Black Monster meet Me

Sometimes an image can depict a thousand emotions, well I came across one that depicted me. It was in a cartoon strip, the character had a small black demon pet in their hand. As the strip proceeded, the black demon kept growing up to become a monster, from their lap to sitting on their shoulders, to covering them like a shawl, to finally consuming them completely

If you know what I’m talking about, chances are you too have such a pet demon.
I know cause I had such a pet too. 

I don’t remember when I got stuck with it, but I know that it had nearly consumed me. Took over every aspect of my life. And when they cover you, it’s all dark. It took a lot of willpower to even admit it was there. But when I finally admitted, it’s grip started loosening over me.

When I woke up from the daze it had over me, I decided to fight back.

In this story I was the hero, in the end, I had to face it alone. But not while preparing for the fight.

I took help.
I spoke to my parents, who pledged their unwavering support to me.
I went for Professional treatment to help me get stronger for my battle.
Got the support of a therapist who helped me find my way through the darkness.
And I had some great friends who were my companion in this quest.

But when the final battle started it was me and the monster in the ring of fire.

Every time I fell, my support system helped me get up again. It’s a battle like no other because as I keep fighting it, I grew stronger than before and the monster gets weaker. And I’m still fighting it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a long battle but after few initial rounds you finally figure out the ‘tell’ of that monster, you can start predicting it’s moving and you have a support system which keeps helping you with strategies to counter those moves. At one point the monster becomes weak, so weak that you can start fending its attacks with a wave of your hand.

So for anyone who has been carrying that black monster with you, fight it. 
Fight for yourself, and Never Give Up. 

Sushant
Triumphant Traveller with Depression and Bipolar Disorder type 2 since 17years.

Gifting Kids

It was a long line at the coffee shop, amidst the banter of coffee lovers a distinct voice could be heard “If you behave yourself, I will give you a chocolate cookie”. Ahh, the benefit of gifting kids, they give you exactly what you want immediately.

 

Gifts are useful; it is a way to show appreciation, reward high performers and good behaviour. Nevertheless, gifts, like most things in life, must be given in moderation, especially for kids.

 

In this, fast-paced world parents seldom have time to effectively discipline their children or establish healthy lines of communication. This lack often results in parents not getting what they want from their children – such as good grades, no embarrassing tantrums in public or some simple peace and quiet. Therefore, some parents choose the easiest way for immediate results – gifting with a purpose. “If you do this… then I will give you that…”

Gifts are given in an “if… then” format teaches our kids two things

  1. Gifts are given when pleasing acts are performed.
  2. Every time you do perform a pleasing act you will receive a gift.

This lesson often results in kids doing things for external rewards (gifts) rather than personal satisfaction. Furthermore, this form of gift giving is detrimental, as kids begin to judge their own self-worth and that of others based on materialistic possessions. This form of gifting will turn kids in materialistic brats.

 

But fair warning, do not use gift taking as a form of punishment. Do not take away your kids favourite toy or game for bad behaviour. Removing a “thing” from their environment, as a form of punishment, places focus on the “thing” – it emphasizes material possess. This removes focus from the behaviour and emphasizes the toy or game. Remember it was the act that upset you, not your kid’s toy or their game.

 

 

Can relationships cause PTSD?

It was 6 months, 2 weeks and 3 days and it still hurt, I think the pain felt deeper. Falling asleep felt like a curse, he plagued her mind even in her dreams. The conversations, messages, and the break-up were memories she lived through every day. She wanted a pill, like in Homecoming (the Netflix show), you know the one the soldiers were prescribedthat made them forget everything about the war. Does a pill like that exist? Iwant it.

I wish she were the only client who asked for such apill, but sadly not.  Trauma caused by a broken relationship are one the toughest traumas to move past. This difficultyis not something you can shake off, get over, or a sign of immaturity. It is asevere break down in one’s emotional functioning, and sometimes leads tosymptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.  Post-traumatic relationship stress can becharacterized by obsessions, nightmares, distrust, flashbacks, changes inappetite and weight and sexual promiscuity. However, there are ways one cancope with the stress of the end of a relationship.

Breaking Thoughts:

Obsessing– this is something most of do after a breakup. However, constantly thinking about the relationship and what could have been unhealthy. Trying to find situations that could be characterized with better, or reacted to differently. Very often these symptoms are aggravated because of a poor self-concept, self-blame, and self-judgment, People fine comb their relationship looking for reasons to blame themselves hoping they can fix it.

