Category: Stress

Fear or phobia of death

In my clinical practice often see clients who develop fear or phobia of death. I usually want to ask them as to what the fear is all about and in one way or the other I do ask. The most common answer I get is the fear of end of this beautiful life.

My very close friend , TV actress Yesmeen Ismael died of ovarian cancer more then a decade ago. I remember my conversations with her.” Faisal it’s  a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 43 years of age. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family .I wanted my son and daughter to get married and have lots of kiddies around me.  That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right”. Each day of Yesmeen’s life brought her closer to the end.

I am in my 40s now. I but I am prepared to go( nothing is wrong with me so don’t freak out). It’s just that I’m ready. Though I love my life. I am happy and have achieved quite a bit of what I wanted .I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands. I know I have to go. Life is finite. The fact is that we ( most of us) are mostly ignorant to it’s inevitability. When I want to talk about death to my clients it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us. I wish and want people to stop worrying so much about the end and the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit.

We humans generally believe that money can provide us happiness and equate success to the amount of money we have. Perhaps what we have forgotten is that all this money, all the materialistic things we have acquired, all the superficial friends we have who are attracted to us because of our status will be left behind. To me success is contentment and peace of mind. Besides this , I would also be contented if I could do what ever I could do for the afterlife.

Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.  Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs,

Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. |t’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to cany on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.  Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath , look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; ( no matter they are or they are not) just admire the creation of  nature, It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that – Let all that negativities go.. Believe you me you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. As we age and as most of us don’t take care of our selves, we witness our body waste away right before our eyes with nothing that we can do about it. Yes we can start taking care of it but we can’t get our youth back. As we age, it indicates that life has an end , and what ever materialistic things that we have collected will be left behind.

Build memories not materials. Maybe buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewelry for the next event. No-one remembers what materialistic thing u gave when, what one remembers is what kind deed u did at what time as that feels  good and leaves memories.

If you wanna do something for your dear one, take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Perhaps plan a friend/ family picnic.  Maybe buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.  Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are shit at being on time. Get ready earlier if you are one of those people and appreciate that your friends want to share their time with you, not sit by themselves, waiting for you to come. You will gain respect if you give respect.  Good karma begets good. This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Evel), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves.. strange! It might seem lame but those cards mean more to me than any impulse  purchase could. Mind you, it was also easier to do .

Get amongst nature.  Tryjust enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.  Random rhetorical question. Are those several hours you spend doing your hair and make up each day or to go out for one night really worth it? l’ve never understood this about certain people. Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it  rises.  Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy.

My friends, you will not get this life again. Make the most of it. Invest less on materialistic things and invest more on memories and kind deeds. Some of you might not agree with me and this concept today, but maybe years down the lane. Take care.

Dr Mamsa

#mamsafaisal#psychelp#heretodaygonetomorrow.

Dr F. Mamsa MD

Mindfulness

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;

On purpose,
in the present moment, and
non-judgmentally.

 

Paying attention “on purpose”

Its relatively a new technique whereby by paying attention to the current situation and by asking why is it happening,  one cant solve mental anguish of one is undergoing depression, anxiety or other existential issues.

First of all, mindfulness involves paying attention “on purpose”. Mindfulness involves a conscious direction of our awareness. We sometimes  talk about “mindfulness” and “awareness” as if they were interchangeable terms, but that’s not a good habit to get into. I may be aware I’m irritable, but that wouldn’t mean I was being mindful of my irritability. In order to be mindful I have to be purposefully aware of myself, not just vaguely and habitually aware. Knowing that you are eating is not the same as eating mindfully.

Let’s take that example of eating and look at it a bit further. When we are purposefully aware of eating, we are consciously being aware of the process of eating. We’re deliberately noticing the sensations and our responses to those sensations. We’re noticing the mind wandering, and when it does wander we purposefully bring our attention back.

When we’re eating unmindful, we may in theory be aware of what we’re doing, but we’re probably thinking about a hundred and one other things at the same time, and we may also be watching TV, talking, or reading — or even all three! So a very small part of our awareness is absorbed with eating, and we may be only barely aware of the physical sensations and even less aware of our thoughts and emotions.

