A restful night’s sleep is a luxury for many. There are loads of sleep-inducing teas, pills and sprays, that I sometimes feel may have a placebo effect if they are natural. Charmaine D’Souza’s mix for sleep works best for me. Try and stay away from sleep medication as much as possible, they are highly addictive.
Healthy recipes with local ingredients
Get personalized and curated wellness content on URLife.co.in
Join the wellness movement!
Get personalized and curated wellness content on URLife.co.in
Keep UR bedroom clean and linen smelling fresh
You may also like
A Breath Of Relaxation With Guided Meditation
The human mind absorbs and stores both the good and bad energy of its surroundings. Therefore, considering all the stressors that exist within the environment we live in, it’s quite natural that our mind and body show signs of anxiety and stress. To cope with stress levels, every individual has his/her unique choice of intervention. However, among all of the stress-relieving activities, meditation has gained significant momentum in the past few decades. And one of the many types of meditation routines that can help alleviate stress, anxiety and improve focus is a guided meditation, which has gained a lot of attention and appreciation due to its efficiency and consistency. So let’s understand how we can integrate this type of meditation in our lifestyles. What Is Guided Meditation? Guided meditation is a form of meditation where participants meditate in response to the guidance and instructions provided by an expert, teacher or practitioner. The format of communication between the instructor and the student could be either in person or via music, video or written text. The instructive nature of this format of meditation makes it easier for the individual to be much more structured and ordered in their practice. Nowadays, there are many guided meditation videos available online, which can help you meditate with ease. How We Can Incorporate It In Our Lifestyle Meditation is an activity that can be performed anywhere and anytime without prior preparation. The only thing to keep in mind is to channel all your focus on the task of meditation. Guided meditation, as the name suggests, helps an individual meditate without the burden of thinking about how and what to do if he/she is unfamiliar with the task. Meditation could also mean that a person is sitting in silence and reflecting upon life. The trouble with such types of meditative practices is that there is no framework to it. On the contrary, guided meditative practices have a finite set of instructions, which makes the process easier. If you are looking for long-term benefits, meditative practices only during episodes of stress may not be quite as effective. Try to include 10-15 minutes of guided meditation routine either in the night or morning, depending on your schedule, every day, without fail to reap its full benefits. Once you are comfortable with 15-minute intervals, you can increase the duration and go up to one hour, if time permits. However, most individuals will be able to stay focused and relaxed up to 30 minutes, if practised daily. Benefits Of Guided Meditation • As opposed to other meditative practices, guided meditation saves you the trouble of planning the routine, as it is pre-recorded or designed. You can either drop by a class and follow the instructions or plug in your earphones and follow the guidelines. • It reduces stress hormones in the body and promotes a sense of well-being. • 15-30 minute episodes of meditation practised daily have shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension. • It leads to slower brain wave activities, which helps in reducing the stress all the while triggering human growth hormones (HGH). • It also helps in reducing inflammation by neutralising acidosis, thus minimising pain as well. With technology at our fingertips, meditation has become an easily accessible practice. Moreover, many apps are now available on your smartphone that can give you instructions about meditation and how to start meditating, if you are new to it. Give these meditative practices a try to live a stress-free life!
The Virus Can Give Your Life More Meaning
Originally published in The San Francisco Gate One way to respond in a crisis is to reduce its threat. The other way is to add to the threat. The coronavirus COVID-19 might be the first collective crisis that many people have faced, and it poses an uncertain future in every country that confronts it. But this doesn’t change the two choices just mentioned. Know that your individual actions will have an impact on countless other people. No matter how the COVID-19 pandemic resolves itself—something no one can predict—you can personally choose right now to reduce its threat. If you consciously make that choice, three positive things will happen. You will feel more in control; you will be on the side of healing, and you will add to the meaning of your life. How to be more in control This begins by acting responsibly, following what the experts in disease control advise. By now everyone is aware of the need to stay at home, self-quarantine if you show any symptoms, keep 6 to 10 ft. away from other people in public, don’t take long plane flights, and wash your hands frequently (the medical school routine for scrubbing up applies here: Wash your hands vigorously while singing “Happy birthday to you” twice—and don’t forget your thumbs and between your fingers). The active ingredient in effective hand sanitizers is isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which you can also use by itself in at least a 60% solution with water. This is all useful advice, but it doesn’t address where being in control comes from, which is mental. Positive thinking isn’t enough. Feeling safe and secure is a state of awareness. It exists in us when we reach deeper than the everyday self. The everyday self cannot feel permanently safe. Outside forces loom too large and threatening. This is the time to take up meditation or return to it if you have lapsed. Your goal is to connect with your deeper awareness, the place where self-control and security comes from. The superficial part of everyone gets involved in a crisis by staying glued to the news, attaching itself to worst case scenarios, and dwelling on the terrible things other people are going through. None of this behavior puts you in control. It does just the opposite by fueling fear, uncertainty, and insecurity. Looking at updates once a day is more than enough. The rest of the time, remain centered in yourself and keep doing the sensible thing. How to be on the side of healing Bad things happen to everyone. It is how you react that determines whether you come out healed or wounded. In all of us, the healing response is natural, innate, and powerful. More than the immune system is involved. Healing is a mind-body process. If you are sad, stressed, depressed, anxious, helpless, hopeless, panicky, or feel out of control, every cell in your body gets that message. Therefore, do everything you can to send the opposite message. We’ve already mentioned meditation, which has a strong effect in restoring mind-body balance. But you also need to be vigilant on two other fronts: sleep and stress. Good, sound sleep maintains homeostasis and prevents a cascade of imbalances that can occur in hormones, for example. Stress is a powerful trigger for hormone imbalance, among other things. It has been linked to chronic inflammation, for