Monthly Archives: October 2013

Occupational Stress – Causes, Symptoms and Management

Steve_Jobs

The world at large is filled with people who work. It is jam-packed of people who work for themselves, for others, in Government sectors, private sectors, civil and social sectors and so on. In other words occupation has become an integral part of our lives. Neither can we live without it nor can we lead a fulfilling life without it.

Every occupation brings some free perks and gifts for us in the form of occupational stress, work conflicts, team mismanagement, communication issues and so on. No matter how big or how small an organization is, and no matter how organized or amazing an organization is, these issues are bound to creep in either in tremendous forms or in latent subtle forms.

Organizational Stress can develop due to a wide array of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Strict organizational policies and protocols
  • Less scope for self-growth
  • Intra (Within) and Inter (Between) group conflicts
  • Workforce mismanagement
  • Human resource mismanagement
  • Lack of proper communication
  • Personal and situational issues
  • Bullying
  • Groupism
  • Time and work mismanagement

Whatever may be the cause of occupational stress it leads to a great deal of downfall of overall work output. It degrades your motivation to work, hampers your professional life and thrusts a jolt on your personal life, emotions, goodwill, belief system, health and so on.

You can experience occupational stress in manifold ways. It can be both overt (that it can be seen in your observable behavior) or covert (you may be suffering from stress within and it cannot be easily seen). Here are some of the common symptoms that you may experience if you fall a prey to occupational stress:

  • Generalized stress (feeling stressed out in almost everything)
  • Lack of motivation to work
  • Inability to meet deadlines
  • Chaos and confusion
  • Feeling of inferiority and anxiousness
  • Changes in diet, sleeplessness, irritability
  • Feelings of depression, hopelessness and helplessness, dejection and failure
  • Excessive sweating, palpitations, nightmares in some cases
  • Lack of confidence in presentations, communication and overall performance
  • Burnout
  • Turnover

If you are a suffering from occupational stress don’t fall a silent prey to it. There are numerous ways in which you can effectively deal with it:

  • The first and foremost way to keep occupational stress at bay starts from the day you join an organization. Genuineness, professional attitude, keen interest and keeping your personal attributes out of your professional world are the key factors to be kept in mind.
  • Do your work diligently and maintain a proper pace in your work. Do not resort to procrastination. Because it will keep a lot of back-log of work behind. And ultimately the unfinished accumulated work will attract unnecessary stress.
  • Oil-polishing or hero worship is a common phenomenon in work cultures today. In order to reach higher designations, in order to get good appraisals, promotions and hikes employees often try to impress their higher authorities. However, if you waste your time doing so then when will you get sufficient time to do your own work? If you work genuinely and nicely, obviously it will get good appraisal and accolades sooner or later.
  • Do not share your personal insecurities and issues with others at work. You never know when you will be back-stabbed.
  • Punctuality, regularity, time management, honesty, diligence, discipline, and maintaining healthy professional attitude form some of the effective ways of dealing with occupational stress.
  • Do not involve in bullying others. Do not indulge in groupism too. Because by doing that you are digging a pit for your own downfall.
  • If you are a victim of bullying, do not hesitate in reporting the same to your higher authorities, HR of your office or counselor.
  • Try to finish all your work at your office itself so that you can return home and relax.
  • Keep your work environment neat and tidy. That will keep your mood fresh for the day’s work.
  • Healthy competition with others is OK. However, learn to compete with yourself. As in, where you are now and where you have to reach. This will be the benchmark of your success.
  • Last but not the least, concentrate on your own work as you are the one accountable for it and no one is going to take its responsibility. And do not compare yourself with others. As a part of the organization you and your work are equally important no matter what position or designation you hold.
  • Keep some handy stress management techniques with you. Use them when you feel over-stressed: deep breathing, meditation, walking out of the work area, getting some fresh air, listening to your favorite musical number…these are some of the easy ways to tackle stress.
  • If the occupational stress becomes too overwhelming for you to handle then do not hesitate to contact a professional therapist. We all need some or the other support in our lives. Some times we can tackle our own issues all by ourselves and sometimes it requires team work.

Work is only a part and parcel of your life. What defines you is not your work but how you do it. So, love you work and even if you don’t then try to search for a work you love or try to make peace with our existing job. No work is big or small. Every work has its own significance. It’s our perspective and mindsets towards that work that matters. The way we work and with the way we make our work enterprising will define and determine its height and worthwhile nature. Always remember:

“When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.”

