Here is a piece of my mind in the last fortnight! Do give it a read and tell me how good or bad was! I really appreciate honest feedbacks and my letters are all about saying things straight from the heart, without any filters!
This is the last part and the continuation of the Zen Mode essay, do read the previous part here-
Hi! Good to see you back! This is part 2 of the Zen Mode series about how to control and regulate emotions. It is very important that you read the first part and you can read it here- This essay shall focus on a few things that I have learnt through experience, reading, and shared wisdom from others. Please note that this is not a substitute for profess…
20 days ago · 1 like · Harsh Thakkar
The methods to regulate and manage emotions are continued below-
Prep it up-
Let us say that you are now encouraged to do something that you have been afraid of. Say reciting a poem in an open mic and you are dead nervous that you are shivering and can not stand still. How do you face it? The answer may lie in knowing that this would happen to you. So if you are facing a crowd, there are ways to feel comfortable. It can be as simple as looking at someone who is your loved one or simply looking at someone who is assuring and comforting. And of course, breathing is again the secret tool. If you know you are going to face a crowd for the first time, you might want to research a bit on how to overcome stage fear before you go there if you are not experienced or have it.
But that is not always possible. What if I am just riding a bike and I meet with an accident? Who the hell can predict this to happen? These things can happen. But you would always know that accidents or emergency situations where you act instantly have a certain kind of impact on you. If you have not faced a major life event like this, you need to see how you generally react to something that does not work as you planned. If you panic or go hyper, it is probably what would happen when you meet an accident as well. So, what to do now that I have faced an accident? Again, the first thing is to calm down which can be via thoughts or breathing. Next, seek help. If it is a medical emergency, shout and ask everyone and anyone you spot. People do help and they would be on their toes to make sure that you feel better and get the required help.
Fortunately, if you and the other person are unharmed but you cannot control your heartrate or emotions, then it is a good idea to just sit and pause. Be Mindful and try to see what is happening. Once you are better, then you may carry on.
Right now, you just read what you can do in a hypothetical situation. Now, if you categorise situations in some labels and make a personalized plan on how to deal them, you would have a guide that is created by you when you actually face that situation. And no, the situation need not be something major like an accident. It can be something as simple as feeling low or down for a day.
Summary- Preparing yourself or just having an idea of what you can do in situations can prepare your mind to act in that way if the need arises. In case your mind goes blank or the emotions overpower you, a personalized guide that you made would do wonders.
Predict the reaction-
Most of the time, our situation and our events take place with other people. If it is something that you are approaching and you know how it may go, it would be a good idea to predict how that person would react. For example, I want to ask out my crush. I do not know how she would react as I do not know here well. Now, I can think of ways in which she would react and prepare myself or have a plan for each of the reactions that can come across my way. What if she says no? That is plain rejection and I would feel upset and disappointed so I need to look at the feeling low plan. What if she asks for time? This is a good example of how it can heighten anxiety. It is already a herculean task to ask her out and now, she has just delayed the decision and elongated the feeling. What to do? It is to seek comfort in waiting. We probably have got an idea as she is actually considering this idea and would do what is best for her. So our job is done and we just need to wait. Of course, it is easier said than done. It would be a good idea to also have a definite deadline so that the anxiety is less and it is more of a patience task now. The task of patience can also be handled well by being mindful, objective, and having a comfort box.
This was an example with a stranger but if you are with a closed one, you can probably guess the reaction better and equip yourself mentally as well as physically to face that. Let us say that you are telling your father that you just crashed his car. Of course, he is going to be angry but you also need to be ready to accept that anger and be calm. If you get carried away by that reaction, you would probably feel that he does not love and care about you but the actual fact is that he is worried about your safety and the idea of something happening to you has shook his core.
Summary- Preparing yourself to face a set of reactions from the people in that reaction can make you more equipped to face that reaction. It would also help you to sustain that relationship and not do something in the gush of emotions. But this should never lead to you practicing what to say or what to do. You are preparing to have a mindset and not action or speech as that would either lead to panic if you forget the script or it would be artificial.
