5 Easy Yoga Exercises To Beat Stress

Meditation, good sleeping routine and stretching  helps one to focus and relax but when anxiety starts to creep in or during times of stress, many people turn to Yoga . It might seem contradictory but by exercising and putting physical stress on one’s body, mental tensions can be relieved.

                    Yoga is a form of exercise that combines stretching, breathing, relaxation and meditation and has various asana or body postures that include sitting meditation pose, reclining, standing, inverted, twisting and balancing poses to overcome all kinds of sufferings and lead to ‘the state of liberation’ (Moksha) or ‘freedom’ (Kaivalya) and self-realisation. Studies have often suggested that Yoga can enhance mood and according to some researches, it may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety.

                  Yoga practice helps lower stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, improving sleep pattern and self-image. Hence, people who do Yoga regularly are less likely to experience anxiety as compared to those who don’t since benefits of the asana are strongest when one performs them regularly.

Looking for some calming poses to deal with anxiety or stress disorder, check below for the steps and benefits of 5 easy-to-do Yoga asana at home to get promising results.

1.Sukhasana or easy pose:

Method: Sit on a Yoga mat or on the floor with your legs stretched out. Bend one of your legs and place it under the opposite thigh and repeat the same with the other leg.

Sit erect, keep your head, neck and trunk aligned in a straight line, put your hands on your knees or thighs in Chin Mudra or Jnana Mudra. Turn your palms up to be receptive or down to feel grounded and inhaling slowly, feel your spine grow long while on exhaling, root down through your seat.

Benefits: Apart from finding stillness and tranquility, this asana relieves muscle and joint pains as it helps the practitioner in maintaining a good posture, gives flexibility, keeps the back straight and provides strength to the legs. This in turn lengthens the back muscles and spine, broadens the collarbones and chest, stretches the external aspect of the knees and unlocks the hips.

2. Balasana or Child’s Pose or Child’s Resting Pose:

Method: Sit on your heels on the floor or a yoga mat and keep your knees either together or wide apart. Slowly, exhale and bend forward to touch the floor with your forehead or rest it on a block or two stacked fists while keeping your arms alongside your body and palms facing up. Alternatively, you can keep your palms facing down on the mat by reaching out your arms towards the front of the yoga mat. Now, if your knees are together, gently press your chest on the thighs or press your chest between the thighs if the knees are apart.

  Relax the shoulders, jaw and eyes and find a comfortable place for the forehead as there is an energy point at its center, in between the eyebrows, that supports a “rest and digest” response by stimulating the vagus nerve. Hold onto the pose for as long as you like and pull your navel towards your spine while inhaling and softening your body and the arms while exhaling. Return to the sitting position on the heels slowly while inhaling and as if uncurling the spine.

Benefits: This beginner’s Yoga pose not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety by helps releasing the tension in the chest, back and shoulders but also helps if you have a bout of dizziness or fatigue during the day or during your workout. It can help relieve back pain as it is a gentle stretch for the back, hips, thighs and ankles.

Precautions: This exercise is not recommended for pregnant women or those suffering from diarrhea or knee injury.

3.  Savasana/Shavasana or corpse pose:

Method: Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms relaxed at your sides. Gently close your eyes while keeping your feet a comfortable distance apart in a natural position and keep your arms straight along the body but away from the torso while resting your palms facing up.

Breathe naturally, allow your body to feel heavy on the ground and focus all your attention on your toes. Then shift your attention and begin to release each part of your body, organ and cell, consciously working from the toes up to the top of your head. Bring your mind gently back to your body if it wanders.

Be sure that you do not fall asleep and relax your face, feeling your eyes drop into your sockets and the softening of your jaw. Draw your attention to the sounds around you and try to find the most distant one until you find the sound closest to you.

When you feel relaxed, exit the pose by gently bringing your awareness back to your body and wriggle your fingers and toes while still keeping your eyes closed. Draw your knees in and slowly roll over to one side in sukhasana pose. Rest there for a moment in a comfortable seated position and open your eyes gently while slowly turning your attention outwards.

Benefits: Shavasana along with deep breathing relaxes the nervous system more than any other Yoga asana and this instantly brings down the body temperature. It relieves stress, repairs cells, relaxes the body and helps self-healing without pills for pregnant women.

4. Matsyasana or the Fish Pose:

Method: Lie down on your back with legs straight on the floor and hands beside the thighs. Keep your palms near the shoulders and your fingers pointing towards them. Inhale, press your palms on the floor, lift your shoulders and head up and drop the top of the head on the floor.

Arch your back while keeping your hands up in namaskar mudra. Lift both of your legs at 45 degrees’ angle. Hold the posture for 10 seconds and release.

Benefits: This exercise has multiple benefits. From stretching the chest, abs, hip flexors and neck to stimulating two important areas of the body. First is the throat chakra which relates to communication and self-expression and second is the crown chakra, on the top of your head, which is tied to wisdom and knowledge.

Precautions: Avoid this pose if you have a neck or back injury or even if you have a headache.

5. Vrikshasana or tree pose:

Method: Balance yourself on one leg, with the other one folded and supported on your inner thigh. Stretch out your hands above your head and point them directly upwards.