example, which seems to be present in acute and chronic disease. Besides doing all you can to sleep well and reduce immediate stresses, there is vagal breathing, which has become widely publicized in recent years. Centered on stimulating the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to heart, lungs, intestinal tract, and elsewhere. By breathing in to a count of four, holding your breath for a short pause, and breathing out to a count of four, you tell the vagus nerve that you are in a calm, balanced state. In response, it helps maintain mind-body balance. You can do more to be on the side of healing by following the positive lifestyle choices you already know are good for you in terms of a healthy diet and avoiding or greatly minimizing alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. The good things you are doing contribute to boosting your immune response, or at the very least doing your best to keep it from being compromised. So far as anyone knows, the victims of COVID-19 are most likely to be immune-compromised. If you aren’t, your risks seem to be drastically lowered. How to give your life more meaning This is the most positive thing you can get out of the COVID-19 crisis and yet the least discussed. Life becomes more meaningful when you feel you have purpose, when you give of yourself in service, when you find resources of strength and resilience inside yourself, and when you discover who you really are. No virus can deprive your life of meaning unless you allow it to. Conversely, a virus won’t add to the meaning of your life. Viruses have no motive except self-preservation and replication. All of us have the same instincts; they are built into our evolutionary past. But where human evolution excels is at the level of consciousness that goes beyond instinct, into the realms of empathy and self-awareness. The expert medical advice that now surrounds us should be heeded, of course, but it falls short when it comes to meaningful change. Will you come out of this crisis feeling stronger, more resilient, and with more purpose? We’re not talking about putting yourself more at risk of getting sick, which is foolhardy. Instead, you can be strong for others. You can be the source of nurturing and optimism when others feel afraid and insecure. You can empathize with how someone else feels and lend your support. Where there are personal barriers of class, age, race, and income, you can be the one who lowers the barrier to reach out. Yet ultimately the greatest meaning will not arrive until the world feels safer. Then the temptation will be to go back to the status quo, to return to normal by putting COVID-19 out of our minds. That would be a tragic loss of opportunity. During times of crisis, we naturally take time to appreciate what we have and place a greater priority on what is most important to us. The question is how to carry this on after the crisis of COVID-19 passes. The global mind must solve many problems, from climate change to over-population, refugees, and hostile nationalism. How the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic offers a clue to how every other problem will be confronted. Your life will be more meaningful if you contribute to meaningful solutions that reach far, far beyond the rampage of this virus. Everything, including being in control and being a healer, is wrapped up in that. DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 89 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. His 90th book, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential, unlocks the secrets to moving beyond our present limitations to access a field of infinite possibilities. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.” Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi is the Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of the McCance Center for Brain Health at MGH. Dr. Tanzi has discovered numerous Alzheimer’s disease genes, including the first one, and is developing new Alzheimer’s therapies using human mini-brains pioneered in his laboratory. Dr. Tanzi has published 600 research papers, received numerous awards and was on the 2015 TIME100 Most Influential People in the World list. He has also co-authored several books, including “Decoding Darkness” and three bestsellers with Deepak Chopra: “Super Brain”, “Super Genes”, and “The Healing Self”. In his spare time, he plays keyboards with guitarist, Joe Perry of Aerosmith and other musicians.
What Is The Best Self-Care During The COVID-19 Crisis?
Self-care should be uppermost in our minds during the COVID-19 crisis, for several urgent reasons. Self-care returns a sense of control over your own life. It gives you an integrative approach to mind and body. It aligns you with the best knowledge currently available about who is more at risk for developing acute symptoms after being infected. Your immune status is complex, and in mainstream medicine the chief determining factor is traditionally considered to be genetic. However, there are strong links to underlying low-level chronic inflammation connected to lifestyle that is found in most if not all common disorders including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and even obesity. COVID-19 has a mortality rate that increases with age and pre-existing conditions, as we all know by now. What is less publicized is that the hospitalization rate, which is very high at over 15%, also affects younger age groups even though their death rates are lower. In those who are most susceptible, the virus creates an acute and severe form of inflammation referred to as a “cytokine storm”, which then leads to severe symptoms and respiratory damage, even death. Cytokines are the chief protein mediators of inflammation in the body. We can use this information about the dangers of having an elevated pre-existing state of low-level chronic inflammation to perhaps offset the possibility of the kind of acute inflammation that puts a person at risk for severe infection and hospitalization. Let me emphasize the “perhaps” caution. The research on low-level chronic inflammation grows by the year and is very significant. You can go to many websites or our recent book “The Healing Self” to discover the kinds of foods and lifestyles that are either inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. But it is only in the field of integrative medicine that there is a cumulative understanding that anti-inflammation practices need to embrace mind and body. The general public, including mainstream doctors, are more often than not ill-informed of the research that connects meditation and yoga to the benefits of anti-stress, anti-inflammation, and anti-infection. Without a doubt, meditation and yoga have no side effects and are backed by decades of research over their benefits. To this has been added so-called “vagal breathing”, related to the ability of the vagus nerve to induce a relaxed state simply by doing regular deep breathing that equalizes breathing in and breathing out (there are numerous websites providing instructions on this simple but effective technique, which is now a standard recommendation for countering stress). Biophysical anthropologist William C. Bushell points to the damage created by the body’s own immune defenses. To quote a recent article at Medium.com by Maureen Seaberg, “Bushell says that inflammation is the primary way COVID-19 kills. ‘Spread of the virus through the body leads to widespread and intensive activation