We have always been caring and advising people about life. We have been listening to their problems, giving them solutions; but without first applying them in our own lives. Simply put, we have got to take care of ourselves first, in order to bring a METANOIA in society. An ocean is itself made of drops. The drops are small but necessary. An ocean can not form from a single drop, but it can be generated from infinite drops collected together.
Likewise, our society is made of so many people—hundreds of thousands of them, but to facilitate evolution; we need to take care of ourselves first. Somebody has rightly said, “Put your own oxygen mask first, before helping others.”
This idea of caring for own self, was first developed by The International Self Care Association in 2011 to promote self-care as a vital foundation of health, but this idea of self-care started in 5th century BC by the legendary Greek Philosophers—Socrates. There are possibly millions of ideas that promote self-care; but they can all be summarised in five major categories.
Our life is based on the five pillars—Physical, Mental, Social, Financial and Emotional; perhaps, these are the only five categories in which self-care ideas can be catalogued. As of today, the trauma has been pulling us down and the only possible solution to this is practicing self-care practices regularly to maintain health. Following are the best ways to care for oneself physically, mentally, socially, financially and emotionally.
When it comes to us, we are ready to take risks in share markets or several bets, or invest in other people, we try to make them good; but we forget that when there’s a problem in aeroplane, we need to put on our oxygen masks first, and then help others; and at such times, or always indeed, we never invest in ourselves. We never take out time for ourselves, though we might do it for our family or friends or other close ones! But, to make ourselves healthy, we need to focus on our body and our being, one way of doing which, is EXERCISING.
Just a weekly 20-minute exercise is enough for us to stay fit! Exercising triggers the release of hormones, which can be called EDS. These 3 hormones are responsible for creating positive impacts on our body; such as happiness, reducing stress, not being in depression, and influencing all our 5 senses to work better.
EDS stands for Endorphin, Dopamine and Serotonin. These all chemicals work in changing our moods—changing our thoughts and so on; it can convert our mood from negative to positive. When one is sad, people around him try to make him happy, but not everyone out of them has the ability to do so; yet he often bursts out laughing at their silly jokes.
When we laugh, our brain starts releasing these hormones in high amounts, which then, affects our mood, and changes it from negative to positive.
Exercising is another way by which this can happen as well. Exercising floods the blood with oxygen and the blood makes its way to the brain. Oxygen acts like a sponge in the brain; it soaks all the free radicals (cancer causing elements), and converts these free radicals into carbon dioxide, which is further, exhaled out by the lungs. Exercise is also helpful in reducing obesity, curing heart diseases, high blood pressure; type two diabetes, stroke and various types of cancers, in addition to keeping fit. Thus, it doesn’t only improve physical, but mental health too.
Coming on to mental health, exercising was one way which would improve mental health in addition to physical health, and another best way is MEDITATION.
“Channelise the power of focusing into self and the things you focus on will channelise themselves.”
Focus is indeed a synonym of meditation. But, it is just so astonishing that we don’t even take out time from our so called ‘BUSY’ schedules to focus on ourselves. What we do is, take care of the happiness of others; but what about our own self? We keep on suppressing and sacrificing our own time in giving happiness to others. Let’s say, one is doing his work, whatever it may be, let’s say something professional; meanwhile, a relative or his friend comes to him. He asks him to play with him, but his plan was to do something else after his work; he thought that he would mind it a lot and be sad when he doesn’t play with him; thus, he chose investing his time in his friend/relative, rather than investing in himself. In this way, we too, lack in ourselves and choose to invest in others; but, meditation is entirely opposite of this; we have to take care of ourselves first; and in order to do that, we have got to meditate.
Meditation heals our thoughts, our mindsets and our perceptions. This is what it means to be free and mindful.
Meditation increases productivity at its highest. All one needs to do is to channelise the power of focusing on self and eventually, it starts to heal and repair. It will keep the person away from distractions and procrastinations and make him care for his mind and body.
Next in the order comes social well-being. Being social doesn’t mean being an introvert or extrovert. It’s always about healing. It’s about how we improve in expressing ourselves. A growing kid in India gets to meet the outer world, not because of his family, not because of his relatives—but the truth is, because of his company. His company decides how he will be; his company gives him lessons; his company MAKES him. And we are absolutely known to it; yet, we simply ignore it. This way, the child meets the real world—with more of a real self; and he learns to fake it out. He learns to fake his emotions; he learns to fake circumstances, he learns to fake himself. He learns to betray every single being out there. So far, this is the actual reality one needs to face—being an Indian.
As the holy book, ‘BHAGAVAD GEETA’ states: “Revealing the feeling, is the beginning of healing.” Whatever we feel, we shall express. The inner world is like a volcano. If we don’t start to express, if we don’t start to make a character out of our emotions, we are going to be buried under them. If we don’t let ourselves get out of something, we are going to upturn our performance. We are going to stop the healing process—and often, this leads us on the path of social ignorance. To be socially fit, we need to take care that we first begin to express ourselves.
