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Dr Mani Pavuluri Blog

Let’s be Kind

Modern Psychiatry: Action Tools

I often feel enamored by fresh ways to think. We all know problems are like a jukebox. They repeat themselves. But some interesting ways to phrase or remind you may energize and lift us. Here are some ideas that I am loving to practice in my own life or in helping others. Loving this life and bringing meaning to ourselves and others is profound. My signature line, as I always say, is Dream it and do it! Maybe this is another way to say come up with your vision board and manifest by letting the universe work with you.

  1. If there is one mental health problem to choose from, it is stress. We become snappy with it. Our mind determines our state of being. Our neighbor Tom who passed away recently left us his life pointers. One of them is- Don’t waste time thinking. Do things. Do good.
  2. When others are aggressive and reactive, we can try not to ooze our own emotions and get overwhelmed. We don’t need to expend and dissolve into our emotions. Instead, we can watch the reactors like a puppet show, and tune into why or what they are saying with curiosity. Let’s look outward. That helps us to respond well and not get caught up in reacting.
  3. Keep things simple by thinking from the top of the tree and seeing things clearly from above. Let the text messages be generated from our own Prefrontal Cortex (Our God Given App) and be crisp in our thinking.  Let’s trim out the white noise.
  4. Over-communication is always better.
  5. Our own suffering serves the purpose of helping others. We can share our experience, as it was one way we developed a high tolerance to any stress. We can wear that experience as a vulnerability badge to connect with intimacy. We don’t need to be icy and distant and give out love more freely right?!
  6. Conflict in relationships can be seen as an exciting opportunity to learn, a key to open the door of how others are thinking, tune in and start seeing their point of view, yielding a little towards them.
  7. If our mind is all over the place feeling mundane as we start the day, we can always center ourselves by looking out the window peacefully and going over all the things in our mind that we are grateful for like a movie reel. That way, we feel content.
  8. Effective communication is taking the time to explain through 2-3 sentences, using a nice kind tone, and having the back of those we are talking to.  Focus on the problem than the person.
  9. We may pick apples and cherries in relationships that are complex.  Some have difficult families. I think we can be careful to limit ourselves to enjoying the positive aspects and not giving the energy to negativity.
  10. Routine and relationships are two Rs that are key, don’t you think? Routine stabilizes the day and relationships fill our souls. Quality of life is determined by these two things.
  11. At any point, we have a choice, the next best positive step. If stuck, just think about the next step.
  12. Fun requires active planning. Affection, appreciation, and fun are oxygen to relationships. You can demonstrate affection and say thanks, but with regard to fun, it takes time to plan activities.
  13. Let’s write down or reflect on the golden moments of life, the Aha moments.  Let’s be creative and dig for a huge variety to unearth things we are grateful for.
  14. Let’s check with ourselves every single day to be intentional with Nutrition+ Exercise+ Sleep+ Time for fun (NEST) for good physical and mental health.
  15. Talking of nutrition: The intuitive eating method suggests that we connect the eating circuit: Rational brain (decides what and when to eat), amygdala (that pushes us to comfort eating), mouth (that participates in the act of eating), and stomach (that tells us if we are full). Meal prep does not mean always cooking. We can ‘keep aside’ things to eat that we love to eat and are healthy so we won’t dive into unhealthy foods. Readiness and availability seem to matter.
  16. Not-so-healthy pleasure-seeking can be unsavory, right? Maybe it is fun to seek joy to replace it by making a list of what fetches us that joy. I find that these need to be customized to our individual liking. I call them joy fillers.
  17. If feeling rushed, we can move slowly, relax our bodies like a rag dolls and declutter our schedules. Suspend sense of time. For example, I feel less rushed if I do a single work-related task on a Sunday. I bet it is to do with the feeling nothing is chasing me, though the time frame occupied by that one task is the exact same on any given day.
  18. Our friends do not have to be perfect. They are human. They are unique. They are fabulous just the way they are. Love them hard.
  19. We can use the favorite list feature on our phones to connect with our tribe often. It serves as our Rolodex card. Mutual storytelling nourishes us through frequent conversations.
  20. Play is joyful (as Gottmans underscore). I get up from finishing the work (although work is wonderful too) and say to myself loudly- “It’s play time.”

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