Being Emotional Is Not Bad For Men

In this blog post, I will write, in my opinion, about being emotional and how it is healthy and shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing for both men and women but especially men.

Let me tell you a story before diving deeper into the topic.

Story Time

I recently watched Tokyo Ghoul, the anime. The protagonist of the anime series is Kaneki who is an emotional person and likes reading books.

But he has low self-esteem. And he went through physical torture from an enemy which left him traumatized. He is also mentally unstable and has developed an alternate personality to cope with the trauma which I am not sure how much of it is scientifically accurate.

His whole journey throughout seasons 1 through the last season is to integrate his personality and introspect in his dreams through various events and external conflicts.

Ultimately, in the end, he emerges victoriously and becomes confident and integrated and lives a happy life after conquering his enemies and bringing peace among ghouls and humans.

I am sure he loves reading even now after integrating his personality. He is an emotional and happy man. 

Deep Dive

Now let’s dive deep.

In my opinion, being emotional has nothing to do with being weak or being less manly. It is totally normal to be emotional.

We can cry after watching a sad movie, laugh heartily at a joyful event, express grief over someone’s death. 

We need not suppress our emotions as men. 

I don’t know exactly how much suppressing our emotions harms our mental health because I am not a psychiatrist. But I strongly believe that no feelings are bad. All feelings must be felt. 

So the next time anyone tries to make you feel ashamed about expressing your feelings, just ignore them and express your feelings.

I know that it’s harder than the way I say it but we need to try. Maybe you are in the wrong place if you are not allowed to express your feelings.

It’s not selfish of you. It is totally normal to express your feelings in a healthy way.

Conclusion

Being emotional is not bad because expressing your feelings is normal and natural in my opinion for both men and women.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please comment-

How do you feel when you or someone else makes you suppress your emotions? Do you feel good or not so good? And why do you think that happens?

Music Could be Good For Your Mental Health

In this post, I will write about how music has helped me in my mental health journey.

So I was diagnosed in 2015 and I have been going through treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and social anxiety. 

Music has helped me immensely. 

Apart from listening to music, I found huge benefits from practising music. I got admitted to a singing class and I love it. I love the practice, the sound, the Sargam, etc. 

Although it’s not my main career, I love it as a hobby.

So I have always loved music but the problem was with the consistency of practice. I was not practising regularly. 

3 years ago I started harmonium classes and continued them for a few months. Then I joined singing classes online earlier this year and continued for 2 weeks.

I was not prioritizing it and not practising daily. But with that fixed, I feel much more confident.

I feel more peaceful and in a flow state when practising music. 

So basically I am practising with vocals and keyboard and I am trying to learn the fundamentals first. 

I can’t sing well though and I am trying to improve. It will take time and though I am impatient, I will learn patience along with the mastery of music.

The main things that I want to highlight are “flow” and “peace”. 

Flow is when we become so focused and feel bliss in a task that we forget the passage of time. And peace is when we feel peaceful.

Everybody’s mental health can improve with bliss and peace in my opinion. 

It’s a different matter that learning music may not be everybody’s preference. But it’s a good path to choose if that’s one’s priority.

For me practising music has helped me feel more peaceful and in the flow and is good for my mental health.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please comment on which song makes you feel peaceful?

A New Perspective On Social Anxiety

I would like to write about my privilege.

Before that, I would like to tell you a story.

Once there was a boy with a mental illness. But people didn’t know that his condition was due to mental illness. The boy acted normally except he wouldn’t socialize much. Most times he wouldn’t socialize with people and would avoid people. He would also do rude facial expressions and sweat a lot. He would sometimes passively say rude things to avoid people.

So people thought he was too arrogant and self-centered.

But the boy asked for forgiveness from God in his heart every time he did something rude. He would say to himself in his mind,” I don’t want to be rude. But I can’t help it. I have social anxiety. Hope you understand.”

Only time will tell but I hope the boy finds peace and happiness in life and so do the people in his life.

Now let’s talk about my privilege.

I have been on both the receiving and the giving end of the spectrum of the above story.

I have been through social anxiety and I have seen people go through social anxiety. I have misjudged many people and I deeply regret it. And I have been through enough situations to understand people’s pain.

My privilege is that I have been through mental illness to be able to relate to the pain of others who are going through mental illness.

The reason I wanted to bring this perspective to your attention is that I think people suffer in silence even though other people see them as inflicting the suffering.

I think we need to have more empathy and actively seek to include people.

This verse from The Bible says it best-

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” – Luke 6:37

Also, I think we need to take it one step further by trying to forgive them even before they ask for forgiveness, and by thinking good thoughts for them.

