You are a strong person and take life as it comes; you take the challenges and try to make the best out of situations. Yet, sometimes, you feel crestfallen. Even the strongest have their weak moments; after all, we are just humane.

Over the years, I have met many such people who fall under the category of strong, yet I have seen them cry and I have seen them worry about little things in life. I cannot reiterate it enough that it is acceptable to be so. Who said that we cannot cry, we cannot falter from our resolve and we cannot let us down.

Most people are lucky to have at least one person in their life who offers them shoulder when they need to let go. Yet, sometimes, the person might not be available. What do you do then? Do you look for another shoulder or do you silently suffer? You might have done both and yet not been able to find comfort. Then, you must have wondered why it is like that. That is how our mind functions. Since we have conditioned it over the years to find comfort in the company of one person or a specific group of people, it will not feel peaceful unless those person(s) are available. Hence, even though we find someone else to share our sorrows with, it doesn’t make us feel better. And also, sometimes, you have to restrict the extent of sharing with a new friend; it takes time to build the trust. Thus, in the end, you end up feeling more miserable than you started out with.

I say, why not find a friend in yourself for moments like this? Yes, man is a social animal and yes, we need to talk to people to share our joys and sorrows. But if you have a comfortable relationship with yourself, your inner self, it is much easier to find comfort than looking for it outside. Now, this doesn’t mean you should be aloof from other people all the time.

For example, consider this. You had a bad day at work. You go home and find that the kids are already off to the playground, so you can’t get the much-needed and ever-healing hug. Your spouse carried work home or has to play a match or visit an ailing friend/relative. And after a little while, you realize you are home alone. You would have loved that on any other occasion, but today you feel lonely and absolutely need a caring hand/shoulder. What do you do?

Many of us would drown ourselves in TV, thinking that the nonsense on the screen will make you overcome that in your mind. Or may be the jokes would make you laugh and relieve you from the pain in the heart, except that neither happens today. What then? You think of calling mom or friends and realize they will all be busy with families, and even if they wanted to hear you out, they won’t be much help since they will be obviously distracted.

It is times like these you need your own self to do the counselling for you. A hobby might come in handy. Do you love painting, singing, dancing, reading? Do it. The difference between watching TV and doing something you like to do is simple. TV may or may not take your mind off the matter at hand; hobby will not only do that, but will also make you feel much better. When you do something creative that you love, your mind is already trained to release feel-good hormones (endorphins) and they help you to feel good much faster and easier than anything else you could do. And if you are one of the active types, exercise! It is a scientifically accepted fact that physical work releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body and reduce the perception of pain.

There is another way to condition your mind to feel good even when in pain – daydream, build stories in your mind. Fantasize about something that makes you instantly smile. Good things about fantasies is you have no boundaries there. You can be a superhero saving people’s lives; you could be the sweetheart of the movie star you have a huge crush on; you could fly among the stars; you could be anything you wanted and you could do anything you desired. All you need to do is fool your mind into believing that everything is fine, and it will itself find ways to beat the stress. Mind is a great weapon if you do not let your thoughts control you but can learn to guide your thoughts as you want to feel.

Simple things that we all know can make it easier to forget the pain when you are lonely and sad. All it needs is a little conditioning of your mind.