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  • Raghav Sand

Mind Over Matter

There are a lot of things happening around us, and most of them are not in our control. Negative news is abundant and it is relentlessly sowing seeds of anxiety in our minds. Who said life is going to be easy? It never was and never will be. Being graceful and patient in adversity is the mark of strong character. If, for whatever reason, your confidence in general has been shaken in the past year or so, you are not alone. Losing a sense of direction or feeling clueless is making people unaware of their capabilities. The world around us has been shaken from its foundation.

We cannot sit and hope for things to improve on their own or outsource our happiness to others. At the macro level, situation will normalise at its own pace and may take longer than expected. On the other hand, at our individual level, a lot can be done to maintain emotional, mental and physical well-being.

Covid-19, election results and indefinite suspension of Indian Premier League (IPL) are the most trending topics on the internet at the moment. Elections for state legislature in four states and a union territory had no impact on the lives of two-thirds of the population. Abrupt end to the IPL season has dented India’s image to conduct an event within the confines of a bio-bubble. As a consequence, we may lose the right to host T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in October and November. As a nation we have very few events or activities that can generate a surplus for the stakeholders, and it is sad that we couldn’t conduct an event of this scale and size on our own soil. At a practical level, there are more significant things which demand urgent and uninterrupted attention.

Fear and anxiety are affecting more people than the Covid-19 virus. Researchers are hinting about the long-term negative consequences of Covid-19 virus for those who have contracted and recovered from the virus. Life is uncertain. Lifestyle diseases were already causing distress in the lives of healthy-looking individuals but, the current state of affairs may turn you into a pessimist. For the sake of humanity, hope and perseverance should be our only options.

Majority of us are neither equipped nor trained to be at the forefront of the battle against the invisible adversary. We are all contributing in our own way. It leaves us with few options to contribute, like following covid-appropriate protocols and behaviours, which among other things, includes wearing an appropriate mask, correctly.

Stop Overthinking

“Fear and anxiety are consequences of your imagination running wild. You are suffering a situation that may never happen”. These words from Jaggi Vasudev (Sadhguru) can be applied to learn about living in the moment. According to him, we are suffering memory and imagination. Thoughts manifest the world we live in. We create a world of our imagination, confront it and then destroy it. This process is being repeated over and over again. If life is not worthwhile, then what is? Difficult times require us to nurture ourselves and at the same time develop a sense of community. We are all in this together. Being proactive and polite is a good starting point.

Use this golden period to prepare yourself for the future. The silence and solitude can do wonders. Meaningful conversations and upskilling should be part of your everyday routine. Stop having pity for the world; empathy is sufficient. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to transition from compulsiveness to consciousness. An honest introspection will help you realise that much of your life was happening like an accident.

Tune Your Mind

Start scheduling more varied activities into your days, weeks and months and removing variety from your hours and minutes. In his 2019 book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, David Epstein shows that people with varied skills are becoming more valuable in the modern economy, and tend to have the most fulfilling work lives.

“Orderly reason does not always have to be a visible part of all great things,” Charles Edward Ives wrote in his book Essays Before a Sonata. He added, “An apparent confusion if lived with long enough may become orderly.” Shrinking social life and distorted work-life balance has made incomprehensible impact on our well-being. This situation will also have to be dealt in a sensitive manner. Even if all your skills or hobbies may not have earning potential but, they sure will have a more fulfilling and satisfying leisure time.

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