 – Catherine Pulsifer

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Great pregnancy tips for all parents-to-be

Babies

Gushes of heartfelt emotions shower on you, the moment you come to know about the advent of a little one in your lives. These emotions can neither be described nor be controlled. They can only be felt; beyond physical limitations and beyond eternity. When the good news of the little one comes, everyone related to you becomes so excited and elated. The journey of nine months and after that will not only bring many moments and experiences to cherish but also change your life for a lifetime. This blog post is based on some important things and concerns that all parent-to-be should know before holding their little ones in their arms. Happy nesting and happy reading!

For Mommy-to-be:

With the pregnancy strip showing a positive sign, many of you would be feeling happy and overwhelmed at the same time. What to do, what not to do, whom to tell, whom not to tell, when to share the big news, what next…All these are some common questions that start hitting the mind. Here is a step by step process of to-do’s for you:

  1. The moment you discover that you are pregnant, it’s a big time to hug your partner/ your baby’s daddy-to-be and thank each other for the gift that would be coming in a couple of months.
  2. Fix an appointment with your gynecologist/obstetrician for the scanning of the fetus and the future course of actions.
  3. Talk to your ob/gyn about your family history of any disease (if any), your allergies, what to eat and what not to eat, etc.
  4. I know you would be pining or craving to yell out the good news to your loved ones and relatives. But hold on! Talk about the good news only when the tie is ripe, when you and your partner have emotionally settled down a bit and when your nesting urges have sunk in. Usually breaking the news after 12 weeks or 2-3 months is advisable. This gives you ample time for everything.

Medical and Health Tips for Mommies-to-be:

  1. Never miss your doctor’s appointment, medicines he/she prescribes at any cost.
  2. Never take over-the-counter medicines for the opportunistic health issues you face during pregnancy. Always seek doctor’s advice. If possible make your ob/gyn write about some SOS medicines that you can take in case of acute problems.
  3. Some common physical ailments during pregnancy include: Nausea, vomiting (I used to vomit at least 22-25 times per day), acidity problems, digestion problems, frequent urination, swelling palms and feet, headaches, breathing problems, palpitations, sensitivity towards smell and noise.
  4. Common psychological issues include: Food craving, food aversion, insomnia (sleep problems), mood swings, stress, anxiety, depression and worrying.
  5. Don’t worry…the above ailments/issues may or may not exist in some cases. Some may get one or two symptoms out of the whole. Each and every pregnancy is different.

Workouts and Exercise for Mommies-to-be:

  1. As I said, every pregnancy is different so doing exercise or workouts is not always advised. Some women are asked to take complete bed-rest for the entire 9 months. Some women have a very high or very low-lying placenta. So exercising may harm both the mother and the child growing in the womb. That’s why every mom-to-be should take clear-cut advice from their ob/gyn whether or not to exercise and what workouts are suitable.
  2. One thing that is very effective and side-effect free is “breathing exercise”. I would like to share the most effective breathing exercise with you here. You can do it while listening to your favorite music too: Sit in a comfortable position. Breathe in or take a deep breathe. While inhaling, imagine that you are inhaling positive thoughts and positive vibes/energies for you and your baby. Then hold your breathe for 1-2 secs imagining that all the positive thoughts and vibes are settling in and spreading in both of you. Finally breathe out slowly. While exhaling, imagine that all the negativity within you is getting expelled in the form of black smoke. Repeat the same for 4-5 rounds slowly and in a calm manner. After that rub both your palms and touch your body/tummy/all round your body.
  3. Walking in fresh air is also a good and subtle workout that is very effectual. It can be done through all the trimesters.

Diet-regime: What to eat and what not to eat when pregnant:

