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
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.