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Wise Quotes - Poetry Prompt

Hosted By:  Neel Trivedi

Wisdomology Posts:

Self-Harm & Cutting

“One cut here, one cut there. No one will see, no one will care.”
-Unknown

One of the most hazardous symptoms of mental illnesses is self-harming.

And to narrow it down even further, the most common form of self-harm, especially in younger people, is cutting.

During my high school and college years, I knew a few people who were cutters.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why someone would intentionally do something so abhorrent to their own body.

That is until I was diagnosed with depression and found the emotional pain so overwhelming at times that the only thing that seemed to alleviate it was physical pain.

It was like choosing between the lesser of two evils. The physical pain not only made me momentarily forget the neurological pain but it was also easier to treat by popping an aspirin in comparison to my prescription medication for depression which seemed to take forever to take effect.

I learned three things for a full year that I did it.

Firstly, it dawned on me that the trauma of a mental illness can indeed be so strong that it leaves you desperate to try anything to stop it, even hurt yourself more.

Secondly, cutting is just like a zillion other drugs. It can work initially until you become immune to it and have to do it more and more.

Before you know it, all you’re left with is scars on your body and even more trauma than before, both physical as well as psychological.

Lastly, as ironic as it may seem, self-harm is also a form of self-medicating which is never a good idea. Some people drink. Some take street drugs. Others cut themselves.

All of these methods are utilized in order to have a “quick fix” for mental health issues. In reality, there is no quick fix. It takes a lot of time to get it under control and self-medicating just stunts any possible progress.

That’s why it’s always better to consult a professional before medicating yourself in any way.

Have you ever known someone to self-harm themselves? Have you ever been tempted to self-medicate yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

Subconcious Mind

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with reptition and emotion will one day become a reality.”
-Earl Nightingale

We’ve all heard the term subconscious mind but what exactly is it?

The medical definition is a part of the mind that stores away everything you do, feel and learn without you being aware of it. And then, depending on what you’re doing or thinking about, it brings forth the information you’ve store to help you.

In layman’s terms, I like to refer to it as a hard drive for your mind. A hard drive stores everything you put into it. But you still have to tell it what you’re looking for before it pops up.

The subconscious part of the mind works the same way. It stores everything you experience but only comes forward if you channel it.

Because of this type of functionality, mental health experts believe that if we learn to access our subconscious minds more often and more at will, we’ll benefit tremendously.

But how exactly do we do that?

There are a number of techniques suggested by psychologists, psychiatrists and mindfulness coaches:

The number one thing is to focus on what you want to channel. In a method similar to self-affirmations (which I have also written about previously), no matter which way your mind steers, bring it back to what you’re focusing on. Mentally repeat to yourself what you want to think about.

Picture it or visualise it. Either do this mentally or physically with an actual photo or illustration.

Write what you want to channel on a piece of paper. This technique is especially helpful to those who can’t help but think a million thoughts a minute. The second you start thinking about something else, look at the piece of paper.

Meditate. Whether it’s the subconscious mind or conscious mind, it’s almost universally agreed upon that in order to gain more control over it, you need to be calm. Meditation can help do that provided you have the time and privacy for it.

There are several more techniques that can easily be found online that will help you make your subconscious part of the mind more easily accessible.

Regardless of which technique you utilize, the crucial part is just getting to that point.

One thing to keep in mind is all of the things alluded to take time to develop especially if you’ve never given thought to your subconscious mind before now.

It’s like a gizmo or gadget. If it’s been lying dormant in the garage for quite a while, it takes some fine tuning to start it up again.

Do you think about your subconscious mind often? Have you ever tried to consciously channel it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Paying It Forward

“The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.”
-Julia Alvarez

One of the ideologies I’ve talked about previously is attracting energy that you give out.

In other words if you’re a negative person, you’ll most likely invite negative company. And likewise if you’re optimistic.

That same idea can be explored in another personality attribute as well: paying it forward.

The importance of paying it forward can never be understated no matter which way you look at it.

If you’re spiritual and believe in karma, then it’s self explanatory of why you shpuld at least try to give back.

But even if you’re not a spiritual person, the act of paying something forward is still a belief that should be adhered to simply take humanity to a higher level.

When applying either of the two beliefs, there are several benefits to paying something forward besides the obvious ones.

Firstly, you can never underestimate the value of it, especially from the recipient’s point of view. For example, you might give a dollar to a homeless person thinking, it’s just a dollar.

But if that person has not eaten in days, even a bag of chips or a burger or whatever else they can buy for a dollar will mean the world to them.

Secondly, it helps you be more selfless and also gives you something to be thankful for.

If you’re in a position where you can give something back, even if the actually quantity is not much, it means you’re in a better position than the recipient.

And lastly, you never know what it could lead to. Karma or otherwise, every action we take, good or bad, has a consequence down the road.

Do you believe in paying it forward? And if so, how often do you try to do it? Join this discussion by commenting below.

The Heart vs The Mind

“Heart and brain, they are one and the same. The REAL battle is between YOU and YOU only.”
-Nityakalyani Muralidharan

When conversing about or imbibing words from quotes, philosophers and/or motivational speakers, one paradox always lingers on due to its contradictory nature:

The issue of following your heart vs following your mind.

There are ideologies that encourage logic and reasoning when embarking on special endeavors.

There are also ideologies that advocate listening to your heart and apply more feeling rather than thinking.

Even in my posts here, I’ve explored both areas. I’ve written about utilizing some logic when making pivotal decisions and I’ve also written about following your gut feeling when the time calls for it.

So what happens when your gut feeling or your heart and your mind don’t agree? Do you have to choose one?

In my opinion, not really. Even when you have two conflicting opinions a compromise is possible.

The philosophy I mostly abide by is letting my heart choose the destination and my mind choose the path to get there.

In the big picture, it’s always important to please yourself and do what your heart desires. But that doesn’t have to equate to eliminating all practicality.

For example, if you’re working a corporate job but really want to be a painter, work towards that goal. Paint on weekends until you become good enough to generate a decent income for it. Till then, keep your day job and save.

The key, according to me, is finding a balance between the two. Let your heart soar high in dreams and ambitions. Let your mind help you get there.

Are you more of a practical thinker or intuitive? Or both? Share your thoughts on this post by commenting below.

Hindsight

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
-Dr. Seuss

Is hindsight really 20/20? Very often, we tend to look back and see how much more significant certain moments were then they seemed at the time.

Sometimes, the feeling is completely logical. Nobody has seen the future nor can anyone predict it. Sure, we can certainly guess based on our actions but never know for sure.

That begs the question if there’s any way to combat this and be more in control of the future. Or at least be more prepared for it.

On an elementary level, it’s fairly easy.

If you drink and drive, the outcome has a high probability of being negative. If you choose not to study for a test, there are less chances of you passing. If you do anything illegal, chances of having a run in with law enforcement increase.

In all of these examples, avoiding trouble is not difficult, simply avoid the actions.

In more complex situations, however, making such snap decisions is much harder.

While researching this topic, I spoke to a couple of psychologists who are friends of my therapist.

Both said that while nothing is a guarantee, there are ways to be “safer” in future, even in making decisions where the pros and cons are equally balanced.

One way is to coax yourself to think about the long-term effects of any decision.

If you’re in the mood for partying, think about the morning after before you reach for that fifth or sixth drink.

If you’re thinking about playing the stock market, make a list of ways you can recover should you have a loss.

In many ways, it’s nothing but a little logical preparation and keeping the worst case scenario in mind.

Then simply ask yourself if you’ll have both the physical as well as mental stamina to handle the worst case scenario. If yes, proceed. If not, stop yourself.

Is it always easy? Not by a longshot. We’re all human beings and emotions will always accompany logic.

But even if you apply the aforementioned techniques to just a few more decisions then you did before, the probability of better results certainly increases.

How do you make big decisions? Do you go with your gut? Do you analyse them? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Forgive & Forget

“Forgive others. Not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.”
-Unknown

How often have all heard phrases like “forgive and forget,” or “life’s too short too short to hold a grudge” or “let bygones be bygones?”

The problem is that all of those things are much easier said than done.

To me forgiveness is important but not when being bestowed with the intention of just being a noble soul.

Forgiving someone should first and foremost make life easier for you.

Otherwise, you never know when old wounds might evoke strong emotions again.

If you forgive someone grudgingly, that grudge has a good chance of replacing or adding to the pain that the other person caused you.

And before you know it, the next time you have a rift with that person, things could actually end up worse.

On the other hand, if forgiving someone truly benefits you by taking a weight off of your shoulders and/or puting your mind at peace, it benefits everyone.

Life indeed is too short and repairing broken bonds can lead to a lot of positivity.

The importance of it however, lies in making sure that it’s genuine and heartfelt. You have to want to forgive in order to truly move on.

How do you feel about forgiveness? Do you forgive to please that person or please yourself? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Analyzing Advice

“Don’t make a permanent decision about a temporary emotion.”
-Unknown

I do it. You do it. Everyone does it. From time to time, we all need guidance and advice from our loved ones.

But the key to applying advice appropriately from anyone is properly attributing it to where it’s crucial.

One piece of advice is never apt for all adversities or for that matter, even all people facing the same adversity.

We are all unique and our situations are different. Our issues may be similar or even the same but the context of those issues will always be different.

For example, all couples fight and argue. But is divorce the solution for everyone? Of course not.

Some need better communication. Some need marriage counseling. Some may need a trial separation and others might have no choice but to divorce.

But it can only be determined after examing the context.

So never be afraid to ask for advice. Never hesitate to seek wisdom from others. But always take it in the right context. Think about your situation. Think about the other people involved. And then move forward.

Do regularly seek advice or give? Are you analytical or mor intuitive about it? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Hitting Rock Bottom

“Hitting rock bottom doesn’t mean you have to stay there.” 

-Michelle Parsons

Is there actually such a level as rock bottom? Or is it just an expression? 

By definition, hitting rock bottom is losing everything possible to the extent that ascension of any kind is ostensibly impossible. 

But the success stories that stem from people who “lost everything” and still rose to the top seem seem to be a little contradictory to that. 

If you manage to get back up, it means you probably had something left even if that something wasn’t tangible. 

At the risk of sounding morose, to me rock bottom would be dying. 

Death is the only finality which keeps you from getting back up. Even people who have been in a coma for years have miraculously woken up. 

That said, I can certainly understand the emotions that accompanying losing everything tangible. 

Regardless of how anyone personally defines rock bottom, it’s easy to feel that way when your back is against the wall. 

But if our outlook is modified just a bit, perhaps the seed of rising back up can be planted more easily. If we remind ourselves that no matter what happens, the end only comes with death, the motivation to bring change might be just a but more appealing. 

How do you perceive hitting rock bottom? Do you see it as losing materialistic things like your home, car, etc? Or is it more of a psychological feeling for you? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Betrayal

“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.”

-Unknown

A conversation with a friend yesterday triggered a memory that was pretty traumatic when I was young.

People who I thought were good friends of mine were saying derogatory things about me behind my back.

Before I continue, let me admit that in my teenage years, I too have done that.

And like anybody else who does so, I was wrong.

When discussing mental health issues and specifically what trigger them, the common criteria alluded to is death, abuse, rape, etc.

And while all those issues are no doubt very pertinent and necessary to talk about, the subject of betrayal should also be included in those catagories.

Finding out that people who you thought loved you feel differently or act differently in spite of loving you can be very traumatizing.

In a lot of ways, two-faced people are the worst kind of people to deal with when dealing with mental illnesses, even if their intentions may not always be bad.

They may tell you something that they think will make you happy even though it’s not true. But what will be the outcome of that in the longrun?

