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Saturday, 16 May 2020

Gearing up for Life 2.0


When confronted with crisis, there are 2 possible approaches we can adopt - 1. Reactive, and 2. Proactive, though many of us find ourselves stuck between the two extremes of the continuum. A reactive approach is built mainly on the element of passivity, which is characterised by a "wait and watch" mindset/ attitude, with occasional reactions to things,but clearly not displaying any intent to resist or respond to the unfavourable status-quo. There's no attempt or effort to move out of comfort zone. On the other hand, though the Proactive approach is also about accepting the status-quo but then there is an effort to prepare (oneself) for post-crisis scenario. Getting fully versed with the prevailing situation and preparing oneself to deal with future challenges (some anticipated and some otherwise) is what entails the proactive approach during crisis.


When "writing is on the wall" and a "paradigm shift" is inevitable, then it's wise to adopt a "proactive" approach and prepare oneself for the anticipated changes. Given the magnitude of the current crisis, one could say that we are at the cusp of a major (macro) revision in our lives, and soon, we all, would be catapulted to Life 2.0. Whether we like it or not, there's a new "normal" that awaits us in future, post-crisis. What's most scary about this situation is the fact that the transition from Life 1.0 to Life 2.0 is not going to be as smooth as we would have wanted it to be because of the fact that we have been caught off-guard by this calamity.

The 180 degree turn that our lives have taken has necessitated us to take a broader view of things while gearing up for Life 2.0. This "paradigm shift" is going to give rise to a new "normal" and the sooner we become aware of it, the better equipped we will be to deal with it and manage our lives better. A holistic understanding of the changes that may sweep our lives could be a starting point to gear up for Life 2.0. Let's look at some aspects of our life that are bound to get impacted immensely

  • Lifestyle - the free flowing nature of the way that we are accustomed to living (till yet) will take a bad hit. The careless and, at times, callous attitude would get replaced with a more mindful attitude. For a major part of the next few years, we may find ourselves operating at the bottom of "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs". Luxurious Living will become a passe and we will let go of need to be overly materialistic. Instead we will tend to adopt Minimalism or Essentialism as the preferred way of life. (For all those, who may not know about Essentialism and Minimalism - these are concepts which promote living a life only with the minimum or essential of needs, only with that much as is needed to live/ sustain). Life 2.0 will see a lifestyle (hopefully), bereft of any brandishing of our status or achievement.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

  • Work - The dynamics of the workplace and the way we transact at work will see a drastic change. The organisations are going to tread slowly on investment and manpower. The job/ job role may not be an assurance or something that we may take for granted and rather may give way to maintaining a balance between our aspirations and needs. Life 2.0 may see us leveraging technology to hilt, as the work trend will see a shift to "virtual". The new mode of working give rise to a different set of professional skills, ethics and etiquette (rather netiquettes). For Work, Life 2.0 will throw open challenges related to transacting, teamwork, accountability and productivity and we need to focus on addressing them before going full throttle in Life 2.0.      
  • Relationships - The need for developing and maintaining a support system, comprising of our family and close friends will take precedence over the need for expanding our network incessantly. These difficult time have taught us the importance of real connections, family and friends, whom we can fall back on, during times of difficulty. However large our social/ virtual network may be but it can't make up for a few trustworthy comrades and family members, who could be our source of strength always.

  • Goals & Priorities - The ambitions may not top the list of our goals and instead may give way to stability. Having witnessed the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) nature in action, the priorities may shift in favour of safety, security and health. From a goals-perspective, we will find ourselves taking recourse to setting only short-term goals for the identified priorities. We may find ourselves creating Plan B and Plan C. 
  • Living - During Life 2.0, there is bound to be a major shift in our perception and perspective about life and happiness. The stark realisation that life is so ephemeral (in context of a crisis) has only made us value it more, in the truest sense, in terms of all the cherishable moments and relationships. It has also made us realise that life is a gift and we should live all our dreams, before it is too late. The crisis has opened us up to the real meaning of happiness and that is in displaying gratitude, compassion and empathy. Life 2.0 will be more about WE than ME and we can hope to turn out to be better humans, living with the feeling of togetherness and camaraderie.

