4 Ways to manage being Alone On New Year’s Eve

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So, New Year’s Eve is around the corner and the festive scene is ripe with merriment.

Most people look forward to bringing in the New Year with their significant others, friends or family. For some the situation is different and they could be spending this time on their own, due to different reasons.

  • Just relocated to a new place
  • Friends are occupied with other commitments
  • Suffering with or recovering from a physical / mental illness
  • Recently separated or divorced
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one
  • Down with financial losses

Staying alone especially during the holidays can be difficult and for most it is certainly not a voluntary choice.

Quoting Mother Theresa, she once said – “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.”

If due to your circumstances, you are considering to stay alone during this New Year’s Eve, I encourage you to take steps to cope with your situation and feel a lot better.

1.      Celebrate your achievements – Take time to remember this year’s accomplishments. Recollect you initiatives and pay special attention to the efforts that you made. Like Nelson Mandela said – “I never lose. I either win or learn”.

2.      Review and set goals – Seize this opportunity to reflect on what you would like to achieve in the future. Is it better health, making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, giving more to charity, traveling to a new place, continuing your education or something else?

Nobody knows your dreams and aspirations better than you do! This is a great time to write down your goals and design a SMART plan to achieve them.

3.       Rest and relax – It is after all the end of another calendar year and you have had your share of ups and downs. Take this moment to unwind – enjoy spa time, indulge in some comfort food, read a book or watch an inspiring movie.

4.      Count your blessings – Whatever be the current situation, there is always something that we can all be thankful for. Utilize this opportunity to offer gratitude for all the small things, big things and everything in between.

Whether we believe it or not, there are people out there who are less fortunate and yet happier.

Remember – Being alone is temporary. The goals that set you set today and the future actions that you take to achieve them, can change your situation sooner than you think.

 

This article was originally posted on Linkedin on 30 December 2016

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/4-ways-manage-being-alone-new-years-eve-visha-bhayee?trk=prof-post

Overcome being Passive-Aggressive in 5 Steps

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Passive-Aggressive behavior is the indirect expression of hostility towards others. 

The NYU Medical Center defines a passive-aggressive individual as someone who “may appear to comply or act appropriately, but actually behaves negatively and passively resists.” 

It is likely that you could have been the victim of such passive-aggression or have exhibited this very behavior at some point or another.

Examples of Passive-Aggressive behavior

  • Avoiding confrontation and evading open communication
  • Frequently acting sullen
  • Playing the role of the perpetual victim
  • Blaming others
  • Giving the silent treatment
  • Displaying chronic forgetfulness
  • Always arriving late and making people wait
  • Repeatedly procrastinating and deliberately not completing designated tasks

What leads to Passive-Aggressive Behavior?

Passivity and Aggression are opposites.

A passive individual adopts passivity due to the fear of adverse consequences. When faced with a difficult situation, he thinks “how can I reveal my true feelings? What if others feel bad or get angry? What if this damages the relationship? ”

Due to this fear, the individual suppresses his feelings, needs and wants, leading to repressed anger and frustration.

Contrary to the passive individual, the aggressive individual openly voices opinions and displays negative sentiments without restraint, often not considering the effect on others.

Passive-Aggression is an unhealthy combination of both behaviors (passivity and aggression). The passive-aggressive individual aims at asserting himself indirectly while also pretending to be considerate towards the feelings and viewpoints of others.

The Negative Impact of Passive-Aggression

As passive- aggressive behavior is mostly covert in nature, it can be difficult to identify. The recipient however feels the invisible pinch and is left in a state of confusion, trying to decipher whether or not the negative behavior was intended.

This type of behavior is also considered as emotional abuse since it nibbles away at trust, in personal as well as workplace relationships.

To make matters worse, when a leader resorts to being passive-aggressive, he steps on the fast-track to losing respect, dampening team motivation and destroying overall productivity.

Change is Possible

Assertiveness is the ideal balance between the extremes of Passivity and Aggression. An assertive individual states his viewpoint in a respectful yet clear manner without unduly fearing the consequences.

Those with the tendency to be passive-aggressive can work towards overcoming this behavior, by implementing these 5 Steps.

