MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “reaction”

The way we feel about it all

https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/sites/thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/files/feelings.jpg

We tend to associate people with events, circumstances, and above all emotions. It’s the feeling they evoke when we first meet. That aura they radiate. The vibes they emit. You know you click with someone from the first instance you set eyes on each other. And your intuition is often never wrong.

The thing is, if we encounter people at a negative condition, it’s very difficult to revoke that prejudice about them that we’ve already created. We may forget the event, or what actually happened, but what remains is how it made us feel. And feelings are an important part of who we are. They affect every single thing – from our attitude, our words our perspective, to our appetite.

It’s true that the chaos and irrationality that govern our everyday lives certainly do not help calm our often inexplicable nerves and agitation. But we try. We invest effort constantly to maintain a mental serenity that will help us get through the day, the week, the month, and so forth. It’s not always easy. And we certainly require some assistance in changing the way we feel. Perhaps we think too much about it all. Because our experience of life is seamless and smooth until the moment we stop to rationalise it all, to overthink, overanalyse and often overreact about it.

What if the fire was after you?

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©Konstantinos Tsakalidis / SOOC

What if it was happening to you?

What if you weren’t simply watching it all live from the comfort and safety of your own home? What if you weren’t the audience of the tragedy but one of its victims?

What if you were the one forced to evacuate your home amidst deafening sirens and emergency alerts?

What if the flames of a devouring fire were pressing against your own property?

What would you do? How quickly would you gather your things, your family, your animals, and flee?

And what would you take?

How do you select in an instant among the myriad of things that compose a life? How do you choose what to take and what to leave behind to burn and be lost forever? How to you keep a clear head to act rationally when all you hear is “run to save your life”?

What life?

What constitutes a life that is so easily destroyed by what begins from a tiny spark?

What is essential and not?

How do you run when you know there will be nothing to come back to?

How do you pick yourself up when you know you probably lost everything the instant you close the door?

And what can anyone ever say to support, comfort, or encourage you?

Where do you find strength to carry on when you’ve literally seen your past, present and future ignite in flames?

And how can anyone ever do or say anything to make it better, when all they’ve done is watch your home burn live on TV?

The straw breaking the camel’s back

In a period dominated with too much fatigue on all levels, it doesn’t take much anymore to make you flip. There is so much aggregated exasperation mounting up inside that all it requires is one small thing for the entire situation to get out of hand and for your nerves to go rampant.

It’s like that Arabic proverb – the straw that broke the camel’s back – about how a camel is loaded beyond its capacity to move or stand. It is a reference to any process by which cataclysmic failure (a broken back) is achieved by a seemingly inconsequential addition, a single straw.

When you’ve gathered so much frustration, when you’ve tolerated too much beyond your capacity for patience, when you’ve exceeded your own limits too many times, it is the slightest of things that makes you erupt.

And remember, a volcano exploding has been accumulating its lava for long before it actually lets it all loose.

The good thing is that you do feel relieved after releasing all that pressure. But you also feel exhausted. Because this is neither normal nor healthy.

We know what we need to do to have better mental and physical health. Yet we so often allow circumstances to dominate over us.

That’s the real problem: we allow others to take control of how we react.

Defying your mind

©Sarah Potter

There is trouble with listening to your mind. It sometimes poisons you. Because it tricks you into believing things that aren’t true. It can concoct scenarios and play them out in your head, persuading you that this is reality. And you’re trapped. You’re drowned in negative thoughts that fog your vision of what truly is.

It takes courage and practice to realise your mind is deceiving you and to react to it. Defiance is always considered a radical act. Even against your own self.

It’s not easy standing up to you. Because the most dangerous enemy you have is yourself.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The vicious circles we feed

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There is a place in the heart of the city where people go to disappear. It’s a place you often pass by on your daily route to work, shopping or whatever else you choose to spend you time, money and energy on. But you don’t realise they are there. You pretend not to see them. Not to know that these neighbourhoods are different.

We fear different. We oppose and react to whatever we don’t understand.

We don’t even try to change things. We simply acknowledge that they are not how they should.

And so, we continue our lives, and more people simply disappear out of theirs.

