Therefore, a realistic approach and constructive attitude towards life must be kept in our brain and heart and to remain active, positive and encouraging towards the betterment and charm of life.
Glance over “Love moments”:
The warmth and passion of relationship is only possible when during any stressful, painful and tragic phases, we tend to behave politely, patiently, and decently with our friends, colleagues,and neighbors and value the importance of their existence in your life. Appreciate and applaud them. During sorrows and tragic periods, try not to be isolated and take refuge in loneliness. Since, seclusion and loneliness further throw us into depression, stress and sense of deprivation: instead, try to extend the intimacy and timely participation of relationship with others and enjoy the ‘precious moments of love, compassion, kindness, forbearance and understanding. This way, you’ll throw away, the ugly friendship of negative thoughts and stress and will not attack you.’
We are part of the crop:
Even small and minor problems would seem ‘universal phenomenon or natural catastrophe’, when we start consider ourselves that we are the sole victim of it. But we spread our eyes around us, then all of our pains and sorrows would be apportioned equally and lessened. It is a strange fact that human is ‘individuality loving’ creature but when tries to append his/her wishes with the problems then this human considers his/her worries to be high ranked and above all and does see himself to be ‘the most worried person’ among all.
Therefore, we must also understand that we are an equal part of the crop and all the problems, worries and tragedies are equally attached with everyone. We must also try to seek solutions to the problems, sorrows and worries of others; if possible at least.
Conversate and talk to yourself:
When we want to get a detailed understanding of any issue or matter, we often take views from the relevant person. If someone is victimized by pain, we tend to get to know the associated causes of the pain, how does he/she feel and what really happened prior to the emergence of that pain?
Similar technique can also be applied in understanding our own stress and the causes of the stress.
First of all ask yourself is to what causes you the street?
Usually, we often pacify ourselves by counting others, destiny and the social set up to be the cause of the stress and all of our pains and sorrows but, instead of doing that, try to find out the obvious reasons of the problems and stress.
Several psychologists often state that “some people instead of finding solutions to the worries, they try to get themselves entertained and enjoy their worries. Therefore, instead of analysing the problems on a realistic grounds, they prefer to stay in the “worries” and it has no possible cure of it.
After determining the reasons of stress and its nature, we must see how important the matter is , its complexity and the possible consequences. The final question must be asked about the corrective solution of problem.
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