  1. Recognizing the behavior – An increased level of self -awareness is necessary for the person to realize that he is resorting to being indirectly hostile in challenging situations. To arrive at this understanding, the individual must commit to learning more deeply about his emotions, intentions and actions.
  2. Identifying the triggers – The individual needs to closely analyze what sets off the behavior. Is it repressed anger, pent up frustration from not speaking out openly or is it something else?
  3. Not letting problems escalate – Passive aggressive people have a strong tendency to procrastinate. Deadline after deadline could be missed to avoid unpleasant situations. To keep matters from getting out of control, procrastinating will need to be checked. The passive-aggressive individual would have to begin taking prompt action.
  4. Getting comfortable with conflict – Conflicts are inevitable and will happen at some point or other. A mere disagreement does not necessarily spell the end of a relationship.
  5. Having the courage to be direct – In the better interest of relationships and for one’s own peace of mind, it is essential for the individual to start practicing assertiveness.

It is imperative to remember that change requires time and effort. Assertiveness can be learned and with sufficient practice limiting behavioral patterns such as passive-aggression can be changed.

 

This article was originally posted on Linkedin on 12 December 2016.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/overcome-being-passive-aggressive-5-steps-visha-bhayee

 

 

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Live your Dreams

The best way to make your dream come true is to Wake up – Paul Valery

Just yesterday I happened to meet my childhood friend who recently turned forty. As we chatted up reminiscing about old times, the topic veered to career, love, money, fame and the many dreams that we dream about.
My friend turned misty eyed as he spoke about some of the curve balls that life had thrown him. Unsure about whether to regret or be thankful for his unfulfilled dreams and in anticipation of making most of his life post forty, he said that he often wondered how to get about ensuring he realizes his much cherished bucket list.

I find a lot of my life coaching clients echoing similar doubts and fears. ‘So many dreams and so little time’ say some while most others confess ‘it all seems so clear in my head but turns so hazy when I get to defining it’.

Clarify that Dream
Psychologists have been studying the phenomenon of dreams since ages and have arrived at various theories. Conscious dreams, subconscious dreams – those we see with our eyes closed as well as open. Let us however begin by ascertaining that the kind of dreams we are relating to are ‘the ones you are willing to work towards’.

I would like to quote Henry David Thoreau’s famous words on the subject “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Even here there seems an assumption that you know the direction of your dreams, and that you have clearly imagined a life different from your current one. Hence clarifying your dreams is utmost essential.

How are Goals different?
A dream is a goal without legs; it is the very process of clarifying a dream, recognizing and defining it that gives your dream the essential vehicle to move forward.
The good news is that most dynamic and innovative people in any endeavor–business, science, athletics, politics or the arts are visionaries. And a vision many a times has been defined as nothing but an ‘upscale dream’.

Point to note is that a vision is somewhat abstract in nature and needs quantification to be converted into a goal (meaningful dream).
When you say ‘I want the world to be a more peaceful place’ the output is rather abstract. For giving legs to your dream/vision, you will need to clarify it and make it more tangible. ‘I want to lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months’ is more precise and tangible making it an apt example.

Four Powerful Keys To Making Your Dreams Come True

1. Believe – It is Possible!
Often people think of dreams as luxuries reserved for people who are plain lucky, privileged, rich, or well connected.
It is true that some people have more advantages than others. What takes one person five years of planning and saving could be achieved by another by simply selling a stock and making a phone call!

The point is: We are all starting from different places, for different reasons, with different levels of work required to get from A to B.

In some cases, if your dream is something you are physically incapable of doing, it may be improbable (but not impossible – we have come a long way with technology!).
There is no denying that certain dreams are more difficult to achieve than others however most of the things we dream about are normally things that we could do if we were willing to work towards it, align our choices to support it, and stay flexible in terms of fulfilling it.

You do not need to believe that it will be easy, happen quickly or even turn out exactly like you visualized it. You just need to believe in the possibility – which really means you need to believe in yourself.

2. Take Baby Steps
Working towards your dream involves aligning with the right people, disregarding discouragement from people who don’t support your growth and taking baby steps to move towards your vision.

“The right people” are those who help you, support you, encourage you, believe in you, and guide you on your way to this dream. It may include people who have done what you want to do, people who also want to do it and even people who just find it simply interesting.
You may share your enthusiasm and progress with them. They will mostly keep you excited and help you stick to your plan.