of the inflammatory defenses throughout the body, though originally intended to combat the pathogen, but at this point instead resulting in widespread tissue damage, and fatally, to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), in which the lungs become flooded and respiratory failure ensues; the viral toxins themselves play a much lesser role in the tissue damage that ultimately can produce extreme critical disease states (pulmonary aspiration, septic shock), and potentially death.” The uncharted frontier is whether chronic inflammation, which is thought to be widely prevalent in our stress-filled, junk food eating, sleep-deprived society, increases the odds that the body might erupt into acute inflammation, e.g. a cytokine storm, when infected with viruses like COVID-19. One can think of this of this storm as a kind of over-reaction by our immune system. The big question is whether low-grade chronic inflammation may set the stage for this over-reaction and increase the odds of a “cytokine storm” in the presence of a nasty virus like COVID-19. Meanwhile, meditation, yoga, vagal breathing, and other relaxation techniques might provide an edge in the current crisis by reducing the chronic inflammatory state of the body. We’ve joined Bushell and other concerned figures, including Michelle Williams, S.D., Dean of Harvard’s School of Public Health, in advising that meditation and yoga (in addition to a healthy diet and ample sleep) be included in front-line efforts against COVID-19. The public is woefully uninformed about the mind-body benefits of these simple, effective measures, and every model of the pandemic foresees a huge overload on this country’s hospitals. The virus is more contagious and infectious than the flu, and it hospitalizes and kills a much higher percentage of cases. The message about COVID-19 and inflammation is very important. It needs to be received by all of us for our common well-being at any time, but most urgently, now, we all must strive to reduce our base level of chronic inflammation. DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 89 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. His 90th book, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential, unlocks the secrets to moving beyond our present limitations to access a field of infinite possibilities. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.” Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D. is the Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Co-Director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health, and Co-Director of the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tanzi discovered several Alzheimer’s disease genes, including all three early-onset familial Alzheimer’s genes, and serves as director of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project. He is also developing therapies for treating and preventing AD using human mini-brain organoid models of the disease, pioneered in his laboratory. Dr. Tanzi has published 600 papers, received numerous awards and was on the 2015 TIME100 Most Influential People in the World list. Dr. Tanzi is a New York Times bestselling author, who has co-authored “Decoding Darkness” and three bestsellers with Deepak Chopra: “Super Brain”, “Super Genes”, and “The Healing Self”.
Imagining The Subtle Body
What is the subtle body? And why should we imagine it during yogasanas? It is the body which is subtler than the physical one! The human system is very complex and beautifully done. It is incredibly fragile and at the same time, phenomenally resilient. This life is so fragile: Inhalation, exhalation, inhalation, Imagining The Subtle Body: From The Surface To The Core exhalation - If the next inhalation does not happen, you're gone! Between life and death, there is just half a breath, not even a full breath! But even though life is so fragile, it still has resilience. Human beings can do unbelievable things because the body is structured on many different levels. If it was just physical, if you just held somebody’s nose in their sleep, they should be gone. But that is not how it is. It is in layers. Even if the physical loses its ability to live, if the other dimensions are still alive, the physical could be revived. It happens to you every day: When you sleep, one part of you is actually dead – your personality, your thought, and your ideas of what you are – but because the other parts are still awake, everything comes awake once again. Enhancing Perception Whether you practice a simple asana or any other dimension of yoga, essentially, the only goal is to improve your perception, because only what you perceive you know – the rest is just imagination. Generally, instead of enhancing knowledge, people have unfortunately been given teachings. Teachings will only lead to unbridled creativity, which is a sure way of graduating into an asylum. If your imagination loses control, if it is not rooted in reality, you are moving towards insanity. On the spiritual path, if you take in teachings which are not necessary for you, very quickly, you will move towards insanity. The danger is always there. If your feet are still firmly on the ground and then you imagine something, it is okay. But if your imagination can take you off the ground, then you have no control over the situation. Memory And Imagination Asanas and other yogic practices are mainly designed only to enhance your perception and not to send you on a flight of imagination. As your understanding is enhanced, then you know life, you are not thinking about life. Right now, this question has arisen because there is no experience of the subtle body, but somebody is telling you ‘please see it,’ -imagination. Yes, we are asking you to imagine this because the distinction between what is real and what is vision is not significant. It is a very thin line. The actual process is anyway happening. If you assist it with the right kind of action and awareness, the real thing will come into the picture. Today, it is an established fact in neuroscience that unless you have some memory and imagination, your visual apparatus will not function. You always believed that your eye is a camera – no. Without the computer behind, it cannot work. We are doing what is called natural eye care methods at Isha Rejuvenation, where we use memory and imagination to see better; you can distinctly see if you build memory about something; within a minute, you can see things better. Conclusion Even now, you are unable to see many things about which there is no memory. So we are just trying to build some memory, and you cannot make memory without imagination. You always thought you could not imagine unless there is a memory. No, you cannot build memory unless there is imagination. Without imagination, consciousness is not possible. We are asking you to imagine the subtle body. Just make it like yourself; do not make it too beautiful. Do not let your imagination run wild. Just a little bit is okay because if you build this, the memory will play. Once the mind plays, you will begin to see. But do not see it walking all over the place – only when you are doing the asanas. Those of you who start seeing subtle bodies all over the place, such people should eat only subtle food! Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author. Sadhguru has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2017, the highest annual civilian award, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.
5 Tips To Strengthen UR Familial Bonds
'Blood is thicker than water', an ancient proverb tells it all about familial bonds. Families may have their problems and jealousies, but in times of dire need, you are better off having a family member on standby. There are various kinds of relationships and friendship is an important one. As per the Oxford dictionary, friendship is defined as a 'relationship between two people who hold mutual affection for each other'. If you happen to have a family member who is also a close friend, you have the best of everything. However, if there is consistent reciprocity, understanding, compassion and honesty, an acquaintanceship can turn into friendship. The conversion is more likely when one experiences a level of comfort in the company of the other to be himself and express fearlessly. Age is no bar to form a relationship. A good relationship is like a fuel that strengthens our health, mind and connections with others. On the other hand, if the relationship isn't working, it can drain a person physically and emotionally. Seeking professional help may include individual therapy to raise emotional awareness and assertiveness, or couple and family sessions to help tidy the unattended issues. Seeking help, in my opinion, is a sign of strength, not weakness. 01 Communicate Effectively Remember the key to a healthy relationship is effective communication. The fundamental of excellent communication is to listen more and talk less. This will leave the other feeling valued. It's wise to accept the views of others without feeling challenged or threatened. Speak calmly without losing composure or unduly asserting UR thoughts. 02 Choose Humanistic Contact Technological advances have connected us to people across the world but disconnected from those with and around us. I suggest you choose direct one to one contact over texting, email and clicking the 'like' button on Social Media. Personal engagement is always better than a digital one. Make sure you look into the person's eyes while speaking. U must pay attention as a mark of respect. 03 Leave No Loose Ends Ensure that any growing differences are attended promptly, especially in romantic relationships. Understand that relationships are dynamic, therefore warrant a proactive response to change. Loose ends in relationship matters enhance emotional burden and bury the core issue. 04 Accept And Adapt Queen Elizabeth allegedly stated 'grief is the price we pay for love'. Which means we need to accept some loss if we want to love. It is essential to recognize that there are ups and downs in every relationship and nothing is permanent. Relationship breakdowns should not be seen as rejection or failure which can drive withdrawal, agitation, depression and even suicidal behaviour. For a lasting relationship, ongoing investment is the key. Learn to temper UR attachment and let go of the relationship when it isn't working. Make sure you give it UR best shot before breaking relationships as once the damage is done, it’s very hard to be rectified. 05 Allow Space, Invest More And Expect Less Insecurity breeds possessiveness and a claustrophobic feeling. Therefore allow space in UR relationship, have basic trust and avoid undue involvement. Relationships are an investment. The more you put in, the more returns you can get back. All that is required is patience and consistency. When you expect nothing, you always get more. Stay Happy and Learn to Live to the fullest. Spread Positivity and try UR best to Strengthen Family Ties.
Emotional Intelligence: Escaping The Matrix Of Fear
For many young people, the COVID virus outbreak will bring their first experience of fear and anxiety as a pervasive mood. As a society we are afraid of fear, and most of the time we can turn our backs on it. But this kind of denial is unworkable in a crisis. As bad news mounts daily and society becomes ever more anxious, countless people become enmeshed in the matrix of fear without knowing how to escape. Social forces can drive you to participate in the matrix of fear, but society cannot get you out of it. Escape is something each person must confront on their own. I believe that freeing yourself from fear and anxiety is possible. More than that, you can learn how to be free of fear long after the COVID crisis has passed. The key is to cultivate emotional intelligence. The term had a burst of attention some years ago, but the value of emotional intelligence never changes, and when you focus on it, you will achieve something worthwhile for life. Here are six principles to guide you through the process. Commit to never complaining, criticizing, or playing the victim. Imagine a creative, positive future for yourself. Don't regret the past. It no longer exists. Be present in every situation as it occurs. Be independent of other people's criticism or approval. Be responsive to feedback. It is fair to say that hardly anyone hits upon these principles by trial and error or through experience of life. A person can live a long time without paying attention to emotional intelligence, and among men, the word “emotion” too often connotes something undesirable, as if showing emotional sensitivity is a sign of weakness. But emotional intelligence is gender neutral. The fact that humans can observe their emotions is a remarkable trait, and once you begin to observe your own emotions, you can counter the power of an unwanted emotion like fear and anxiety. Whether we admit it or not, emotions fascinate us, as Hollywood well knows. Empathizing with emotions onscreen is easy and pleasurable, but we are too attached to our own emotions, and it takes very little experience of anxiety, humiliation, rejection, and failure to train us to avoid the mine field of emotions in general. So it’s worth saying that developing emotional intelligence isn’t scary or difficult. All you need to do is notice and pay attention. By pausing and standing back a little, you can observe how you are reacting at any given moment. You can even turn the six principles into questions posed to yourself. Am I complaining, criticizing, or playing the victim? Do I see my future in a creative, positive way? Am I pointlessly reliving the past? Do I see what’s going on right now? Am I afraid of someone else’s criticism or craving their approval? Am I listening to what other people are trying to tell me? These are not mysterious or metaphysical questions. We can pause to ask them any time we want, and we should. But we are blocked by old conditioning and the habit of feeling uneasy about our emotions. There is a great deal of social pressure to behave with very low emotional intelligence, a kind of dumbing down on the feeling level. As a result we act in self-defeating ways. To give a few examples, We repeat the same reactions in most situations. We imitate how others behave, starting with our family. We act on impulse without a second thought. We don’t really see how others are reacting to us. We let negative emotions like fear, anger, envy, and resentment have their way. We easily go into denial and seek outside distractions. A whole way of life is implied in these examples, and when collective fear mounts, as it is right now, people often have little or no idea how to escape. Denial and distraction simply become more intensified, and playing the victim is more tempting than usual. Alternatively, we tell ourselves that we need to stay in control more than ever. But what is needed isn’t emotional self-control but emotional resilience. Resilience is the most important single aspect of emotional intelligence. You allow your emotions to rise and fall naturally, without trying to stop or control them. Once an emotion has passed, you feel better, and you are able to return to a state of peace and calm. The opposite of emotional resilience is seen when people are stiff, reserved, bottled up inside, censorious, aloof, proud, or remote. In all of these cases past experience has made certain emotions unacceptable. The only way to deal with them is through avoidance. One is reminded of the adage that trees can be blown over by a storm while grasses bend without breaking. Because the mind by nature is restful, alert, quiet, and at peace, that state of balance is the basis for developing emotional intelligence. You need the experience of balance in order to return to it at will. The experience comes naturally to everyone unless it is thrown off by stress and crisis. Then it takes a bit of intervention on our part, through meditation preferably. Meditation no only returns the mind to its balanced state, but it also allows you to observe what is happening, to experience it directly, and to identify with the quiet state of mind. Ultimately, this is how fear can be escaped permanently. Meanwhile, everyone can benefit from lessening the anxiety being experienced all around us. Emotional intelligence goes a very long way to expanding your awareness and making you free of stress and anxiety right now.