Being financially fit is yet another aspect of self-care which’s popping out these days a lot. Perhaps, this is actually what people are nowadays thinking about. Today, a kid doesn’t realise the importance of choices in careers, though he knows how much he would earn in it? Money is an essential part of life—as of this aeon, but not the most essential.
Won’t it be good if the brain was a toy; we could play with our whole life-long with? And we had new things to explore in the brain every single-new day?
No, it won’t—literally not. The brain is working every day relentlessly and without fatigue; all the processes, movements, stimuli, decisions etc. make it happen, but what if one gets to know that the intelligent ones or the hackers instead, are hacking his brain for their own purpose and profit. He would probably ask—how do they do it?
The simplest answer to this question would be—using your EGO. It demands more and more at the lowest cost possible. This is why; we feel the need to save money and bargain; and the fact that we are attracted to discounts, offers, or sales; is built on this principle of ego. Sometimes, we are so attracted by offers and sales that we don’t even notice the quality of the product. We simply ignore the product and go for prices because when the price is down, our ego responds immediately; irrespective of what the person is looking at? At such times, the jean for which one paid 500 bucks; lasts for just one wash. After the one wash, the glow fades away. However, this is not for every time, sometimes we don’t ignore the product; for it SEEMS fantastic.
“Oh no! Not again, it was looking so adorable in the mall, but look at this now. It looks extremely casual.” Sounds familiar?
In this case, the ‘malls’ we go in, seek advantage of our false sense of reality while we perceive, that is, they light up the entire mall so bright, that the jean hung on the hanger, looks like a masterpiece and once again, we get trapped in the trap.
This idea is can be called as—‘Hacked Brain.’ Curing the hacked brain by the affirmations is yet the best way to save money and be financially healthy. This won’t just allow us to collect our savings, but also to think intelligently while trading or doing business/professional work.
Last but not the least, coming on to emotional expression. The best way to heal our emotions is Emotional Algebra. We have emotions for everything. Each thought the mind or the brain makes, creates a new and different emotion. Surprisingly, emotions are there everywhere! They have an interesting connection with habit formation too! Habits are dependent on our actions. Whatever action we do, is based on three things—attitude, emotion and situation.
Though each component of action is necessary, here the emotion plays the major role; because it stimulates you to do that action. Emotional algebra is the way, which explains why we did an action, and what we must have done, to make things and scenarios go well, instead of what we did.
Since, no action can be caused without an emotion; it is termed as Emotional Algebra.
Emotional algebra is a way, via which we have control on our emotions. So far, algebra is a branch of mathematics; and controlling emotions, is a branch of life. When we combine them all, we make emotional algebra. It is a simple and practical exercise; you can do it to avoid making mistakes, and making the ten unhealthy emotions—Anger, Anxiety, Disappointment, Frustration, Guilt, Jealousy, Rejection, Resentment, Sadness, Stress. In order to control these 10 most common and unhealthy emotions among people, we need to understand the equation of emotional algebra.
Thought + Trigger = Emotion
Rearranging it, we get:
Emotion – Trigger = Thought
When we talk about the trigger here, we are actually talking about something that forces us. It is similar to the trigger of a gun, where the bullet is the thought it triggers or in other words, stimulates the thoughts. It makes our mind think more about something. It has the ability to make our mind think, and when one is affected by these triggers, he/she starts to think a lot.
When one thinks a lot, it causes emotion. Therefore, thought + trigger = Emotion. By analysing the thoughts, we need to understand that where are we making mistakes? And all this can be done with the help of emotional algebra—by the rearranged equation.
Suppose one went into his child’s room, and accidentally kicked off his one of the most important toys. He saw him using his mobile while studying and out broken by that; he didn’t see his toy lying on the floor. He hit it hard, and it broke. Angry at him, his child speaks something horrible in front of him in a high pitched voice.
He scolded him, and took his mobile away. He then unlocked the mobile to see, what was the child doing while studying? And he saw he was searching the meaning of a word on Google; and now he genuinely feels so embarrassed and awkward!
He held his feelings, and he realised he was wrong. He went back to his room, and said, ‘I am sorry dear,’ to which the child responded immediately, ‘Okay.’
In this situation, the trigger was the child’s action of looking at his mobile; the thought was that he would be watching or streaming something; which combined together to form an unhealthy emotion—Anger. In any case, if he would have subtracted the trigger from his emotion, that is, if he was to confirm whether what he was exactly doing; he would have saved himself, and the child from being the victim of unhealthy emotions. This is how, today, we need to subtract the triggers from our emotions and move on with the thoughts. We need to examine and look at our thoughts, in order to see where we are making mistakes? We need to, then, change the way of thinking by emotional algebra; by understanding how unhealthy emotions are we creating each day, each hour?
Although, as of today, we have billions of techniques in our heads lingering around, and telling us how to take care of SELF; EXERCISING, MEDITATING, REVEALING THE FEELING, CURING HACKED BRAIN AND EMOTIONAL ALGEBRA, are the best ways for self-care. This self-care day, let’s get on with the simplest ways to heal ourselves and work for a better self—better society.
Let’s pledge to treat our illnesses, physically, mentally, socially, financially and emotionally.
By Atulya, Hisar