This applies to both perspectives of the story.

Thank you for reading this blog post. If you liked this then like it and share it.

Inspiration to Be Yourself

So before I write this blog post I would like to tell you that you are perfect. No matter how imperfect your life is, you are perfect. You don’t need to change anything about yourself.

Now if you think that being yourself is difficult or impossible and that you need to be a “better version” of yourself, I’ll tell you a story.

Music has always been an integral part of my life. I like listening to all kinds of songs and especially emotionally charged electronic and dance music.

So recently I found a streamer on Twitch.tv accidentally and I loved that she was singing covers of some of the most beautiful songs ever. And I followed her.

The best part of it was I loved the community. I never felt judged and I could be myself.

I still love the community. And even though we don’t share information about our private lives, we are pretty cool and we play games and listen to music together sometimes.

It was here that I realized I need to be myself. I realized this when I decided to face my fear of talking to groups of people. 

I am extremely shy and introverted and I have social anxiety. So it was difficult for me but I faced the fear anyway.

But I love being myself. I feel comfortable in my own shoes. And I feel more positive every day.

The key is to “Be yourself”. 

The way to be yourself is in feeling comfortable with who you are.

If you are a nice person, and you sometimes become aggressive or too funny or go over the top too much in a certain social situation, you need to be nice.

If you are actually an over-the-top funny person and you sometimes act too nice out of anxiety, then you need to be over the top again.

You see you need to be yourself. It’s good for your mental health.

Another story is when I was not being myself and I was trying to change myself.

In high school, I was too focused on fitting in and I lost touch with my true self. 

I remember we had a study abroad college fair where many colleges from outside India had come to our city. I was trying to be an extrovert which I wasn’t.

I couldn’t be an extrovert and so I blamed myself and wanted to change myself.

I later realized that I should’ve been trying to be myself which would later be effortless.

Conclusion

So yeah, it is definitely possible to be social, be yourself and find a community.

Thanks for reading this blog post. Let me know- What do you feel about being yourself?

5 Myths Of Journaling From Experience

I think for a person who is depressed and hopeless, a way to get hope is to self-reflect using journaling.

 Journaling is important.

I think most people are intimidated by the word “journaling”. 

I think there’s no reason to be afraid of this word. 

I will share some of the myths I had about journaling and the reasoning I used to overcame them.

Myth no.1
You have to journal daily

This is absolutely not true. You can journal once a week, once a month or whenever you want.

 The point of journaling is to express your thoughts and read them back to get context. 

It’s best if you journal regularly but it’s not a requirement.

I journal a few times a week and not regularly. 

Myth no. 2
You have to journal for years to see results

This is not true. You can journal one day and still get something valuable out of the process. 

The key is to be yourself and consider your journal as yours and share fully with it. 

I remember watching youtube videos where it’s said that it takes around 8 years to “get results” with journaling.

I am sure it takes less than 8 years to “get results” and I am pretty sure you can get something valuable on the same day of writing.

You see when you write in a journal, you are observing your thought patterns, the stories you tell yourself, you release your stress, you become honest with yourself, you share your true intentions, etc.

This is valuable for your mental health.

Plus, when I write a journal entry, I write my worries and ask what should I do? And I come up with answers on my own.

This acts as a way to make decisions more effectively. 

It’s like facing the evil inside. When you write in a journal, you face the evil inside you, your own limitations, your own face in the mirror, etc.

This is very useful for “getting results”.

Myth no. 3
You don’t know how to journal properly

The truth is that you don’t need to know how to journal. That’s the beauty of journaling.

You don’t need to know the right questions to ask yourself or buy a Stoicism journal with stoic questions with blank spaces for writing your answers.

You need to let yourself write anything you want in the journal. 

It’s your journal and you can write anything.

 The beauty is it can be a physical journal, it can be a digital journal, a colourful one, a scrapebook, a plain white paper or anything you want. 

The beauty is that you can write anything you want, anyhow you want it.

Myth no. 4
You have to read your past journal entries to get results

I think I heard from a video of Tony Robbins that you should be reading your journal entries or if not, you should not be writing a journal at all to get results.

I think it is false from my experience. I think results are not just about changing behaviour but also about feeling the feelings that are not expressed normally. 

And in my opinion, reading your journal in the future won’t help you feel life’s pains or pleasures at the moment. 

It is good if you can read your entries two months later, you might get insights about yourself, but it is not necessarily the only way for change to take place.

After all, feelings are an important part of your mental health and writing at the moment in the journal is a key part of feeling your life’s problems or states of happiness.

