Change your life by chang­ing how you feel

Learn to take con­trol of your emo­tions to lead a pos­i­tive life Di­wali at the world’s top uni­ver­si­ties

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Chi­tra Jha

All our ex­pe­ri­ences are de­fined by our emo­tional at­tach­ment to what is go­ing on in our life. The fact is that none of our ex­pe­ri­ences are good or bad by them­selves. These are sub­jec­tive terms or at­tributes and each per­son’s def­i­ni­tion of good or bad is in­flu­enced by the emo­tions they at­tach to it.

We all like good things in our lives be­cause they carry pos­i­tive emo­tions. What if we could find a pos­i­tive emo­tion in ev­ery neg­a­tive emo­tion that we feel? Wouldn’t that be sim­ply amaz­ing?

Ev­ery strong emo­tion that we feel calls us to take some ac­tion. When we ex­pe­ri­ence a strong pos­i­tive emo­tion, nor­mally we are pretty clear about the ac­tion we need to take. The prob­lem comes when we are smacked with a strong neg­a­tive emo­tion and do not know what to do.

Here are six sim­ple steps to help you trans­form your neg­a­tive emo­tions into pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences:

When­ever you feel a neg­a­tive emo­tion, stop and no­tice it. Just ac­cept your nega- tive mood with­out try­ing to jus­tify it. Ac­knowl­edge the neg­a­tive emo­tion and know that some­thing needs to change.

for the mes­sage: Ask your­self, “What is this neg­a­tive emo­tion try­ing to tell me about my present sit­u­a­tion? Do I need to change my per­cep­tion, ap­proach or ac­tion? Am I re­act­ing out of mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion, old fil­ters, lim­it­ing be­liefs, fears etc?” Look for an an­swer to these ques­tions.

do you re­ally want? Ask your­self, “Right now I am feel­ing … (fill in your cur­rent emo­tion), but how do I re­ally want to feel? To feel how I want to feel, what do I re­ally need to be­lieve? In or­der to be­lieve what I need to be­lieve, what do I need to do?” An­swer these ques­tions hon­estly.

the past: Think back to those times when you had felt the very same neg­a­tive emo­tions that you are feel­ing right now. Re­mem­ber how you got through this emo­tion at that time. Know that you have been through this be­fore and got out of it. And if you could do it at one time, you can do it once again.

De­rive strength and re­as­sur­ance from your strug­gles and get through your cur­rent chal­lenge.

out of the box: Take a few min­utes and think of some creative ways in which you can change your emo­tion. Take the best idea and visu­alise it. Soon you will move past the neg­a­tiv­ity into a zone of cre­ativ­ity.

Now that you have crossed the bar­rier, take im­me­di­ate ac­tion to trans- form your neg­a­tiv­ity into a pos­i­tive feel­ing.

Re­mem­ber, even though you ex­pe­ri­ence your emo­tions, you are not your emo­tions. Your emo­tions may de­fine your ex­pe­ri­ence but they do not de­fine you. So, stop claim­ing your emo­tions as self-def­i­ni­tions. For ex­am­ple, in­stead of say­ing, ‘I am so an­gry’, say, ‘I am feel­ing an­gry’… It is a small dif­fer­ence but it makes all the dif­fer­ence.

Change your life by chang­ing how you feel… Ac­cord­ing to him, the LSE bash is big­ger than that of other Lon­don uni­ver­si­ties. “We al­ways have a num­ber of UCL (Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don), KCL and Im­pe­rial stu­dents com­ing to our an­nual event, which has been run­ning for over 10 years now,” he says.

In the United States, The Hindu Stu­dents’ Coun­cil of Yale have re­vived the 1990s tra­di­tion of Di­wali fes­tiv­i­ties since 2005 af­ter a long break. The hour-long Di­wali pooja in­cludes med­i­ta­tion/prayer and singing of Hindu hymns. The event is open to Yale un­der­grad­u­ates, grad­u­ate/pro­fes­sional stu­dents, fac­ulty, staff, fam­ily, friends, com­mu­nity mem­bers, and “any­one else who’s in­ter­ested.”

Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia’s In­dian As­so­ci­a­tion, Ran­goli, too is gear­ing up for a big­ger bash this time. “In col­lab­o­ra­tion with four other or­gan­i­sa­tions from Penn and Drexel Univer­sity, this Di­wali will be our grand­est event,” says Rishabh Ra­jiv, pres­i­dent, Ran­goli.

The fes­ti­val, an an­nual fea­ture at Penn for the last cou­ple of years, will be­gin with a Ran­goli com­pe­ti­tion, in which par­tic­i­pants will be pro­vided with dried flow­ers and coloured pow­ders. “Fol­low­ing the re­sults, we will have a Di­wali puja, and prayers for Lord Rama, God­dess Saraswati and Lord Hanu­man. Bands Penn Nasha from Penn and Nova Nassa from Vil­lanova Univer­sity will present a few of their pop­u­lar numbers. The floor will be thrown open to the pub­lic to dance to dhol beats and Bol­ly­wood tunes. Scrump­tious snacks and lav­ish din­ner fea­tur­ing desi cui­sine will be served as well,” says Rajv, do­ing an MS in com­puter and in­for­ma­tion sci­ence there.

“Usu­ally cel­e­bra­tions in­volve tra­di­tional In­dian food and a DJ. How­ever, this time we are plan­ning a brief puja as well for evoke the true spirit of the fes­ti­val and to make ev­ery­one feel as if they are not away from home.”

Di­wali Night at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin Madi­son is also quite a big af­fair now. Or­gan­ised an­nu­ally for five years by the In­dian Grad­u­ate Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion (IGSA), a reg­is­tered stu­dent or­gan­i­sa­tion, it fea­tures In­dian and other dances, mu­sic and dra­matic plays fol­lowed by fire­works dis­play and din­ner. This year the or­gan­is­ers of­fered free din­ner for up to 350 Uw-madi­son stu­dents, staff and fac­ulty, on a first-come-first-serve ba­sis, at the func­tion on Oc­to­ber 23.

“In terms of events or­gan­ised by stu­dent or­gan­i­sa­tions on cam­pus, our show is one of the big­gest, at­tract­ing au­di­ences of 1250 (house full) or more ev­ery year,” says Mu­fad­dal S Soni, pres­i­dent, IGSA, Uw-madi­son, who is also work­ing to­wards a PHD in bio­chem­istry.

THINKSTOCK

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