My best friend began to do this when she started watching Big Boss (the Indianized version of Big Brother). She began to identify with a contestant from the house and would relegate me with dramatic statements like these – “She is facing the same trails as I do,” “But, she is herself, and that is how everyone must be,” “She is just like me, and I wish that she comes out the winner.”
Turned out, said contestant was discharged from the house following a diagnosis of depression.
Whether it was the contestant or the house that influenced her, my friend was running a drama inside her head. And she was thinking about it, talking about it, and writing about it a lot, up until the moment her favorite contestant bust her bubble. While my friend still watches the reality show, she is no more affected by what is happening inside.
On the other hand, my sister-in-law, who too was in love with the same contestant decided to skip watching the show all-together. She felt that it was distracting her from better things like spending time with her family and, well…sleep.
This is the part where we try to Distract the Distraction
Drama begins as a distraction. We watch dramas to free our brain from the information upload and download that is happening because of our various activities. The problem begins when we get too involved with this drama. What we then do is – identify with the drama, spend a lot of our precious time thinking and talking about this drama, most times over-imagining and over-blowing situations. All of this takes up unnecessary space in our brain and clogs our intelligence.
The best way to rid ourselves of this burden is to get back to doing things that genuinely require our time and presence. It could be activities as big as getting back to the desk, or as small as dusting the window.
But won’t we still be thinking about the drama?
Yes, we would, because by this time we have trained our brain well to focus on the drama. And the brain can focus on only one thing at a time. If it is focused on the drama, it will not focus on the job. One way to get out of this rut is to become Mindful.
Mindfulness is as simple as focusing on the present – on the job on hand. If you are cooking, you would be thinking about and feeling the ingredients you are adding, looking at the dish that you are creating, smelling and tasting the flavors and listening to the sounds coming from the sizzling dish. The point is to get fixated on the work that you are doing.
Mindfulness is simple to think of doing, but not so simple when it comes to getting down to practice. Most of us find it a chore to only think about the present when the job on hand is either boring or automatic like brushing the teeth or folding the clothes. What if we find ourselves slipping into drama mode during those moments?
During those times, I perform an activity called…
Drama, at the end of the day, is a figment of our imagination. If it roars from the brain, we can turn it into a whimper right there, inside the brain.
Every time I begin to worry about my son coming home late from school, and start imagining sequences where he might have gotten hurt, this is what I do. I immediately imagine another sequence where my son gets up, dusts himself off and hops onto the bus to reach home.
The Reverse Imagination works in several ways. One, I don’t get stuck in the nightmares that I create. I wake up and give my tale the ending that I want it to receive. Two, I worry less and when I worry less, I work better. And three, I feel great after I do this. I feel great enough to continue my day without the headaches of my drama worrying me. I feel great when I go to sleep at night. And that is what everyone wants when they go to sleep – to release that breath of contentment on a day well spent.
But, speaking about worries, where do they come from anyway? Find out in my next post.
Before that, here are some questions to think about;
- How often do you give in to your imaginations?
- Have your imaginations distracted you from other things that you want to do?
- How do you snub the drama that is happening inside your head?
- How else can this unnecessary drama be reduced?