Co-exist and not fight-
If there is one thing that you should remember and definitely take away from this long essay, it is the idea to coexist and not fight with your emotions. Read this carefully.
The idea is to make sure that you let your emotions come and go and not fight it out. If you feel anxious, do not escape the situation or try to not feel anxious deliberately. It would not help. Do this task-
Do not think about a unicorn
That unicorn should not have a silver horn
The skin should not be pink
It should not be riding on a rainbow
You should not assume that a princess is sitting on it
Do not hear a famous children's song like Baby shark playing in the background.
Now, you would have imagined everything that I just mentioned above when I clearly said not to and I used negatives. Our brain does things that it is not allowed to first. So never try to fight the emotion. But instead, do this-
Think about a white monkey and a car.
The car is a beautiful red one that is one of the most beautiful looking.
It has supremely cool interiors and they are of perfect silk in the yellow color shade of your choice.
The car is auto adaptive and as soon as you sit in, it will teach you how to drive perfectly in a matter of a few hours and also register you while it takes your license test in a public place with a VR testing course.
You have passed the test and the red car is yours forever without any bill or payment or condition.
If you do not have any accidents on that car for a year, the fuel would be free and automatic on it.
Wow! You actually did not have any accidents and now you own that beautiful red car which you learned to drive without any harm to anyone including yourself. Congratulations buddy! You aced it!
If you have read until now, tell me what the color of the monkey is. Did you remember the monkey? Or did you forget about it when the details of the car kept coming and your future was made? You would have forgotten about the monkey as your mind focused on visualising that car and the things that would happen with the car. Did we fight the monkey and say to him, “ Go away you mischievous creature?” We just focused our attention on what we wanted. That is what we need to do
Summary - The idea is not to fight emotions and thoughts but to let them come and go and focus on what you want to feel or think about. If I say to not think about apples, you would probably think about it but if I tell you to think about apples, banana, grapes, mango, guava, kiwi and pick your favorite ice cream flavor from these, you would probably think about one or maybe two or three and forget the rest.
As the name suggests, this is a box that would comfort you when you go to it. It should contain something that soothes each and every sense of yours. You can keep a picture that you are proud of. It can be of a person that you love or a place that feels happiness to you. This would sooth your sight. Then comes music or something to please your ears. It can be your favorite song, a musical instrument that you like to play, or a recording of a person who you like or whose voice you love. It is basically a sound that would make you feel better. Next item to have is a smell that pleases you. It can be a fragrance that you love or someone’s clothes that smell like them. You can also have an incense stick, scented candle, or a food item like vanilla essence that would make you feel better. Taste is a great way to satisfy your tongue and gut. You can either order something to comfort you or have some chocolates or food items that would please your taste buds. Do not forget the power of touch. Having a soft toy or a shawl that you love or a hoodie that is comfortable can give you great comfort. You can even keep cotton if you find nothing and you like the softness of it. Focus on textures, feel, and grip for the things that you touch.
Have a box with all these things ready. Make sure to keep it handy and easily accessible. Also tell your support group about it so that they can present it to you whenever the need arises.
Summary- Have a box or a bag with a pleasing item for each of the senses- a photo or a thing to love seeing, a fragrance that you love, a tasty treat, a texture or cloth that you love touching, and a song or sound item to hear.
These are the tricks that you can use to change your emotions or thoughts instantly. These are short term methods but might be useful if you are just starting out and want some quick relief. The best impact of these would be when you have the basics sorted and also practice the emotional management steps as often as possible.
I cannot stress enough on how breathing methods and different types of breathing techniques can help you to feel better and calmer. I have been practicing yoga for years now and the techniques help me to alleviate my sinus headache, clear my nose, relieve stress and anxiety, calm down, and also concentrate. There are a lot of breathing techniques available and you should read about them. You can read about them here and here.
The two most helpful ones that might help you the most are these-
Imagine a square in front of you. You can even look at a window frame that is square or anything that seems like a square. Start from a point and breathe in for 5 seconds. Continue the breathing until you reach the end of the line and sync it with your eye movement. You should reach the end point of the line when you reach the 5th second. Hold your breath for two seconds now. Release your breath in 5 seconds while you trace the next line of the square. Doing this for a couple of times would complete a square and you can do up to two or three square breathings at once.