Clasp them together in anjali mudra. Gaze in the distance, shift the weight to your left leg while keeping the right knee bent in half lotus position and hold onto this posture for a few seconds before releasing and repeating the same with the alternate leg.

Benefits: This asana helps to bring balance to your mind and body. It makes your legs stronger and is a great hip opener as assists it the body in establishing pelvic stability and strengthens the bones of the hips and legs.

The shift of the entire body’s weight to each leg strengthens the ligaments and tendon of the feet. It also helps strengthen the thighs, calves and ankles and and helps improve focus.

Precautions: This asana should be avoided by those who suffer from vertigo or migraine or insomnia issues.

Laugh Your Stress Away With These TV Shows

The current pandemic has been very stressful for many people around the world. Uncertainties in employment, increased job stress, academic stress and worry about the spread of the coronavirus and contracting the disease have been a few worries plaguing the minds of many people across the globe. Too much of stress and worrying is bad for both the physical well-being of the body and mental health of the psyche.

It is important to occasionally take a step back from the various problems and worries in life and destress. What better way to do it than with some laughter? The saying ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’ is actually more than just that. Some of the benefits of laughter are:

  • It is a mood booster– Laughing releases endorphins. Endorphins are hormones which are responsible for the feeling of happiness and pleasure. The more a person laughs, the more endorphins get produced, which consequently lead to more happiness
  • It protects the body from effects of stress– When you laugh, your body’s stress response gets activated and then gets reduced. This causes a increase and subsequent decrease in the blood pressure and the heart rate
  • It gives a boost to the immune system– Prolonged stress and tension can compromise the immune system. Laughter decreases its effects thus strengthening your immune system
  • It protects the heart– Laughing lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow and improves the functioning of blood vessels.

Laugh your way to good health with these five American sitcoms:

Friends

Promotional visual for Friends

No list of the best American sitcoms would be complete without this iconic series. ‘Friends’ narrates the story of a group of six friends – Monica Geller, Rachel Green, Phoebe Buffay, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing and Ross Geller. The series follows their daily ups and downs. The series ran for a decade- from 1994 to 2004. Although some of the jokes and situations may be lost to a lack of relevancy in current times, the humorous situations the characters go through will make you laugh out loud.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Promotional visual for Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Ever thought that a comedy cop series couldn’t exist? Brooklyn Nine-Nine is here to prove you wrong! As the name suggests, it’s based in the fictional 99th precinct of Brooklyn, as follows the daily lives of a group of New York Police Department personnel. The shenanigans they get into will have you in stitches the whole time! Season 8, which will also be the final season, comes out on the 12th of August, you might want to catch up on the story till then!

Modern Family

Promotional visual for Modern Family

Tired of seeing dramatic family soap operas? Itching for a family-based show with laughter, heartfelt moments and light-heartedness? Give Modern Family a chance. The show follows the life of the families of Jay Pritchett, his daughter Claire Dunphy and his son Mitchell Pritchett. The show is filmed in a mockumentary style, which further enhances its comedic value.

The Big Bang Theory

Promotional visual for The Big Bang Theory

Love science? Love comedy too? Don’t worry, the Big Bang Theory’s got you covered! This sitcom is centered around five friends- physicists Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, their neighbor Penny who is an aspiring actress and their co-workers, astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali and aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and the various humorous situations they experience with each other, their co-workers and other friends.

Young Sheldon

Promotional visual for Young Sheldon

Couldn’t get enough of the Big Bang Theory? Loved Sheldon? Did you want to know more about him and want to see more of him? Watch Young Sheldon! The series is a spin-off acting as a prequel to The Big Bang Theory. The show is a narration of Sheldon about his life as a kid. Follow the hilarious interactions of the child genius and socially inept Sheldon Cooper as he tries to navigate the world!

Suicide effects

Suicide affects all people. Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts. 

Unfortunately, our society often paints suicide the way they would a prison sentence—a permanent situation that brands an individual. However, suicidal ideation is not a brand or a label, it is a sign that an individual is suffering deeply and must seek treatment. And it is falsehoods like these that can prevent people from getting the help they need to get better.

Debunking the common myths associated with suicide can help society realize the importance of helping others seek treatment and show individuals the importance of addressing their mental health challenges. 

Myth: Suicide only affects individuals with a mental health condition.

Fact: Many individuals with mental illness are not affected by suicidal thoughts and not all people who attempt or die by suicide have mental illness. Relationship problems and other life stressors such as criminal/legal matters, persecution, eviction/loss of home, death of a loved one, a devastating or debilitating illness, trauma, sexual abuse, rejection, and recent or impending crises are also associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Myth: Once an individual is suicidal, he or she will always remain suicidal.

Fact: Active suicidal ideation is often short-term and situation-specific. Studies have shown that approximately 54% of individuals who have died by suicide did not have a diagnosable mental health disorder. And for those with mental illness, the proper treatment can help to reduce symptoms. 

The act of suicide is often an attempt to control deep, painful emotions and thoughts an individual is experiencing. Once these thoughts dissipate, so will the suicidal ideation. While suicidal thoughts can return, they are not permanent. An individual with suicidal thoughts and attempts can live a long, successful life. 