Because it is not easy to actually live. To have a life that fulfils you and completes you. People are used to existing. And documenting their existence to prove to others that they are doing things worthwhile. In reality, trying to convince themselves that they matter.

We close our eyes to those who need help. Because we don’t want to assume the responsibility of change.

And then we protest that nothing ever changes or improves. Like a vicious circle we ourselves feed.

A monster within

http://artpictures.club/shans-december-7-17.html

He was nicknamed “The Monster”. He had the look to support it. He was tall, dark with hair that covered his neck and a beard that hid his face. His eyes reflected his own resignation with the world.

He preferred not to socialise as much as possible. And for that reason he usually only briefly left his house during nights or moments when he knew everyone else was away. He wanted to avoid social contact. He would much rather endure loneliness than the criticism he was bound to hear from others.

People judge from what they see. We all fall into stereotypes and prejudices. People don’t understand what is beyond appearances.What forces people to become what they are or to act in the way they do.

No existence is all roses and sunshine. Dark clouds do come along. There are moments and circumstances, people and behaviours, attitudes and perspectives that force us to react, to erupt, to lose control. It takes a lot for a silent stream to become a raging current. But when that boost arrives, the flush is torrential and it carries with it everything that person has for so long suppressed. It takes a lot of strength to feign that everything is fine. To pretend things are OK when they’re not. To hide all the pain from everyone else. But what hurts most is when the people near you don’t understand. When they do not react to your call. When you explain the things that cause these scathing wounds, that have for so long been a problem, and yet they still don’t comprehend the severity of it all. Or they simply do nothing. If you care you act; you place what you value most above all else. Sometimes, it is our own expectations that cause us the most disappointment. Because not everyone possesses that same open-heartedness, nor the same perspective on things. It is such situations that bring out the worst in someone. That feeling of being under-appreciated, misunderstood and wronged. That others are given more importance than you. That no matter how hard you try, you can’t get through.

It is situations that create our character. That will define whether the monster or the angel within us will dominate. But they are also the ones that cause us to react the way we do.

Not all people are monsters. Some just carry a monster inside.

Lessons in the wind

http://www.sportime.gr/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/windwind.jpgThe wind was racing outside her window. It was storming its way across the land, causing everything in its way to swish along with it. People were terrified of this force of nature. It left them feeling powerless because there was nothing they could do to stop it. And people fear what they cannot control.

But in cases of howling winds, there are two things you can do, like a Chinese proverb says: either build a wall against it, or build windmills to use it.

Just as everything that occurs whether we like it or not, we can either choose to shield ourselves and pretend it doesn’t happen, or actually do something and react to it.

Winds are useful in our lives. They demonstrate a change that is happening regardless of what we think. And it reminds us how powerless we are in our natural habitat.

Pretending to be

http://www.mitchvane.com/site/assets/files/1191/age-virtual_life-1.480x0.jpegIn a line from the 2014 Australian theatre production of George Orwell’s best-selling novel 1984, one of the characters that works for the Government, otherwise known as Big Brother, says: “The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice what’s happening”. Seventy years after the novel was written, this is more relevant and true than ever.

We are so busy trying to appear to be busy – constantly posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and all other social networks that we are not aware of what is happening in the world around us. We are so caught up in exhibiting a virtual life that we miss out on actually living one.

It is as if Orwell predicted the future, way ahead of his time. But in reality, all he did was truly comprehend human nature and its weakness – the fact that it is overwhelmed by apathy, selfishness and greed.

Orwell’s 1984 (1984 (written in 1948) is described as “one of the greatest dystopian novels every written”. “It looks at a future where people are controlled into what to think, how to act and how to live by the Government, known as Big Brother. It uses telescreens, fearmongering, media control and corruption to control the masses”. The main protagonist, however, is an initially apathetic person named Winston who “craves something more than the controlled world he inhabits”.

Crawling out of apathy has actually become a challenge.

In our current world, we are so determined to show that “we are not afraid” that we have allowed our data to be accessible almost everywhere by everyone. We cannot travel without being documented in more than one way, everything we do is entered on databases that are interlinked and our entire existence is available on a screen. You are reading this very text on one such screen.

The point is to get off it. Go out and do something. Create a life rather than pretend to have one. Read, think and live.