Myth no. 5
You don’t need a journal of your choice 

I would say this is partially false. You do need to love the process of journaling.

And one way to love it is to invest in a good journal or a keyboard or a pen or a quiet place to sit in. 

You need to love the process of sitting down and expressing your thoughts on paper to journal consistently.

I remember I was in a forum for personal development, and someone had written that if investing in a good journal of your choice, a nice pen, a nice laptop, or whatever that makes you love journaling, then you need to do it.

I use Rustic Town’s leather journal. And I love it. I feel like a writer.

Conclusion

So in spite of all these myths, one can and should journal. If one of these myths had been stopping you in the past and you haven’t tried journaling before, please consider journaling because it’s really powerful.

Thank you for reading this blog post. I am excited to share more ideas and stories in this personal blog about hope. 

So I will end this blog post with a quick question for you- Do you journal sometimes? What do you like about journaling?

3 Things I Am Grateful For

Here are 3 things I am grateful for and why I am grateful for them is given below. No big deal, just 3 things:

The first thing is miracles.

I am grateful for miracles. Miracles that give us hope, a sense of wonder, and a sense of gratitude itself.

A story I would share with you about miracles is finding amazing friends.

I had the opportunity to make friends who are like me.

When I was in the mental health hospital for my psychosis treatment, when I was in high school when I was in my happiest and unhappy moments.

I think friends are miracles. What a concept the thing is- FRIENDS! Some person whom you can be yourself with, outside your family!

So when I was in the mental health hospital, I met a person M, who helped me get through all those days. I was playing badminton one evening, and she asked if she could play too. I said “Ok”.

The next day we chatted and became friends very quickly.

But I was having problems with my mental health. She was there to talk. I was also there to support her.

I mean to say that before this I used to believe that I couldn’t make friends because I was an introvert. But I realized that friends exist like a handful of people made in heaven for us.

I used to think that I was forever doomed to be depressed and that I was indeed in deep depression. But friends made me realize that miracles exist.

The second thing is my privilege.

I am very privileged. My parents have money, and I am loved and I am intelligent enough to read dense philosophical books, I also have ambitious genes, I can introspect, I am a sensitive person, I am a Libra, and my parents own their flat, etc. I am born in India where great leaders like B. R. Ambedkar, Sidhu and Kanu, Birsa Munda, Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, etc were born.

I am very privileged.

The story I want to share for the privilege is of my sister. She always put the right thoughts in my head. I am a naive person. And she always inspired me. She is a true leader and she taught me to be grateful for my privileged.

One day when I was young about 15 years old many years ago(I’m 22 now), I didn’t know much about the #metoo movement. I made a very rash statement to her about #metoo. And she scolded me and told me the facts.

I learnt to respect women and have a realistic perspective from my sister. I told you I was privileged. I am truly lucky!

The third thing is God.

I am listening to a song called “I Bet You Don’t Curse God” by Christina Grimmie right now. It’s a beautiful song!

Through thick and thin, through my psychosis, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. God is the reminder and fact that kept me going.

This story is about my philosophy tuition teacher madam R.

On the first day of my philosophy tuition year when I was in a Philosophy course in college, she asked me if I believed in God? I at first said a diplomatic answer, neither yes nor no.

Then she asked me this. “What is God to you?”

I still remember what I answered.

I said,” I think God is what remains when everything is stripped from existence and nothing remains. Then what remains is God.“

What I meant when saying this, I don’t know to date. Because it’s a feeling to me.

Madam R said,” You alone deserve to study Philosophy.”

What I meant to tell you through this story is not to brag about me. But to tell you that God is the reminder and the fact.

It doesn’t matter what religion you belong to. What matters is faith.

I am naturally more of a doubt guy than a faith guy. But life has reminded me to have faith over and over again.

I still get frustrated when something bad happens to me. But I also always look for the feeling when I say “I think God is what remains when everything is stripped from existence and nothing remains. Then what remains is God.”

By the way, I stole the idea from a song from the music “Kun Faya” from the Bollywood movie “Rockstar”. I don’t want to take credit. But I say it only because I strongly believe and feel its truth and that’s what happened when I said it to madam R.

Conclusion

So to summarize, the 3 things I am grateful to God for are:

1. Miracles

2. My privilege

3. God

So thank you for reading this blog post. A question for you: What are you grateful for today? You don’t have to tell me why. Just mention three points.

If You Have To Pretend, Read This

“Why am I sabotaging my success?”, I thought to myself on the day I was detained during my junior year in school.

I was pretending to be someone else. I had to pretend to be a strong personality, an extrovert and a smart person who could deal with bigger egos easily.