All time favorites
Top 5 Ways To Kick-Start UR Morning With Meditation
Meditation has been given several definitions over the years in philosophical, spiritual, religious and sometimes even in the most practical spheres, but the fact remains that it is one of the most underrated practices in modern age. While many dive deep into the art of meditation and the ways to do it, all that you need is to understand that meditation can be attributed to any activity done with focus and mindfulness to train attentiveness or awareness of your thoughts and emotions. Why You Should Meditate In The Morning? Empirical evidences over the years have suggested that mindful activities done first thing in the morning can have a positive impact throughout the day. As meditation prepares an individual towards having a focused and an alert mind, it has a positive effect on the upcoming activities carried out during the day. We cleanse our body in the morning to prepare it for the day so why not cleanse your mind with meditation? Meditation Techniques You Can Do In The Morning The concept of meditation has been interpreted in several different ways. Some unconventional interpretations of meditation include reading, writing, exercising and so on. Some people claim that cleaning can be meditative too. So look for activities in your life that demand your utmost focus and which are also enjoyable, as such activities become meditative. Thus you accomplish two goals. Engaging in a productive activity in the morning also sets your mind for the rest of the day. Beginning your day with such an objective brings about a holistic sense of well-being. So try meditating in the morning and see the difference! Benefits Of Meditating In The Morning Focus and attentiveness: You can begin your day with utmost focus and attentiveness. This focus and attentiveness that is the ultimate aim of meditation has a positive carryover to other activities lined up during the day. Mind conditioning: Each day begins with positive reinforcement in the means of mindful conditioning. You can get one of your most productive activities done first thing in the morning by also adding a meditative element to it. Mental preparedness: You can counteract expected stressors in your day, by mentally preparing your mind for the same. Better sleep-wake cycle: Early morning meditation can boost your overall well being as it also sets a certain sleep-wake cycle in your body when you condition yourself to get up early to focus and gain attentiveness. Better eating pattern: People have claimed to have had a better eating pattern throughout the day when they are in control of their thoughts and emotions. Thus, meditation discourages emotional eating. Most importantly, remember that meditation is a practice, not a destination. Meditation is not measured by failure or success so if you have trouble settling and focussing some days, be kind to yourself and do not put pressure on yourself to “get it right”; know that you have benefited by just taking the time to stop and breathe.
How To Tackle Trauma Effectively
How To Tackle Trauma Effectively Despite knowing the struggles of the mind can cause lasting effects on our lives, we choose to ignore the fact. Psychological ‘wounds’ are not readily accepted nor recognised. Given the unpredictable world, we live in, understanding the traumatic psychological injury of the mind has never been more critical. The longer we wait to tend to our mental well-being, the bigger the problem may develop! Everyday Trauma Even in the comfort of our homes, we are traumatised daily by flash news of natural disasters, war, violent crimes, accidents and abuse. The breaking news of catastrophes may numb us to an immediate emotional response, leading us to be less empathetic towards victims. What Is PTSD? Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a stress-related anxiety disorder. It is defined as a normal reaction to an experience or witnessing an overwhelming incident during which individuals have an intense combination of emotions like fear, hopelessness or horror. Episodes like domestic abuse, sexual abuse, life-threatening accidents and even childbirth cause PTSD. About nine per cent, new moms deal with postpartum PTSD. It is caused by dealing with a complication while giving birth or due to the declining health of the baby, post-birth. Usually, PTSD symptoms appear after a month of experiencing a terrifying incident but these symptoms could be dormant for years. Intrusive Memories • Repeated and painful recollections of a traumatic event in the form of dreams, flashbacks or memories. • Reliving the unfortunate incident frequently • Vulnerability and psychological distress when exposed to things that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the trauma like an object or date or anniversary. Avoidance Features • Trying to escape the thought or feelings associated with the trauma or avoidance of activities, places, people and situations. • Some individuals are unable to recall even an essential aspect of the trauma. Heightened Arousal • Difficulty in falling or staying asleep • Irritability or outburst of anger progressing to rage • Difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance and easily startled • Confused and troubled behaviour • Unable to concentrate and poor memory Other Features • Lack of interest in anything • Loneliness and detachment from the world • Clinical depression • Crippled with anxiety and panic • Inability to have a definite range of affection like love or kindness • Hopelessness and helplessness • Suicidal thoughts • Diminished self-esteem and confidence • Difficulty in coming to terms with the incident that can lead to continued self-victimisation Who Does It Affect? • PTSD can affect all age groups, even children • Females are more likely to be affected by PTSD • About 1 to 3 per cent of the population is affected by PTSD Individual differences such as analysing the event and the capacity to cope with catastrophic stress explain the reason why some exposed to traumatic events do not suffer from PTSD while others go on to develop the full-blown syndrome. Suffer From PTSD: Facts & Figures • An estimated 50% of rape victims • About 30% post a physical assault • Incidents like witnessing serious injury (7.3%) and natural disaster (3.8%) also increase vulnerability • 20% of those who have witnessed war and have been wounded A journal of NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) that published a research paper on PTSD revolving around India stated that the biggest reason for PTSD is abuse! Dealing With PTSD PTSD requires due attention and empathic care because it is a delicate issue that deals with all the ordeals an individual has experienced. Combination treatment with talk therapy and medication is found to be the most effective method to manage PTSD. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Talk Therapy) & Structured Counselling helps the victims learn new skills on how to process memories and emotions related to the trauma caused. It also manages or resolves distressing thoughts, feelings and behaviour associated with traumatic events. Additional Treatments include medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety tablets help reduce the impact of symptoms. Offering assistance for the victim’s family helps psychologically and plays a pivotal role in the victim’s recovery. Frontline personnel need to be aware of providing psychological first-aid to assist people in the aftermath of significant events to reduce initial distress, improve adaptive functioning and reduce secondary victimisation.
