The old advice was
- to eat good nutritious food,
- to sleep well and live with discipline,
- to maintain hygiene,
- to exercise and maintain fitness,
- to socialize and enjoy with friends,
- to reduce stress,
- to involve yourself in a hobby,
- to take a break,
- to pray.
This only ends up in suppressing or distracting yourself till reality hits you in the face and you are forced to give up commonsense self-treatment and consult a professional. Following are the 9 new visions for better physical health and greater resistance to stress.
Freedom from Vulnerabilities – It is rare that you may have a single, delimited difficulty. Your anger may be just one expression of your entrapment. You want to get at the attitudes and feelings that underlie your vulnerabilities to a particular problem. You can often get to stop behaving in a self-destructive way superficially, but it takes considerable time and work to get to a place where there is no longer a vulnerability or temptation to do so. You need to get a control not just over a troublesome tendency but to outgrow or master the strivings that are causing such a battle over control.
Development of Insight – Truth is freedom. This equation is at least as old as the oracle at Delphi (whose motto was “Know thyself”). Understanding, especially the affectively charged “Aha!” kind of understanding that has usually been termed emotional insight is of immense significance. You want to achieve an accurate understanding of your personal history and a realistic appreciation of others’ motives and circumstances. Knowing the truth often sets people free.
Increasing an internal sense of freedom and subjective sense of agency – People lose their calm when they have lost the sense of being master of their own ship. You need to trust your feelings and live your life with less guilt. You need not be controlled by your problems but to rather feel that you are in charge of your life. The locus of control is internal rather than external or in fate.
The securing or solidifying of a sense of Identity – Existence in a mobile, technologically sophisticated, mass society and cutting-edge, cyberspace-savvy “developed” culture can create unique psychological challenges. You have to worry about the meaning of your existence or whether you matter in the grand scheme of things. The task of figuring out who you are and where you fit in all this confusion becomes critical. You need to feel understood, mirrored, accepted, and validated in your subjective experience. You must derive a sense of who you are largely from an internal integrity and authenticity, a capacity to live by your values and be honest about your feelings, attitudes and motivations.
An increase in the realistically based Self –esteem – Model adequate self-regard in the context of imperfection and shortcomings. Reframe the most anxious and shame-drenched disclosures as ordinary rather than terrible. Or as terrible but not the whole story of your personality.
Improvement in the ability for recognizing and handling feelings – Emotional maturity is to know what you are feeling; to understand why you are feeling that way, and to have the internal freedom to handle your emotions in ways that benefit you and others. The operative concept is choice.
Enhancement of being Realistic – You need to have a capacity to cope with life’s difficulties in a realistic, adaptive way. Do not deny or distort harsh realities but find ways of prevailing that take them into account. You should be neither paralyzed by excessive or unreasonable guilt nor vulnerable to acting on passing impulses.
An expansion of the capacity to Love, to Work and Depend appropriately on others – The ultimate goal of a healthy mind is the capacity to love and to work. You have to feel more accepting not only of your complex internal life and your “real” self but also of the complexities and shortcomings of others. See your friends, relatives and acquaintances in the contexts of their situations and histories and take disappointments less personally. Become less afraid of intimacy, of being deeply known by another person. Extend compassion to others. The ability to work, to find your creativity, to substitute problem solving for helpless lamentation is a good experience. To move from “relentless entitlement” to a mature acceptance of what cannot be changed (and a new capacity for addressing what can be) is growth. Transform your infantile dependency into mature adult dependency. We all need each other in both emotional and practical ways throughout the lifespan. Try not to become independent from being dependent but capable of handling natural dependency in your best interests.
An increase in the experience of Pleasure and Serenity – Despite the fact that most of us think we know what is meant by the term “happiness,” we are often rather self-defeating in pursuing it. In an individualistic, competitive culture, the promise is ubiquitously made that we each will be happy if we only have what we want in contrast to prevailing wisdom in certain cultures of how learn to want what one has. Emphasize on renunciation of immediate satisfactions in favor of more deeply nourishing, lasting kinds of pleasure. Just as the thrill of having a baby cannot be imagined until one becomes a parent, genuine serenity is probably inconceivable to the person who has settled for temporary bursts of elation.