Mind is a mystery in itself and the functioning of it is still unknown to many. Since time immemorial we have always wanted to master the art of controlling our mind which is a storehouse of thoughts , emotions, memories , knowledge . The brain is an entire machinery that controls the other body functionalities . When the external stimuli affects us in an impactful manner, we tend to get affected and so does our mind! It can change our behavioral patterns and in extreme cases also change the very persona that we carry. Mood swings that we experience now and then are common but when the emotions are kept buried for long it may affect us negatively. I have been reading a lot about these aspects and I have understood that there basically below methods to handle the mind matters:
- The Suppression Method: In this method , the focus is to suppress your feelings of grief , agony or any negative emotion and behave as a prescribed set of emotions which is considered as the norm. The pressure here is to focus on how to be normal despite abnormal situations.
- The Expressive Method: In this method, the focus is to make an outburst of emotions that one experiences, to face the feelings head on and without any hinderance express the inner most sentiments and desires.
- The Substitute Method: This method mostly highlights the fact that we can win over any situation by substituting negative emotions with positive ones . To consciously understand the situation when we are confronted with dark clouds resembling sadness, anxiety, nervousness and to boost ourselves in that situation by replacing these thoughts by positive affirmations!
Well , one can say that no method is completely detached from the other. They are sometimes overlapped and one may go from one phase to the other as time passes by. However, many a times, we do not know which method to choose when surrounded by circumstances that try to break us. That’s when we get a lot of suggestions and advises from others. Sometimes unsolicited ones too, that prescribe us to adhere to one type method. For example, men should mostly use the suppress method and that is why it becomes a taboo when a young boy cries ! They are often remarked as “Hey, are you a girl to cry like this? Men don’t cry . Try and be a Man.” This notion helps create zombies and later we complain when men do not emote their feelings as they often should!
Another example would be : Smile through your pain and everything will be alright! While I believe that it can be used metaphorically to tide through tough times. But when suppressing grief under a smile becomes a habit, then there is a problem ! The constant stress of being always happy go lucky in the society can sometimes add to the already existent stress levels of an individual. And when the saturation point reaches at certain level, then it becomes unbearable and the consequences are serious. So a smile, sometimes may not be the answer but tears are. A person irrespective of gender should have a support system, be it family, friends or any kind of acquaintances where they can open up , cry their heart out, show their every scar without any inhibitions, be accepted and cherished for who they are with all their flaws, imperfections because perfection is a myth. Reality always embraces imperfections that are constantly trying to achieve perfection.
So, lets break away from being judgments next time we see our preconceived notions of how one should handle trauma, stress, negative circumstances in life. Lets build that inner circle of faith where we can be ourselves and be accepted for who we truly are and not mask our emotions just to portray being strong.
Hence, its perfectly normal to say that sometimes a Smile may not cure it all and may be tears can show us the true reflection and heal us (irrespective of gender) better.