“We Need to Be Solution Focused” - Akash Tyagi

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I Akash Tyagi, belong to a middle-class family which is a joint family at the same time, getting something was never so easy but as the wise man says “problems will always be there to make you stronger and wiser than before.

No one can escape destiny never did I, I was not a bright student I remember I used to get very bad grades and was never into studies till my secondary school. During these years I don’t know when I fell for science and these two years of higher secondary made me something else, all of a sudden I was sincere, hardworking and into learning, I guess it was the puberty hit. 

By the time I created a sense of understanding others feeling, started listening to others patiently and of course the advice part I started that too and from there MY JOURNEY HAS STARTED.

2. What led you to take up this career path?

Nothing can lead you to choose a career path until it’s not already in you and even I didn’t know this until I choose psychology and decided to be a counselor. When I started reading psychology I got confused whether I really wanted this for me or not, I am sure we all have had that time once in our life.

 Like time passed I began to relate so many things, I was doing since my teenage unconsciously were the part of a counselors life. As we speak of “I understand you “that’s SYMPATHY or I say “I can feel your pain “that’s EMPATHY. 

When I was hearing out someone patiently that’s ACTIVE LISTENING and when I was giving advice to someone that was the part of being a “MENTOR” or “GUIDE” most of you must be thinking now that we all have these traits and I will say yes you are right we all have this even we all have a COUNSELLOR in us we just have to figure out how to put it before the world.

3. What are some common myths in the society about psychology?

There are so many myths about psychology, let’s talk about some funny ones first. I don’t know why people have such a perception that a psychologist can read your face or can tell what’s going on in your head.  I mean it’s the commonest misconception of peoples around you about a psychologist. 

Let me tell you we can’t read anyone’s face. We are able to help you because you want to be helped as simple as that. People think PSYCHOLOGY is easy but it’s not just like English can be challenging for any native speaker psychology classes can be equally tough.

 Some say PSYCHOLOGY is just common sense but what seems like common sense is not necessarily the case, you can pick up some of the most famous experiment in psychology, I would recommend you guys “STANLEY MILGRAM OBEDIENCE TEST” read it and ask yourself what your common sense would have told to do if you were at that experiment.

4. How can people practice mindfulness?

Mind-fullness is nothing just a modern word for meditation, we psychologists are using to brag about our knowledge, yes you heard me right being a psychologist I am saying this that mindfulness is more or less meditation. Mindfulness is the human ability to be fully present, what one seeing and feeling in the moment without judgment.

For mindfulness, one need to understand the concept of meditation and for meditation, one needs to know about rhythmic breathing (breathing in a pattern).

One needs to sit down relaxed concentrate on breathing, on the need to understand in and out breathe and focus his/her attention on it after getting awareness about breathing on the need to get aware about his/her body that brings mind back to the body when it’s done you are well established and now as you are aware of your body release tension from it. 

Breathing in “I am aware of my body” breathe out “I release the tension” and with practice you will be fully aware and alive.

5. What are your tips for people who want to practice this profession?

Being a psychologist is not like you are pursuing a profession it’s more like leading another life. For me it’s not my job it’s me the real me u can’t feel a profession but I feel this, I live this. Whenever I am out as a counselor I feel responsible, I feel competent and I feel livelier. 

There are no tricks because it’s not just an exam which you want to crack its more than that, that’s why I will give you suggestions, not tricks, besides having a degree in psychology you need to be very specific that you want this. 

To be a psychologist you have to be very patient, you have to be an active listener, you have to be very observant so that you understand nonverbal cues, you have to be empathetic, etc. These are the qualities you are going to need to be a counselor. Being a counselor is like living in reality, ponder over before stepping in the REAL WORLD.

6. Is work life balance a myth or reality according to you?

If you would have asked me this 2 years ago, when I was struggling in finding what I am and what I want to be my answer would have been that it’s a myth work and life can’t be balanced. Let me tell you what changed in these 2 years, it’s my perspective. 

See its simple there are two “SELVES” one is “IDEAL” and the second is “TRUE”. The IDEAL self is what you want to be or who do you take as your ICON and the TRUE self is what you are in present. The more the difference in these SELVES the deeper will be the trench between them. 

These selves are like parallel worlds you can’t be in them at the same time. So you need to find out how to fill the trench and it can be done only by knowing that TRUE and IDEAL self are the same you are what you wanting to be. Once you do that you will find an equilibrium in your life and you can finally see that work-life balance is not a myth. 

7. How according to you can one manage stress?

I think the question should not be how to manage stress it should be how not to get stressed. If nobody is feeling stressed then there will be no need to manage it. I know it’s not easy as I am saying but trust me most people don’t know the meaning of stress.

If somebody is feeling low they say I am in stress, if somebody is being scolded by someone they say I am stressed, if somebody got failed in the exam they say I am feeling stressed trust my stress is not that easy to get. Stress is when you are in a situation where you are unable to cop and the situation is unmanageable feeling low, anxious, or sad is not stress.

Let’s talk about how to cope with it when people get in trouble they lost their ability to think rationally and act purposefully. We need to be “SOLUTION FOCUSED” but we always end up “PROBLEM FOCUSED”.

Stop saying I am stressed because that happened to me instead ask yourself why you ended up there, stay solution-focused and your stress will be gone.

- Akash Tyagi

Interview By - Akanksha Gupta

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