What starts the waterworks

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiQgt7ly7XaAhUGMewKHd9oCq4QjRx6BAgAEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdowhatlightsyouup.com%2Fgo-ahead-and-cry%2F&psig=AOvVaw1xo_TxfeVgsIFS-Yukag8-&ust=1523651732943075It is a small drop that forms at the corner of your eyelid. One that soon blurs your vision and causes your eyes to well up, releasing droplets to slide down your cheek. Then another comes and you are suddenly found in a state of distress, be it emotional or reflexive. But what is it that causes these waterworks to start? And why is it that some of us cry so much more often and easier than others?

There are reportedly three kinds of tears. According to this very interesting article our body produces basal, reflex and psychic tears. “Your basal tears are what I like to call the ‘worker tears’ and they keep your cornea (the transparent front of your eye) nourished and lubricated so your eyes don’t dry out. Then there are your reflex tears which that help you to wash out any irritations to your eyes from foreign particles or vapours (onion, being the classic example)”. Finally, there are the most popular type of tears: the “psychic, or ‘crying’ tears. These are the tears produced in response to that strong emotion you may experience from stress, pleasure, anger, sadness and suffering to indeed, physical pain. Psychic tears even contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin – perhaps, part of the reason why you might feel better after a good cry!”

When we cry, we don’t just become dehydrated and – literally – drained. There are more things that happen at the same time: your heart rate increases, you sweat, your breathing slows and you may even get a lump in your throat – known as the globus sensation. This is all believed to occur as a result of your sympathetic nervous system (your ‘fight or flight’ system) activating in response to your emotional situation. This is also why we are left so tired after a good cry. Yet we somehow feel relieved.

According to this enlightening article, “many psychologists believe that in addition to giving us an outlet for a rapid build-up of a powerful emotions, crying is a social signal to others that we’re in distress”. It is also considered an outlet for shedding stress. In fact, it is believed that emotional tears contain more protein particularly linked to higher stress levels, which is thought to make them thicker and more noticeable as they streak down the cheeks. It is a call for support and empathy and a way of releasing stress-related chemicals from the body.

We cry mostly when we’re sad. In this way, it acts as a signal to others that we are in distress and it is a call to induce sympathy and attention. This may explain why the waterworks appear more often in children and women.  According to a 1980s PhD study by biochemist William H. Frey, on average, women cry 5.3 times a month, while men cry 1.3 times in that same time period.  There may be a biological reason behind this, as the hormone prolactin – found at higher levels in women – is thought to promote crying.

We cry when we feel that we are overwhelmed with emotions that are too difficult to handle. And suddenly thoughts invade our head that make us feel even worse, such as that things aren’t going our way, that we don’t have time to be or do the things we want, or that others are better off than we are. A whirlwind of reflections and feelings ensues entrapping us into a vicious circle that simply accentuates the waterworks.

But we also cry when we’re happy. It is a way of demonstrating how we feel – that we are so overjoyed, we sometimes can’t believe it. That powerful string of – positive, this time – emotions is what causes the tears to run. It is a good thing. But this too causes us to feel exhausted after a while.

It is believed that crying depends on a person’s level of sensitivity. We don’t all think the same way, nor do we feel the same. People react to different circumstances differently. That is what makes them unique. They should not be judged for it, but rather appreciated for their own way of responding to whatever life throws at them. Crying is not a sign of weakness after all; it is merely a sign of emotions and the fact that a person’s heart is beating faster at times.

The mind is everything; everything is in the mind

Boat-Calm-waterIt’s a curious thing that happens. Just when you think that things begin to fall in place and you are on the verge of finally finding some peace and much-needed tranquillity, something appears that messes with your mind. It makes you start over-thinking everything. Questioning your actions, rethinking your decisions and worrying about every single thing you do.

The mind is a terrible thing. Deeply powerful too. For the thoughts in your head affect every part of your being, from your mood to your behaviour to the things you decide (not) to do.

We are so often called to fill our heads with positive thoughts, as this is what will inspire our lives to change. The thoughts in our head aren’t always correct. But they overwhelm us to the point where we start creating problems that didn’t exist. We’re not supposed to always believe those random and miscellaneous voices that haunt our heads. Especially the negative ones. But some things are easier said than done.

“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down”.

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