Reflections

What Keeps you Grounded (and How to Cope in Difficult Times)-Part 2

In the previous post I talked about how by changing your perspective and having faith can help you navigate the tough times in your life. I thought I should take it further and talk about some coping strategies as well. Sometimes what happens when we are going through a difficult time is that we tend to close off. That may be due to fear, for example, we may fear being judged or we may feel embarrassed talking about it.

What one needs to understand here is that there is no shame in talking about your story. You are not the only one and that it can happen to anyone. You don’t have to go open up to the world about your problem(s) but you need a genuine outlet to let the steam off, and hear some words of inspiration or wisdom which can really help you in tough times. Sometimes, sharing about your problem also helps to gain perspective, find support or a possible solution for it. So you if you find yourself beaten down by life, first of all, know that you’re not alone. Secondly, remind yourself that it is a test and you will pass it. Life happens to everyone and everybody’s tested albeit in different ways. So let’s move on to some coping strategies:

Confide in your Close Ones

It’s very important to have people close to you, who understand you, know you and genuinely care for you. When you have identified such people in your life, then you should find your strength in them. Having support means a lot. You understand that you are not alone. You have friends and/or family who care and that they will go the extra mile for you. If  nothing, they will lend an ear to you, which can really help.

Find a Support Group

You can also find a support group, locally or online, where you can interact with people who are going through the same situation as you. Sometimes, it can really help in listening to others and how they are coping with their situation. You can gain insight by their experience and feel less lonely in your situation.

Generally, when something bad happens to us, our first reaction to it is that it’s the worst thing that has happened to us and nothing more bad can ever happen to anyone. By talking to people or in a a support group, your perspective can shift and help you cope.

Surround Yourself with Non Judgmental People

When you’re going through a tough phase in life, it’s important to surround yourself with positive interactions and influences. You don’t want more negativity around you at such times or people unnecessarily prying in your matters. Keep at a distance with such people and only interact with those you know genuinely care about you. Their care and support can go a long way in helping you cope in such times.

Engage Yourself in Hobbies That Make you Happy

It may feel like life is at a standstill and nothing is moving forward, but you don’t have to be glued where you are. You don’t have to sit and wait for things to get better. Get back to things that you love doing for yourself. Find a hobby and do a little of it every day. It could be something as simple as growing plants, or learning a skill that you always wanted to learn. Engaging your mind somewhere will also help keep the negative thoughts away. Engaging your hands in making something, like crafts or crocheting can help with stress and anxiety because you divert your minds focus towards something else.

Connect with God

All through this time, make sure you don’t give up on your faith. Don’t allow yourself to develop any negative feelings or resentment bur rather, hold on stronger to hope. Keep praying for a better time and ask God to guide you, show you the way and keep you calm. Even if things don’t get better instantly, praying and staying connected to God does bring a certain calm that come whatever may, you are in safe hands of a higher power. If he has put you in it he will give you the strength to pull through it also.

I hope this helps anyone who is going through a tough phase.

Reflections

What Keeps you Grounded (When Nothing Seems to Work?)-Part 1

Every once in a while, we are struck with lightning, not literally but that is how it feels like. When everything is going smoothly and suddenly, it feels like it is all crumbling down? Nothing seems to work, the way you want it to or expected. The once I-have-it-under-control feeling that you felt, feels like slipping away. Nothing is in your control anymore.

Was it ever?

It’s okay. It’s normal. It happens to everyone. What really matters is how you tackle it. How do you slow down and tell yourself you aren’t failing but it’s just part of the process. Or things are just bumpy until the road ahead becomes smooth again.

When we feel we are in control of things, that’s when everything is going smoothly for us and we have no two thoughts about anything. We hardly stop to think or wonder, about the good things happening to us and we just enjoy it. We think it is our doing, our effort, our mind. It is only when things go astray, do we start complaining, wondering and thinking why it’s happening. Suddenly our efforts and hard work become meaningless because we are still putting all that in without any visible results.

