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Listen With Your Heart

Listen With Your Heart

Sentinel Digital Desk

Tinat Atifa Masood

Channelizing energy in the right direction is so important. And using that energy towards positivity is an even better solution towards living a fantastic life.

Why do we need to stay positive? Simple answer. Negative thoughts and actions do more harm to the physical and mental state of a human being than good. Stress levels go up and productivity levels come down, in the process leading to an unproductive life.

Have you ever on a particular day felt that you are stressed out and then you don't feel like lifting even a pen? I am sure you have. Stress can be debilitating and nothing can help unless we help our own selves.

I remember my mother used to complain about waking up groggy and tired. And when I asked her if she slept well, she would say, "I was worried about 'this and that' and so couldn't sleep the entire night". I would always wonder what apart from sleeping should she worry about. When I talked to her, she would mention worrying about me, my son, my husband's work and a few nondescript matters. And all I would tell her is not to worry about us because we are fine. However, that never stopped her from worrying even more. In due course of time, my mother's sleep deprivation made her irritable, short-tempered and stressed, one of the probable reasons for her depression.

Harbouring stress for a long period of time can have its effects. A person with extreme levels of stress can gradually slip into depression. And this extremely dangerous state of mind can have far-reaching impacts on the lives of people, which can lead to suicide!

There could be a hundred and one reasons for depression. I remember, three years after Tirus, my son was born, I went into a bout of depression. There were many reasons but there was one primary reason, which I thought may have triggered my depression. By the time I was nursing him, I had grown double my size. Being a person who loves the stage, I started worrying whether people would invite me at all again as an anchor for events. The depression got so bad that around December 2009, I wanted to kill myself. I searched for options to end my life; speeding my car and banging it somewhere, heading full speed and crashing through the Saraighat bridge and things like these, not once thinking that I had given birth to a child and it was my bounden duty as a mother to take care of him. So obsessed had I become with my own self that I failed to see a little baby and his needs. My desire to be acceptable on stage was of prime importance rather than enjoying the moments with my son, who was growing fast. This depressive condition got the better of me and I started disliking everything and everyone around me. It was a feeling I harboured 24x7, not once noticing the impact it had on the people who loved me. I was short-tempered, irritable and passed snide remarks at the drop of a hat. People started distancing themselves from the once-positive-person they knew. I grew lonely and was completely lost.

Over the past two years, I have seen my bestie slipping from a happy, sunshine man to one who is unable to take charge of his life; he is restless, doesn't eat properly, has become socially shy, tosses throughout the night and worst of all, has lost his lovely smile and sparkle in his eyes. He talks of taking extreme steps and then goes into a dark mood, which is difficult to decipher. Friends are scared to approach him, lest he behaves in an inappropriate manner. However, because of depression, I have started noticing that my friend has become somewhat bipolar, which also means manic depression, where a person can experience episodes of mood swing ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. The cause of this disorder isn't unknown but a combination of genetics, environment and altered brain structure and chemistry may play a role. In India, there have been 10 million cases recorded in a year which should be a number for concern. It looks like there are so many unhappy, depressed persons around that it should raise an alarm amongst the ones who wish for a happy and healthy environment in the society.

Most of you must have watched the movie, Fashion, where the protagonist portrays the struggles of being a model in the fashion industry. The small-town girl who has to try her level best to become a part of the 'gang' crosses all the limits to stay in the limelight. And when she fails, she slips into extreme depression.

As a person who is positive even when negativity is thrown at her, I strongly feel that every problem has a solution. If a lock has been made with a key to open it, then there are definitely solutions to the small and big problems in our lives. There could be 120 solutions for depression but my take on this is somewhat of a personal opinion. I think it is very important to listen to a person who is going through depression. If there's a friend and s/he wants to talk about the going-ons in their lives….LISTEN! Listen with your heart and mind. Give them your time. Let them pour their heart out while you listen, without any bias. Listening has the propensity to heal, both the one who is narrating and the one who is listening.

Way back in 2009 when I was feeling desperate, stressed and wanting to end my life, one fine morning I woke up and talked to myself. I hugged my little boy of three years and asked myself, "Why am I wanting to end this precious life? Why should I end it? What right do I have to leave my little baby and kill myself?" I didn't stop bombarding questions at myself.

I spent a lot of time introspecting. I walked around, thinking. I sat in parks and meditated. I constantly looked for answers, even while sleeping. I thought of what a wonderful life I have and that I had to make the most of it till my last breath. My heart responded with happy notes. And then, voila, one fine morning, I decided that I had enough of these debilitating thoughts and I wanted to live my life to the hilt, not snuff it out for some weird reason. And I made sure I never went back to those suicidal tendencies. You will ask me how! I made sure to wake up every morning and tell myself what an awesome human being I am and the king of energy I have to conquer the world. This energized me for the day. I started hanging around with radiant, happy, positive people and I drew my energy from these wonderful people around me. And the rest as they say is history!

Feedback: tinatatifamasood@gmail.com

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