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Ten-Year Mental Suffering Taught Me Ten Lessons to Be Mentally Strong

Ten-Year Mental Suffering Taught Me Ten Lessons to Be Mentally Strong

I never thought of sharing the same class with school juniors in my wildest dreams. I never thought of leaving my college degree after clearing the first year with highest marks. I never thought of visiting the psychiatrists and psychologists for my bipolar syndrome and recurrent depression treatment.

I never thought of giving some thought to ending my life in an unnatural way. I never thought of sealing myself in a room to avoid human interactions. Though my journey was full of unexpected events, it left behind some valuable lessons which I’ll cherish.

Here are ten lessons from my ten-year mentally traumatic journey to become a mentally strong person:

1. Take Some Time for Self-Examination

I was fed up with the hide-n-seek game in my personal life because I was the one who was always hiding away from the embarrassing questions. I was the one who was screaming within without making any audible noise.

I was the one who was hurting myself without showing any signs of pain. Most of the times, I was playing the torture game with no seekers because I wrapped myself in self-made fear. I was so afraid that I didn’t get the time to seek within.

power_of_mind

    I coated myself with thick layers of self-doubt. After going through several internal beating, I realized the importance of self-examination. Disconnect from the outer world to observe your real emotions. Analyze your mental state by just keeping you at the center.

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    2. Make Children Your Mentor

    There was a point in my life when I became over-cautious about other’s opinions. ‘If I smile too much, how people are going to interpret my behavior.’ If I talk casually with them, they might ask me depressing questions.’

    Though I refrained myself from the social gathering to face the awkward reactions, I felt comfortable in kid’s company. I used to laugh at their silly jokes wholeheartedly without any fear of judgment.

    mental_strength_future

      Kids don’t have time for judgment because they are too busy in enjoying the present moment. Spend quality time with children to simplify your life. Take their guidance on how to boost the spirit despite repeated failures.

      3. Stay away from the Comparison Trap

      When I was planning to quit my life, my friends were planning to join a company to settle in life. When my junior cousins came ahead of me on academic grounds, I felt insecure while interacting with them. I became inactive on social media because I felt bad for myself after reading the success stories in my page feed.

      keep_going

        After wasting my quality time in baseless comparison, I understood the relevance of directing all energies on our personal growth. Instead of radiating negative thoughts, recollect the positive memories and have a gratitude list. Devote time on carving your beautiful path.

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        4. Never Display Your Pitiable Side

        Never portray yourself as a pitiable soul. Strip off the attention-seeking attitude. “I feel sad for your current state because you have the potential.” This statement became a routine affair for me. But, I didn’t feel the same thing.

        four_is_one

          Never feel sad about your current state because everything happens for a good reason. I couldn’t picture myself as a writer if I haven’t gone through the traumatic phase of my life. A constant struggle shows your patience to face the odd winds, not your weak side.

          5. Only the Wearer knows Where the Shoe Pinches

          You can’t expect others to experience your mental state. In my dark phase, most of the conversations ended up with this statement, “Yatin, it’s time to get serious in life. Increase your willpower.” At that point, I want to punch all of them right in their face due to frustration. Am I a fool to ruin my life deliberately?

          mental_toughness

            After some time, I realized that it was not their fault. It’s hard to understand how much others are suffering. People can just imagine your mental state, but you are the one who feels it actually.

            6. Choose Your Listeners Properly

            I realized this important lesson when I was interacting with my school friend. As soon I was about to disclose my true feelings, he shocked me with this statement, ‘A drop year won’t affect your growth because you are a bright student. I know you did this deliberately to gather the sympathy from teachers.’ I was on the verge of crying, but I gathered the confidence to reply him with a fake smile.

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            indomitable_will

              It feels good to share the feelings but choose the listeners correctly. Share close things with those who care for you. Don’t break down in front of anyone because people, who take you casually, don’t give a fu*k about your mental state.

              7. Have Faith in Your Work

              Whenever there was a discussion related to career building among my friends and relatives, I felt myself in the freeze position waiting for the right time to take an exit. I didn’t know how to express my nature of work. “How will you generate income?” “Is there any scope?” What else, for sustenance, are you doing apart from writing? My self-confidence hit a major blow after facing these fearsome questions.

              what_you_do

                Today, I proudly call myself as a positive blogger who is on a mission to help people rediscover their source of positivity. I don’t care about those individuals who don’t respect my cause. Do what you love without caring about others. Why? One day, the same people will appreciate your patience and hard work for choosing the unique path.

                8. Let It Be

                Some of my relatives thought I was just wasting my time while sitting at home. As they didn’t know anything about my blogging work, they asked me to stay at their home for mood upliftment. ‘What important work you do at home, apart from just sitting?’, was the usual reply after my refusal to stay at their home.

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                shines_from_within

                  I never felt the urge to explain them the reason for my refusal. To them, success meant visible achievement. The struggle to overcome the mental barriers had no relevance in their dictionary. No use of draining your energy on these individuals. Just let it be.

                  9. Beware of Stress Eating

                  Who faced the beatings of my stress? My digestive system. I didn’t eat to satisfy my physical hunger, but for cursing my fate. Indulgence in high-fat, sugary foods became my silent punishment. Though my mom was concerned about my weird demands, she couldn’t find the exact reason for my changing eating habits.

                  true_mental_strength

                    You won’t gain anything, except more tension and weight, by punishing your body. Keep a track on your eating patterns. Fill your tummy for nourishing your body, nothing else.

                    10. Ask Yourself: At What Cost?

                    With time, I realized a graduation certificate couldn’t decide my fate. I’m not against any college degree. It’s good to have a proof to showcase your expertise, but I asked myself the same question. When I was at the lowest point in my life, I took the tough decision to drop my college degree. The decision took away my four valuable years because I was not ready to face the harsh questions. If I have taken this step earlier, I would have concentrated on other aspects of life.

                    quality_life

                      Before putting your foot in any work, understand the cost of leaving other tasks for the same time and effort. Don’t just do things for the sake of fulfilling the expectations of the society. Don’t do stuff which is expected from you. Focus on those things what you expect from yourself.

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                      Yatin Khulbe

                      Positivity Advocate

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                      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                      For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                      If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                      Example 1

                      You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                      You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                      In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                      Example 2

                      You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                      People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                      You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                      Example 3

                      You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                      The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                      Example 4

                      You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                      Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                      If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                      Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                      • Understand your own communication style
                      • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                      • Communicate with precision and care
                      • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                      1. Understand Your Communication Style

                      To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                      In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                      Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                      2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                      Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                      If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                      “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                      This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                      To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                      3. Exercise Precision and Care

                      A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                      On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                      Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                      I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                      I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                      In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                      The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                      Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                      4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                      Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                      In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                      “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                      Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                      Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                      It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                      It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                      It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                      Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                      Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                      The Bottom Line

                      When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                      I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                      Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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