By Dr. Johnsey Thomas, Lifestyle Psychologist and Strategist Health-Wellness & EAP Consultant Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Aster Prime Hospital, Ameerpet, Hyderabad
Is life so tough that we cannot survive?
There’s no doubt about it: life is hard. It’s a given. Life is so hard we don’t even realize how often we walk around complaining about how hard life is anymore. It’s kind of trending, in fact.
But there’s no doubt that life is also amazing and wondering, and with the bad stuff always comes some form of goodness, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time. If you’ve ever found yourself crying into your hands wondering why life is so hard, you are definitely not alone.
But humanity is slowly, albeit painfully slowly, starting to realize that a lot of the bad things that happen to us do not actually happen to us, they are just things that happen. It’s our negative attitude or disposition that turns neutral circumstances into something full of despair and anger, confusion and frustration.
You got it: emotions, thoughts, and feelings. They are what make life so damn hard. But there are other things too. Here are four reasons why life continues to be so hard for you.
As if life has no value
We could live life — perhaps as animals do — without judging whether it is good or bad, meaningful or meaningless, or worthwhile or not. However, we do not. We make judgments about the value of life, concluding that life has no value or great value, and then may attempt to convince each other that we have placed the proper value on life.
It is not just philosophers who perform these evaluations. Many people, whether they realize it or not, compare their own lives, or life in general, to their expectations or desires, and then render a judgment about whether life, as they have experienced and view it, measures up to the standard they have adopted to judge it. There is a wide range of sophistication with these evaluations and judgments. At one extreme are simple, commonly uttered statements such as «life is good» or life is terrible, where it may be unclear how the person reached the conclusion they did.
Why we are succumbing to pressure and stress
Be careful not to confuse pressure with stress – they are quite different. Pressure can be a very positive quality. Experiencing it, yet feeling calm and in control, can spur people on to achieve great things. It’s only when it keeps building and that sense of calm and order is replaced by a feeling of being out of control that stress happens, and has a wholly negative effect.
Whether you can’t stop snapping at people, can’t stop drinking, or can’t stop thinking stupid thoughts, feeling out of control can be frustrating. Sometimes it’s scary, and sometimes it’s exciting… until we wake up the next day and realize what we’ve done.
It’s normal to feel out of control every once in a while. We all make mistakes and do things we regret. But if you find yourself losing control all the time, there’s probably more going on.
Logical decisions take more brain power than emotional ones. The more distracted we are, the harder it is to think logically. Here are just a few things that can make it harder to control your behaviors:
Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?”
Transform your stress in to challenge
You constantly hear how bad stress is for you: it’s damaging your health, jeopardizing your relationships, and hurting your performance. While these risks are real, recent research is showing that work strain, when managed correctly, can actually have a positive impact on productivity and performance. So how can you take the stress you thought was killing you and make it constructive?
Stress is unavoidable. “We live in a world of ongoing worry, change, and uncertainty. You have to get used to it,” says experts. “Stress is an inevitable part of work and life, but the effect of stress upon us is far from inevitable, Stress can be good or bad depending on how you use it,” they say.
Experts advise the following five ways to manage stress…
1. Recognize worry for what it is
2. Then, reframe the stress
3. Focus on what you can control
4. Create a network of support
5. Get some stress-handling experience
Think of stress as an indicator that you care about something, rather than a cause for panic then Focus on the task, rather than the emotion and finally Build relationships so that you have people to turn to in times of stress. At the same time don’t assume your stress is going to last forever, don’t worry about things that are out of your control and finally don’t spend time with people .who are negative
Challenging suicidal thoughts are very important
Whatever is going on for you that has led to how you’re feeling right now is unique to you – but having suicidal thoughts is not. You are not alone, lots of people have thought about killing themselves and have found a way through. Having suicidal thoughts can be overwhelming and frightening. It can be very difficult to know what to do and how to cope. You may feel very depressed or anxious or you may just feel really bad and not know what the feelings are.
You may feel like you are useless and not wanted or needed by anyone. You may be feeling hopeless about the future or powerless, like nothing you do or say can change things. You may be blaming yourself for things that have happened in your life, and you might think it would be easier for others if you weren’t here. You may not even know why you feel suicidal, and think that you have no reason to want to kill yourself. Because of this, you may feel guilty and ashamed, and start feeling even worse.
It can feel much worse if no one knows what you are going through or how bad you feel. You don’t need to be alone. There are people who are willing, able and available to help you.
Thinking positive in any circumstances can change you as a person
Happiness and optimism were both linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, with the most optimistic people having the greatest benefits. The study, published in the journal Psychological Bulletin, also found that optimistic and happy people tended to have healthier lifestyles. They exercised more, ate better, and slept more. In addition, they were less likely to have risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. All of this is known to contribute to better heart health.
Does being happy or optimistic make the heart-healthy, or does a positive attitude just encourage healthy behaviors? The study was not large enough to answer that question, but negative psychological factors—like stress and depression—have already been found to increase the risk of heart attacks.
Staying positive, then, may work the other way, such as by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Even if you aren’t upbeat all the time don’t let that get you down. Healthy eating and exercise are still an important part of lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke. There are also psychiatric interventions, like behavioral therapy, that can help you find a more positive outlook on life, even when confronted by your overly perky coworkers.
Being Proactive can help much
Positive thinking, or an optimistic attitude, is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. It can have a big impact on your physical and mental health.
That doesn’t mean you ignore reality or make light of problems. It simply means you approach the good and the bad in life with the expectation that things will go well.
Many studies have looked at the role of optimism and positive thinking in mental and physical health. It’s not always clear which comes first: the mindset or these benefits. But there is no downside to staying upbeat.
Smile more, reframing once situation, Positive hope on future, Focusing on Strengths keep one to be more positive.
At the end, it is not your fight alone and you are not the only one fighting and facing such challenges is what ultimately brings back one from these dirty thoughts of suicide. So nothing happens when you fight may be some time you may lose that’s it.
Be Positive and live with hope. Ultimately it is being certain during uncertainties will prevent one from taking these extreme steps.
This article is prepared for 10th September, World Suicide Prevention Day
by Dr. Johnsey Thomas, Lifestyle Psychologist and Strategist Health-Wellness & EAP Consultant Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Aster Prime Hospital, Ameerpet, Hyderabad.