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When you feel stressed out, when your mind becomes chaotic? What do you do to destress and feel calm and relaxed? What’s your favourite therapy?
People say writing is therapeutic. While some enjoy the planning process, for some it is the actual writing that is relaxing. Choosing words, stringing them into a sentence and communicating the idea stirring in the mind is a beautiful process. Looking at the end result feels exhilarating.
And then there is a good majority who say reading is therapeutic. The sheer joy of finding a new book and settling in your favourite chair, with a hot cup of coffee to get lost inside another world is magical. To travel across the world, across time and within the comforts of your armchair is definitely relaxing.
Some say driving on a highway is therapeutic and so is colouring a book and listening to music. Then comes the Foodie Brigade who say that cooking a meal is therapeutic.
Long story short, everything can be therapeutic. (And I’m already annoyed by the number of times I’ve used that word here. I think I need therapy!).
Have you ever given a thought about why we look forward to a therapy?
Women are always preoccupied. From work assignments, To-do lists, household chores to choosing what to buy, where to take the next vacation – we’re always pestering our minds. Often, when we take a break, we only end up diverting our minds without being able to completely switch off.
As long as any activity takes your mind off stress, what’s not to like about it?
We try to divert our minds because we’re either bored or prefer to stay away from anxiety-inducing thoughts. They key point here is – we need something to calm our mind. So, how do you find something that works for you and provides the much-needed relaxation when you’re looking for a break?
A couple of weeks before Christmas, I remember how there was incessant and frantic activity at work. I’m usually off in my corner working on some assignment or the other, with minimal human distraction. That’s the best part of my job. But that week I I found ten people standing by my desk and giving me a hundred different tasks. Everything was a ‘high-priority’ task. As if working in a single time zone wasn’t enough, I had to coordinate with people from different time zones. Managing meeting schedules and the getting work done from others was driving me crazy. After ending that week with a 20-hour working day, I felt I needed a break. I needed to do something therapeutic.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but even among the madness one thing was clear to me. Any activity could be therapeutic as long as you do it with your utmost concentration. When you’re trying to forget something, you end up giving all your attention towards it.
There is a scene in the movie ‘Inception’ where Joseph Gordon Levitt asks the other person not to think about elephants. Now, what’s the only thing the other person ends up thinking – elephants! The best way to take a break is to think about nothing at all. For all the hyperactive minds, the second best thing could be to deep dive into another thought. In the process, you can hope that your attention gets diverted.
There are people who cook while talking over the phone or talking to someone or while watching TV. There are some who are unmindful of what they’ve added to the cooking pot. They consider it a task to be completed for the day. Then there are some who get transported to a different world; the kind of world you see in advertisements. There is a happy vibe around and they cherish the entire process. They try to understand the food and what it conveys. They look forward to experimenting with their culinary skills. They can’t wait to get back to the world that makes them happy. A world that makes them forget the travails of their monotonous routine.
Like those happy people, I wanted to get lost in another world altogether. I wanted to experience how it would be to forget about every single thing. I immediately knew what I had to do. I took my car, choose my playlist and set off without any destination in mind.
I love driving. It makes me feel powerful to handle a car. I love how it helps me spend time with myself. Driving on Indian roads requires every bit of attention you can muster. This works well for me and the fact that I like driving, makes me enjoy this process all the more. I’m away from work, the To-do lists and from everything, leaving me alone with my thoughts. Sometimes I skip listening to music while driving. The silence sounds so pleasant to when no one asking you questions or demanding answers. Silence is golden indeed. People find it strange that I enjoy being silent/in a silent environment despite being a talkative person. You never know.
I have a backup as well and worked hard at mastering it. When I don’t have the car at my disposal, I resort to the art of staring at the world around while relaxing on my swing. It’s tough to not think about anything, but I’m getting there. I’m at Inner Peace when I’m at home and staring at nothingness. It is magical. It makes me forget everything.
It’s noteworthy to take breaks every now and then and vent out the negativity we’ve accumulated inadvertently. We can find time if we make the effort to and learn to prioritise. As much as it’s important spending time with people, we should also spend time with ourselves. After all, we’re the ones who are going to be with us until the end. And that relationship deserves to be nurtured!
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay