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When More is Not Merrier

by Rajgopal Nidamboor(more info)

listed in psychospiritual, originally published in issue 280 - August 2022

 

This article was originally published in firstindia.co.in

https://firstindia.co.in/news/lifeStyle/when-more-is-not-merrier

 

There are circuits in the brain that signal our emotions, all right. They have the capacity to seamlessly connect with the type of attention you require to take the right decision. To buy a new attire, which you may not use – or, watch a comedy show on TV. Or, listen to soft, soulful melodies.

 

When More is Not Merrier

 

The horrendous COVID-19 pandemic has compelled us to realize that the most expensive things in life do not really bring profound happiness. Yet, the fact also is – blame it on our short-term memory – we are always drawn to them. It is rightly said that objects imitate life at the material level. In addition, they fulfil a psychological need. This leads us to reorganize ourselves with good things in our wardrobe, or new shelves.

It is, therefore, not surprising that you and I go for an expensive mobile phone as a substitute for our own inadequacies – when we don’t seem to be doing as well as we would want to in life, or career. We can’t blame ourselves for our own misgivings. The dilemma is simple – we don’t think about the natural ‘ladder’ of our needs. We are busy looking at riches and/or luxuries of life, not friendships, relationships, happiness, freedom, and thought.

This makes us vulnerable – which is reason enough why commercial enterprises play with the hierarchy of our needs and prop up a material vision of the good, while underplaying things that we actually need to be happy, or contended with. The mere possession of great riches – a plush home, a fancy car, and the best of electronic gizmos – simply do not reduce the apprehensions of our soul. It does not also lead to natural, or innate, happiness. This holds good for the requirements of our mind, body, and soul too.

What we most often need are useful, ordinary things to drive away pain, for instance and, in so doing, multiply the simple pleasures of life – the delight of ‘zero-expense’ things, like walking in a flower-filled garden, smelling the sublime freshness of grass, or listening to the chirping of birds. This leads us to the essence of what ‘makes’ natural happiness. For philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, happiness was the feeling that power upturns resistance to be overcome. He believed that happiness is also a kind of control one has over their surroundings. He reminisced on the impact that power – or, a lack of it – has on people’s lived experiences too. “When people resist,” as he argued, “they take back their agency.”

This sense of ‘self ’ can then turn into happiness.” Socrates, likewise, articulated, “The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoying less.” He strongly felt that happiness doesn’t come from external rewards, or accolades. It comes from the private, internal success people confer upon themselves. More the merrier, therefore, is not the keynote, or ticket, to happiness. Nature never seeks anything more gratifying than its several simple pleasures. We often do just the opposite.

You and I grumble that there’s always something that we don’t have – something that the other person has. Would it really matter if your drawing room does not glow with silver, or gleam with the best of rosewood furniture, or marble splendour? Picture this. When we look at nature, we are energized, because nature welcomes you, me, and everyone, without expectation. It allows you to stretch on the grass, or relax under the shade of a tree. There’s no invoice attached for the pleasure we derive in feeling refreshed.

There are emotions packed in everything we do – even when we recline on the lawn, or count the stars. Emotions are critical for effective thought – for making wise, not ‘expensive,’ decisions and allowing ourselves to think clearly. The power of our emotions has the ability to hold our attention – especially with facts that are essential for completing a given task, or problem. It helps in a host of ways – the type of house you wish to buy, or sorting out things at the workplace.

There are circuits in the brain that signal our emotions, all right. They have the capacity to seamlessly connect with the type of attention you require to take the right decision. To buy a new attire, which you may not use – or, watch a comedy show on TV. Or, listen to soft, soulful melodies. Remember – when you and I are emotionally upset, we promptly say, “I just can’t think straight.” Is there a way out? Yes, there is. The next time you think, make sure to bring about a balance between your mind and your heart. To hold the ideal of reason, along with the pull of your feelings. This will assist you in understanding what it really means to using your emotions and logic, intelligently, and not yearning for yet another fanciful gadget.

 

The Views Expressed by the Author are Personal

Acknowledgement Citation

This article was originally published in firstindia.co.in

https://firstindia.co.in/news/lifeStyle/when-more-is-not-merrier

 

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About Rajgopal Nidamboor

Rajgopal Nidamboor PhD FCCP M-CAM is a Board-Certified wellness physician, Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians (FCCP), Member of the Center of Applied Medicine (M-CAM), writer-editor, commentator, critic, columnist, author, and publisher. His special interests include natural health and wellness, mind-body/integrative medicine, nutritional medicine, psychology, philosophy, and spirituality. His focus areas also encompass contemporary research and dissemination of dependable information for people concerned about their health. He feels that it is increasingly gratifying to see most individuals, including physicians, thinking outside the box – especially in areas such as natural health, where the body knows best to heal itself from the inside out. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, Web articles, four books on natural health, two coffee-table books, a handful of E-books, a primer on therapeutics, and, most recently, Cricket Odyssey. He’s Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360, a mobile health application/platform, connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic, Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.  Rajgopal Nidamboor lives in Navi Mumbai, India. He may be contacted via raj@rajnidamboor.com 

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