men are clueless...

Wow, did he really do that?

Men, as in our species of homo sapiens, are clueless.

Clueless about what, you ask? Well, clueless about how to do everything well.

Have you ever wondered that how that person, the one who is pretty, has everything together? And has had it together since you have known her? What does she eat for breakfast? And how the heck does she manage her family and her job, while finding time to post about her workouts and take vacation every other week?

We all have been there. Comparing ourselves to someone else. And realizing that we are clueless about how to do as well as them.

When a stressful time comes in our life, we try to rip our hair off and mutter to ourselves about our ‘cluelessness’ when it comes to getting out of that panic condition. It is during these times when panic and anxiety hit the closest. Everyone else has it together, why not me?

That girl doesn’t have her parents with her anymore and she is still doing better.

My coworker has three more children than me and he still manages to eat well and workout.

The neighbour was in a car crash and he has no fear but I still panic at the thought of leaving the house.

Cluelessness leads to comparison. Comparison, they say, is the thief of joy. In fact, comparison is akin to adding fuel to the fire of anxiety.

It’s okay (trust me) to not be a black belt in everything. All the others who we think have it together are just as clueless as us. There is nobody without anxiety, just the intensity varies. It seems they have a black belt, but in reality, their belt only looks black and that too, only to others. You ask them, it will be a different story, um colour.

More and more, it seems to me that we need to accept ourselves, warts and all. Anxious behaviour may have become a part of who we are, it won’t always be there but we don’t have to compare ourselves and then resent ourselves for that. Radical acceptance of our self is the only way we can accept ‘clueless’ behaviour and still live to tell the tale.

We get stressed because...

Don't you dare quit on that promotion, or the new holiday

Hi,

One of the key reasons that we get stressed is because we forget how to manage expectations. We take our cues from people who we want to be like.

If we want to be in our boss’s role, we try to do things the way he does things. If he stays in office till 9 pm, we understand that we need to also stay in the office till 9 pm. Probably till 9:01 pm, because you know leaving after the boss is the way to get that promotion.

If our friend takes out his wife for an exotic holiday every year, we want to do that too. Because, that clearly is the only way to show love to our significant others and, umm, Instagram. Food pictures, anyone? Because why else would you go to an exotic place?

If our neighbor takes up running and starts looking like a model, we want to take up running too. Because health is, after all, the most important thing in the world. So is looking attractive.

But we are doing this running thing, while we are staying back at office till 9 pm, oh 9:01 pm, and saving money for exotic holidays. Stressful much?

It’s helpful to strive for multiple things because career, health and relaxation are all important in life but it’s also important to remember that we need to manage our expectations and set our goals based on what we can realistically achieve. And then gradually increase, so that we can have more.

But, but, but isn’t reaching for the impossible the entire point? Shooting for the moon stuff?

Yes, but not in every sphere of your life. You can’t burn a candle at both ends. Forever.

Set up a crazy goal in your work life but to keep your life relatively stress-free, set realistic goals for your health. Instead of shooting for an iron-man, think about completing the 5k race.

Because life is not a race, and there is no competition.

Cheers,
Priya

Why your anxiety is not a problem...

You may believe it is, but trust me when I say it is not

Hey there,

Without even quoting the statistics, I can say one thing - mental diseases are on a rise. Maybe it’s because they are now reported more often than before. Maybe it’s because of the many changes in our culture. While a definite cause cannot be pinpointed, it’s safe to say that the trend is that of an ongoing increase.

In such an environment, it’s easy to diagnose even small behaviors as huge mental problems. Feeling low one day, and you have depression. Feeling anxious to talk to your boss, and you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Thinking too much about an issue and taking an action to distract yourself, and you have OCD. Not being able to focus on a task, and you have ADD. Ouch!

Umm, not so fast.

It’s important to understand that all of these behaviors - feeling low, feeling nerves before any big event, rumination and distraction - are a part of the experience of being human. They exist, in me, you, in your boss, and in your doctor. They are common behaviors and DO NOT need to be feared.

All that’s well and okay, but if that is the case, then why do some poor fellows spend 10 years trying to become a doctor and cure these same behaviors?

These behaviors are a-okay when they occur occasionally and DO NOT disrupt your ability to live a normal life. But when that anxiety becomes so debilitating that you can’t leave your home for days at a time, that’s when you must realize that this problem needs a solution. That solution may take many forms - a therapist, medication or perhaps meditation.

The key point to remember is this - unless your behavior disrupts your life, it’s just a common human behavior and does not need your fear aggravating it. Once the behavior starts disrupting your life, it’s time to take action.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Priya

Look, who the cat dragged in...

You get three guesses.

Hey everyone. Or should I start with sorry? *and everyone looks at me like I have lost my damn mind*

Let’s start again.

You may know me from my Zen Sphere days or my Work With Change days. God, I have changed a lot of domains over the past few years. But finally, I have settled in for the newest one - languageofmind.com, I hope this stays :P

This one is a little different from the others in the sense that it is a completely free initiative to help people with mental health. Over the years, I have refined what I wanted to say and learnt much more about mental health. The website reflects that (or at least tries to). We have a brand new free video course, some upcoming mental health guides, a blog on Medium and now this free email letter (just wanted to use something other than newsletter, which is so 2000s).

Now that I have blocked your path to the bar, forcefully reminded you of our acquaintance and then introduced myself, I want to let you know that you can leave anytime you want. You are hearing from me after ages, you probably don’t even remember me. So it’s okay to say excuse me (or in this case, use the unsubscribe link given at the bottom of the email) and continue right on. No hard feelings!

However, if you do decide to stay on, here’s what you can expect. A small email with practical advice a few times a week.

Hmmm, cryptic much?

Well, it’s just that I am just starting and do not want to over-commit. So, I will start with three times a week - MWF (If you don’t know it stands for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, what world are you living in?). Depending on the time commitment, it may move to MT or M-F. So, there you have it. My SMART goal. :P

I will see you with the first letter soon.

You can always reply back to this email and let me know what you think.

Cheers,
Priya

The brain and the good life

Welcome to Language of Mind’s email letter. This newsletter will focus on understanding the nuances of the brain to live the good life.

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