On my journey, I sometimes felt like I’m heading in the right direction but more often than not, I was desperately lost. While lurking in dark alleys that seemed to lead to nowhere, I happened to chance upon the right books and conversations that have helped me to re-route my guiding system. I learnt about ways of staying afloat and on track even in apparently dramatic circumstances.
One of these important tools is the ability to control the need to add drama to life situations.
Before I came across a few sources that shed a new light on how people create drama in their lives, I hadn’t thought that it is possible to become unhappy by choice. I had assumed it’s the “problems” in my life that make me unhappy and if I couldn’t change my circumstances, I would just have to deal with my frustrations in the best way I can.
I later on learnt that we easily exaggerate some perceived negative situations we are in and we create a huge bubble of unhappiness where we float adrift disregarding anything that could bring us down to earth. Somehow, this bubble becomes a familiar place and we can’t seem to want to come out of it after a while. I call this place a “drama bubble” and nowadays I see people being happily unhappy in their bubbles all the time.
Curious to know how it works, I began to observe myself and see the patterns I apply to make a situation worse than it really is.
Here are a few:
- I misinterpret people’s actions, words or intentions by passing hasty judgements.
- I assume other people’s actions, words or intentions are entirely about me and therefore I fret, get angry or retaliate hastily.
- I talk about what bothers me to anyone willing to listen and sometimes, no matter how much I discuss the matter, there’s no feeling of relief which makes me even angrier.
- I think about the issue all the time asking myself why this had to happen to me.
- I look forward to explaining myself to those who have misjudged me and if they don’t understand or accept my view, I become frustrated beyond belief.
These are just a few of the ways I used to sabotage myself into creating a perception of life that worked against me and which was not real.
My mind is still into creating drama all day long, but I apply a few simple techniques to control it. Below are some of them:
- When my mind gets affected and goes into drama mode, I switch from whatever I am doing to something else. I stand up, I talk to someone, I look at the scenery, I go to the fridge and so on. After only a few minutes, the intensity of my feelings and my brain chatter lessens allowing me to think more objectively.
- I focus on my breath in the abdominal region and give myself the time to just relax for a few minutes.
- I observe my thoughts and emotions as if I’m looking at someone else.
- Lastly, when drama mode kicks in, I become aware that “it’s not real”. (I’ll expand more on this one in a future post.)
My life is so much more meaningful without too much drama and I hope I will be able to share glimpses of how it feels like now. My hope is also to inspire you to allow yourself a slight shift in perception if there are things that hang heavy in your life right now.