Historically, a pandemic seems to have occurred once in a 100 years, roughly. That means, for most of us alive today, this is a completely new experience! We have had little experience with a situation like this. What does this bring about? Uncertainty, change leading to more change, unexpected change bringing about anxiety – anxiety …
how to stop worrying
Those who have social anxiety fear social situations. This fear could be felt in all social situations or it could be about a specific kind of social situation: public speaking, going to parties, attending meetings, talking to classmates or colleagues, making phone calls, eating in public, buying something from a store, etc. The anxiety experienced in these social situations is strongly connected to the fear of being judged negatively by others.
Dread getting up in the morning to go to work? Is it the heavy workload that repels you? Many of you probably think of deadlines and workload when you think of work. It’s true that today, work pressures have mounted tremendously. You may have a lot to pack into each day. Though dealing with pressured deadlines and a heavy workload is stressful because it demands a lot out of you, there is little option you are left with. Maybe you cannot change the fact that you have a lot to do at work, today and on most days. Yes, this is tiring and demanding. However, is there something you can do to make this situation just a little easier on yourself? Even if it means worrying just a little lesser about how you will manage or being a little clearer about how much you can do? Often these little efforts help in cutting out from the stress and lending you some more energy to cope with the day.
In the previous section of this blog post, we described how you can identify if you are stressed because you are focusing too much on progress. In this section, we first dwell on why we sub-consciously develop this mindset. Then, we move on to describe what we can do to avoid over-focusing on progress.
At times that’s all you need to do.
Pause is a way of nature, it’s part of the natural flow of life. After every breath you take in and let out – you pause, after every word you say you pause. In fact everything that seems like a seamless continuation is actually filled with numerous small pauses, coming together harmoniously to make us feel that everything is in continuity. The reel of a film has individual shots, each shot separate from the other. Our very cells have spaces – pauses – between them. Have u ever felt the need for this pause, this space?
‘I strive to be perfect!! Well, not always; but there are a few areas where I seek perfection.’ Such areas could be studies, one’s appearance or work related projects. Perfectionism in one or more areas is a trait some of us identify with. We want a perfect state of mind before we begin work and a smooth, perfect route to task completion. The question I want to raise here is – Does the quest for perfection help or hurt? You might say, “both”.
My next question would be, “does it hurt more than it helps?” Wait a minute, you don’t have to answer me immediately.
I’d like you to take a few minutes though and think about this before you continue reading. It is an important question for you.
“To take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase: just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King
We all have goals – personal, professional, spiritual. I often help people define clear goals, which would help them get a clear picture of what it is that they really want and would in turn help fine-tune their efforts to achieve the same. Making goal lists or vision boards helps immensely in giving your pursuits and life some structure.
However, for some of us the goal list itself can be fear inducing. The goals may seem beyond reach and we may find ourselves in the tight grip of anxiety and distress because achievement of the goals doesn’t seem possible. This may be stemming out of low confidence, inadequate resources, lack of discipline or even just procrastination. The target may seem too high up on the peak and the path too treacherous to undertake.
As parents, we are naturally concerned about our children. We want them to have a bright future and be self sufficient. Anything that we see as taking the child away from this prospect worries us. We worry, fret and spend considerable time and energy correcting the child. “Don’t do this, it’s bad for you.” “Why don’t you listen to me?”, “I’m saying this for your good and nobody else’s!!” are some statements you would probably connect with. At times, we happen to spend ALL our time with the child in correcting him/her. We consider it our duty to mould them right. Hence, many of us would be constantly on the lookout for the negative behavior, be it disinterest in studies, lack of social interaction, excessive viewing of television, argumentativeness or aggression. Every repetition of that behavior frustrates us and we chide and scold our children or maybe even beat them. However, a good number of times, our child continues to engage in the negative behavior. Therefore, is the current approach you are using effective? What is going wrong here?
I just love stories! The role of stories in conveying deeper meanings without appearing like direct instruction is unmatched. In my sessions too, I love citing cases or telling stories.
Zen stories are beautiful, in their simplicity and depth of meaning. Here is a lovely story which characterizes the meanings people attach to all events of life. The way we characterize situations as good or bad for us. It reveals simply the meaninglessness of attaching meanings. Read on and enjoy!