Friday, 2 February 2018

The DIY Managing Life Changes List

Change is perhaps the only constant in life and therefore, must be embraced with affection. It may not be a great thing always though and needs to be identified and dealt with as soon as you realize it is not doing you good.

Look at migratory birds that fly thousands of miles to avoid Arctic winters. Fly away from toxic changes as soon as you are able to identify them.

I believe that just like the birds we are all equipped to avoid toxic changes in our lives that hurt our well being. I am not talking about toxic people. Those you need to get rid of first before you press the reset button. These are the people who may have pushed you into the darkness in the first place. Don't worry about losing them. The world is full of amazing people waiting to meet the best you. 

It's difficult to make life-altering changes like getting rid of anger and depression. I can say this because, I have fought both with all my might. The former more than the latter.

Anger is like an all-consuming, red-hot and live piece of coal in that you are holding in your hands. The more you flail your hands, the more it burns and hurts you. Because, oxygen - duh!

Anger makes us lose our wisdom, go crazy for long periods of time when all you see is red. It's toxic. It gives you among other things, health issues. I get blinding headaches whenever I am angry. I hate being angry because, that is not my base nature. I am a happy-go-lucky kinda person (or would like to believe so because, believing is the first step into being) who gets on in life because I don't take things too personally. It's a very womanly trait. In normal life we call it, adjustment - all women are taught to adjust because they are expected to.

But, despite my mother's constant effort to make me a loving and adjusting kind of person, I was plagued by anger for a long time - for good reason too.

It took me a project that I worked on with a group of Buddhist practitioners to realize how anger had turned into my base nature because of circumstances. Thankfully with that realization, I could make a strong decision and get rid of it. It was pretty much easy once I had accepted that anger had taken over my personality.

Similarly, depression. I realized I was unable to do the most basic of things without feeling martyred. I would feel sad and everything, even the smallest of tasks seemed impossible to achieve. I told this to a dear friend during a phone conversation where she asked me why I had stopped meeting people. She was astute enough to point me to the right direction. From there on, it was my job to pull myself out of the hole I was sinking into. Not that others had not pointed it out before but, I had never accepted it until it came from her because, she was battling the demon with medicines and therapy because, it had gone too far already.

Change is difficult. Mood changes even more so. Strangely enough when you are plagued by moods, you end up doing some pretty impressive stuff too. I know because I do. Then, you start believing, "Wow! This is so cool. I think, I like it this way."

That is a bad decision to take because, the more you to stick to it the more difficult it gets to rid it off your system.

The first thing to do however, is acceptance. I think (and I am not a doctor) that acceptance of a problem is the first step towards righting it. Unless you accept that there is a problem, you can never work towards a solution.

Here's my list of getting over mood changes with the hope that someone out there reading this post is able to change the direction of their life like I was not once but, many times:

1) Accept the problem

2) Think of the root cause

3) Look inside yourself to find the solution

4) Be the change you want to see - imagine and achieve

5) Become aware of the catalysts and look them in the eye - don't be afraid of them

6) Make lifestyle and routine changes

7) Talk about it with trusted people

8) Make lists (if needed) and follow your own advice

9) If it is impossible to change the root cause, then stop worrying about it and start planning your life away from it

10) Exercise and keep yourself occupied - Read, write, dance, play with kids, watch happy movies, pursue hobbies - whatever it takes

11) Help others in need - no biggies needed, help an old lady cross the road, a child learn a poem. Anything that gives you instant warmth

12) Be thankful and grateful for all that you have

13) Tell people who are important in your life how much they matter

14) Plan your future - nothing long term but, you can easily have short term goals which when you achieve will give you immense pleasure

15) Do the things that used to make you happy as a kid - lie on a sheet of cloth and count stars or watch clouds, play catch with the kids, drink milkshakes or read comics - whatever picked you up when you were little and easily pleased

16) Laugh a lot, giggle and smile at even the silliest of jokes instead of rolling your eyes

17) Spend time with your family and be constructive at home - volunteer to buy groceries, cook or clean up the cupboards

18) Keep a diary - at least in the beginning

19) Read the diary to see how far you have come

20) Finally and this is my DIY pick-me-up formula when things go on recession mode - eat things you love and photograph the moments for happy memories to fall back on when things look bleak

I know that it may not be a great list from a medical point-of-view but, I never took medical advice. I just went for it with the mindset of a conqueror and developed this template for myself.

Today, when winter is finally turning into Spring - literally, I decided to share my list with others who are finding it difficult to adapt to change.

Have a rocking February!

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