End the Year on a Positive Note

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Dreams are a big part of our lives and are our aspirations. Naturally, when they don’t come true, it can be disheartening and depressing in many cases. As the curtains fall on the year gone by, take a moment to reflect on them and see how you can start the New Year on a positive note.

Dream Wise

If your dream is still important to you then the New Year is the best time to make a fresh start. Use the year end to set up a step by step plan towards achieving your dream. Take baby steps. Set achievable goals. “Sometimes after all our struggles we feel no closer to achieving our dream. Often this is because we are harsher on ourselves than we should be and our looking at the glass as half empty instead of it being half full. To make a clearer and more realistic evaluation write down the short and long term goals that will move you towards achieving your dream. Set time-limit, but not impossible ones, for reaching each goal. Each time you accomplish one of the goals tick it off your list and celebrate your success,” says Pushpa Palat, Counsellor. Narendra Goidani – Founder Life School and WOW Parenting has a simple logic, “what the common man says is the death of the caterpillar, the Master sees in it, ‘The Birth of the Butterfly’. Something has to end for something else has to begin. The day has to end for the night to begin and so on. If you have dreams that mean something to you, positive thoughts are the pre-requisite. A mind with negative thoughts cannot achieve positive results. Believe that the best period of my life starts now.”

Get Real

It is very important to understand that the ending of the year is not synchronous with the ending of our dreams; the end of the year is just a life cycle, a passage of time. “Generally, it is seen that after incidents like divorce, a person may tend to develop a brooding nature. It is as if he or she has lost a very important part of their life. Many a time people are so nervous that they are not ready for newer relationships. Even when they are ready, they tend to compare with the past relationship which leads them to be unhappy and creates an unhealthy atmosphere. The best way to deal with this is to imagine that it is going to be a new beginning and the past experiences have to be kept in the past,” avers Dr. P D Lakdawala, Psychiatrist, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai. Finding  closure to the year gone by may be difficult and even painful. Closure means finality and letting go what was once an important part of you. Finding closure implies a complete acceptance of what has happened and honoring the transition into the new phase. Arindam Sen, Founder – Zyego (a mobile app based anonymous counselling helpline) avers, “it is very essential to grieve the loss. Unfinished business must get over and should be resolved, before you start something afresh. So it is advisable to take your own time to grieve the loss, whatever it may be. However, grieving should not be continued for years together as that would simply be getting stuck.”

Let Go

Take the last day of the year to release all that you can do without in the New Year, it should be a time of the year where you without resistance let go of all those things that don’t serve you. “You can start by cleaning that cupboard, donating all those clothes/ perfumes, shoes etc. that you could not and did not use this year. It is basic Feng Shui; if you clear your space, you clear your mind, spring clean. When you create space in your mind by letting go of the old, you make space for a fresh start to the New Year. The first day of the year is a celebration; it is a welcome of the new. You can start it by giving thanks for all the beautiful things in your life; it is heartfelt gratitude to the Divine/ Source (whatever/ whomsoever you believe in). Do it with an open mind, like attracts like, the more grace you give, the more you attract. But remember, your intention is key, it should be done with an attitude for gratitude not to receive just to thank, what follows is good karma,” says Dr. Meeta Sharma, Psychologist (British Psychological Society), Clinical Hypnotherapist (International Hypnotist Guild) & Holistic Healer (Indian Board of Alternative Medicines), Infinitum Clinic.

Face It

Often we find ourselves in situations that are beyond our control, especially when it comes to coping with the loss of a family member. Likewise, events like separation and divorce are also painful and there is no getting away from that pain. Even in sorrow there is an up-side and that is that this is the time you will discover your true friends and those who love you the most. “A friend lost her only son in a tragic accident. She was inconsolable – he was not yet 10. She stayed home and mourned his loss and each day became her sorrow grew to be more unbearable until a friend took her out to a children’s shelter and requested her to teach a group of poor, homeless children. It was here that she found her calling. Being with children made her miss her son less and in every little boy she taught she saw her beloved son. Today she is the Principal of a school for specially-abled children, is happy at her work and in life,” says Palat.