  • Completely avoid eating papaya and pineapple during your entire course of your pregnancy as it can cause premature delivery, uterine contractions and abortion in extreme causes. Some people/cultures/countries do prefer eating raw papayas…but the decision is all yours. Prevention is always better than cure.
  • Avoid smoking, drugs and alcohol. If someone pushes you towards the same or if you get an urge to do so, then simply avoid that person/place/situation. Smoking (active and passive), drugs and alcohol cause serious birth defects, premature labor and abortion, and fetal death syndrome.
  • Try covering your nose with some cloth when someone smokes near you or when you go in a polluted area.
  • Try to experiment on the foods that you eat. Some foods make you feel more pukish or nauseated. While others cause acidity problems. So its best to prepare a diet chart on the basis of your preferences.
  • Overcooked food, under-cooked food, oily foods, excessive fat-rich food may be harmful. Be extra careful while eating fish and meat. Make sure they are healthy in your preggie days and are cooked cautiously.
  • Balanced diet is the key to a healthy diet regime during pregnancy. I used to crave for salty and sour foods only. And sweet based food made me feel sick. My baby boy was born with a very low glucose level and was on the threshold to getting a fits attack. Luckily he got out of that danger. So do not make a mistake like me. Even if you crave for a certain category of food, do not forget to add other categories of vital food to your platter too. And yes, avoid mixed-food salads as they mix nutrients and create hazardous elements. Instead of that eat whole fruits.
  • Eat right and eat healthy.

Clothes to wear during pregnancy:

  • Wear light clothes.
  • Too tight clothes should be avoided.
  • Avoid wearing pants and clothes that are too tight right over your stomach and your abdominal area.
  • Cotton and light-colored clothes are the best.

Body Care and Hygiene during pregnancy:

  • Do not use body lotions that are filled with a lot of chemicals. Use herbal products instead.
  • To avoid stretch marks you can use some herbal creams with the recommendation of your ob/gyn.
  • Make sure to flush the toilet/bathroom with antiseptic liquid before using it. Keep your private areas clean to avoid infections.
  • Keep your surroundings clean in an overall way. It will not only make you feel better but also help you to stay healthy throughout your preggie days.

For Psychological Issues/Balance during pregnancy:

  • Share your emotions, feelings with your partner or anyone you can rely on and trust.
  • Talk to your baby more often.
  • Spend ample time with your partner too. Because after your baby arrives there would obviously be an attention-shift altogether.
  • Keep a stress-ball with you to release any kind of stress.
  • Watch you favorite movie, listen and hum your favorite song.
  • Chocolates tend to pacify anxiety and stress.
  • Meditation works wonders.
  • You can create your time line album of events in your life, how you are excited for your baby, how you want him/her to be…..everything. This will be a creative and emotionally uplifting experience for you, your partner and also your child when he/she sees it.

For Daddy-to-be:

So hey, you are going to be a “Papa”…yipeee! It must be an emotional experience for you too. As a father, the society expects you to be responsible, disciplined, to be the bread-winner and protector as well. With all these stressors and pressures, still you have a whole lot of heart-rendering experiences and happy moments waiting for you. Here’s what you can do to buffer yourself up for your beloved and your kid:

  1. Get yourself mentally prepared for the big change or transition from a partner to a father.
  2. You can join online forum for fathers-to-be to learn more and share your concerns too.
  3. Spend as much time with your beloved; planning surprises, pregnancy dating, etc will help you uplift your spirits of parenthood and strengthen your relationship too.
  4. Take proper care of your health too. Sleep well, eat well.
  5. Managing your financing, baby-proofing your house is a good and wise way of planning for the journey of life ahead.
  6. If you feel you are not ready for it yet or are stuck up with some past issues/present concerns…then try talking to someone who can help you out or seek professional assistance.

Remember, you are the one who is the entire world to your partner and baby. So feel good, feel proud and spread love too.

We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.
Henry Ward Beecher 

 

Best wishes and lots of baby-dust on you!

Sareeta

Transform tears into triumph

tears

Tears of pain, tears of joy, tears of a melting heart and tears for reasons unknown…The rolling down of tears has its own essence and vitality. Have you ever felt like crying like a baby, or experienced tears rolling down your cheeks when you see/hear/experience something heart-touching? These moments are worth capturing and cherishing for a lifetime.

When I was small I used to cry a lot. I cried over everything, no matter how silly it was. My friends bullied me a lot for this behavior of mine. And this made me a big “crying machine” over a period of time. Finally, I stopped doing so when they started making fun of me on each and every occasion. I tried very hard to hold my tears back. This turned me into a “stone-hearted being” for quite a long time. It was only when I grew up and experienced the world a bit more that I understood the worth of tears. I know there are many people like me who are forced to hold their tears or hide their tears. This is though more common in men than women. This is because we are taught to be strong and fight with every odd situation boldly right from our childhood. Strength, courage, vigor and vitality are some of the words that become important in our life’s dictionaries. Of course, these traits are important, I am not negating it. However, at the same time our emotions should also be given equal importance and space. Secluding emotions will make life more unbearable and unhealthy. That is why; if you have the opportunity then it is nothing wrong in venting out your pains through your tears.