Ending this post with a couple of quotes on "Paradigm Shifts" that will help us get started smoothly on our Life 2.0 journey

"Paradigm shifts aren't always obvious when you are in the middle of one" - Michael Brune

"A paradigm shift is a revolutionary change from one way of thinking to another; a transformation or metamorphosis, rather than an evolutionary process. The paradigm we use and accept is dependent on us believing what we perceive to be true and accurate" - Unknown 

Let Life 2.0 begin ! 

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Series on Emotional Wellness - Five DON'TS of "Feelings"


Feelings are a tricky lot and unless addressed appropriately, they can play real havoc with our overall wellness. Feelings evoke a range of responses in us and most of the time, our ability to nail the feelings effectively hinges on understanding of our current emotional zone. The first step towards sound emotional health is knowing where we are stuck in our journey of emotional wellness and then preparing ourselves to take that leap towards experiencing our feelings in fullness. I share about five such emotional zones that we may find ourselves in, and the sooner we move out of them, the faster would be our journey towards Emotional Wellness.

In this post, I present these "emotional zones" as "Five Don'ts Of Feelings

DISMISS -This is where the tendency is to shun/ rule out the very existence of "Feelings". Citing a variety of reasons, some people don't believe in or relate to the concept of feelings and end up lost and confused when feelings hit them hard some day. It's an irony that the modern work culture of "busyness" professes the necessity for good emotional health but rarely encourages us to adopt it as an integral part of our lifestyle. Thinking that feelings do not exist cannot deny the fact that they are integral part of our personality and manifest as natural responses to external stimulus/ trigger so dismissing them is not a possibility ever.  

DREAD - I came across the term "feelings phobia" and that got me thinking about how so many of us tend to fear the very existence of "feelings". Some of us dread it so much that we let this phobia trigger in us a range of unproductive feelings and then end up surrendering to them (unproductive feelings). As it is said that we give more power to the thing when we fear it and same goes for feeling too. The more scared we would be about the existence/ presence of feelings, the more vulnerable we would become to triggers (events, circumstances, situation and people) that may trigger unproductive feelings. 

DISCOUNT - We do ourselves great harm if we do not accept the "feelings" in its full magnitude. Different feelings manifest in us to varying degrees (based on a variety of factors) and experiencing the feelings in their full intensity is the only way to maintain our emotional health. Imagine, what will happen inside us if we notice that a feeling is manifesting inside us at a score of 8 or 9 (on a scale of 10) but we address it or respond to it by putting it at a score of 4 or 5. It's anyone's guess that in such a situation and with that type of response by us, our body will never be able to completely relax and will always be in a tense and tight state.   

DUMP - This is a convenient approach where we cease to take responsibility for our feelings and resort to "buck passing". The objective here is to simply vent out our reactions/ overreactions onto  easier targets and put the blame for our unproductive feelings on some other person or the circumstance. In the long term, this tendency leads to never taking responsibility for anything in our life and ultimately losing grip on it. For every happening (primarily the not-so good types) in our lives, we have scapegoats in place to put the blame on. This may lead us to relinquish self-responsibility in favour of acquiring a "victim mentality" trait. So, let's watch out whenever we find ourselves blaming external people and circumstances for things happening in our lives. 

DELAY - Avoiding to experience feelings for a later time does more harm than good. We may think that the unproductive feeling will subside if not catered to for some time, but it does not happen that way. To prevent ourselves from falling prey to this tendency, we just need to ask ourselves - "Can postponing something important benefit us and leave us more balanced or productive ?" . The resounding NO from within (inner voice) would be a reminder good enough to prompt us to avoid postponing the "experiencing of the feelings" lest they might grow in magnitude and grow out of proportion for us to handle them. 

So, to sum up 
  • Do Not Dismiss (Rule Out) Your Feelings
  • Do Not Dread (Fear) Your Feelings
  • Do Not Discount (Bring down the Intensity) of Your Feelings
  • Do Not Dump Your Feeling on Others (People and/ or Circumstances)
  • Do Not Delay (Postpone) Your Feelings

So, if you find yourself in any of the above emotional zones, the immediate step should be to let yourself experience the "feelings" fully

Monday, 27 April 2020

Make Self-Care A Priority


Have we felt as strongly for Self-Care as we feel now ?

