It is said that happiness is a trait that comes down to you genetically. It affects 50% of our ability to remain happy. Remaining 50% is what you learn in your life. Even if 20% ability to be happy is under your control, try to optimise it. If you consider yourself to be a victim of circumstances, then you will never understand what happiness is. We end up saying “Happiness is something which I cannot understand.” But you are not bankrupt, and you have that 20% ability; use it.
In the so-called regular times, those who tend to get depressed, sometimes binge-eat. In today’s times, people binge on social media; and the majority are making a mistake of being a lot on social media. It is like they are eating “social junk food”. Research says that you get lonelier, the more you use social media. Those “friends” are no real friends. When humans have eye contact or touch each other, it stimulates Oxytocin to get secreted in our brain. Please note that this is the Happiness chemical. Should I stop using social media? Should I throw away the screen from my life? Then what do I do? I will go crazy. My statement has created at least some excitement in your mind, though, of the wrong kind.
Use your Zoom, Skype, Facetime, WA video calling. You can see the faces. If you have a meeting of 4/5 people, the chances of being happy are more, instead of binge chatting on WhatsApp groups. Once your text chatting is over, you are likely to feel gloomy; what do I do next, I have already sent many forwards. I have seen that on these groups if someone shares a thought-provoking item or a story, people ignore, generally. They try to take up easy way out by trying to solve puzzles. Puzzles do have an important role to play, but do all puzzles activate your grey cells? If you take Google help to solve puzzles..
There are many ways of keeping yourself busy during these tough isolation times. Meditation, Yoga, Inhouse jogging (in front of the mirror) or walking in your home can be some of them. But don’t go for walks on the road, gardens or hills. Viruses tend to be anywhere though we might think that these don’t come in your isolated colonies. The other day, on my way back after visiting a doctor, I saw four seventy plus people in a high-end locality, taking their evening walk. Oh, rules are for hoi polloi, not us! Oh, and my maid is somehow managing to come for work. How can mem Saab do this manual work? I can’t force the maid not to come. I am paying her the salary, anyway! There is no rule that maids are not allowed in our locality! Excuses galore! Social distancing, only milk walla in the society, leaving bags at the gate, Not for me!
In Pune, people have found a new way of exercising. They go out for walks and get caught by the police. Police make these 50 /70 people stand to keep social distancing and force them to exercise, which could be different than what you like. I have seen a photograph in which those not wearing masks were asked to remove their T-shirt and use it as a mask! 🙂🙂
These tough times create anxiety in the minds of people for two reasons, uncertainty and loneliness. We forget that life is uncertain otherwise, too! When you are in a happy state of mind the life’s unpredictability is masked, and we feel confident that ten years hence your business would have grown by leaps and bound; or you would become the general manager. Your children will be settled, and finally, you and your wife will become globe trotters. In our fables, we have a famous one about Shaikh Mohamad. Such daydreaming is called Shaikh Mohammadi! Certainty makes us feel secure and safe, falsely.
I read an important saying for fearful people. “I don’t know what the future will bring. But I do know that I am alive and well right now. It is a God-given gift to me, and I will not waste it.”
About loneliness, I have already explained how social media binging increases loneliness. In Indian culture, we rarely say, “I Love You” except when you are with your beloved, at a young age. We never say it to our parents, children and siblings. Why not say “I love you.” I am sure it will give a great feeling of closeness and take away loneliness and anxieties. In the case of your close friends, they are your second set of relatives; you can say to them, “I like you.” We have these feelings in our minds, but we are trained not to express ourselves right from childhood.
Another way of feeling happy is to do something different. That different need not be something fancy like painting, creative workshops etc. Under the Indian context, the lockdown has brought in a significant change in our lives. Many families have a maid or two for cleaning of homes, washing of clothes and utensils. We have gardeners to water the plants. With lockdown, we need to do all this work. Do not do it with creases on your forehead. Enjoy doing this work. The logic is quite simple; the work must be completed anyway. Is a sour face or creases on the forehead going to work? Do it responsibly. The family should decide who should do which work, and there should be no further discussion on this subject, ever.
Time has slowed down. Will you ever get such an opportunity in your life again? Take advantage and hit that sixer over the point boundary. Introspect, plan to do things for which you never get enough time. It could be looking at old photos, getting in touch with friends, doing home chores with fun; after all, it is your home.
In these tough times, I hear stories of educated families having small parties. Oh, we are just visiting my brother. The virus does not know brothers, sisters, cousins, and a man or a woman. It is impartial.
So, try to be a responsible citizen of this world. The bug spreads not only in your neighbourhood but could become a vehicle for spread all over the world. Simply follow guidelines and rules and hit the virus for a six!