That’s when we usually turn to God. It starts with asking for help, we feel angry, we question, and then we start begging. We talk to him and we try to find answers to our questions. I believe we do find our answers because He doesn’t leave us alone. When we remember that we come from Him and we will return to Him. When we remember that this world is a passing gateway to the next and everything happens for a reason, we tend to find calm in the storm and we tend to start finding solutions. I believe there is always a choice and no matter how hard something seems in this life, it won’t matter in the next, that is what our faith should be. Remembering God at each step, believing in His plan, doing our best and keeping our thoughts positive, can help anyone through a tough phase.

Any phase seems tough when we start to think this life IS IT. THIS IS IT. We think everything that happens here, is all that matters. However, if you can only remember that you are a traveler and nothing happening here, is THAT BIG or PROFOUND as compared to YOUR ULTIMATE DESTINATION and that you’re powerless in front of HIS DECISION, it makes living here, in this world, a tad bit easier.

Our lives are made up of a series of experiences and they all teach us something. We can learn from others experience but unless we go through something ourselves, we can’t understand the intensity and wisdom of something. Humans are beautiful and unique; we all process things differently, depending on our understanding and insight, and all our experiences-good or bad- help us grow in every way. So hang on, have faith, stay firm and stay strong in the face of adversity because God has promised help and guidance to all His believers.

Relationships

5 Tips to Get your Way with Overprotective Parents

Raise your hand if you have overprotective parents- I have. All of us hailing from desi households can relate that overprotective parents can sometimes curb our growth only because they love us and want to protect us from the big bad world out there. Most of us, while growing up cannot understand this, and we think we are being restricted from doing things that we want to do.

How to get your way with overprotective parents
My face when my parents say “no”

Like I remember, in my home, me going somewhere on my own or being out after maghrib, even when I was in university was such a big deal and a straight no. Heck, even coming back from university on my own, using public transport was met with raised eyebrows. At that time I used to whine, and fight (sorry mum and dad) but now I understand why they were so. In my defense I strongly felt (and still feel) that I should be able to do things on my own because at some point I will have to, so why not be as well prepared for it as I can.

So here is me spilling some advice that I wish someone had given me back then on how to talk to my parents and gain a level of understanding to get what I wanted.

BUT FIRST,

Let me tell you that your parents are overprotective for your own good and sometimes they are right in doing so. Some of those restrictions do us well in disciplining us in the long run and instilling some good old values. Also, there is a time for everything and always remember apna time aega! haha. Okay seriously it will come.

NOW, back to the point

1.Talk with Respect

If you want your way with your parents, it’s extremely extremely important that you talk to them with respect no matter what. Don’t lose your calm, don’t get angry, don’t start screaming and worst, don’t barge into your room banging the door behind you. These behaviors actually prove your parents right, that you are not yet mature to be on your own.

2.Show Them you’re Responsible

Take every opportunity to show them that you are responsible. Don’t leave your phone behind when you are out. Carry some cash with you always. Don’t ignore their calls. If you commit a time of return to them, make sure you are back by then or if you’re late, tell them you will get late. Even when you are at home, be a responsible person of the house and take part in home chores. Keep your own room organized or help your mom keeping the home straight. It will all go in your favor.

3.Don’t Break their Trust

If your parents are not listening to you, or giving you permission for something that you want to do, it’s not the best idea to lie to them or cheat them about it. Truth never hides and sooner or later, when you are caught, it will be very hard to gain their trust again.

4.Take “Calculative” Risk

Whenever you can, take baby steps to show your parents that you are responsible and you can do things on your own. Take a friend along the first few times and make sure you return by dawn. This will help your parents see, that you can do it and maybe eventually understand. For instance, for me I always made sure I had a friend along and told them everything when I returned.

5.Have a Dialogue

When there’s absolutely something that you must do, on your own, and it’s beneficial for your growth and professional life ahead, then sit your parents down and explain things to them in a very practical way. If they see and understand your reason, eventually the will agree. Open dialogue often solves most problems.

So, I hope these tips help you make peace with your overprotected parents and help them also see how they may be hindering your growth.

Let me know if it helps in the comments below: