Most of us today are trying to define what ‘normal’ is. But let’s be honest. This has nothing to do with the ongoing pandemic. The world around us has changed drastically – even before coronavirus struck – but have we kept up with the changes?
We’re probably grateful to the pandemic for allowing us to voice our mental health struggles. Now, why do we need a pandemic to allow us to say, “I’m probably confused?” Maybe because it is suddenly more socially acceptable? And talking about our mental health previously was not? Is this going to change in the near future? Are we still going to address our mental health problems post-pandemic?
Our struggles don’t need to be big or small, but being mindful of where we stand with our mental health is the key. How does one really be mindful about the constantly changing normal? Did we skip this life lesson while chasing our dreams? Probably yes – we might not have prioritised it until it needed our undivided attention. This is where life strategies and techniques come into play.
Do You Believe in Second Chances?
Using this undefined normal to our advantage, let’s recreate a space where we can recognise ourselves and build a routine that isn’t driven by society, but defined by our personality. Let’s stop in our tracks, be mindful, and thank the chance the pandemic has given us to redo our normal from scratch. Does that sound bizarre? Or does that sound ‘normal’?
Being an expat in the UAE means that we all flew away from our nests and landed here to build a second home. We should use this to our advantage to improve ourselves and aim for a more sustainable approach towards personal growth. Now how does one achieve personal growth, especially with all the changes we see around us? Let’s start with re-evaluating the generalised Presuppositions (Beliefs of Excellence) that we have mindlessly adopted in life. We can decode where our struggles lie by using our Modalities (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory, and Gustatory) that are part of each representational system that encode and give meaning to our experiences.
That sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? It isn’t something we can achieve overnight, but would we run a marathon with a fractured foot? Or would we take time to nurse it and start walking five steps every day with the goal to eventually run a marathon again. Our mental health works the exact same way. Personal growth won’t happen overnight – it’s something that needs attention. We need to look at our struggles, analyse them, decode them, go in for therapy, and apply new strategies with sustainable growth in order to experience transformation.
What Is NLP Coaching?
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and is a personality development tool that is designed to help people in their personal and professional space. The way I describe NLP is that what happens in the brain (Neuro) helps us form an opinion (Linguistic), which is then expressed in our behaviour (Programming). I believe that NLP tools are what we change in our brain via our Modalities, which heals our opinions and changes our behaviour/routine, creating a new normal every time we grow.
What’s the easiest way to start this process? Mindfulness. When we are aware of our senses, we can be aware of what information we would like to put into our brain and form a new opinion, which will eventually enable a new habit/ behaviour. This is a continuous subconscious process that happens in our life on a day-to-day basis, and we are either aware of it or wake up one morning feeling dejected.
This ongoing process of changing what normal means for us can be used in many situations where one feels a void – be it the pandemic, your move to UAE, a break-up, a change of job, moving apartments, or mourning the loss of any form. Change in routine can be used to your advantage to upgrade yourself.
Dubai has normalised the fact that what we consider normal constantly changes. Luckily, being a part of this environment means that we can get through change with a few life strategies, techniques, and guidance. This advice comes from my own life experience in Dubai, being confused in my twenties, and the structure that comes from being a trained Master NLP Practitioner and Mindfulness & Life Coach.
Learn more about Aditi Vijay Chandanani and her work at @decodingquirks_lifecoach.