Maybe NO, because the present times are drastically different from any other and the crisis of this magnitude is a "first" for many of us. Till now, we could afford to ignore the need for self-care, even with a lame excuse and get away with it. But now is the time to give due importance to self-care and put it on priority else coping with the situation will become impossible for us. Ignoring self-care will only leave us more vulnerable and lead to anxiety, depression, and various other debilitating emotions/ feelings.

The turn of events during these unpredictable times may leave us overwhelmed and lead to losing focus on "self" but a quick reminder to ourselves that self-care is the only way to beat the blues could set us up to put self-care back on our radar and get going.

It's very important to understand that self-care is a comprehensive and holistic approach to wellness and includes physical, mental and emotional aspects of our personality.

The trick to effective self-care lies in making it an integral part of our lifestyle and mentioned below are few tips that could help us achieve the same.


Keep Things Simple

At times like these (crisis), the intention should be to avoid complicating the things so that they don't overwhelm us. The more manageable things are for us, the more we are in control of ourselves. We can always keep things simple by
  • living in the present because that's where it's all happening. moving beyond the present, into the times which hasn't arrived brings undue stress. all the action happens in the present and that's why it's important to stay there, in the present.
  • taking things as they unfold - pre-empting things doesn't work out in these situations where uncertainty and unpredictability rule the roost. being patient is the key, so wait and watch how things shape up and then prepare ourselves accordingly. acting in haste is a complete waste in this scenario.
  • focusing on what we can control, even if it's a tiny thing/ task/ action - it's good to have an opinion but being obsessed with it (opinion) if we can't change the facts is waste of energy. there are always going to be things falling outside our scope of control so it makes more sense to expend our energy and effort on things under our control and it could be the crucial task of managing our reaction to a bad/ unfavourable event. 
  • attempting one thing at a time - multitasking is a myth but at times like these when we feel overwhelmed, we attempt to do too many things at the same time. this results in us losing focus and patience and we end up with multiple incomplete tasks. the best approach to avoid undue stress and pressure at this time is to prioritise things and do them one at a time. 

Go Easy On Self

It's natural human reaction to try our best to address the challenges effectively and at the earliest to avoid any major damage to self. But in our attempt to do so, we, knowingly or unknowingly, put ourselves under extreme pressure to do the right things and to do it in time. These self-imposed deadlines/ timelines could result in a biased mindset and we may end up being irrational in our decision-making. Remember, self-care is about being kind to our self, so let's try and be our best ally. Few ways that could help us go easy on ourself are
  • stopping judging ourself - with plenty of negative influences around us, we may get into the habit of labeling ourselves. playing neutral ensures we stay sane and in control of things
  • avoiding overthinking - The 2 most harmful thinking errors that we may get prone to during crisis are 1) playing victim, where we may start assuming to have been singled out to suffer, and 2) catastrophizing, where we tend to magnify the situation and get obsessed with the worst possibility.
  • limiting media exposure - during times of crisis, media is bound to be filled with more news and stories about loss, despair and sadness. It's wise to avoid too much exposure to media of any form (electronic news media or social media). limiting our media exposure to gaining update on the situation and on watching news/  stories about hope and courage will be helpful. consuming only that content which keeps your spirits up is the best use of our time spent on media.
  • dropping all expectations - when times are unsure, there's no point in building expectations of any sort from anyone, neither from self nor from others. the only expectation that may come true is the dawn of a new order and we can never be prepared in advance to build anticipation for this unknown and unseen entity. there's merit in having zero expectations and living more realistically. 