Some say that people who cry are emotionally weak. But, I say it’s the other way round. People who cry are in fact strong because they have the guts to express their feelings no matter when and what. At least they are not pretending or becoming “plastic human beings filled with plastic emotions”. Human pain is universal. If a pin pricks you and a pin pricks me, we will feel the same pain no matter what our gender is, no matter in which part of the globe we stay and what we are. Tears are the gateway to emotions and your body’s natural way of coping up to the odds and evens of life. Let me tell you some interesting facts about tears:

  • Tears enhance our feel-good factor and elevates our moods.
  • Tears are natural-cleansing agents for the eyes and improve vision.
  • Chemicals involved in “happiness crying” and “sadness crying” is different.
  • Tears act as natural stress-busters and lubricators for your eyes.
  • Tears also help in detox process and prevent colds and flu.
  • When you are emotional tears roll down from the inner portion of your eye (the one that touches your nose). And when you are happy, tears roll from the outer edge of your eyes.
  • Tears help in maintaining homeostasis of emotions.

Usually you must have seen tears as a sign of weakness, but tears are an epitome of strength. If you know how to use your tears like weapons of development you will surely acquire triumph in whatever you do. When you get an urge to cry, do not hold yourself back. Instead, allow your tears to flow, flow and flow…till their fullest. Finally wipe your tears, take a deep breathe and make a strong resolution to make things right. This will boost your strength and confidence even more. You can do this simple experiment in your daily life too. Try to judge yourself in two different situations in which you cry and resolve the situation in one and hold your emotion back and resolve the situation in the other. You will see that the situation in which you held your emotions and tears back will increase a lot of discomfort, frustration and negative feelings. However, if you let your tears roll down, you will feel much more relief and get enormous strength to deal with that situation.

Therefore, next time you get an urge to cry, just go ahead and shed it off. Let your eyes roll out tears of your joy or pains, because:

There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.
  Washington Irving 

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Sleep: Hazards, Hygiene and Health

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Hi all! If you have read my previous blog post on “The importance of sleep”, this is a continuity of the same. As I had said earlier, sleep is a state that has restorative and regenerative functions, sometimes erroneous or inadequate sleep can lead to multi-faceted problems. This blog post will impart you an outline on sleep disorders, how you can maintain good sleep hygiene and sleep health to manage these disorders or keep them at bay. Now let’s see some common forms of sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia: Is one of the common sleep disorders in the world and there are two types of insomnia: Hypersomnia (sleeping too much) or Hyposomnia (sleeping too little).
  • Somnabulism: Have you seen a person who walks in his sleep? There are plenty of such examples either in TV soaps or daily lives. If you have seen this, then such a person is experiencing or suffering from somnabulism or sleep walking. It is an altered state of sleep. Precaution: If you have a friend, relative or a family member who is suffering from somnabulism, don’t forget to danger-proof your house. Keep all the sharp tools, sharp kitchenware, electric machines, and other dangerous things inside and out of reach.
  • Sleep Apnea: This is one of the deadliest sleep disorders leading to death in sleep and is characterized by pauses in breathing. It is common in people with respiratory and heart problems.
  • Snoring: Most of you would be spending sleepless nights due to snoring problems of your family members, relatives or partners. So I would share some tips to help yourself and help them too:

a) Ask the person to sleep to his side rather than sleeping flat on his back. Sleeping to the left should be preferred more.

b) Light clothes should be worn at night. Very tight clothes, dark colored clothes should be avoided.

c) The bedroom or the sleeping area should not be congested. It should be airy.

d) Prefer some light exercise before going to bed.

e) If snoring problem is too intense then you can buy anti-snoring products too.

A note on snoring: I read a story on snoring in a magazine a few years back. It was basically a compilation of different stories of ladies who were disturbed due to the snoring habits of their partners. On the final phrase of the compilation there was a line said by one of the members. She said: “Snoring is one of the sweetest music in the world. Ask any widow.” This changed my perspective on people who snore and who get disturbed due to it. Hope it gives strength to you too.

Sleep disorders can be very well managed and prevented if you maintain good sleep hygiene and sleep health. Following are some of the important ways of maintaining a well-balanced way of sleep hygiene and sleep health:

  • Try to maintain a routine or fixed timing of sleep.
  • Do not go to sleep right after having food.
  • Sleeping after a light exercise, walk, soothing warm bath before sleep are some of the healthy ways of getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Wear light clothes while sleeping. Dark colored clothes should be avoided.
  • Before going to sleep you can also try dipping your leg in warm water mixed with salt. That will absorb all your tiredness for the day and any negative energies encircling you.
  • Try relaxation meditation, Shavasana or listening to soothing music before sleeping.
  • Avoid watching TV just before going to seep. Watching TV right before sleeping will tense up your mind by making it to follow many racing thoughts. This will add more difficulty to your sleep regime.
  • Eat light and do not over-fill your tummy at night.
  • If you are sleep deprived during the night, then try taking short naps or power naps of short duration during the day.
  • Sleep in a dim light, well-ventilated room.
  • Shades of blue, violet, and other cool colors should be preferred for the bedroom. If that is not possible then you can seal your bed lamps with plastic sheets of these colors.
  • Try sleeping to your left. Sleeping on your stomach should be avoided.
  • Sheep counting, reading a book may sound kiddish and old. However, these two have magical effects in making you fall asleep.
  • Do you know that acupressure and color therapy can help you to improve sleep and sleep health? Here is what you need to do. It’s a very simple process:

Figur_1_2 copy

The figures represent the thumb and acupressure-colour therapy points. For sleep induction you need to follow no. 2. Take a blue ball-point pen and make 2 circles representing your eyes in your thumb, color them with blue color with the help of your blue pen. Medium pressure should be applied while coloring it, the pressure should be applied in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. This process should be done for 5-7 minutes. Similarly for making yourself alert or staying away from sleep you need to follow the same procedure but you need to use a black ball-point pen.

Precautions: Acupressure should not be done immediately after taking food. It should not be done on very small children, very old people or people who are very sick. Moreover acupressure should be avoided during menses too.

With the daily practice of the above techniques you will not only enjoy a good siesta but also an overall increase in your physical and mental health. So wishing you all a great slumber time!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

The importance of Sleep

Sleep_1

Sleep… Have you wondered about the world of sleep? Isn’t it so interesting and intriguing? It’s like everyday you go into a slumber phase of calmness, quietness, serenity and rise up in the morning with new freshness (hopefully). Sleep has tremendous health benefits. It is the time when your body and mind indulges in repairing and rejuvenating its parts. However, in today’s hectic life and lifestyle we seldom get time to sleep properly. We get so engrossed in our life that we forget to pay ample attention to our sleep-cycle, sleep hygiene and sleep regime.Some sleep to get relief from all tensions and worries. Some sleep as it is a daily routine work to be executed and some of you may be simply “Sleep Lovers” (you can sleep anywhere and any time). I always envy my one year old son when I see him in his sleep. So care-free, so tension-free, so serene…Sometimes I think “why can’t I sleep like that”! I would like to share some important sleep facts with you so that you can also make your sleep regime an effective one:

  • A normal human being requires around 7-8 hours of sleep.
  • Each one of us spend almost one-third of our lives in sleeping.
  • Sleep is the “rejuvenation phase” in which your body and mind are replenished with vital energies. All the wear and tear that you experience after a day’s work, it is during sleep that all this is repaired.
  • Sleep has psychological relevance and significance. It is during sleep that you release all your tensions of the day, fulfilling your sub-conscious desires and impulses.
  • One can remain without food for several days. However, scientific research studies have shown that lack of sleep or not sleeping for a week can lead to death and detrimental physical-psychological conditions.

There are four phases of sleep

Phase 1 >

  • Beginning phase of sleep
  • Starts when you just lie down and ready to sleep
Phase 2 >
  • Light phase of sleep
  • Relaxation of muscles and other body parts occur
Phase 3 >
  • Moderately deeper level of sleep
  • Relaxed phase
Phase 4 >
  • Phase of sleep that consumes around 15-20% of total sleep time
  • Dreams occur in this phase of sleep

Though you may not have time to sleep or reflect on it, sleep has tremendous impact on your entire life-force. Without sleep, human mind and behavior would have been like an untamed horse.It would get no rest, no time to enliven up, no time to slip into rosy dreams…

Maintaining a good sleep hygiene, sleep regime is very important to lead a healthy life and experience higher order psychological boons like heightened memory, concentration, planning, decision-making and other complex cognitive processes. So friends do tune in for my next blog post on how to build a healthy sleep regime, the importance of sleep hygiene and how to achieve it and how you can optimize your sleep to reap best results of psycho-physical health.