I would urge family and friends of people with mental health issues as well as experts of the field like counsellors, psychologists and psychriatrists the following points:

  • Don’t say one thing to a person and another thing behind their backs unless there is a genuine possibility in it helping the person in the long run.
  • If you don’t like someone, don’t pretend to be their friend. You don’t have to be mean or directly say you don’t like them. But don’t pretend otherwise either. If it’s a colleague or a classmate that’s mandatory to colloborate with, just complete the task at hand and move on.
  • Always remember, walls have ears. Even when talking about someone in confidentiality, think about what you’re saying and why you’re saying it.

The tricky part of this topic is that it’s layered with a lot of ambiguity.

On paper, it’s easy to say don’t criticize someone behind their back. But sometimes, it’s not a matter of being two-faced.

You may actually love someone dearly but hate them at a particular moment, maybe after an argument or fight. In those instances venting your feelings to a third party is not a bad idea.

What’s essential is not to make it a habit. If you find yourself keeping multiple things you’d like to say to a person all the time, it’s time to re-evalute how honest you’re being with that individual as well as yourself.

Have you ever felt betrayed by a friend or family member? How did it make you feel? Join this discussion by commenting below.

Sacrifice

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

-Traditional proverb

It’s often said that in any endeavor of life, you need to give something to get something.

In business seminars the most popular motto is “you have to spend money to make money.”

But sometimes I wonder, where do you set the limit? To what extent do you sacrifice things to achieve your dreams?

Personally, I feel you should keep “investing” in your dream until you come across two roadblocks:

  1. You’ve given 99% of what you have, be it money, be it time or anything else. That remaining 1% of ANYTHING should always be kept at all costs as it will serve as the springboard to bounce back. Retaining that last portion will also serve as a reminder that you’re working to get control of your dreams and not the other way around.
  2. You reach a point where you’ll have to sacrifice your principles. If you do indeed do that, your values will never be the same again no matter what happens afterwards. For example, there are cases of even sadistic murderers in prison who find go on to change for the better. But no amount of change can erase their crimes.

There is no denying that to attain victory in any endeavor, you have to give up time and energy and must be fully dedicated to the endeavor.

But the two ideologies alluded to should always be kept locked away and safe. You never know when you’ll need them at the final crossroads of life.

Have you made some big sacrifices to get where you are today? If so, do you feel it was worth it? Join this discussion by commenting below.

The Art of Listening

“Listening is an art that requires attention over self, over ego.”

-Dean Jackson

As someone diagnosed with clinical depression, a movement that has been very critical in shaping up my confidence is the #IDONTMIND movement started a couple of years back.

The #IDONTMIND movement encourages people dealing with a mental illness to speak up. With that, equally important is someone listening on the other end.

The importance of listening, both by people having a mental illness and by those trying to help, can never be over-emphasised.

All too often, listening is confused with hearing. The difference is that hearing is simply letting sound pass through your ears. It could be someone talking, water running or the sound of strong winds.

In any and all cases, the sounds pass through us without making much of an impact. Because of the lack of impact, responses, if any, are largely robotic.

It’s like when we were young and our parents would tell us to clean our room, finish our homework or anything else that seemed like a chore. We would hear them and even respond affirmatively but largely as a reflex just so that particular sound of nagging would stop.

When you listen, you not only hear, but you imbibe the sound in your mind.

In the case of communication, especially with someone with a mental illness, it is important to let the person know that you’re listening.

By the same token, it’s also important on our side to let the person who may be trying to help us know that we’re listening to their advice, regardless of whether we apply it or not.

When I first started therapy for depression, my counselor would listen to me which was a stark contrast to most of my friends and family who heard me but didn’t understand.

But I didn’t reciprocate the gesture. When my counselor gave me advice, I heard it but didn’t listen enough to imbibe what he was saying. Perhaps out of habit, I mistakenly put him in the catagory of everyone else.

This slowed down any progress on my end considerably. It was only when I understood that his advice stemmed from genuinely wanting to help me that I started feeling better.

I allude to the example of mental health communication because it seems the most relevant these days, particularly for this website.

But of course, the art of listening should never be limited to any specific area. It’s essential in all walks of life.

Do you feel like you’re a good listener? Do you feel people you communicate with on a daily basis listen to you? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

Audrey Hepburn