There could also be those who do not support your growth. Some may have malicious intentions; these people might ridicule your efforts and even belittle your purpose.
Be aware of the negative impact they are causing and avoid sharing your dreams with them.
Even some well-meaning people who are not able to do step one for themselves believe that they are doing you a favor by discouraging you. Politely decline that favor!

And as for taking consistent steps, they can be really tiny. Simple actions like making a call, bookmarking a site, or sending an email may not seem special but the little things do add up over time and because they are doable, they may inspire you to do more.


3. Make Choices That Support Your Actions

Most of our experiences stem from our choices. Not all of it; there are some things that we cannot control.
This does not mean that if you make all the “right” choices, everything will line up and magically work out. It is just that you have more power than you often realize and that power lies in your choices.

Whatever your dream, the first choice is to “prioritize it”. As you are able, dedicate time to it, money to it, attention to it, love to it. Give what you can, as you can, and back that giving with belief, passion, and enthusiasm.
The other side of this coin is realizing the choices that do not support your dream – when you are doing too much or pursuing other dreams that conflict.

4. Stay Flexible
Dreams are normally personal and private treasures that we are passionate about. Hence it is tempting to be rigid about a dream; when it needs to happen, how it needs to happen, and who it needs to include. But sometimes when we are too busy clinging to a specific vision, we miss an opportunity to experience it in different shades.

This is not meant to discourage you from reaching for the stars. It’s just a reminder that there are a lot more of them than you may realize at this moment – some far closer than others.
Being a singer may include a local music club and not a fan-packed stadium. Writing a book may entail self-publishing, not a six-figure advance and traveling may include teaching abroad and living on a slim budget.

It may not be the “ultimate dream”, but in fact reflections of it. In that moment when you are doing something inspired, passionate and in line with your deepest intentions, you will feel two things that you may not have realized – You will feel Alive and Proud!

Remember – To Start Living Your Dream, Stop Living IN the Dream!

Why Is Hope Considered To Be A Good Thing?

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Hope is often described as a coping mechanism and it is said to foster a positive attitude that can get someone through a rough patch. Hope can also inspire change and action that creates desired situations.

Neuroscientist Tali Sharot in her book “The Science of Optimism: Why We’re Hard-Wired for Hope” explains how hope is beneficial –

“Although the belief in a better future is often an illusion, optimism has clear benefits in the present. Hope keeps our minds at ease, lowers stress, and improves physical health.
This is probably the most surprising benefit of optimism. All else being equal, optimists are healthier and live longer. It is not just that healthy people are more optimistic, but optimism can enhance health. Expecting our future to be good reduces stress and anxiety, which is good for our health.
Researchers studying heart attack patients have found that optimists were more likely than non-optimistic patients to take vitamins, eat low-fat diets, and exercise, thereby reducing their overall coronary risk. A study of cancer patients revealed that pessimistic patients under the age of 60 were more likely to die within eight months than non-pessimistic patients of the same initial health, status, and age”

I couldn’t agree more because if there is one single common belief that I see many of my Coaching clients display, it is none other than “Hope”.
The stories are different and so are the faces however a lingering thread of hope seems omnipresent. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that often it is this delicate thread of hope that holds it all together and sees people through.

Quoting Martin Luther King seems appropriate – “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”.

7 Laws of the Universe

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To create the life you truly desire, it is important to understand the laws that are said to govern the universe. Learning about the laws and how they work can make a significant difference in applying them to enhance your life.

Though the 7 natural laws are not in any particular order, we shall still begin with the Law of Attraction since it has been vastly discussed and even followed, mostly since it was mentioned in the book “The Secret”.

The Law of Vibration –

This law states that everything vibrates and nothing rests. Vibrations of the same frequency resonate with each other, so like attracts like energy. Everything is energy, including your thoughts. Consistently focusing on a particular thought or idea attracts its vibrational match.

How to apply it: Focus on what you want instead of what you do not want! 

The Law of Relativity –

According to this law, nothing is what it is until you relate it to something. Point of view is determined by what the observer is relating to. The nature, value, or quality of something can only be measured in relation to another object.

How to apply it: Practice relating your situation to something worse than yours, and you will be able to appreciate your position a bit better.

The Law of Cause and Effect – 

This law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Every cause has an effect, and every effect has a cause. Be at cause for what you desire, and you will get the effect. All thought is creative, so be careful what you wish for… you will get it.

How to apply it: Consistently think and act on what you desire to be effective at getting it.