Keep sleeping “n” keep shining…

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

 

Food that boost your mood

Food that boost your mood

Picky eaters, food lovers, creative eater, vegetarians and non-vegetarians… This entire globe is made of people with manifold eating habits and styles, isn’t it? Hey friends, did you know that how you eat, what you eat, when you eat, the way you cook,etc has deep impact on your thought processes, emotions, moods, behavior patterns and overall personality. It is said that “Mens Sana in a Corpore Sano”. It means that “A healthy mind resides in a healthy body”. So how does the body become healthy? The most simplest and significant way is through food. This blog post is a guide to what is the significance of food in our lives, how it should be cooked in order to gain optimum physical-psychological health out of it, food etiquettes and specific foods that boost your mood.

Food serves as the building block for your body and brain. If I ask you to eat full stomach for a day and remain starving for the other day, you can yourself see how your thoughts and activities get influenced by it. When your stomach is full it will give you a lot of vital energies so that you can work and stay energized. However, when you are starving you will feel low, gloomy, energy-less and weak. Similarly when your stomach is full you are likely to get energizing thoughts, and when you are hungry you feel irritated, low, sad, frustrated and so on. This simple exercise shows how important food is for our body as well as brain. It is like petrol or gas that we fill in our cars. When it’s full it runs fast and trendy, but when the petrol or gas is empty, the car becomes literally immobile.

Above its significance, food has its own unique properties. If you choose the right kind of food to eat, if you eat the quantity that is enough for your body, you will surely reap good and healthy benefits of healthy eating. Here are some tips to help you in the above process:

  • Try to get ample knowledge on the various nutrient-graph of food. That is which food is rich in what, as in vitamins, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, etc. This will help you to plan your platter accordingly.
  • Watch your weight, height-weight proportion and have food on that basis.
  • I have seen quite a lot of people who starve themselves to death in order to lose weight or look fab. For those folks out there, I wanna say that “balanced eating is far much better than no eating”. Instead of starving yourselves try to have a balanced diet. Cut out foods that increase bad cholesterol, unhealthy fats, etc. Rather than making your plate a “zero food’ scene, try eating food varieties that are rich in different nutrients. A little dose of every nutrient will not only help you have a balanced weight but will also enhance life-force, well-being, feel-good factor, positivity and goodwill.
  • Do not over-eat or under-eat. This will leave you either too much full or starved respectively.Try experimenting on different food quantities. You need to focus on the proportion of food to number of servings. For example number of servings in a whole meal will be different than eating fruits. So you need to mix and match on what fits the size of your tummy. I said do not over-eat or under-eat because filling your stomach to the wrong proportion will affect your body metabolism and digestion process.
  • Do you have a habit of drinking water between meals? Do you drink water right after having food or do you give some temporal space between water and food intake? Here, I would like to add that drinking water immediately after food or in between a meal is one of the most important factor leading to disastrous health hazards. So try to give at least half an hour break between food intake and water intake. This habit will help you to keep many health issues at bay. It will also improve metabolism, homeostasis, digestion, and so on.

The way food is cooked has an enormous impact on our thought processes. If you cook food in an angry and grumpy mood, the outcome of that phase of cooking will be obviously different from the phase when you cook food in a calm and pleasant manner. This is a very common phenomenon, isn’t it? However, do you know the science behind it? For this you need to understand the macrocosmic and abstract nature of food and the human body. Each and every thing and being is made up of matter, right? And matter consists of protons, neutrons and electrons. Similarly, food and the human body is also made up of these. Due to free electrons, there is energy flow from one matter to the other. If you know that energy flows from a higher source to a lower level, you can understand this easily. If you have a full-on load of positive energies while cooking, that higher level of positive energy will flow from your hands to the food or cooking-in-process and vice-versa. That is why it is always said to cook food in a good, calm and composed manner so that you pass on positive, healthy energies into the food. The same phenomena works while seasoning, garnishing and serving food too. This was a brief idea of how your body or energy system affects food.

Now let’s see how food affects your body and mind on a subtle level. In the Yogic Perspective, our body is made of five koshas or sheaths above our skin. These sheaths are related to the food we take, our thoughts, our behavior, etc. The Annamay Kosha or the food sheath is the first outer covering of human body. So whatever you eat, depending on the nature of that food and with what intention you eat will have a tremendous impact on your body, psyche and soul.