Because we’re only dimly aware of our thoughts, they wander in an unrestricted way. There’s no conscious attempt to bring our attention back to our eating. There’s no purposefulness.

This purposefulness is a very important part of mindfulness. Having the purpose of staying with our experience, whether that’s the breath, or a particular emotion, or something as simple as eating, means that we are actively shaping the mind.

Here are a few basic things that we can do to practice mindfulness.

 

1. Start a Gratitude and Self-love Journal

One part of mindfulness that we neglect is to spend time reflecting on is those positive moments and circumstances in our lives. It is so easy to get into a habitual mindset of all that we must worry about and all that is wrong — nothing could be more destructive.

There are a couple of things you can do about this. First, put a sign someplace prominent with the word “Gratitude” on it. Place it where you will see it every day, like the refrigerator. Make it big and colorful enough that you will notice it.

The second thing you can do is keep a positivity journal. Every night, take a few minutes and write just one or two things that made you happy that day, one or two things that you were grateful for, one or two things that you did that made someone else happy. When you are especially low or cannot think of anything, start reading the other pages.

 

2. Squeeze in a Short Meditation and Some Breathing Exercises During the Day

Meditating is not that difficult to learn. According to QuietKit, it can be something as simple as closing your eyes, getting your body quiet, and focusing on your breathing. One of the pieces of advice given to job candidates before they go in for an interview is to take several deep breaths. This is so calming.

During periods of great stress or anxiety or anger, stop. Close your eyes, take those deep breaths, and with each exhale, picture that negative feeling leaving your body. This will prevent you from acting impulsively and will “connect” you with your better self — someone who does not get upset, nervous, worried, or lash out at others. Negativity also impacts your health, especially your immune system. Don’t do this to yourself.

 

3. Increase Your Awareness

Ask yourself at several points throughout your day how you are feeling. Why is that feeling in the pit of your stomach? What is really bothering you? What is the reason for your lack of ease? When you can identify the real causes of your uneasiness, you can tackle them and counter them with thoughts of peace, with one of those quick meditations, with a happy memory, or by doing something randomly nice for someone else.Getting rid of negativity is something that we must push ourselves to do every day.

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4. Master the Art of People Watching

This is fun and a wonderful diversion. And it develops some pretty important traits — observational skills, empathy, and great insight. When we observe others, we become much more accepting and non-judgmental, and when we can lose our need to judge others, we gain more peace.

 

5. Stop Rushing

This is very difficult for what we identify as Type “A” personalities — the people who are driven, the workaholics, the people who must speed through every day to get just a bit more accomplished. Of course, there are times when we must hurry. There are appointment times to keep, there are kids to get somewhere on time, and there are others counting on us to get something done. But to develop this as a habit means that we do not stop, breathe, go within, and get ourselves “grounded” with important priorities — peace, awareness of what is positive in our lives, and loving and doing for others.

Learning to slow down takes practice, and, yes, there are apps for that. A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health identified what these researchers believe are the best mindfulness apps that will help people slow down and listen to themselves. The apps that received the highest scores based upon specific factors all included the following:

  • Attention to breathing and breathing exercises
  • Body scans
  • Seated meditations (especially helpful at work)
  • Meditations through walking
  • Sending thoughts of love to the self and to others
  • Letting go of negative thoughts and feelings
  • Visualizations of the self as geographical features (e.g. mountains, lakes)

Other features included timers and reminders, which some find helpful. One free guided meditations for beginners that includes many of these features is QuietKit. If you are a beginner, this is an excellent place to start.

 

6. Become a Better Listener and Communicator

One of the great things that mindfulness accomplishes is that we become aware of the feelings of others as well as our own. When we do this, we are more willing to listen. Practicing the art of listening also means asking the questions that encourage others to express themselves in honest ways. It means developing trustful relationships with others and valuing them, though their views, principles, and values may be very different. When we do this, we open our hearts and minds. And our mindfulness of others improves cooperation, collaboration, and acceptance of one another.