Myth: Most suicides happen suddenly without warning.

Fact: Warning signs—verbally or behaviorally—precede most suicides. Therefore, it’s important to learn and understand the warnings signs associated with suicide. Many individuals who are suicidal may only show warning signs to those closest to them. These loved ones may not recognize what’s going on, which is how it may seem like the suicide was sudden or without warning.

Myth: People who die by suicide are selfish and take the easy way out.

Fact: Typically, people do not die by suicide because they do not want to live—people die by suicide because they want to end their suffering. These individuals are suffering so deeply that they feel helpless and hopeless. Individuals who experience suicidal ideations do not do so by choice. They are not simply, “thinking of themselves,” but rather they are going through a very serious mental health symptom due to either mental illness or a difficult life situation.   

Myth: Talking about suicide will lead to and encourage suicide.

Fact: There is a widespread stigma associated with suicide and as a result, many people are afraid to speak about it. Talking about suicide not only reduces the stigma, but also allows individuals to seek help, rethink their opinions and share their story with others. We all need to talk more about suicide. 

Debunking these common myths about suicide can hopefully allow individuals to look at suicide from a different angle—one of understanding and compassion for an individual who is internally struggling. Maybe they are struggling with a mental illness or maybe they are under extreme pressure and do not have healthy coping skills or a strong support system. 

As a society, we should not be afraid to speak up about suicide, to speak up about mental illness or to seek out treatment for an individual who is in need. Eliminating the stigma starts by understanding why suicide occurs and advocating for mental health awareness within our communities. There are suicide hotlines, mental health support groups, online community resources and many mental health professionals who can help any individual who is struggling with unhealthy thoughts and emotions. 

Good and Bad effects of competition in Life

Winner Winner Confidence booster!

Get set go!! What do you make of that? If you think its competition, you are absolutely right! In Today’s fast moving life,this phrase makes sense most of the time in every field. Yes, competition,the act of trying tobwin or gain something by defeating others, is the policy we bear in mind in completing any task how much ever minute it may be.

One of the main advantages of competition is, it provides purpose and firmness to the mind. It gives us an impetus to pursue our goal, despite the difficulties that comes along the way. Here, ego also plays a major part as losing means one is inferior to the other. This might help in increasing confidence level. If its a challenge, why not gain the pleasure by surmounting it?

Even for a trifle task, one thinks that he must be the first one to finish it, thereby forcing each one to give their level best into it, yielding a better result altogether. This trait can be observed in children too. They try to compete in any task given to them and feel very good about themselves once they finish it. This simple instance shows the infuence of competition.

Now-a-days, children are very witty, which increases the level of competition.With numerous opportunities and resources come greater competition. This can be observed in various competitive exams. The cut off marks are such that, by a point difference people lose.This induces more stress in people which might be positive or negative, depending on each individual and circumtances.

Competition provides the opportunity to select the best among the bests. It is the best way to analyze ourselves and keep a track of where we stand among our peers. It also gives us chance to improve ourselves and achieve better when the next opportunity knocks our doors.

The monthly or annual exams students face is a trailor to the future competitions we might encounter. Many children as well as adults bear the opinion that exams are unnecessary and irrelevant. On the contrary, without a definite reason, it is highly unlikely that people learn what is to be learnt.

The importance of competition is such that we must always engage in improving ourselves to be on par with the bustling world. Only when we compare and compete with people, our areas of strength and weakness is revealed to us. This is help in finding direction to move forward in life.

Coming to the disadvantages, it depends on one’s mentality and view point. If one is pessimistic, the idea of competition might be discouraging to him. Whereas, if he is optimistic and ready to take on challenges, it might actually help in pushing oneself to improvise on all levels. The reality stands that competition is everywhere. One can either moan about or make the best out of it.

In conclusion, one musy always try to have healty competition in mind. Especially in this competitive world, competition is a must and the one conpeting with full determination will be the winner of the competition called life.

Burnout – What is it? What are it’s Stages?

“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.”
― Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man

In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced environment, it is human nature to over-push yourself and over-stress yourself out.

According to the World Health Organization,

Burn-out is an occupational phenomenon and is not classified as a medical condition.

Burn-out is defined in ICD-11 as follows:

“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three factors:

-feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
-increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
-reduced professional efficacy.

Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”

“Burnout” is a comparatively new term, first mentioned by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement. He originally defined burnout as, “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

The 5 Stages Of Burnout

There may be 5 stages of burnout happening to any working individual. They are:

1. HONEYMOON PHASE

When we join a job or start a new business, we need to take practical steps and make ourselves more aware of the demands of the job/business so that we can actually prevent a possible burnout. We usually face a plethora of good emotions when starting something new and this can actually make us feel more burnt out than we would usually think. We need to take steps to cope and thereby implement positive changes as well as giving importance to our mental well-being. If we develop powerful coping strategies itself, we can stay in this positive phase for as long as we want to.

In the honeymoon phase, people can experience job satisfaction, great productivity, high energy levels, optimism, commitment, creativity, etc.