Only A Silent Mind Can Be A Healing Mind
Crises call for action, and the COVID-19 crisis has triggered global action, much of it motivated by alarm, fear, and the dread of uncertainty. But what about the individual person who feels afraid and uncertain? I’d like to propose an answer based on the silent mind. I realize that this approach might sound a bit alien and “spiritual” in the wrong way, but building castles in the air or retreating into yourself isn’t what silent mind is about. A silent mind is about reconnecting to your source. Everyone relies on the top layer of the mind, which is active, constantly thinking and feeling. But when these feelings get fixated on anxiety, alarm, dread, and uncertainty, the active mind cannot pull itself out of its own spiral. Mental activity becomes useless to heal itself, just as a runaway car cannot apply its own brakes. What is needed is a reset. The reset isn’t just mental. Your thoughts are received by every cell in your body, and in turn, all kinds of processes are affected—the immune response, hormonal cycles, sleep, and overall mind-body balance, or homeostasis. If the active mind becomes confused and chaotic, balance is disrupted everywhere. What to do? Centuries ago, in every culture, a deeper level of mind was discovered, and the usual expression surrounding this level, which is silent, calm, and undisturbed, became religious, as in the Old Testament injunction, “Be still and know that I am God.” If we replace God with “your source,” the message comes through to modern ears: Be still and know that I am your source. The most direct result of heeding this message would be to meditate because meditation gives direct access to a silent mind. But countless modern people have tried meditation, and they do not experience the kind of reset that is needed in a crisis. Partly this is due to lack of commitment; the average person has tried meditation and left it behind or only meditates when a sort of psychological Band-Aid is needed. Let me look a bit deeper to show what has been missed, because a silent mind is truly the only healer. In medical school, homeostasis is described as basically physical. If you go for a run, your heart rate, respiration, blood flow to muscles, digestive process, etc. are thrown out of balance, but once you stop running, homeostasis is restored. At the negative end of experience, if you experience a great shock, the fight-or-flight response throws you into extreme imbalance, but when the shock ends, balance is restored. Unfortunately, under a constant threat like COVID-19, the shock doesn’t end. The usual stress response is designed to last no more than a few minutes. Extended to days and weeks, it turns on itself and begins to create damage. The damage first appears psychologically. Under constant stress, people feel tired, grumpy, depressed, anxious, irritable, impatient, and so on. Keep up the pressure, and the next stage is fatigue, lethargy, dullness, and depression. If the stress still doesn’t abate, physical symptoms start to develop, often beginning with insomnia as the result of hormonal interactions being thrown out of whack. There is a lot more to say about this, but the bottom line is that a holistic reset is needed. Without noticing it, you have been holistically resetting yourself for your entire life. Homeostasis isn’t just physical; it involves the whole person. The command center for resetting the whole person isn’t found in our cells, not even our brain cells, and it isn’t found in the active mind, which is just the top layer. The command center for holistic resetting is at the source. Be still and know that I am your source. The evidence for this has existed for decades. Meditation affects heart rate, respiration, brain activity, inflammation markers, and stress levels. Medical science studies each of these factors individually, but we shouldn’t miss the forest for the trees. Everything comes back to the same source. Your source is still and silent; you come closest to it in deep, dreamless sleep. But in a crisis, everything doesn’t automatically go back into balance the way your heart rate will return to normal after you quit running. It turns out that there is useful silence and not-so-useful silence. As consciousness starts to move from its silent source, different paths open up, and the paths you have favored become your unique way of turning silence into something else. Nobody handed you a user’s manual, but in broad terms, silent mind takes a path that is either/or. Let me map how these pathways diverge. Fear or love Separation or unity Suffering or bliss Renewal or habit Self-esteem or self–doubt Security or insecurity Comfort or stress Acceptance or resistance Awareness or unconsciousness These choices arise from silence; they have the same source but travel in opposite directions. If a person is fully conscious or awake, the pathways are directed toward the desirable experiences of love, security, bliss, creativity, renewal, and so on. But as things stand, we are all entangled in a web of choices that are mixed. We suffer but also feel bliss; we love but also fear; we feel self-worth but also self-doubt. A crisis throws us into deeper confusion as it entangles us in too many wrong responses. Healing consists of allowing the silence to go in the right pathways. In every spiritual or wisdom tradition, pure consciousness unfolds, if let alone, in the direction of love, creativity, renewal, and evolution. There is no injunction that says, “Be still and let’s see what happens” or “Be still and who knows how that will work out for you? Instead, the mind-body balance we all have relied upon since infancy is directed positively. Health and wholeness are the norm; creativity and renewal are the norm. This is why I believe that the COVID-19 crisis can lead to healing, because without a doubt everyone feels the need for a rest. Follow this need toward your source, and it will be fulfilled. This is a time when the rest brings into play the infinite power of consciousness. All we have to do is align ourselves with that power at the level of silent mind. DEEPAK CHOPRA™ MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 89 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His 90th book and national bestseller, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential (Harmony Books), unlocks the secrets to moving beyond our present limitations to access a field of infinite possibilities. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”
Is Ur Mom Secure?