Bhramari or humming like bee-
Close your eyes and ears with your fingers. Breathe in as deeply as you can. While exhaling, make a hmm sound like a bee. This helps by creating vibrations in your head which would help you to clear your mind and feel better. This also works if you have sinus and migraine headaches.
This is something that I came up with after reading things online and doing a Mandala therapy session. It is not a claimed or proven technique so use your discretion before trying it.You can try it by following these steps-
Take a pencil and a paper.
Put some music on that resonates your mood.
Start scribbling like you are a kid on a paper. Gradually increase the speed and go on until either your pencil nib / pencil breaks, paper tears or your hand or arm feels exhausted.
If the paper breaks, try again until you feel exhausted.
And if you can, focus on one emotion/thought/idea that you want to manage or tackle. This isn't necessary but it can help.
There have been a lot of claims about being mindful can change everything and make you feel better. But what is mindfulness? Simply said, you are able to feel, sense, and take in everything but not be carried away or be overwhelmed by it. It is not a big deal and anyone can practice it. You wanna know how? Just do this thing that I am asking you to do.
There would be a song that would be a video having a song that is an instrumental piece. You need to listen to it by keeping your eyes closed. While listening, try to be aware of the following things-
What instruments are being used in the song?
How many instruments are used in it?
Can you predict the transitions/next part before they are happening?
Now that you have heard the song, how do you feel? Are there any changes in your body and emotions?
So if you did this exercise and were able to feel the song and yourself experiencing the song, you just had 5 good minutes of what is called as being mindful. I realized this very recently when I saw a video by a monk. I did not know that I have been practicing this for years and now it all makes sense as to why I have music on all the time and things never seem to affect me. Meditation is something similar. It is just an advanced and prolonged version of it. As my teacher, Balaji Rangathan once said,
“Stand and be a witness to your mind. The mind is never at peace; not in its nature. The witness is. “
However, you would not be able to pop in earphones every time to be mindful so in order to feel mindful, you just need to concentrate on your breath. Feel the air as you inhale and exhale. The idea is to concentrate on the breath. You might have thousands of thoughts and emotions coming. But let them come and try to concentrate on your breath. If your mind gets diverted to a strong thought or emotion, it is perfectly fine, just bring it back to your breath. Also, look at yourself and see how your body is feeling and what it is experiencing. Is it calm? Is it panicking? Are you nervous or comfortable? Just note the emotions, thoughts, and the feelings that you have.
Simply leaving your place or changing the environment can help you manage your thoughts and emotions effectively. You need to get out of the environment and change the place around you. When we have been sitting in the same place, our mind gets so used to the environment that it is dull and sometimes even inactive. Once you move out of that place, your mind is activated and it is awake to make sure that you can deal with anything that comes up.
Walk it out-
Walking in nature is a proven method to refresh yourself and get rid of stress and things. It is important to walk in a different environment because walking in the same place can make you go on autopilot and you do not want to do that. A walk in the garden or in the lap of nature is the best but if you cannot do that, walk in a place that you are not fully aware of, that is, a place where you know things but not know them blindfoldedly.
Snap it out-
If you are sitting and suddenly someone snaps, you are likely to be startled and you would lose your train of thought. This would be helpful when you want to stop the thoughts from coming and alert your brain. It is also useful when you are sleepy and want to stay awake. Snap can be a finger snap or something that startles or makes you aware.
Kids are entertaining because they would make random noises and do random things out of the blue.(only when they are of others though) You are talking to them and suddenly, they would go blefnlaeknfkn hehehe. You would enjoy that because that stopped you and gave you a break from your train of thought. You can do that to yourself. You can make random noises or sing random songs out of the blue. It is like you are sitting quietly and all of a sudden, you go, “Beedi Jalaile jigar se piya”. You are entertained as well as fresh now! This is my personal favorite and I hate the fact that I cannot practice this at work!
Leave a comment
That is it. Do comment or reply if you want to talk about any of these things . I would be more than happy to help. It is also great if you can let me know whether you found this as useful or not.
Yo. Thanks for reading.
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