2. ONSET OF STRESS

After feeling great, there is a moment of realization of certain days becoming more difficult, you might develop negative emotions and be affected physically, mentally as well as emotionally.

Symptoms range from physical difficulties like high blood pressure, heart palpitations, headaches, fatigue, appetite changes, forgetfulness, etc. to mental difficulties like anxiety, inability to focus, avoiding making decisions, etc. Job dissatisfaction, Lack of social interaction, Lower productivity as well as general neglect of personal needs can also be seen in this stage.

3. CHRONIC STRESS

More intense symptoms are observed in this stage. Stress is experienced on a very frequent basis.

Symptoms include no hobbies, Missed work deadlines/targets, Tiredness, Physical illness, Procrastination, Resentfulness, Social withdrawal, escapism, anger issues, exhaustion, Denial of problems, panic, high caffeine consumption, feeling out of control, etc.

4. BURNOUT

Symptoms become critical here. Coping with this situation becomes difficult and it does not feel normal at all.

Symptoms include escapism, emptiness, problem obsession, pessimism, more physical symptoms, self-doubt, isolation, change in behavior, headaches, neglecting personal needs, desire to drop out, and much more.

5. HABITUAL BURNOUT

In this stage, burnout becomes a routine, a trap difficult to escape from. The symptoms have been drilled in your system and people are likely to experience ongoing problems which are physical, mental, and emotional in nature.

Symptoms include depression, chronic sadness, mental and physical fatigue, etc.

Conclusion

The average age of a person getting burnt out is 32. Burnouts can affect anyone at any time in their lives. It is so important to take care of yourself and prevent it as much as possible. Having good lifestyle habits as well as good self-care habits can be very useful to prevent burnout. Getting out of burnout is possible too by addressing the underlying issues and working on them.

How to Cope up with Stress? (for students)

Ashton Eaton’s key to dealing with stress is simple: just stay cool and stay focused. Stress can cause many ill-effects to our body and mental health. Therefore, we need to cope up with stress that is caused by the challenges in life. 

Stress can be caused in students by various factors like examinations, surprise tests, deadline of an unsubmitted assignment, noise pollution, etc. There are two types of stress – distress and eustress. Stress affects us mentally and physically. It causes various diseases. It decreases our confidence and makes us lonely. I have written about this in detail in my previous article. 

Steps for stress management

  1. Identify the cause of stress. You need to know what has caused the stress. The cause can be a presentation, a speech, a dance performance, etc. In students, the most common stressor is an examination or a stage performance at school. Some students get stressed during preparing for the examinations, they are a prey of self doubt and low self esteem. 
  1. Reaction to a stressful situation plays a key role in managing it. Identify how you are dealing with this situation emotionally. This is the second step and the easiest step to regulate stress quickly. You should know about the emotions that you are feeling, if you know this then you can share this with anyone or can deal with it faster.
  1. Seek solutions for avoiding stressors. Stressors are the challenges and the situations due to which we acquire/experience stress. However, avoiding stressors in every situation is not a good thing and this will eventually decrease your self confidence. If you feel stressed by delivering speeches in front of the public, then you can imagine that there are no people in the room. You can also focus on only one person in the room and then deliver the speech to them.
  1. Identifying symptoms of stress is as crucial as the reactions to it. For example, during a presentation to an audience, and you have blanks of memory, you are uncomfortable, and you are distracted. These are the symptoms of stress and they can derail your presentation in front of the audience.

Management techniques 

  • Exercise. It can help to improve your sleep. And better sleep means better stress management. Exercise also seems to help mood. Part of the reason may be that it stimulates your body to release a number of hormones like endorphins and endocannabinoids that help block pain, improve sleep, and sedate you. People who exercise also tend to feel less anxious and more positive about themselves. 
  •  A healthy diet can lessen the effects of stress, build up your immune system, level your mood, and lower your blood pressure. Lots of added sugar and fat can have the opposite effect. And junk food can seem even more appealing when you’re under a lot of stress.
  • Do Yoga. This is a form of exercise, but it can also be a meditation. There are many types of yoga. The ones that focus on slow movement, stretching, and deep breathing are best for lowering your anxiety and stress. Here are some asanas that can relieve stress – child pose, bridge pose, corpse pose, camel pose, cobra pose. Here are some pranayamas that students should practice – bhramari, nadi shodhan, shitali, and anulom- vilom.

In a nutshell – slow down, keep calm, be positive, take it easy, unplug, enjoy life, have fun, breathe, go outside, relax and meditate.

Students and Stress

In the exam hall or before the exams everybody feels the butterflies flying in the stomach. This is how we experience stress during examinations.

What is stress?

Stress is the physical and mental response of the body to demand made upon it. It is the result of our reaction to outside events. Stress is an outcome of:

  1. Examinations and surprise tests. We get stressed during our examinations. Most of the time we get nervous we don’t know the answer to some questions. Our hands start sweating and our mind blanks out at that time.
  2. When we don’t complete a particular assignment at the given time, we panic because of the little time left with us. We cannot give our best at this point of time.
  3. Returning to studies after a long break also is one reason for stress in students. We forget many topics that we had previously learned and read.
  4. Because of poor time management many students suffer from a great loss. Sometimes they study very much, sometimes they play too much or sometimes they spend most of their day on screens.
  5. Various problems at home also gives us a lot of stress. We cannot focus on studies or any other work. The fights between parents impacts a child in a negative manner.
  6. Noise pollution is also a cause of stress. Students are not able to relax while listening to continuous sounds coming from a party, construction site and neighbourhood.