Seek Progress

It's very important that when we encounter any calamity in life, we try to maintain the forward momentum. Life is all about moving ahead, even if that happens by way of small, tiny steps. It may happen that life may come to a complete standstill and may not offer us any hope for future but if we proceed with an intent to keep moving ahead in some way, we will keep progressing. Here are few ways we can seek progress even during tough times
  • looking for possibilities - among the plethora of problems that may come our way during crisis, keeping an eye for the silver lining or the bright spot is the only way to stay positive. "what is it that is still a possibility" could become the new mantra for us.
  • identifying opportunities - the paradigm shift that occurs may close many previous doors but surely opens up many new ones. all that we need to do is to move out of our comfort zone and look around with fresh perspective.
  • watching our self talk - words have great power and during times of difficulty, we rely a lot on our inner voice. ensure that what we tell ourselves uplifts us and gives us strength and hope. be watchful about the conversation with self as the self-talk has a direct impact on our self-esteem.
  • doing what gives us strength - Vulnerability is at its peak during this time of uncertainty and the best we can do for ourselves is to pick up an activity/ hobby/ passion that makes us calm and provide us with strength to deal with the difficult times with ease.

Self-Care isn't just about being good to ourselves but also about being a contributor of optimism and hope for others too, especially when everyone needs them (optimism and hope) in abundance !

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Series on Emotional Wellness - Avoiding Thinking Traps


There are times when certain events or incidents in our lives results in a downward spiral for us and makes it difficult for us to come out of it. Finding ourselves in a rut, we struggle hard to be positive and productive. When we brood over to find the reason for the debacle, we can easily conclude that it was merely a negative thought that triggered this domino effect (negative) and adversely impacted us, in terms of feelings and behaviour. Considering the fact that we get a large number of thoughts in a day (if experts are to be believed, we get over 50,000 thoughts in a day), it's easy to fall prey to negative thoughts and lose ourselves in gloom and doom.

Breaking this "thinking trap(negative)" is crucial for our healthy and productive existence because of the established connection between Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviour (Actions). A negative thought has the potential to impact us emotionally, so, the sooner we become aware of these damaging thinking patterns of ours, the healthier we will be emotionally and holistically.

Among the many thinking errors that we commit, i have handpicked few important ones that hugely impact us during crisis, because crisis is a time when we become quite tentative in our approach toward events and situations. Recognizing these thinking errors that are listed below will lead us to become more rational in our outlook and approach to life and events.

The five such thinking errors are :
  • Overgeneralization : This happens when we arrive at a conclusion based on a single occurrence of something. We start perceiving that things will go in a particular way/ direction because it has gone so once. We tend to lack any rationality during overgeneralization. The moment we start inferring from a specific evidence is when we start falling prey to overgeneralization and this happens more during crisis because of the strong influence of negativity around us. Example - Failing in an exam, interview or a venture, once or twice leads us to doubt our capability and we start to engage in thoughts laden with "always" and "never". Thoughts like "I am always making a mess of things" are indicative of overgeneralization.
  • Mental Filter : For whatever reasons, when we start to observe/ notice something specific and dismiss everything else is when we fall trap to the thinking error known as mental filter. When we operate with a distorted framework of life, fraught with bias, we may only allow negative information to reach out to us. It may also result in us magnifying such information to suit us and that may prove to be very detrimental for thinking rationally. Example - Taking the same context of a venture, exam or an interview, when we focus only on what we couldn't manage to do instead of what we could is when we start to perceive things through a negative lens.
  • Catastrophizing : When we find ourselves engaged in "worst-case scenario" thinking and imagine  about how worse things/ situation could get. we fall prey to catastrophizing. What's wrong about this type of thinking is that we completely ignore the status quo, which may happen to be good or not-so-bad, and keep our thoughts focused on the worsening of the situation. Example - A fight with a friend or disagreement with boss may result in thoughts as "I will lose my job" or "I can never develop a trustworthy friendship". 
  • Polarised Thinking : When we find ourselves thinking in extremes about people, situations and events, we suffer from polarised thinking. It's like "Black & White" or "All or Nothing" thinking, with no middle ground, such as "good or bad", "right or wrong", "positive or negative", and so on. This type of thinking may push us into other thinking traps as well. Example - Thoughts like "None of us will survive this crisis" or "I have to get this right else it's no use at all" are indicative of Polarised thinking.
  • Emotional Reasoning : This is all about believing that what we feel must be true. The feelings we undergo at any point of time is how we perceive the things to be. For example, in case we feel anxious, we think that anxiety is what everyone else would also be undergoing. Example - During a crisis or difficult times, we tend to get overwhelmed and thoughts like "Since I am feeling anxious, the situation must be anxiety ridden".     
These thinking errors inflict more damage during time of crisis, when uncertainty and fear grips us and we struggle for hope and optimism. One of the key reason we fall to these thinking errors is our brain's disposition towards finding shortcuts to help us during decision-making and problem solving. Factors like our belief system and life experiences also contribute to us committing these thinking errors (topic for an altogether different blog post). 