This was a new school in my junior year and I failed in my first year at this school and had to change schools later.

So basically after class 10, I change schools and I was unable to handle the new environment. And my study performance dipped and I failed class 11.

Why did this happen? I don’t know. But I know that I was pretending heavily to fit in, to avoid being bullied, to protect myself, etc.

I don’t know how to say it but I am still pretending even though the intensity is much less.

Also in my first year of college, I was pretending heavily to fit in. And I sabotaged my success again.

I made friends and I started fitting in by pretending. I did not set boundaries and I ended up self-sabotaging and dropping out of that course.

I used to think that I had to pretend because that’s what ensures survival and success.

But in a way, my self-sabotage was a blessing to me. I learnt to go within myself and grow self-awareness by journaling.

But pretending is not necessary for the long run.

Conclusion

Imagine working in an office. Would you pretend and stay under the radar just to save yourself from office politics and avoid unnecessary criticism for your ideas by keeping quiet? Or would you focus your energy on learning from the company, improving your skillset and giving your best work?

The latter does not allow pretence. The former option is a gold mine of pretence opportunities.

So if you have to pretend, let me tell you- it’s a trap.

Thank you for reading this blog post on pretence. A question for you: Do you pretend sometimes? If so, how do you reduce your pretence?

FOMO: This Will Give You Peace of Mind

I was in the mental health hospital in 2017 when I found myself in a room with 3 other families. 

One of them was N(name hidden to respect their privacy) and his mom. 

N was a teenager like me. He was a sensible person. 

I was sitting on my bed one evening and he said to me,”Anirban looks like A. R. Rahman.” And I said with a reflex,”A. R. Rahman. That level of success! “ 

I still remember the moment that came next. His mom said “You don’t have to successful like A. R. Rahman. You will be successful like Anirban(referring to me).”

This taught me that we are unique beings who are meant to be successful like ourselves. We are not here in a race. We are here to express ourselves and be ourselves. We are here to be an origianal being even if it is an original lamb than be a duplicate lion no matter how strong the lion may be. Eventually the lamb will become a lion because of its courage.

Now there’s something I must tell you.

FOMO is real. It’s called Fear of Missing Out. I am getting it. 

Some days I wake up after dreaming that my close friends have got their jobs and marriage handled and I am still in college. It’s a horrible feeling.

“I don’t want to miss out on life. “ I say to myself. 

But I know other people and I are different. We have different challenges, different plans, different destinies. 

So I just tell myself that it’ll all be alright. No one’s looking to judge me.

I am not blaming my mental health problems. I am just setting proper expectations. 

Expectations that won’t be like fake promises, that won’t show me fake timelines of success, etc. 

I’d rather have a realistic dream that has practically set timelines, than to dream big and make my mental health worse in the struggle.

I am working on blogging and I am seeing a career counselor. The problem of indecision is common among human beings. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. There’s nothing wrong about asking for help.

The moral of the story is I am just having FOMO and you may be having it too because we fail to see this simple truth in our lives that we are here to be ourselves. 

Success will come and it will come through hard work, consistency, determination, etc and it’ll take time.

Thanks for reading this blog post. Now a quick question- Do you feel FOMO sometimes? What do you tell yourself when dealing with it?

A Special Blog Post for Making You Feel Good

So for the past weeks I have been through a strange mental journey of coming to a temporary conclusion of the belief that-“Life is hard”.

You may say, “Well of course life is hard.”

I am not questioning this strong fact. But let’s ask ourselves a simple question for the sake of curiosity and truth- “Does believing in the fact that life is hard make us do work where we can give a 100% of ourselves?”

Before answering the question, I would like to give you a brief background information.

I am in the process of healing from my mental health problems. I have severe social anxiety and a little bipolar disorder. For instance, I find it hard to go out of my home on a daily basis because I am afraid of interacting with people. And I have problems forcing myself to do anything because most of the time my mood dictates every action I take. It makes me feel crazy to do anything if I must use willpower to force motivation into my soul. Mind over body does not work for me consistently.

However, I can best do the things I have a strong emotionally powerful vision for or things that I am passionate about. The problem is my curiosity questions all the powerful visions and I am not passionate about something in the Steve Jobs style.

“You have to have a lot of passion for what you do… because if you don’t, any rational person would give up.”

Steve Jobs

Now, story time.

So nowadays I am staying at home most of the time partly because of anxiety and partly because I switched to an online Bachelor of Business Administration degree(I know most of my friends have graduated but I don’t compare myself to others).