Types of stress

  • Eustress – It is the positive cognitive response to stress that is healthy, or gives one a feeling of fulfillment or other positive feelings. The goal is not too far out of reach but is still slightly more than one can handle. This fosters challenge and motivation since the goal is in sight. The function of challenge is to motivate a person toward improvement and a goal.  Eustress is indicated by hope and active engagement.
  • Distress – A range of symptoms and experiences of a person’s internal life that are commonly held to be troubling, confusing or out of the ordinary. Mental distress can potentially lead to a change of behavior, affect a person’s emotions in a negative way, and affect their relationships with the people around them. Certain traumatic life experiences such as: stress, lack of sleep, use of drugs or alcohol, assault, abuse or accidents can induce mental distress. This type of stress is negative and can deplete or destroy the energy for life.

How does stress affect us?

It increases our heart rate and muscle tension and causes headache, jaw ache, insomnia. It causes many diseases like asthma, hyperactivity, etc and the digestion slows causing ‘butterflies’ in stomach effect. It mentally affects us more. We start thinking negatively. it slows decision making ability and stunts the problem solving skills. There is a decrease in our concentration and focus. We often start forgetting about many things. We experience loneliness and worry about the future or the past. Increase intake of alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine to relax. We tend to isolate ourselves from our family members, friends and neighbours. We feel utterly unmotivated and lose our sense of humor.

We should not let stress affect us immensely. We should cope up with stress. Talking to anyone about our mental health can help. There are many methods to prevent stress which I will discuss in the next article.  

ANXIETY

Anxiety is a concoction of feelings of worry, tension and fear. In India, alone 44.9 million people are dealing with anxiety disorders. Anxiety is a necessary survival instinct that had helped humanity survives. It produces adrenaline a hormone responsible for flight or fight response, it helps us fight dangers or to run away from them. Now the feelings or fear and worry revolve around our jobs, family and money. The nervous feeling before an important event is now a prolonged feeling of worry and stress. When anxiety is left untreated for a long time it can develop into anger. The socio-cultural aspects of our Indian society make it difficult for individuals with mental illness to come forward and get help. The stigma is still rooted that anyone who goes to a mental health facility is seen as crazy or disturbed.
Anxiety during lockdown can be tough. Anxiety can be divided into different disorders based on their severity or triggers. They are general anxiety disorder, agoraphobia which is anxiety which is triggered when they are forced to be in public situations, social anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks and separation anxiety. A constant state of worry or fear might lead to panic attacks or bottled up stress turns into frustration which in turn becomes anger. During times of uncertainty where students worry about their academics, grad students who worry about future prospectus, a worker who are losing their jobs, anxiety are on the rise. Unprocessed anxiety can lead to anger issues as these feelings of fear or worry are left unacknowledged. The anger that is sourced from anxiety is not intentional but it is a natural reaction to anxiety. When these feelings are left untreated it’s normal for people to lash out because they do not know how to cope with it. But there are 5 things you can do to or tips that might help with anxiety.


1.People with anxiety usually tend to follow a routine they are comfortable with. In a lockdown, folks with anxiety should not lose track of their routine as it keeps them comfortable.
2.People how to suffer from panic attacks have many techniques that calm them down. One of my favourite techniques is sucking on an ice cube. Sucking on the ice cube distracts your mind from whatever is troubling you.
3.Staying connected with friends and family is important as social connectedness is important.
4.Minimizing the time spent on social media is a good option as social media is littered with constant news on coronavirus which might trigger anxiety in lockdown.
5.Talking to supportive friends or a mental health professional is always a good option.


Anxiety is treatable and there are many different ways it can be helped. The pandemic will pass and the thing will return to normal but something will remain different. The key to lessening the anxiety is to be kind to others and ourselves. We are going to some difficult times but life will always go on.

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE AND STRESS

Take it from a college student who is home with parents all the time due to COVID- 19, chocolate at this point in my life is the only thing that is keeping me sane, chocolate is the cure to all problems in life.
This lock down has shaken my self-confidence and I now call my myself a little stress ball. But if anything in this world is perfect, then it’s chocolate. Chocolate is the personification of human emotions. Are you happy? You eat chocolate. Are you sad? You eat chocolate. Are you tired? You eat chocolate. Are you bored, my friend? you eat chocolate. That also basically sums up how much money I spend on chocolate but it’s okay I’m helping the economy grow and that’s the truth. Yet, to help my bank account than the economy, sometimes I to make chocolate at home. Yes, I make chocolate at home from scratch. That’s how I was a female who menstruates cope with pain and sadness. It’s chocolate its perfect and more perfect. Amazingly, the answer to all my problem is chocolate or ice cream. To release this stress, I make amazing homemade chocolate which is delicious. It’s a truly amazing thing to do because the final product is always a fresh batch of decadent chocolate. Let’s make mouthwateringly smooth homemade chocolate today.

