Make Locus of Control Internal

 In my practice, I have asked a large number of patience a simple question, "Whom do you think is responsible for your stress?" Invariably patients consider someone else to be responsible for their stress. Old female patients point these finger towards their daughter-in-law and consider them to be the main cause of their tension. The young housewives feel that their mother-in-law have caused all problems. Likewise during my training programmes for Managers and Union Leaders of multinational companies, I found that Union Leaders consider lack of initiative on part of the management to be the primary cause of their problem and management personnel point their fingers towards Union Leaders and feel that non co-operation of Union Leaders is the basis of tension in the company. Similarly, parents say that their adolescent child is the cause of their High Blood Pressure and the teenagers feel that parents are not able to understand them and that is the root cause of all their anxiety. When we consider someone else to be responsible for our stress our locus of control becomes external. This means control is not in our own hands. Someone else is controlling our state of mind. Someone else is pulling our mental strings. We behave like puppets and the controller is someone else. In certain cases it may be true that some other person or environmental factors are responsible for the stress. But when we blame others our condition becomes helpless. We are not able to do anything to minimize our stress.

From a psychological point of view too this is a misconception because you cannot experience any stress unless there is a thought about it at a conscious level or at least at subconscious level.

Only when we have some negative thoughts or thoughts of anxiety, depression, nervousness, jealousy, fear, etc., we feel those state of mind and in turn perceive them as stress. If we do not think about stressful situations then we will not experience stress. If we think about peace, happiness and relaxation even in the midst of stressful situations we can experience a positive state of mind. This implies that our thoughts are the basis of our feelings. We are able to raise our hands or put them down as per our desires. Similarly, we can think positively or negatively as per our desires. This implies that to a great extent we are in-charge of our thought processes. We can surely turn our thoughts in a desired direction, and in turn transform our mental feelings to a certain extent. The above explanation also implies that we are the master of our own mind. By following this principle we can make our locus of control internal. To explain this point let us take few examples:


Ramesh who failed in the final year B.Com. was extremely depressed after the result He felt like committing suicide. During my second consultation along with medicines, i systematically explained to him that the best approach was to accept the reality and do some positive thinking such a "Now I have learned a lesson This failure is because of the overconfidence I had. For the next six months I will study very hard and do well in my exams". Besides having such positive thoughts I also advised him to practically tan studying 8 to 10 hours a day and systematically prepare himself for examinations,

Jayesh bhai went into construction business. After three years of efforts he came to know that instead of meaning anything he had lost about Rupees Fifteen lakh in the business. Previously he was doing Textile business. Out cd nothing he had developed a flourishing business. On a friend's advice he invested all his savings in construction business. Initially he hoped he would definitely mean a substantial amount but later on realising that he had incurred a great loss he went into reactive depression. I taught him to face this situation with a positive spirit, to accept that in business ups and downs were bound to be there. Once again if he worked hard and systematically planned the business he would be able to compensate the loss. We also discussed the mistakes that he had made. He made up his mind and resolved not to repeat such mistakes in the future. He also started thinking "although I have lost my saving yet I have good apartment and a shop where I can do my business and easily maintain my family". Even in adverse circumstances you can repeatedly think I am a peaceful person. I am feeling happy. I am feeling relaxed and comfortable... I am going to maintain this tranquility and peace of mind. By following this simple method one can retain the tranquility and stability of mind even in stressful situation.

Ultimately we are the incharge of our mind. We are the controller of our mind and hence we are also responsible for the state of mind directly or indirectly. No sooner we learn to take this responsibility than half the battle is won. Now we can also take some creative steps to change our situation. Through proper efforts we can learn new skills, we can develop new positive relationships.

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