It's the day after Mother's Day, has life gone back to normal? Mom not being respected and given the importance she deserves? I certainly hope that's not the case. The love hangover needs to last a bit. Even wondered about UR mom's security. By security, we mean, does she feel safe and well taken care of. We all do love our mothers, but sometimes we need to show it practically as well. The love, attention, care and discipline that mother's invest in taking care of the family reflects in her health and in the health of the family. Majority of women find it challenging to follow a wellbeing routine without proper motivation. Little things like not having a restful night's sleep, overworking to exhaustion, trying to balance family and professional life etc. take a toll on her health. When tell-tale signs of a disease or an infection start showing up, most mothers turn to home remedies. The waiting period makes the illness even trickier to treat. When the woman of the family falls sick, there is chaos. A mother plays a crucial role in taking care of the family's needs, and her requirements take a backseat. She waits to reach out to a doctor only after the pain becomes unbearable. The family members feel guilty, as they feel they ignored her symptoms. Only then does the rest of the family pitch in or hire help to keep up her daily routine. The mental and emotional wellbeing of the family is dependent on the severity of the woman's illness. It's proven that the family is much more peaceful and successful when the women of the house are healthy and happy. Basic Questions? Does she have direct access to UR family doctor? When was the last time she did a complete health check? Where and how are her previous records and reports stored? Is she on regular medication? Is she taking her medicines on time? Does she have enough finances or insurance to take care of her medical needs? Have You checked UR Mom's Reports? Cholesterol & Blood Pressure screening: If her test results are normal, the test can be repeated after a year. If significant lifestyle changes occur and the results aren't good or borderline, it's advised to screen more frequently. If UR mom has an existing condition like diabetes, heart disease, kidney issues or other medical conditions, she needs to be monitored more closely. Stress has a huge correlation to elevated BP or cholesterol. Stress may be ignored by a lot of moms, but it's something that needs to be addressed. Stress is an underlying cause for most lifestyle diseases. A good way to relieve stress is to stay active and meditate. 10k steps a day and 15 min of any kind of meditation should do the job. Please do not confuse prayer/ chanting for meditation, they are two separate activities with different healing powers. Diabetes & Obesity screening: If UR mom's BP is higher than 140/80 mm Hg or your family history suggests diabetes, you should definitely get her tested. An easy test to see if UR mom is in good shape is to give her a tight hug. If UR hands don't go around her waist comfortably, you know she needs to lose weight. Removing processed and polished foods like white rice, maida, sugar, canned juices etc. can be the first step. Get UR mom to meet a nutritionist and set a healthy menu for the whole family. This one-off exercise will change UR healthcare spend as well as manage UR monthly grocery expenses. There are abundant success stories of how people have controlled/ reversed diabetes by transforming their kitchens and fridges. It takes a bit of effort, every self-respecting successful adult is doing it. Keep track of Mom's BMI and weight, it can be nagging but will pay off big time in future, i.e. if she listens. If Mom is over 20Kg above her ideal weight, there are loads of medical options available for her to get back in shape. Consult with a good gastroenterologist or obesity specialist. A Smile Screening: UR mom's smile brings u a lot of happiness, but did you know when she last enhanced her smile? Visiting UR dentist twice a year is a must for oral hygiene. Tooth issues can be very painful if ignored. For all those who just love their mom's smile a bit too much, suggest a bit of filler/botox to boost her mood and make her feel forever young. ENT & Chest exam: If Mom is dealing with diabetes or any vision issues, get an eye examination every year. Make sure she invests in a good pair of sunglasses that have UV protection and cover a large part of the face. Keeping a few pairs of reading glasses handy would make life easier for her. Sinus and snoring can be small issues that can lead to nagging headaches and loss of quality sleep. Get it checked and nip the problem in the bud. As women age, their voice also starts to change. Some women lose their voices, or it becomes more hoarse. Regular chanting and yoga can help keep their voice intact. If Mom has asthma, make sure she has a backup of inhalers at home. Sticking a glow in the dark sticker on it makes it easier to find at night. Encourage mom to stay hydrated and consume warm water with cinnamon regularly. Vaccination: Get mom a flu shot every year. A tetanus-diphtheria booster once every 10 years is beneficial. Two doses of varicella vaccine is a must if she has never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine. With the COVID-19 pandemic shocking us, it's better to keep mom at home if she's over 60. Get the right protocols implemented and keep masks and sanitizer handy at home. Try to maintain a very hygienic environment at home. Woman Screening: Mammogram: If UR family medical history suggests breast cancer, consider yearly mammograms over the age of 35. For mom's under 35, do regular self-breast examinations or opt for a breast ultrasound. Keep a check on mom's skin for abnormal signs. Pelvic exam and Pap smear: These are must for mom every 3 years to check for cervical cancer. If mom's Pap smear and HPV test are normal, she needs to repeat the test only every 5 years. Colorectal Cancer Screening: If mom is above 50, get a faecal occult blood test every year. For every 5yrs, get a Flexible sigmoidoscopy and a colonoscopy every 10 years. Osteoporosis screening: If mom has a fractured bone post the age of 50, make sure to get a bone density test. Gynaecologist Women find it invasive to meet a gynaecologist. With age encourage UR gynec to become UR mom's best friend. Help mom to choose a gynec she can confide in and trust. Few most common issues women deal with are menstrual abnormalities, menopause, pregnancy-related problems, ovary health, vaginal discharge, itchiness, bleeding and cancer. Consult a gynaecologist and follow up with the entire course of treatment. Don't feel shy. UR moms health is as stake. Addressing women's issues are no more a taboo, we're living in 2020. The most common health-related issues women face are due to an unhealthy lifestyle. PCOD, late childbearing, fibroids, cysts, endometriosis (presence of Endometrial Tissue - the lining of the uterus, outside the uterus in the pelvic cavity), adenomyosis, pelvic infections, breast and uterus cancer in younger patients, infertility, etc. could be avoided by making minor lifestyle changes gradually. U R in this together as a family. You can choose to bake her a cake full of sugar or teach her to start living healthy. The choice is URs. Make UR mother's day act meaningful or else don't do it at all. Insurance We all have got to pay the price of healthcare if we don't make adequate lifestyle choices early. It is best to understand the evolving world and get insurance to secure Mom's health and finances. UR employer or external agencies offer insurance packages based on age and risk. It never hurts to be careful and indulge in research. If you are not considering insurance, then saving money for a rainy day might come in handy during a medical emergency. How to make Mom secure about her health Apart from keeping up with her medical history, there are a few practical things you can set to help her. 1. Always choose to live in a locality with a nearby pharmacy and a multi-speciality hospital. Keep the numbers handy and registered on her mobile. 