What's more important during this time when we recognise ourselves fallen to the thinking trap is to ensure taking appropriate steps to address these thinking traps. Few steps that could help
  • Accepting the thinking error in us
  • Validating it with sufficient evidence 
  • Identifying the source of the thinking error being committed  by us
  • Detaching our personal opinion from the ensuing thoughts triggered by an event/ situation
  • Building multiple perspective to the situation/event 
  • Building more rationality in our thought process  
Watch your thoughts before they get better of you !

N.B. :
  • The images used in the above post have been sourced from the internet

Monday, 30 March 2020

Series on Emotional Wellness - Know The Basics


Before embarking upon building or enhancing emotional wellness, it becomes imperative to gather fundamental understanding  of all the key aspects related to emotional wellness so that our efforts are put in the right way on the right elements. Emotional Wellness is not merely a concept but a way of life and is closely connected or related to other areas of Wellness, be it Physical, Mental, or any other. So, when we talk about Emotional Wellness, let us talk about it from a holistic perspective.


Before I define Emotional Wellness (EW), it's important to understand the fundamental difference between 2 very important concepts/ elements, which we often use interchangeably. These are Emotions and Feelings. Each of the two mentioned concepts is by itself an area of separate and deep study, and there's ample of research that's being done in each of the 2 mentioned areas. So, for the sake of simplifying the concepts for the readers, i attempt to provide a basic level distinction between the 2 (based on the online research done by me for the purpose)


EMOTIONS are
  • responses in the brain that generate biochemical responses/ reactions in the body
  • primarily stimulus triggered
  • coded in the genes
  • common to all (to a large extent)
  • and are fewer in count (though there's no single agreed upon number, some research puts it at 4, while other research puts it at 6, 15 and so on.

FEELINGS are
  • mental constructs that we create
  • personalised 
  • triggered by emotions
  • shaped by our memory and experiences (learned behaviour)
  • of many types, ranging in various degrees
It's never easy to provide a proper distinction between two intertwined concepts/ elements and all the more difficult when to a layperson, the fine distinction appears blurred. A simple example to illustrate the difference is when we perceive a certain scenario, situation or event as a threat. If it happened to be primitive times, then coming face to face with a wild animal would qualify as a real threat (to our life/ survival). Whenever faced with a threatening situation/ event, the emotion of  FEAR is the one that gets triggered and starts a biochemical reaction in the body. (The emotion of FEAR has been existing from primitive times and this establishes the "common to all" trait of emotions). Our response to this emotion of Fear is termed as FEELINGS and this is very personalised, totally driven by our belief system, thinking, experience and memories. Few may respond to Fear by way of freezing (unable to move/ react at all), few may respond by way of flight (running away, literally or otherwise) and few others may respond to Fear by way of Fight. Our reaction i.e. FEELINGS are like the meaning we assign to the occurring/ occurred emotion and this could vary in degree too from person to person.


Now, let me share the three key elements of Emotional Wellness and they are EMOTIONS, FEELINGS and THOUGHTS. These 3 interconnected elements, when addressed properly, determines Emotional Wellness

To define Emotional Wellness, i will take a broader, comprehensive and a holistic view and define Emotional Wellness as the ability to effectively manage the three key elements - Emotions, Feelings and Thoughts.  How well we are able to constructively respond to events/ situations and effectively managing these three interconnected elements. By effectively managing, the reference is to finding constructive ways to address them so that they (emotions, feelings and thoughts) aid our emotional and overall well-being, leaving us more rational and balanced. 