The Law of Polarity –

It states that everything has an opposite. Hot-Cold, Light-Dark, Up-Down, Good-Bad. In the absence of that which you are not, that which you are… is not. Polar opposites make existence possible. If what you are not did not coexist with what you are, then what you are could not be. Therefore, do not condemn or criticize what you are not or what you don’t want.

How to apply it: Look for the good in people and situations. What you focus on, you make bigger in your life.

The Law of Rhythm –

According to the Law of Rhythm, everything has a natural cycle. The tides go in and back out, night follows day, and life regenerates itself. We all have good times and bad times, but nothing stays the same. Change is constant. Knowing that “This too shall pass” is great wisdom about life’s ebb and flow.

How to apply it: When you are on a down slide, know that things will get better. Think of the good times that are coming.

The Law of Gestation –

This law states that everything takes time to manifest. All things have a beginning and grow into form as more energy is added to it. Thoughts are like seeds planted in our fertile minds that bloom into our physical experience if we have nourished them.

How to apply it: Stay focused and know that your goals will become reality when the time is right.

The Law of Transmutation –

It states that energy moves in and out of physical form. Your thoughts are creative energy. The more you focus your thinking on what you desire, the more you harness your creative power to move that energy into results in your life. The Universe organizes itself according to your thoughts.

How to apply the 7 laws to enrich your life: Focus your energy and effort, your thoughts and actions into attracting what you desire, and you shall begin attracting the physical manifestation of that energy! 

Making the Shift

The moment you change your perception, is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body. – Dr Bruce. H. Lipton

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You could be feeling extremely low and miserable however that does not have to continue forever.
To start feeling better, you shall need to make an effort to focus on feeling better with each passing day.

◾ Start thinking positive happy thoughts and steer clear of negative self talk.

This could be a bit difficult in the beginning especially if you are going through a low phase. However, you can get past this by recognizing your “blessings and gifts”.
Everybody has something to be thankful for. Recognize that “something” and appreciate it.
Remember – By being thankful, you welcome more situations into your life to be thankful for.

◾ Avoid people around you who invest their energies towards scheming, complaining and gossiping.

Take a good look around you and identify the people who indulge in negative talk and actions. Be warned that this negativity percolates into your immediate space and conscience as well. So, it is pertinent that you either totally avoid or at least limit your time with them.

    Surround yourself with Positivity –

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Read a personal development book / seek self empowering information online.
Never underestimate the power of a book or even articles that are available on the internet. These can offer some life changing insights.

Watch inspiring movies
There is a very wide spectrum of visual media available that can be very uplifting for the soul. If movies are your thing – go for it!

Stay connected to the positive people in your life
Who are the people that motivate you and mirror you positively? It could be an old friend, someone you work with, a sibling or your parent. Recognize them and invest further in those relationships.

Go outdoors more often
Whether it is a walk to the super market or a simple stroll at the park nearby, grab the opportunity that the day presents to you.

Get closer to the nature
The nature is not called “Mother Nature” without a reason. Let the sunlight flood into your life spreading it’s warmth and goodness. If your physical condition restricts your mobility, consider nurturing some indoor plants. Greenery is known to be soothing to not just the eyes but also to the spirit.

Making the shift is a process and like any process it takes time. What ensures your progress is your willingness to take the first step and then keep inching forward steadily.
This done, you will soon see how your energy levels and general wellness take an upswing.

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Balancing your Life Wheel

Achieving life balance has become a sore cliché that’s simply lost meaning.

It can be very frustrating when you want to change something and achieve that “balance” but don’t seem to know where to and how to start. This lack of control in your life and environment increasingly pushes you into a vulnerable spot, letting restlessness and uncertainty steadily seep into your space.

Assessing your Existing Situation

The vital first step on the path to achieving life balance is to understand more about the existing balance in your life. Once you figure out how smooth or wobbly your ride is, you can work towards specific actions to gain the balance that you seek.

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Life Balance Wheel

This classic tool helps you look at the different dimensions of your life and assess how fulfilled you feel in each area.

When you take the time to see which areas of your life give you strength and which areas might be depleting you, it can become easier to identify a few simple steps that you can take in the next couple of days to improve one area.

What tends to happen is that when things start to improve in one dimension it usually has a ripple effect and your satisfaction in other areas begins to improve as well.

