The beauty of life (group workshop)
The gift of life
Life is a beautiful and precious gift. Living is not a passive phenomenon, it is dynamic and energetic, and ought to be forceful and resolute. Making the right choices in life is essential to reach the zenith of happiness and accomplishment. The lookout from life is summarized in the quote: ‘The purpose of life, is to find a life of purpose’. While most are blessed with the intellect and ability to make life productive and meaningful, few realize the importance of making right decisions to keep the beauty and simplicity of life on its predestined path. It is not that difficult to be happy and spread happiness. Contentment is less from external forces and more internally generated.
Stresses in life
Everything in this world seems smooth as long as things are moving on their pre-destined track. When children set out in this world to pave their own way, there is bound to be some resistance. And this leads to restlessness, apprehension, fear and anxiety. Anything that they love, things that matter to them; and are important to them, make them worry (what an irony!). And worry is quite an unpleasant emotion. Children enter a vicious cycle initiated by their changing hormones, and worsened by peer pressure and their developing identity.
Everything goes wrong
Needless to mention, in today’s world, stress has become an integral part of existence. The stressed mind urges one to transiently suspend rational thinking, leading to denial of reality and brings in pessimism. This causes the damaging tetrad of negative perceptions, negative thoughts, pessimistic emotions and adverse behaviors that eventually culminate into self damaging lifestyles. When this continues beyond the limit of the defense mechanisms and coping strategies, it may lead to burnout, anxiety problems, depression and in some extreme cases even psychotic phenomena and suicide. A sound mind and rational decision making ability are basic needs to survive and thrive in the world today.
Childhood sows seeds, while teenage sprouts twigs of identity. Emotional responsiveness, personality buildup, habit formation and problem solving abilities get defined. Though it may seem easy, the situation can get chancy. Children may think that they are innately capable of making the right decisions for themselves; but this may not be true. They tend to do defy most of what is told to them. This results in opposition form parents and thus defiance and a development of negative identity. They may end up in an emotional mess and become a source of trouble to everyone around them.
Doing the right thing
Adolescents need to have the right lookout in life so that they take appropriate steps towards responsible living. It is easy to make wrong decisions. Righteousness undeniably demands courage and it calls for strong will power. At the same time, it is habitual; when accustomed to do only the right thing, the wrong behaviors take a back seat. Criticism can motivate self change if it is given sensitively and taken constructively. Each one of us has self-preserving instincts; everyone needs reinforcers for their behavior when appropriate. Nobody awaits negative remarks and condemnation from others. Children need and crave for support and guidance, which should be offered to them in a caring manner. The goal is to help them deal with difficulties and conflicts in their lives effectively and emerge as stronger, mature, positive and more responsible individuals. Stress is an inseparable part of human existence. Stressed children do not grow into confident and mature human beings.
MINDFRAMES: Reframing life for school children
Schools are the backbone offering support to children during their formative years. It is not possible to change life’s situation in most cases; however, changing one’s own outlook is a feasible and workable option. We use this interactive and activity filled workshop to generate rightful and purposeful thinking in the developing mind of children and adolescents at the appropriate time. This helps direct the innocent mind towards more positive and constructive thoughts, appropriate emotions and goal directed behaviors, which help ensure a long, healthy, fruitful and positive life ahead. Life is never beautiful or ugly. It is the perception that determines one’s thinking and subsequent action. Children must learn to perceive rightly.