When Dr. Jehangir Khan aka Jug from the movie Dear Zindagi counseled Kaira over a mental conflict, he compares the course of her life with mountain climbing which helped her get a direction over the same.
Jug used a Metaphor (a figure of speech) to compare Kaira’s life with a tough mountain climb for easy comprehension.
Metaphors are not just a crafty grammatical tool that enhances writing, strengthens argument or induces rhetoric but also can be used to understand physiological traps like anxiety, stress, etc.
Here are some of the metaphors that might come in handy in dealing with mental conflicts-
When You Resist Change
How many times did you find yourself in a situation where you knew what’s the right thing to do but were unable to take action?
How many times have you allowed yourself to suffer in comfort than bloom in discomfort?
If you answered affirmatively to the above questions then “The Person In The Hole” is the metaphor for you.
A person aimlessly wanders into a field full of holes. Disorientated by past experiences, they fall into a big one. The sides are steep and they can’t get out. But they were lucky. They had a toolbox with them. Without thinking, they take out a shovel and try to dig themselves out. This doesn’t work, so they start digging with greater intensity. But this just leaves them deeper in the hole. Feeling dejected, they give up. Suddenly, like a blessing from the skies, a person walks by with a ladder and throws it into the hole. Finally, some luck. But what do they do? They pick up the ladder and try to use it to dig themselves out of the hole.
People who feel dejected at their workplace but continue with the same job or those stuck in a never-ending loop of a toxic relationship, maybe this metaphor is for you.
Don’t be the person in the hole only to get trapped even deeper, pick the ladder, take control and rise!
When Everything Seems Challenging
We come across such phases of our life in which we feel our suffering is never-ending. It feels like a losing battle as we don’t know how to manage our life and make it right…everything seems to be challenging and targeting.
Such a situation can be easily comprehended with the help of the famous Buddhist- “First Dart, Second Dart” metaphor.
Buddha says, ‘Inescapable physical or mental discomfort is the “first dart” of existence. As long as you live and love, some of those darts will come your way’.
However, if you observe closely it’s not the first dart that causes problems in our life but the second dart that we throw at ourselves.
The reaction towards a problem is more important to be analyzed than the problem itself.
For example- You had a bad day at work and your family is waiting for you at the dinner table. You are stressed about the day and carry a rude temperament back home. You refused to have dinner and shouted at your wife.
She becomes upset at it. Now you just don’t have work stress but also a disturbed family to deal with. This makes you doubt your existence and you’re trapped in an endless cycle of suffering.
Whereas, if you carefully analyze the situation, then you’ll see, your reaction to a small problem created a bigger problem instead which could have been easily avoided.
The first darts are inevitable but dealing with them calmly is the best way to not have a second dart being thrown at you.
How To Deal With Uninvited Anxiety
The ‘Rope’ metaphor is a perfect example to walk you over an anxiety attack.
Imagine you are in a tug of war with some huge anxiety monster. You are pulling with all your might because between you and the monster is a huge, bottomless pit. You are spending all your energy pulling because you are sure if you lose you’ll be pulled into the pit. But the harder you pull the harder the monster pulls.
The monster seems to be equally strong and isn’t willing to give up just like you.
In such a situation, it is best to ‘drop the rope’ or give up for once.
By dropping the rope, you’ll realize that the monster is still there but you don’t have to fight with it anymore.
When dealing with an anxiety attack, sometimes, you need to STOP and DROP THE THOUGHT which was making you anxious and invest in something different.
It’s crucial for us to understand the fact that sometimes, it is okay to give up or give in.
What Did You Learn?
Metaphors have been scientifically proven to be a strong persuasion tool. It is remarkably influential on the human mind and carries the power to disrupt our thought process.
So, next time, whenever you find yourself in a conflict or a bad situation, remember to get out of the hole or drop the rope in time.
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