‘Self-esteem’ is, to put it simply, what an individual thinks of himself/ herself. Also known as ‘self-confidence’, self-esteem is a key determinant of how we feel about ourselves and the world. It drives our actions and choices and pretty much establishes how we live our lives. Think about that goal you’ve been longing to achieve but haven’t tried to so far. There’s something about that goal which is repulsive…or intimidating. The overt thought is “I want this and don’t want it at the same time.” In several cases, the underlying thought is, “what if I am not able to achieve it??” This ‘what if?’ is so threatening that we choose to ‘camp’ and to stop pursuing that goal.
I’ve been running behind time for some time now. There’s always a lot to do and just not enough time to do all of it. What does one do then? We compromise. Do the “important” things first, and let the things that can wait, wait. More often than not, the things we keep postponing include the movie with family, the coffee with friends, the yoga class the doctor has recommended a 100 times or your favorite guitar, which now longs for your touch.
Jealousy is a difficult emotion to deal with. It becomes that much more difficult however; when we’re jealous of a close friend, who we also love. Two opposite emotions – affection and jealousy clash…and perhaps leave us agonized. The closer we are to the friend, the worse it could get. Every time we meet the friend, we’re reminded of how he/ she is better than we are…and how we are not good enough. Leaving the situation unaddressed could prove detrimental to the friendship, to our emotional well being or to both
Our lives today are full of noise – auditory, visual, tactile, cognitive etc. From honking cars, to bright neon billboards, uncomfortably tight clothing to endless worries, there is an overload of stimulus input from all these modalities. This understandably overworks and gradually exhausts our sense organs, our mind, our body and our very nerves.
‘Initiative versus Guilt’ is one of the eight stages of psychosocial development proposed by pioneering psychoanalyst Erik Erikson (1902 – 1994). Each of the stages described by Erikson constitute a milestone in personality development, wherein the child is faced with a primary psychological issue / theme/ conflict that he/she needs to resolve satisfactorily for healthy development of the personality. For eg., the conflict faced by the child in its first year is, “ Is the world a good and safe place to live in?” and in its second year is, “Am I capable of controlling my environment?”
Some people complain that “I just can’t seem to think” but a larger number, perhaps, find themselves trapped because they just can’t stop thinking! They find themselves thinking all the time – while watching TV, while working, eating and even in sleep! Psychology has a name for it. Rumination.
Rumination is the process of pondering or thinking over something repetitively. It’s pretty much like a cow chewing over her food incessantly. Where rumination may help the cow’s health, it isn’t really helpful for our mental health.
“What’s in a touch?” one may ask. I came across an article on ‘psyblog’ ( read it here) that seemed to convey, “what is NOT in a touch?” The potency of touch as a means of communication is often underestimated. We often use ‘conversation’ or ‘talking’ and ‘communication’ synonymously, even while we surely have read about facial expressions and body language as being more powerful than spoken content while in interaction. Going one step ahead, body language immediately brings to our mind elements of body posture such as slouching, stooping, standing upright, having hands folded etc. Well, what we miss out on, possibly due to cultural norms, is that body language also involves touch.
Desensitization to aggression is a much discussed issue. It refers to a psychological state where the impact of aggression fails to rub off on the mind, when we are “not affected” when we watch scenes of violence. While this could be great news for a good night’s sleep, experiencing it repeatedly could slowly begin to erode empathy out of our systems when such a situation occurs in real life.