If you’re human, no doubt you experience your fair share of emotional ups and downs. Many of us resort to diverting ourselves by calling a friend, taking a walk or eating dollops of ice cream and chips. None of these really help and only end up making you feel worse. The next time you’re in a time of crisis -- emotional or otherwise -- try turning to music.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain,” said Bob Marley. Throughout the ages, the healing power of music has worked wonders for a significant number of people. Remember how Gloria Gaynor singing ‘I Will Survive’ helped you cope with that nasty break-up? Or when Bette Midler’s ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ pushed you to go ahead and do something you thought you’d never be able to? That is the power of music! It empowers you to do things you thought were un-doable, to imagine things that wouldn’t cross your mind on a normal day, to go ahead with plans with or without caring too much about a not-so-strong gut feel.
Music has always inspired. Not just one person or a few people but the entire globe, collectively! John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is one classic example. The song, penned in the context of the Vietnam War, became a peace anthem the world over. Till date, artists who wish to speak of world affairs have aspired to give their song ‘an Imagine feel.’
Music does work wonders especially if you’re feeling down or de-motivated or just ‘blue’. Something like an amalgamation of instant gratification and a four-minute healing process put together. And, no, this isn’t mumbo-jumbo – scientific process has proven the healing power of music and music therapy is quite commonly used today to help people overcome emotional crises.
The best part about music is that it’s quite cheap, easily available and doesn’t come with any side-effects. So the next time you’re feeling blue, just crank up the radio and let music work its magic.
Most of us are disconnected from nature. We look at animals in zoos and at stunted, decorative plants in parks, without realising how they can be inspiring and relevant to our daily lives. Here are some tips to show you how you can find inspiration in the principles of nature:
Survival: Life evolved based on the principle of survival of the fittest. Nature thus teaches us that it is essential to adapt to survive. Mosquitoes over time grow immune to repellent sprays and creams, proving that every creature has the strength to adapt to harsh conditions. If mosquitoes can do it, so can humans! Do not let harsh conditions keep you from achieving your life’s goals.
Harmony: Nature exists in perfect harmony, with all its creatures in balance in the cycle of life. Unlike humans, nature does not needlessly produce anything that is singularly harmful to any species. If we learn to live in harmony with our fellow earthlings, reduce pollution and harmful habits, our lives too will be as beautiful and harmonious as the flowers’ and trees’.
Ability: Termites have created the strongest and tallest non-human structures in the world, equivalent to 180-storey-tall buildings! How has the tiny termite surpassed human architectural achievement? Perhaps because, unlike humans, it doesn’t realise it is so small. The termite teaches us that we can achieve more than we think once we overcome our feelings of inadequacy.
Inter-dependence: All species survive through interdependence. Redwoods, which grow as tall as buildings and as wide as cars, manage to stand tall and strong not by digging their roots deep but by spreading them shallow and wide, intermingling with the roots of other redwoods. Thus, they are stronger collectively than they would be individually. Humans too will find new strength if they learn to cooperate.
Diversity: The more the species of flora and fauna in a meadow or forest, the healthier they will all be. Diversity is essential for nature’s continued existence. This teaches humans that we must celebrate our diversity, not dislike it.
Defy nature: The most important thing nature teaches us is that we can defy nature itself to achieve our wildest dreams! The fat little bumblebee, with a tiny wingspan, defies the laws of aerodynamics according to which it should not be able to fly. Yet, the bumblebee flies! You needn’t be tall to be a star basketball player, you needn’t be conventionally beautiful to be an actor. You can always acquire and change what nature has not given you.
For all those who missed out on an opportunity to have quit smoking as their New Year resolution, here’s good news for all of you. Be it your own addictive personality or someone else's, here are some steps that can be taken to battle it.
Acknowledge yourself: The first step to recovery is to admit for a fact that you are an addict. Be supportive and understanding towards yourself or a friend and on a very positive note accept your/his shortcomings. Take responsibility of your own actions and feelings and face the world positively. Stop avoiding: With everything else in between, you can figure out how to handle it. Wean yourself off cigarettes by cutting down. If quitting sounds too thorny, consider a delayed fulfillment. Promise yourself pizza on Saturday if you can curb your caloric intake all week. Or put off that smoke break for 20 minutes and perhaps your burning desire will drop. Obtain information: Keep yourself updated with information. When you know you are not dealing with a fear of the unknown, your attempt to overcome an addiction becomes easier. You'll able to help a friend or conquer his demons if you've done some research and have relevant, helpful advice to offer. You can even try it on yourself if necessary. Meet like-minded people: There are a huge number of 12-step programs and other support groups available. You or your friend might find it helpful to get together with other people who have similar problem. Talking about the addiction reconfirms the fact that you're not the only one living with enslavement. Stage an intervention: Consider yourself walking into a room one evening; visualize your girlfriend, boss, brother, and best friend. All of a sudden gather your thoughts and think someone is locking the door behind you, don't panic. It's called an intrusion and they want to tell you how your habit is wreaking havoc in their lives. Getting angry and defensive will not make it any easier. Try listening. If you have to take this type of stand with a friend, read up on it well in advance. It's a highly emotional but potentially life-changing event. Seek professional help: There's no embarrassment in obtaining medical help or psychological counseling. Whether you suffer from one addiction or several, you can find different ways to combat the compulsion and reclaim your mental and physical health. Speak with your doctor or call a counseling referral line. If there is such a thing as an addictive personality and you are inclined to potentially harmful time-consuming habitual actions, being aware of it allows you to regain your determination.