Keeping this higher science of food dynamics in focus, here are some tips of “effective cooking”, I would like to share with you:

  • Before cooking try to make yourself calm and composed.
  • While putting the first ingredient in the cooking vessel, it’s always good to say a few lines on thankfulness for the food you got.
  • You can also make your wishes or positive affirmations while cooking. This will help your sub-conscious mind to prepare ground for those actions. Moreover, it will also enhance self-confidence, motivation and positivity.
  •  While serving food, try not to serve with a disturbed mind because that ways you will be serving disturbed energies too. Serve with goodwill and optimistic thoughts.

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.
Dorothy Day

As I have said earlier, the way in which you eat food, serve food, cook food reflects you personality and behavioral patterns. Some people are picky eaters, some are messy eaters, some eat too fast, while some eat very slowly, some prefer discipline while eating, while some eat by dancing and hopping, some throw food, others preserve food…So folks there are variety of food habits. And your food habits are the reflections of your personality, healthy and moods. All the above ways depict whether you are clam or anxious, depressed or angry, disciplined or messy, introverted or outgoing, stressed out or relaxed, frustrated or happy. Following is a brief sketch on the different variety of foods and how they affect you:

 Mango  “King of fruits” : Improves overall sense of wellbeing, vitality and emotional balance.
 Tomato  “Love Apple”: It is the rich source of vitamin and is said to help immensely in depression and mood swings.
 Chocolate  “All time favorite across all ages”: Gives a boost to feel-good hormones or endorphins. So it enhances feel-good factor. Helpful in depressive feelings, feelings of low moods and stress. Chocolate is an effective stress-buster.
 Cucumber  “Cool and pacifying”: Helps relieve tension, anger, frustration, hot flushes during anxiety and panic attacks, helps in balancing moods.
Fish and Walnuts “Mood Regulators”: Help in controlling depression and mood swings.
 Almonds  “Brain Stimulators”: Effective in enhancing concentration, memory, will-power and cognitive skills.
Coconut “Hard Vs Soft”: This is a balancing fruit that helps in pacifying anger, frustration, tantrums and provides cool, serene effect to the thought processes.
Strawberries and Rosemary “Aroma therapy”: Nutrition, passion along with aroma therapy that works on the overall physical and psychological health of the eater.
 Turmeric “Negativity fighter”. Strengthens the immune physical and psycho-immune system.

Food is said to be one of the priceless gifts to mankind. Respecting and consuming food in a proper way will not only help us butt also help our fellowbeings to survive in a meaningful way. So from now on:

Let us eat to live and not live to eat. The time you are wasting food in some part of the world, some other is just dying out of hunger. Food is precious, respect it and share it.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

 

 

Teenage: A Threshold to Progress Vs Pitfalls

Teenage Problems, Social Issues and Bullying

“I think being a teenager is such a compelling time period in your life ― it gives you some of your worst scars and some of your most exhilarating moments. It’s a fascinating place; old enough to feel truly adult, old enough to make decisions that affect the rest of your life, old enough to fall in love, yet, at the same time too young (in most cases) to be free to make a lot of those decisions without someone else’s approval.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Author of the Twilight Saga

Every now and then we hear a mother telling her adolescent or teenage daughter to sit properly, a guy is told to behave properly, remain hygienic, stay away from bad peer group….It’s like when you were kids everything was so cool and awesome. But, when you step into your “teens” your freedom is said to get choked. Suddenly your day might get filled with words like “don’t”; “behave yourself”; “how dare you”…and stuff like that. I remember one of my clients who were a teenager. She was very upset with her parents as they did not allow her to wear short clothes, party and booze, no night-out, no mingling with guys, etc. She used to say that she is not bad or cranky. She called her parents as being “paranoid”, who always doubted her and took away all the freedom from her life.

If you are a teenager who can relate to the above sentences/situation, if you are a helpless parent of a troublesome teenager, then you have come to the right place.

Teenage is basically a phase of transition. It is a period of change in your body, mind, personality, behaviour manifestations and so on. The chemical changes or maturation process going on inside your body leads to transitions in different levels of functioning. These levels of functioning can be from varied platforms and perspectives like personal life, social life, educational life, personality, thinking, behaviour, belief systems so on and so forth. An imbalance or problem in any of these dimensions can make teenage a difficult phase of life.