Be Positive

Begin to change your perspective. Look at it with a positive lens rather than a negative lens. There are always two ways at looking at situations. One, calculate the negative impact it had on our life and the losses in terms of people/relationships and material things it caused and secondly, look at the good changes and ripples it created. “Maybe a breakup pushed you to become close with another friend, or you realised your own resilience through an abusive relationship. Health issues and medical issues may have brought with it unplanned expenses, bad news and pain, but it could have also brought with it a greater determination to focus on wellness, an acknowledgement of support from friends and family.  A divorce could be freeing you from a toxic relationship and more space in your life for better relationships and people. It takes time to train yourself to look at the positive side of things, but it isn’t impossible,” says Gayathri Rao, Certified Cognitive Behaviour Therapist & Medical Consultant, DocsApp.

Prepare Your Mind

Calming of mind is an essential part of focusing on making peace with any given disturbing situation. Meditation and positive thinking will help a person to cope up with varied situations and move ahead towards positivity and happiness. “Just relax and have faith in the higher forces governing your Life. If your dream targets are not met, re-analyze the approach that you have taken so far and change or improve the approach to the desired dream target. Healings will help you to focus and see new ways to achieve your dream target,” says Nupur Srivastava, Energy Psychologist, Spiritual Healer and Trainer. When negative thoughts enter your mind, immediately replace this with a happy memory. Take the case of Siya Verma (name changed), 32 was in a relationship for six long years but had a break up last year. It had such an adverse effect on her that she was in severe depression, lost weight and could not bring herself to go to work or socialize. After few months of grieving, she decided to come out of her cocoon and seek help. She built up her confidence and decided to use the coming of the New Year as an opportunity to start afresh. She got herself transferred to another branch of her office in a different city. She decided to start a new life with the New Year for which she planned ahead.  Sukriti Das, Counsellor, BetterLYF says, “create a success jar for ourselves with coloured chits and use our individual creativity wherein we can write our accomplishments in the coming year. We can open the jar at any point we might feel down as it boosts our confidence and is a reminder of all that we have achieved.”

New Beginnings

Dr. Manish Jain, Sr. Consultant, Psychiatry, BLK Super Speciality Hospital advices, ”on the last day of the year analyze what can be done in your recent past which could have made your year best. Learn from your past experiences. Write it all and plan to work upon it. On the first day of your year make up a list of those activities which gives you happiness and spend your day with those activities.” Dr Maneet Walia, Clinical Psychiatrist, Credihealth adds, “for the positive beginning one remain to be motivated in all sorts of life. Find your inner bliss, manage your stress effectively, brace for anything including the good, build a confident network, love yourself and stay cool, always try to achieve the levels of self-actualization, changeling negative thoughts, improve your personal outlook while interacting with others.” Dr. Madhu Kotiya, Spiritual Healer and Tarot Card Reader advices, “what has gone, has gone for a good reason and what is to come, is still in our hands. The best would be to focus on that, and keep your Praana high by meditation, if possible. You can achieve everything, and go through everything, as you have done by now as well.” Imagine the new-year as a clean sheet of paper to begin your own exciting new vision board. After all “tomorrow is another day!”

Tips on what to do on the first day / last day of the year

  • Practice looking at each day as a fresh new exciting opportunity. Initially it may be difficult but keep at it and 21 days later you have a new habit.
  • Remember you are solely responsible for your happiness or sadness so reclaim control.
  • Make an honest evaluation of what you wanted to complete and what you were able to achieve.
  • Make a to-do list and assign yourself short term goals with adequate rewards.
  • Establish how you will measure your goal and sub-goals
  • Begin with connecting with your support system and make your goal known to others and request support.
  • Do remember to meditate and calm your mind.

This story appeared in Smartlife’s Dec 2017 issue here:IMG_20171208_181142

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