And sometimes I get two of my cousin brothers (10year old’s) visiting our home during at noon time. They basically watch anime and only ask me if a certain movie is on hotstar or Netflix. I just tell them, and they do everything else. They are experts little 10year old’s. Right??

So, one day they were watching an anime that I watched season one of years ago. The anime’s name is Tokyo Ghoul.

As I watched it with them, I got interested.

In my free time I watched all the seasons of Tokyo Ghoul, and I was particularly inspired by a character in this anime.


His name is Hide (spelled Hye-Day). He is not the hero. He is the hero Kaneki’s best friend. In fact, we don’t see much of him in the anime. But his role in the ending of the anime is significant.

He is the person who is selfless, sacrificing, a true leader.

I don’t want to spoil the anime for you. You can watch Tokyo Ghoul on Netflix.

But I just wonder, what makes a person so determined and selfless. It’s certainly not in believing that life is hard that a person does selfless acts.

One can occasionally do hard things in life, but it takes extraordinary reason to do hard things consistently and becoming successful at it and “Life is hard” is not an extraordinary reason.

So I just started experimenting with different perspectives. First, I used the belief “Life is hard” to motivate myself to study more. I studied consistently for a week for a short amount of time. It was consistent. I chose this belief from observing people in my life. It’s their belief.

But the process of forcing myself was mentally taxing and exhausting. I was not happy.

Secondly, I resumed to my normal way of being and I read fiction novels and listened to my favorite songs.

I realized from all this that an inspiring future expectation creates passion. But it is not easy to have an inspiring future expectation that is also realistic.

So I am going to my career counselor for an appointment to help me pinpoint my post-graduate plans for me.

But to answer the question- “Does believing in the fact that life is hard make us do work where we can give a 100% of ourselves?”

The answer is NO!

I know life is hard. I also know this- life is beautiful. Beauty mesmerizes us and a beautiful future inspires all of us.

And it is not possible to give 100% of yourself or myself to the work unless you or I secretly love that work.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Also, I am not a mental health or career expert. I am Anirban, I am just an average person. This was a blog post about my realizations and story. If you like this post, then share it and comment what you want to comment. See you next time!

Hate Therapy? The Biggest Reason To Motivate Yourself For Therapy

When I was depressed and mentally ill, I went to probably 5 different psychotherapists.

Each of them has a different way of doing therapy(psychotherapy). And most of them did not have any impact on my mental health.

It was only when I found my current therapist that I feel like my mental health is getting better.

I’ll not name anyone, but I’d explain why this phenomenon of most therapy not working occurs.

I’ll not speak about different methods of therapy because I don’t know about them. I’ll write about my understanding and my beliefs.

I think the calmness and thoughtfulness of my current therapist motivate me to get better. I respect my therapist because of it.

And I think this motivation and respect also come from the intuitive understanding and belief that my therapist embodies what he says. That he walks his talk.

Most of the time, other therapists give us advice, but they don’t follow that advice. They are not happy with their lives themselves.

I don’t and can’t respect them because of some reason. Maybe because they don’t set an example for the person, they want me to be.

I think this is very important for even people of other professions- to walk their talk, be who you want others to be first, embody your truth, etc. This is a basic leadership skill.


Every therapist, life coach, and consultant is a leader who leads the clients, and patients from darkness to light. And if the therapists don’t inspire change in the patient by setting an example, then the relationship between the patient and therapist won’t work.

But what you need to do to overcome social anxiety, depression or any other mental illness is to follow your therapist’s advice even though your therapist may not be a good leader.

Just don’t keep changing therapists because you feel like they are not good leaders.

Also, the content of the advice is of little significance from my experience. The relationship between the therapist and the patient is more important than the content of the advice.

I mean who really listens or pays attention in therapy except for the therapist when there is no respect from the patient. Every word of advice goes to one ear and out from another ear of the patient or is entirely ignored by the patient.

Although when the relationship gets stronger and the patient finally respects the therapist, the patient will listen to his advice.

But until then it’s only the inspiration that comes from walking the talk on the therapist’s part that works for the patient.

So, the therapist works to the degree of the personal development of the therapist as a leader and a person who walks his talk.

Therapy is useful. And it is important.

And therapy has helped me feel understood amidst all the medication and psychological tests. I have felt better because of therapy. It has given me a safe space to speak about my feelings. It has helped me persevere during hard times.

I remember there was a psychologist at NIMHANS, Bangalore who was very polite and kind to me. I never forget her kindness. She always saw the good in me.

So go to your therapist or find a therapist near you and get therapy because it is important.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not medical advice. Anirban Saren is not a medical professional or a doctor or a psychotherapist.