THE PROCESS
First, I want you to take an additional 1 cup of sieved milk powder to a bowl(the milk powder oddly reminds me off the milky bar). Take another bowl and add sieved cocoa powder to it. The mil powder and cocoa powder are sieved to break any lumps and its easier to mix the ingredients together. Now mix the two powders. Add ¼ cup of milk to the mixture, 2 tablespoons of melted butter (melted not burnt), 3 tablespoons of condensed milk (i advise you to taste the condensed milk, it’s forking great.) The smell from the mixture should be heavenly and should remind you of chocolate ice cream(it also means that you are hungry ). Mix thoroughly mix the mixture until the mixture is smooth. Now, this is the crucial step where you can make the chocolate to suit your taste. If you like it to be more on the sweeter side, then add icing sugar to the mixture. Go on, you can add anything, peppermint, spices or chilli…the list goes on. As long as the taste of the chocolate makes sense to you, it’s going to be beautiful. Now grease a microwave-safe tray and pour the mixture on it. microwave for 4 minutes and set the tray down to cool off the mixture. Pour the mixture into your desired mould, refrigerate it for 1 hour and voila your chocolate is ready now, we should find a cosy place, sit and eat chocolate and smile ’cause that’s what life should be. this is how I’ ve dealt with stress and anxiety during the lockdown and trying to stay afloat. chocolate is truly one of mankind’s favourite comfort food and rightly so. So why don’t we all try to make some homemade chocolate today

Stress and how to deal with it.

A person is stressed when he or she has a feeling of emotional strain and pressure. Stress in small amounts is beneficial and even healthy when it a motivational factor. An excess amount of stress is very unhealthy, to the point where it leads to bodily harm. It increases the risk of stroke, ulcers, heart attacks, hyper tension and even mental illness such as depression.

Hans Selye, a renowned endocrinologist proposed four variations of stress:

  • Good stress ( eustress)
  • Bad stress (distress)
  • Over-stress (hyper stress)
  • Under-stress (hypo stress)

Different events or experience leads to stress. A person cannot know when or where catastrophes might occur. No one can control such situation no matter who that person is. Natural disasters (tsunamis, earthquakes), wars, pandemics are all unpredictable. Change in a person’s life like marriage, moving out of the house for education or work, death of close ones and birth of a child, these are all major life events. A person will be stressed thinking about how to move forward after such events. Both of above mentioned causes of stress are something that a person cannot ignore or quit. These are a part of life.

Simple reasons of stress are daily hassles, something that a person works on to avoid it. If you do not like your job, you can always quit or be involved in ways where you can actually make a difference. If you do not like traffic jams, leave early. Start working on projects at the earliest so that you can meet deadlines, instead of starting late and inducing unwanted stress upon yourself. If a person constantly irritates you, ignore him or talk to him or even become friends.

Stress causes unwanted health issues, like insomnia, depression, strokes, heart attacks and many other which can be avoided simple actions. With stress come behavioral changes. A person becomes a reason for someone else’s stress. With such changes, you might lose respect among family members, colleagues and friends.

Here are few simple ways to deal with stress.

  • Exercise: Exercise done right is always a stress buster, makes you more calm and relaxed. Workout can make a person forget the events that cause stress; it induces good sleep, keeps you physically fit and also boosts you confidence.
  • Reduce Caffeine intake: Tea, coffee, soft drinks, and energy drinks; all these increase a person’s anxiety level. It makes a person addicted. Alcohol consumption or even smoking causes stress, it might give temporary relief but after that is over it is life back to normal.
  • Spend time with people: Spending time with your family or friends reduces stress. You can talk about your life, the joy and the pain that comes with it instead of keeping it to yourself or always immersed in the electronic media. It might be difficult at first, but it gives you a sense of relief.
  • Listen to music or enjoy good humor:  Music is always a stress buster. Humor is always better. You relaxes you mind, you can also do those chores while listening to music.
  • Eat Healthy: Eating healthy keeps you fit. Makes you more confident. Maintain a balanced diet. Get more nutrients. Reduce junk food intake. It increases your cholesterol level, which causes health risks.
  • Hobbies: Learn new things, maybe a musical instrument, start painting, do some photography, learn new technical data. These hobbies help you relax, forget about your worries and make you confident. 

Longer Working Hours and Increase in Stress Levels

The ever-increasing work overload, the burden of relentless deadlines, the technical dependency on employment, and the desire of people to succeed in the workplace have changed the concept of professional life, and most workers need higher and longer hours of work every day. We will examine the reasons behind this work pressure and long working hours in this essay, and suggest some ways employers can help improve the condition.

9 Simple Ways to Deal With Stress at Work

It is a reality that work days are getting longer and that the strain at work these days is becoming more extreme. There are different reasons that escalated the mess and there are certain things that employers can do to help their staff. Those are explored in depth in the accompanying article.

Competitive rivalry on the job market is one of the reasons why work these days has become so stressful. Employers still have chances to recruit new hires to replace someone, which is why somebody who has already been employed needs to work hard to keep his career. This instinctively has cognitive negative effects on the employees. Employees have to work longer hours to meet their specific goals as the invisible threat of firing is there. Another reason to make the workplace so stressful is to increasing competition caused by globalisation.

