The Emotional Flu!

It’s not just diseases that are contagious, emotions too, are! And this contagion could cause more damage than a regular flu!

Psychotherapist, Lee Kravetz, observed how emotions of one affect and influence people around him/her and gradually lead to action. The Silicon Valley teen suicides gave him an insight to what he called “Strange Contagion”. What began with one child throwing himself on the tracks continued with another girl following suit and subsequently 9 inexplicable suicides!

And when his journey of unravelling the mystery commenced, his findings from various sources taught him that emotions are contagious! We exhibit different behaviours by subconsciously picking up hints from the society around us. Furthermore, he learnt that words and symbols in the environment are continuously programming us with inputs of thoughts and emotions.

The analysis that came post his findings was clear; the students of the school were subjected to high pressure and worked under high levels of stress which projected feelings of frustration, inferiority and insecurity, leading to their unfortunate end.

This makes us question everything around us, around our children, friends and family. Not only does it put us at the risk of being infected by other people’s emotions and negativity, but also compels us to think about that the contagion we might be causing too.

Lee Kravtez believes that mindfulness of one’s own emotions is the first step to reducing social contagion. Mindfulness in all activities could help us identify these negative emotions in ourselves and in others; hence, enabling ourselves to help or to get help before something drastic happens.

Personal efforts and society driven efforts together could help treat social contagion. A healthy emotional environment is as essential (if not more) as a healthy physical environment, to live a happy, healthy life!

The above blog is based on the following article –

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-personal-renaissance/201707/have-you-been-infected-other-peoples-emotions

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THE ENERGY VAMPIRES – Don’t let them suck the energy out of you!

Have there been instances when you feel so tired and enfeebled; and wonder why? Random thoughts and issues pulling you down, and you aren’t left with enough energy to deal with day-to-day duties? Maybe it’s time you identify these vampires that are sucking the energy out of you!

Psychologists have identified some that are common to everyone, except, the extent to which it affects people may differ.

 The first place seems to be taken by the “oh so familiar” thought – the pursuit of issues that one can’t control. We are often caught trying to change or mend things that really aren’t in our control. And the helplessness of not being able to do so and the agonizing pressure to get that done is subconsciously bringing down our energy level through the day. It’s almost like worrying about why the earth is round or why the sky can’t be red in colour. Understanding that further investment in such an issue could only cause us to feel weaker is essential at that point.

 Next comes the “be perfect” drive. The compelling need to be correct or perfect in all that we say or do could unknowingly be stressing us out! The key to get past this is to identify when it’s important to prove that we are right and when we should just let go. Or similarly, when it’s ok not being perfect too!

 What follows in the list of vampires, is incontestably, the much expected, but equally unwanted guest – Unrequited love or friendship. The piercing pain in one’s heart when one thinks about that one person we chase despite receiving only neglect or denial in return. Sometimes, giving up a relationship like that may bring in a welcome feeling of freedom and relief. And the energy saved there can be used in relationships where the benefit is equal. The presence of people, who love us, appreciate us and listen to us, not only prevents an energy drain but also brings in a flood of fresh energy.

And then we have the undeniable factor – physical health. If one isn’t eating or sleeping well, it is bound to show in expected and unexpected ways. As they say, mental and physical health go hand in hand, and to remain positive and healthy, one needs to be dedicated towards nutrition and fitness.

 Having spotted the devils in disguise, it’s time we unmask each one of them and push them away to make way for good energy and happiness!!

 The Blog is based on the following article –

 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/handy-hints-humans/201707/the-energy-vampires-stop-you-thriving

Why say “yes”, when you want to say “no”?

People pleasing, practiced by many in our society, may not be the most pleasing act after all! What seems to be a nice and noble act of saying yes and going out of the way to please people, might in turn be harming the people pleaser! In fact, Psychologists have also linked weight management and health related issues to the same.

So where does the need to please people come from? It perhaps could be traced back to a fear of rejection and a fear of failure. Fear that I might make the person unhappy if I say no and the person might leave me or fear that by saying no, I am causing disappointment and hence might be labelled as a failure!  Fear of rejection could develop if one has witnessed conditional love or has been abandoned by an important person and on the other hand, fear of failure could arise from early experiences of failure or even in children who grew up with critical parents.

Identifying the cause could be the first step towards changing the people pleasing attitude. One might be dubious about where to draw the line between being appropriately nice and being way too nice. And the only way to understand that difference is to analyse if you are putting others’ needs above your own. If so, then maybe it’s time to say no! Saying no to others at times is in fact you saying no to anxiety, depression and self neglect in the long run!

The initial struggle of saying no could prevent others from taking advantage of you for years after that.

A difference of one word could bring a whole lot of difference to your life. The choice is always yours!

The above blog is based on the following article :

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shrink/201210/are-you-people-pleaser

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Mastering the art of quarreling

Conflicts are a part of every marriage and each conflict has a negative impact on the children.  Both of these statements are unfortunate, yet true. So is the solution to stop fighting? Knowing how unrealistic that is, maybe, learning how to fight and ensuring that the child only learns from it, is the only solution. The noise of raised voices and doors banging might die down externally, but internally, in a child’s mind, they are constantly being replayed; and according to psychiatrists, could lead to life-long negativity in a child.

 

According to family therapist Sheri Glucoft Wong, of Berkeley, California, just having children creates more conflicts, even if there weren’t many prior to having children. The sudden transition, lesser time to get things done and the stress could be some of the reasons.  One might consider not fighting at all in front of children as the ideal set-up but research shows otherwise. Children need to see that problems exist and need to learn how to deal with them. What they need to be shielded from are destructive conflicts that include verbal aggression, physical aggression, cold wars, sulking and withdrawing.

 

Why exactly must one pay heed to this and why is it essential for one to learn how to resolve a conflict well? Maybe the primary reason lies in a study of parental conflict and children’s stress, by anthropologists Mark Flinn and Barry England who analyzed samples of the stress hormone cortisol, taken from children in an entire village on the east coast of the island of Dominica in the Caribbean. It was observed that children who witnessed daily conflicts and quarrels at home had higher average cortisol levels than children who lived in more peaceful families. As a result, they frequently became tired and ill, they played less, and slept poorly. Overall, children did not ever habituate, or “get used to,” the family stress. And on the contrary, children who received affection showed fewer signs of stress.

 

Providing an ambience that promotes healthy communication and conflict resolution not only has temporary benefits, but could also shape your child’s personality and help him defeat negativity when it comes to relationships. Finding a solution to every problem or resolving every fight is not the aim; but to ensure that the quarrel moves in the direction of conflict resolution can help steer a child away from irreversible damage that could last forever.

 

 

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This article is based on:  https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_happens_to_kids_when_parents_fight