2. Teach parents about the technology of online consultations and emergency services. 3. Always make sure that their emergency contacts are on speed dial. 4. Know your neighbours as they can be life saviours. 5. Keeping a savings account only for a health emergency. 6. Do not miss an appointment or a screening test as prescribed. 7. If mom is bedridden, consider appointing a home care nurse with expertise. Taking precautions earlier helps you and UR mom feel more secure. This is a relationship that will either make you feel guilty or great UR Mom’s Wellbeing Checklist The time it takes: 30 min Satisfaction: Invaluable Basic knowledge of: 1. Name and Number of UR family doctor and her gynaecologist. 2. Date of the most recent complete health check. 3. Where and how are her previous records and reports stored? 4. Is there a list of regular medication entered on her phone calendar with timings? 5. The validity of Health Insurance. 6. Savings account details with a deposit saved for a medical emergency. 7. Are the Emergency contact detailed saved on her phone? Does she know the speed dial list? 8. Address of the nearest hospital, pharmacy & clinic. About Her Wellness Find answers to these questions 1. Is she active, ideally walking 10k steps a day? If not, encourage to achieve the 10k mark gradually by making daily progress. 2. Does she have any injury or pains? If yes, Have you put her in touch with a physiotherapist? If no consult a physiotherapist and get to know the actual issue. 3. Is UR mom feeling low and depressed? Does she have a mentor or trainer professional like a psychologist she can seek help from? She needs someone to express her feelings. 4. Is UR mom making the right food choices for home and her health? Get her in touch with a good nutritionist. A consultation should help her get a clearer picture. 5. Is UR mom staying hydrated? Water retention & bloating are huge problems for women. Her weight multiplied by .033 will give you the amount of water(in litres) she needs to drink every day. 6. When was the last time UR mom did something for herself? A massage etc. its time to set up relaxation time for UR mom. 7. Know where UR mom is buying supplies & produce for the house. You can recommend healthier produce vendors by doing a bit of research. Make sure it is suitable to UR budget. 8. Mom is not a glorified maid, punching bag or sole governor of the house. It has to be a collective effort. Give her the respect she deserves. 9. Height, Weight & BMR and the conditions that she might deal with, concerning age or genetics. Mandatory Medical Checkup 1. Blood Pressure – The normal range of BP should be more than 90/60 and less than 120/80. 2. Blood Sugar - There are two types to determine blood sugar levels. While fasting, the sugar levels should be between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L (72 to 99 mg/dL). After eating, the sugar levels can be up to 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) 3. Cholesterol - The total cholesterol in the body should be less than 170mg/dL. In which the non-High-Density Lipoprotein should be less than 120mg/dL. Low-Density Lipoproteins should be less than 100mg/dL. High-Density Lipoprotein should be more than 45mg/dL. 4. Oxygen saturation – The oxygen saturation in the blood should always be between 95 - 100%. 5. Menopause 6. Pap smear 7. Mammogram 8. PCOD 9. Fibroids 10. Cysts - The normal size of a cyst is up to 3 cm (a little over an inch) 11. Endometriosis (presence of Endometrial Tissue – the lining of the uterus, outside the uterus in the pelvic cavity) and adenomyosis 12. Pelvic infections 13. Uterus cancer in young moms 14. Infertility 15. Osteoporosis screening 16. Colorectal Cancer Screening 17. Flu shot 18. Tetanus-diphtheria booster 19. Two doses of varicella vaccine 20. Vision 21. Sinus, breathing and lung function test 22. Sleep study 23. Dental appointment
5 Ways To Calm UR Mind During Stressful Times
Life throws chaos at us on a regular basis—from finances to our relationships and health. The latest chaos that has gripped the world is the novel coronavirus. The world has been dealing with the COVID-19 for almost five months now and there has been no end to it. While many of us have been working from home to meet the targets; stress kicks in many ways to push us back. In response to that, we try to survive on our adrenaline. Overworking, drinking another cup of coffee; we respond to the emails and get the work done. We think that if we stay up and work, we get things done. But all it does is that it burns us out, drain our productivity, and lead to exhaustion. Coping with stress To relieve stress, it is important to come up with a strategy to relax your mind and body. Here are the five quick and easy ways to regain calmness so that you can deal with different situations. 1. Take a Walk Exercise can be a great stress reliever. Exercising releases the feel-good hormone called endorphins. Walking brings the stress levels down and also helps you gain short-term and long term benefits like increase fitness of heart, stronger bones and improved balance. Walking will also help you get off work and return to it in a new frame of mind which is optimistic and determined. 2. Take a Breath Breathing exercises are a great way to instant calm URself. More oxygen into UR body means that you will feel a calm state. It also releases the physical tension that’s gripping you. And the fun part about this exercise is that you can do them anytime or anywhere. 3. Take a Mental Break If you want to restore UR peace of mind, then visualizations and guided imagery are a wonderful way to do it. Just close UR eyes and imagine scenery or a place that calms you down. It can help you in relaxing both physically and mentally. With practice, you will be able to access your "happy place" and quickly feel relaxed when stressed. 4. Reframe Your Situation We tend to maximise our stress just by the way we perceive them. One way to deal with situations and the arising stress out of them is to look at them differently. Put a different perspective to it and see how it changes UR situation. Pessimism and other self-sabotaging thought patterns are meant to cause stress and problem, but if you change the way you look at problems, it'll come in handy when you're stressed. 5. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique in which you tense and release all of UR muscle groups, leaving your body more relaxed in the process. PMR is a great technique that can be practised by anyone. With continuous practice and use, you can fully release the tensions that are gripping you in a matter of seconds.