Many small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries need to compete with other multinationals and firms where the labour price is cheaper. The consequence of this on staff is that if the company they work for fails they realize they will be made redundant. This compel the employees not only to work longer hours but also endure from work-related stress and unpredictability. Many days, managers are setting expectations for the workers of most companies and most of the expectations are hard to accomplish. Employees are often expected to work over 10 hours a day, often even on days off. Ultimately, the aspirations of the employees from the workplaces have hit a higher level and people are able to risk their personal life for the sake of promotions. This change in mind configuration has also been due to the rising burden on the job.

Despite the higher competition in business, employers should maintain a better working environment that supports their workers socially and financially in order to sustain in the long run. Without interactions and committed workers and company cannot thrive and the fear of change cannot guarantee a safe workforce. Employers should only allow workers to work the normal hours and work overtime where necessary. Employers should also motivate better performing people and give them awards for their performance. The workers should be permitted to take breaks and should not suffer from anxiety of losing jobs. Finally, employers should be friendly to the employees and have meetings to listen to their problem. If the employer can convince the workers that they are able to support each other and protect their jobs, so they can expect stronger production from the workers.

To sum up, it’s a fact that these days, work is more stressful and it takes longer hours. There are several steps employers might do to fix the issue, and one of them is supplying workers with gym facilities to reduce their anxiety levels. Another thing is that employers could also recruit unpaid internships to assist employees, as the working hours would be reduced.

Should PTSD get more attention from the healthcare department?

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a traumatic disorder that occurs in people who have experienced something horrifying in life or witnessed one. The reasons can be a road accident, natural calamity, personal assault, or death or disappearance of loved ones.

These days PTSD is affecting many lives. Other than emotional distress, it brings many other health problems like anxiety, depression, mood swings, etc. It affects a person’s day to activities and may stop them from participating in it that they enjoyed once. The stress can sometimes hamper a person so much that they slowly start distancing themselves from their loved ones. It may eventually begin amassing suicidal thoughts. Hence, it is necessary to support people affected by PTSD.

One needs to be extra cautious with these people as sometimes symptoms of PTSD start showing within a few weeks of the tragic incident while at times it may take years too. Initially, it is very difficult to find the reason behind its cause, therefore it is always recommended to see a specialist in case one experiences any signs

Why PTSD must receive more attention in Healthcare?

In our society, mental issues are neglected most of the time. Most of the families do not bring the matter into the limelight as they consider it some kind of taboo or equate them to being possessed by evil spirits.

The National Mental Health(NMH) survey states that nearly 150 million people in our country need Mental Health care, but hardly 50% receive the treatment. We rush to hospitals even at the slightest bit of uneasiness, whether it is abdominal pain or severe sickness. But when it comes to mental health, why nobody talks about it? Why nobody is rushed to the doctor in this situation the same way? We limp!

It is high time that we let go of our conservative mindset and discuss mental health issues under broad daylight. To bring mental health issues under attention, this should not be neglected:

-Survivors should discuss their stories so that others learn from it

-Doctors should share their clinical knowledge and aware people about these issues

-Society must change the negative mind and take health care seriously

 

What should you do if you’re struggling to sleep in quarantine?

For many of us, quarantine has disrupted our daily routines which have in turn affected our sleep patterns. Sleep is essential for the well being of our mental health, so if like me, you’re too struggling to sleep during this challenging time, I’ve picked out three things that have personally helped me to relax and fall asleep.

Avoid checking the news before sleeping

I’ve noticed that if I watch or read the news before I go to sleep, it leaves me with anxiety, feelings of uncertainty, and even stress which then keeps me awake thinking about what’s to come next. Getting your news updates in the morning is so much easier for me as it gives me the whole day to process what’s happening in the world around me instead of trying to process all the heavy information at night.

Create a routine for yourself

For a person who has not believed in maintaining strict routines, I discovered that creating a routine for yourself can help you by providing a structure and offer feelings of normality, which for me now has taken away a lot of the stress. In the time that is so uncertain and unstable, having a routine can make you feel in control and calm about your surroundings. Try and stick to the same sleep schedule at night so that you can follow your daily routine without any trouble.

have a relaxing bath before sleeping

Taking time out of your schedule to have a relaxing bath or shower can help you fall asleep faster and also improves the overall quality of sleep. The cooling down of your body helps build a strong urge to sleep which can send you into a deeper sleep. This is something that has undoubtedly helped with my sleep struggles over the past month.

acknowledge and accept the change

At this time it is very difficult to not feel anxious about what the future holds and what’s to come. It’s human to feel worried about yourself and the ones you love and care about and it is also normal for there to be a change in the sleeping and eating patterns to feel more comfortable. But if you feel like you’re losing control of things around you, take a deep breath in and remember that this will not last forever.

Bickering Bollywood….