Why Emotional Wellness is so important for us ?

When we talk about life-balance, work-life balance or holistic wellness, one of the key aspect that we need to pay attention is that of gaining better understanding about self and others. Being Emotionally Well or Healthy enables the individual to not only recognise his/ her reactions to events and then manage them constructively but also recognise the same in others and manage them constructively to improve the interpersonal relationships. 

Emotional Wellness has a direct impact on an individual's self-esteem and self-confidence and an  emotionally healthy individual is more equipped to be successful and happy than an emotionally unhealthy individual.


Key Steps For Emotional Wellness

The three key steps to build Emotional Wellness are
  • Awareness of the Emotions/ Feelings, where we sense that something is happening/ occurring
  • Acceptance/ Acknowledgement, where we embrace what is happening inside 
  • Address, where we take take constructive actions/ steps to manage the 3 different elements of Emotional Wellness.

References

There's a great deal of deep research being carried out in the area of Emotional Wellness and the above post is just to provide a brief introduction to the concept and a fundamental distinction between Emotions and Feelings. I have referred to multiple resources on internet about the subject for my article and the following 2 resources have helped me provide structure and shape to my article   




N.B. :
  • The images used in the above post have been sourced from the internet

Thursday, 26 March 2020

RESET Life for a Better RESTART !

At times, what we perceive as "CRISIS" turns out to be a "blessing in disguise". When times get as bad as they could and everything around us appears bleak, we can still find the silver lining if we turn attention inwards. Remember, challenging and tough times like these are an opportunity to build resilience, a quality that stands us in good stead in turbulent times like these. When crisis push us to adopt "self-isolation" as a way of life, then instead of panic, fear and hopeless, it makes sense to reset ourselves and work on creating a better version of ourselves.  

Few key areas that facilitate the RESET process are as below: 
  • Fears - Ever experienced "self-limiting" thoughts holding you back from taking action and moving ahead ? If yes, then chances are that there are some unfounded fears/ phobias that's acting as a deterrent to your growth. Ask yourself  "What's that BIG Fear that holds me back from achieving my dreams and accomplishing my goals ?" Once you get a clarity, start addressing those fears. Either work on turning around these self-limiting thoughts into enabling and empowering ones or connect with a coach, counsellor or therapist for help. Utilise this downtime to work on self and come out stronger than before. 
  • Relationships - If you are the types who always cribbed about not finding time to spend with family and/ or friends, then this is the time to work on those important relationships, whether on consolidating the existing ones or mending the broken ones. Find time to sit and make a list of important relationships in your life, gauge where they stand currently and where you like to see them, identify what you can do to improve them. At times, improving relationship is all about saying Sorry or Thank You. So, go ahead and take that first step which could be as simple as making that call to the person.      
  • Wellness - No one can deny the importance of (holistic) wellness in coping with crisis like this when life comes to a standstill (literally). An individual who is holistically well does not get (easily) swayed by the events around, especially the sad and the negative ones and also possess  better resilience to deal with the uncertainty around. Emotional Wellness is an essential element of Holistic Wellness and holds importance as it prepares us to adequately filter out the negatively influences that come our way through people and media (print, electronic or online) and most importantly it helps us to express ourselves appropriately, whether for voicing our opinion or using social media in a cathartic way. Writing a journal or starting a blog could help in improving in mental health, if done properly. 
  • Goals -Spend this time to seek clarity about life that you always wanted to have. The time is right to pay attention to the goals that you have been postponing for long. In case, you have been wanting to establish goals for life (personal and professional), then this is the right time to do so. And in case, if you have your top 3-5 goals already identified, then this is the time to put some serious thought in creating Action Plan for them. Incorporating contingency like the present crisis would lend more robustness to the Action Plan. Remember, we may not be able to take on-ground action in the present circumstances (forced by the crisis/ turbulence) but at least we would have a ready-to-be-executed plan when we hit the ground running again.
  • Growth - Being "self-isolated" and staying at home provides us with another great opportunity of upgrading our skills and competencies. A self-analysis, at this time, can provide us with good insights into areas that need development and the best part is that all this is so achievable because of the interconnected world that we live in. With plenty of online platforms like Udemy, Coursera, edX, Khan Academy, MIT Open Courseware, it's just about selecting the one that meet our needs. Most of the courses offered are not only free and self-paced but also provides the option to seek a certificate for the course (at a cost though) to showcase. I don't think personal/ professional upgradation could get any easier than this.    
  • Lifestyle/ Way of Living - Perhaps the biggest learning/ lesson that any big crisis teaches us is not to take life for granted. Somewhere along the way, in our busyness, we tend to get casual and careless about things that ought to get our attention, whether it's about the way we live or the people in our lives. One of the important lessons that we need to learn fast is that life is made better not by acquiring plenty but by learning to live with "essential" and "minimum".   
When time calls for a new you, surprise life with a "better you" !  