As a teenager you may experience varied kinds of challenges in front of you. These challenges came as the key to either your progress or pitfall. If you know how to handle these challenges, you can utilize these in a healthy, adaptive and righteous manner. However, if you fail to deal effectively with these aspects then they can do a permanent damage to your life as a whole. This damage will not only affect you, but also your parents, sibling, peers, society and higher levels of life living. Some of the major challenges are:

  • Body Changes
  • Changes in thought processes
  • Personality changes
  • Parental role-shift
  • Peer pressure
  • Educational and other stressors
  • Media Exposure and related issues
  • Other important challenges

Now let us discuss these issues one by one, how they tend to affect your life and how you can deal with each one of them to optimize your level of a fruitful living.

Challenge / Issue Risk Factors Management
Body Changes  
  • High or low self-image
  • High or low self-esteem
  • Changes in self-confidence
  • Changes in diet: Can lead to bulimia or anorexia nervosa
  • Changes in sleep and lifestyle
  • Treating body change as a normal growing up process
  • Exercise, Yoga, Meditation, Walking, Hobbies, etc
  • Mirror therapy or positive self-affirmation
  • Balanced diet, reduce in-take of junk food
Changes in thought processes
  • Quite obviously if changes in the body occur it can also result in changes in thought processes. This is due to hormonal changes mainly.
  •  Try to control your racing thoughts
  • Channelize negative thoughts into positive ones
  • Talk to your elders
  • Do not seclude or cocoon your thoughts. Effective communication or sharing is the key to achieve a healthy/socially acceptable thought cloud.
 Personality Changes 
  • Right or wrong choice of social models and trying to copy or mimic them
  • Loss of your own individuality or unique traits
  • Ill-effects of comparison and contrast
  • Self-identity
  • Self-awareness
  • Mirror therapy
  • Cognitive processing
  • Meditation
  • Emphasis on life goals and value system
  • Do not compare yourself with anybody. Try to develop yourself with proper inspirations and role models
 Parental Role-Shift
  • Fallacies in parenting
  • Parental unawareness of teenage problems and issues
  • No idea on how to help a teenager
  • Ineffective communication
  • Effective parenting skills
  • Self-help or support groups
  • Books and other related material that would aid psycho-education on parenting
  • Professional help, if needed
 Peer Pressure 
  • Bullying
  • Anti-social and unsocial behaviour
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Other maladaptive behaviours
  • Inculcating appropriate value system
  • Strictly adhering to moral and ethical behaviour
  • Choosing right peers
  • Abstinence from unnecessary or inappropriate things/situations
  • Support system
  • Mutual respect and mutual understanding
Educational and other stressors 
  • Problems in attention, focus, memory and concentration
  • Loss of interest in studies/professional goals
  • Exam Phobia
  • Stress and anxiety

 

  • Do not put over-expectation on your teenage daughter or son
  • Clear goals / aims in life
  • Increase motivation to achieve your goals
  • Practice, time management
  • Exercises related to memory and concentration
  • Adequate sleep and rest along with a balanced diet
Media Exposure 
  • Exposure to inappropriate media content leading to personality problems, behavioural malfunctions, anti-social behaviour, promiscuity and so on
  • Using logical reasoning in these situations
  • Age-appropriate exposure to such content
  • Abstinence
  • Moral and ethical judgment

Just as a knife in the hands of a criminal takes one life and in the hands of a doctor saves one; similarly every aspect of life has its own strengths and set-backs. Teenage is one of the golden periods or phases in life where you have a whole world of positive opportunities in front of you. It is not wrong to have friends, adhere to what your parents/elder say, have definite goals, and know about different things. In fact, they act as great boosters to self-confidence, sense of fulfillment, progress, happiness and well-being. What makes it good or bad is the way you utilize them, understand them and deal with them. In teenage it’s like the ball is in your court. You are no more an innocent child. It depends on you on how you bowl the ball – either hit a six and live a wonderful, healthy, meaningful, successful life or get clean bowled by unnecessarily and unethically falling into the pits of drudgery, disease and destruction.

Ideally, you should try your level best to make your teenage yours an ideal phase by living in an ideal way. This ways you will live life as a celebration, as a gift. You will not have to regret over anything as you grow up.

“If you surround yourself with the good and righteous, they can only raise you up. If you surround yourself with the others, they will drag you down into the doldrums of mediocrity, and they will keep you there, but only as long as you permit it.”
― Mark Glamack, Author

Best Wishes,

Sareeta