So we all know that Indian film industry aka Bollywood is the second highest movie producing industry in the whole world after Hollywood per annum. Well to be honest yeah i agree that Bollywood is a gold mine of vibrant,diverse and really amazing movies. But the question remains at the point as why such an old,powerful movie industry with actors like Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan who come in the list of top ten richest actors in the world, and with directors like Satyajit Ray are never producing movies which at least can be the bread and butter of the whole world. French and the German movie industry even the movie industry of Chile and the Korea is producing movies which garners massive popularity worldwide. In french we have ‘Belle de Jour(1967)’ and ‘blue is the warmest color (2013)’, German’s having ‘The Marriage of Maria Braun(1978)’ and ‘Freier fall (2013)’, chile’s ‘A fantstic woman (2017), the ripple maker Parasite(2019) and many more from many other countries as well. And then the question prevails why not Bollywood?

Movies like Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1955) and Mira Nair’s Salam Bombay (1988) in a manner defined Indian movie industry’s potential. But current scenario Bollywood is all about nepotism and love stories nowadays. As if we see that famous movie Slumdog Millionaire(2008) which bagged eight Oscars is not what india is?But the entire movie industry of the world is running after one thing that if India is represented it either poverty or god forbid it’s about curry, thanks to everywhere you see starting from movies like critically acclaimed Lion(2016) or Love Sonoa(2018) everything is about how indians are suffering,human trafficking, lack of sanitation and blah blah blah!!! If we talk about that’s what we see i the world. But people need to realize something that India the world’s second most populous country,sixth largest economy and seventh largest country is not all about trash and poverty. This scenario as explained above is what shows the failure of bollywood. but not everythings bad as we can’t say that Bollywood has gone down totally in these recent years as we made so many good movies too like Raazi(2018), Neerja(2016), Uri(2019), Barfi(2012) , Lust stories(2018) , Mary Kom(2014), three idiots(2009), Bajirao Mastani (2015), Jodha Akbar(2008), Dangal(2016), Devdas(2002), My name is Khan(2010), Swades(2004), English Vinglish(2012), Tumbaad(2018), lagaan(2001), Tare zameen par(2007), PK(2014) and many more which show case the value of the Indian movie industry and it’s potentials.

Now if we talk about problem which is wrecking us all starts with the lack of originality and the rejection of new talent in Indian film industry and how can we forget the grandad of all fiasco the one and only Nepotism. Nepotism is whats actually responsible for killing the Indian film industry in a really gruesome manner as due to this the new talents in indian film industry is getting choked as we speak. Another big problem is the lack of experimentation and really comical and absurd action movies as I’m literally starving for a good science fiction movie or a bone chilling horror fiction at least. But all we get is boring love stories with a lot of songs which are not even sung by the actors but they are just LIP SYNCING to it. No diversity at all as white washing of the whole cast is the forte of bollywood. Not even a single dusky or black actor or actress in a lead role you will find here(leaving the very few exceptions). That’s what i meant when i wrote bickering bollywood as if bollywood won’t up it’s ante there will soon be what we call a hot white mess left in the indian subcontinent for people to watch. Toodles!

Why Mental Health is not something to be ignored?

Sushant Singh Rajput’s death due to suicide speaks volumes on why mental health is important. According to reports, it is believed that he was suffering from depression for the last six months and was consulting a psychiatrist. Many celebrities have come forward and talked on how society needs to take mental health as seriously as physical health, without waiting for a moment of crisis.

Researches have said that every 4 minutes, one person commits suicide in India. With the lockdown, situations have become even worse. There is an increase in stress among individuals. Reason being that people are thrown out of their jobs due to financial crunch and they have no money left, no social life, or by overthinking. Not only this, but people are also wondering how to come out of it, there may be post-traumatic stress disorders as well. Staying alone is yet another issue as there is nobody to monitor.

Experts underline that people need to watch out for symptoms for the behavioral pattern that is not normal in themselves or others. Symptoms could be – disrupted sleep pattern, sudden emotional outbursts, change in behavior such as being withdrawn, no urge to ear or overeating, consciously not maintaining hygiene, seeking solace in excessive smoking, drinking, etc.

Though we seem to have progressed as a society, we still lack the openness when it comes to mental health. This block in mind needs a change. Gone are the days when we did not have awareness about mental illness. Just like we can go to the doctor when we are physically sick, we can also go to a psychiatrist/psychologist.

There is also a lot of stigmas attached to mental health that needs to be eradicated. Society has this mindset that strong people cannot get depressed. But depression is like COVID, anyone can get affected by it. It does not come with a clause.

Mental health services in India have been highly inadequate even before the pandemic. With just 4,000 psychiatrists to serve over a billion people, the situation seems difficult to handle. But somehow it needs to be met.

The device that we throw away for our sake of mental health, we need to pick that up, call your loved ones. Sharing our thoughts and feelings always lightens up the mood. There is someone out there to hear you, always, you need to vent it out.

There are small steps that you can take to improve your mental health every day. Things like exercising, eating a balanced diet, opening up others in your life, remembering something you are grateful for, taking a break when you need to, and getting good sleep, can help boost your emotional health.

Being healthy mentally can boost your productivity and effectiveness in work, school, college. It also plays a crucial role in building your relationships and allowing you to adapt to changes.

All to say, when mental health is ultimately recognized as essential to physical health and not an extraneous element of it, then we will have access to real, complete medicine.