How to Use the Wheel

The Balance Wheel is a powerful tool as it gives you a visual representation of how your life currently is compared to how you would like it to be.

The 8 sections of the wheel represent balance between the crucial areas in an individual’s life

You could change these sections to those that hold greater meaning in your life.

To assess your life balance, review each section/heading on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest).

Score yourself on from 1 to 10 on how satisfied you are with that particular aspect of your life.

1.Health and Wellbeing
2.Career
3.Finances – attracting wealth
4.Relationships and family
5.Lifestyle and Fun
6.Personal Growth and development
7.Spirituality goals
8.Environment – Save the planet

Brainstorm Life Areas

Ask yourself these thought provoking questions to help you assess your situation.

1.Health

◾How healthy are you?
Consider weight, level of fitness, energy levels, diet, health awareness etc.
◾Do you look after yourself?
Do you get regular exercise or stay generally active? Are you eating well? Does your diet support your wellbeing?
◾Do you spend time with uplifting and positive people?

2.Career

◾Do you enjoy your work?
Are you in a job that you find fulfilling? Do you feel excited to wake up and get to work or do get that uneasy feeling that one usually gets when you don’t enjoy your job?
◾Are you achieving your career goals that you are setting for yourself?
Do you have clarity about what where you are heading to and what you want to achieve?
◾If you are not employed, are you aware about what you want to do and are taking steps to get there?

3.Finances

◾How is your relationship with money?
Consider income, savings, retirement, debts, and spending habits. It is not about how much you have but rather how you relate to money.
◾Do you earn enough money to enjoy the life that you seek?
Specifically evaluate your savings and investments in relation to your goals.

4.Relationships and Family

◾Are you in harmony with your relationships?
◾Are you satisfied with the relationship that you have or do not have?
◾Taking a certain important relationship of yours for reference, ask yourself where is it right now and where would you like it to be? Do you know how to close the gap and get your relationship to where you feel it ought to be?
◾Do your friends and family reach out to you for support and do you support them when they need you? And do they reach out to you when you need them?
◾Do you make time for your loved ones even when you are under work pressure?

5.Lifestyle and Fun

◾Is your lifestyle in tandem with the way you had aspired for it to be?
◾Are you able to provide the lifestyle that your family is hoping to have?
◾Does your lifestyle have room for fun and relaxation?
◾In case you are not happy with your existing lifestyle, what are the steps that you are taking or have planned to take to improve your situation?
◾How does taking those steps impact your current lifestyle – does it stress you out further or has it given you some room for relaxation?

6.Personal Growth and Development

◾Are you aware about your goals in the area of personal growth?
◾In case you have lost touch with the issue of your personal development, what could be the reason for that?
◾How do you think staying in touch with and working on your personal; growth will benefit you?
◾What exactly comes to your mind when the topic of personal growth and development arises?
◾What are your future plans in this direction? Are you satisfied with them or do they need to be re-worked?

7.Spirituality Goals

◾What does spirituality mean to you?
◾How are you staying in touch with your spiritual side?
◾Are you able to factor spirituality into your lifestyle?
◾Do you have any spirituality goals? If yes, how are you working towards them?

8.Environment

◾Do you find yourself wanting to do your bit for the environment?
◾Do you feel the need to participate in community or corporate campaigns for saving the environment?
◾What are the positives of contributing towards nurturing the environment? How does it affect your life and does it benefit your loved ones in any way?

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Think about your ideal level

Once you have completed scoring yourself, it’s time to consider your ideal level in each area of your life. A balanced life does not mean getting 5 in each life area; some areas need more attention and focus than others at any time and inevitably you will need to make choices and compromises, as your time and energy are not in unlimited supply!

So the question is, what would the ideal level of attention be for you in each life area?

Plot the “ideal” scores around your life wheel too. Once you have completed scoring yourself, you will have a clearer picture of where you stand.

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Take Action

I recommend you to first start with celebrating your successes and the efforts that you have put along the way into achieving your personal milestones.

Next, pick up one life area at a time and think about what you could do to improve your situation in the days to come.

To begin with, consider simple actions that you could incorporate into your lifestyle

◾Calling a friend
◾Doing some online research for classes/coaching/gym/spa
◾Making some desired changes within your immediate living space such as organizing your room (or just one drawer) etc.

Remember – There is no shortcut to the world of balance but these tips and strategies can help you along. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.