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Staying Positive in Chaotic Times !


When times turn turbulent, it doesn't take much and too long for negativity to creep in our lives. The chaos that ensues as a result of crisis makes it difficult for us to see possibilities and solutions around us (and within). Everything seems unpredictable/ uncertain and we tend to fall trap to gloom and despair. Amidst all these challenges and the feeling of hopelessness, positivity appears as the only saviour to see us through these difficult times. Positivity holds the potential to create possibilities where none exist and the sooner we imbibe positivity in our daily actions, the faster we equip ourselves to handle adversities that may mar our progress in life.

Here are my 5 Tips to build Positivity, especially when it matter most to us 
  • Stay Connected with Friends and Family - To cope effectively with any crisis, there cannot be a better morale boosting support system than our family and friends. Having them around to talk to and share with, helps us deal effectively with the range of negative emotions and feelings that get manifested in us. A simple call or text/ message could be a good start point to reaching out to them. Staying connected is a good way to express our care for the other person. Remember to look beyond your virtual/ social network. 
  • Work towards Holistic Wellness - Any crisis takes its toll on us, in every possible way, be it physically, mentally or emotionally. Focusing on and achieving holistic wellness keeps us in balance and in better shape to cope with the adversities. As the famous saying goes that "Tough times don't last but Tough People do" and that's precisely what we need to follow by paying attention to our overall well-being and there are very simple steps to achieve that . Few of those are 
    • PHYSICAL - Exercising, Yoga, Running or Walking ; Drinking plenty of water and eating healthy diet/ food, especially immunity boosting food and fruits
    • MENTAL - Engaging in Positive Thinking; Practicing Meditation or Mindfulness that can help make the body calm and mind peaceful, which is so much required in these type of situations. 
    • EMOTIONAL - Reaching out to support professional/ group and expressing fears, concerns, feelings which may turn out to be harmful if not addressed and expressed  appropriately. 
  • Exercise Restraint on Social Media - The Social Media has a huge impact on our lives and influences our perceptions, mindset and judgement. With consistent poking, it is but natural for us to get swayed by what we encounter/ come across on various online platforms and a lot of that stuff happens to be dark and negative. During chaos and crisis, it becomes important to exercise some restraint what we post and share on Social Media and equally important is what we read online.These sensitive times call for everyone to be an ambassador of Positivity on Social Media and spread hope and optimism instead of fear and panic.
  • Balance the ME - We all tend to become a bit selfish and self-focused when crisis happen. Our every action is about placing our own needs first and most of the time it is at the cost of others. We need to realise that our existence is dependent on the existence of our fellow being and if an apocalypse happens (exaggeration to the extreme :) ), we all will perish. The point to remember here is to maintain that essential balance between self-interest and the greater interest of everybody (who can get impacted). The need of the hour is to understand the interconnected nature of our existence and act responsibly. We need to maintain the balance between ME and WE and wherever needed, let's shrink our ME to make way for the WE. 
  • Get "Real" about Life - The sooner we come to terms with life, the sooner we develop acceptance for the vagaries of life. We can't always be in control of things around us and at times, the best way to deal with the adversities in life is to stay calm, be patient, do the needful and let the storm past