How do you cope with obsessing?

The most effective tool to cope with obsessing and over thinking is to constantly bring yourself back to the present – here and now, be mindful. Bring yourself back to the present by asking these 5 questions – identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This engages all your senses and allows you to focus on the present, thereby ensuring you will neither fixate on the past nor daydream about the future.

Breaking Patterns:

Familiar Situations – Very often a break-up triggers memories and associations you never knew existed, everything reminds you of the person, a donut shop or a coffee house. You find yourself reacting negatively to things you used to do with your ex. Watching lovers do things you used to do with your ex may cause strong hostile reactions.

Distrust – relationships in which there was distrust in the form of abuse (physical/ emotional/ financial), cheating, threats, chronic lying, or narcissism often leaves the person emotionally disturbed. This often causes a heightened sense of suspicion and their ability to ever trust again is hampered.

How do you break free from old patterns?

You begin by not taking any blame or responsibility if your partner cheated. It is common for us to internalize feelings of rejection because as individuals we tend to take responsibility for the actions of others. Our immediate reaction to such situations is to “change” – change the way we look, tolerate bad behaviour and change who we are. This is the least helpful kind of change. In such a situation it is important to

  1. Go on a vacation – going on a busy vacation trick the mind into believing a lot of time has passed thus allowing us to heal quickly. Try visiting a new place that has a lot of activities that can keep you engaged through the day. Breaking away from the daily routine and sites allows us to return with clarity.
  2.  Learn a new skill – spend some time investing in you. Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby, it’s a great way to engage your mind and if you’re good at the skill it will help restore confidence. 
  3.  Connect with old friends and make new ones – connectingwith old friends creates a safe and supportive environment but it is alsoequally important to break away from old patterns and meet new people. Thiswill remind you and give you courage to trust again and break down the walls ofemotional betrayal.

Catharsis from the Sub-conscious

Nightmares – this is our subconscious mind exposing our vulnerability to the situation. Often these night terrors depict harm and hostile situations with the ex that leaves us with cold sweats and an uncomfortablenauseating feeling in the morning.

Flashbacks – repeatedly reliving memories with absolute clarity like it just happened. This may take the form of auditory or visual hallucinations, in certain situations, it can get specific to reliving the smell.  A flashback may be temporary and you may maintain some connection with the present moment or you may lose all awareness of what’s going on around you, being taken completely back to your traumatic event.

How do you train the subconscious mind?

The most effective way to cope with this is through catharsis. Maintain a journal where you spend 15 minutes writing out your thoughts, but do not go back and read it. This allows you to unload, express freely, and often let go.

Flashbacks are often caused by a trigger it could be a word, smell or a situation. It is important for you to identify the trigger and work through it. You can either limit your exposure to these triggers, if that is not possible (which is often the case) you can devise coping strategies. Effective coping strategies include deep breathing, reconditioning the trigger with a new emotion and gradual exposure to it.

Breaking Behaviours

Appetite/ Weight – appetite is a good indicator of your emotions, and rapidly gaining or losing weight can be a sign something is wrong.

Sleep – sleep cycles change, we tend to either sleep too much or too little. We either enter an escapist mode where we sleep too much because facing reality becomes too difficult or falling asleep becomes too difficult because of our anxious mind.

Sexual promiscuity – irresponsible and excessive indulgence in sex with multiple partners creates the temporary illusion of being free. However, this has long-term psychological effects and often puts one in a dangerous situation.

How do you initiate and maintain healthy behaviours?

While most people choose to consume copious amounts of alcohol post a breakup, it’s better to stay away from the bottle. Monitoring alcohol intake ensures clarity of thought, responsible decisions and better sleep. The basics need to be in place; a healthy diet where you eat every 3 hours, a reduced intake of caffeine and digital detox. Have a fixed day and night routine that helps condition better productivity and sleep. Try having a heavy meal, a shower and listen to a meditative track before you sleep. This ensures you are focusing on yourself, and your healing.

Break-ups are never easy; ending a traumatic relationship is causes significant emotional distress. It requires time, and direction for one to truly heal from a broken relationship. It’s never the duration of the relationship that matters, but the intensity of emotion experienced in it. It is important to find healthy ways to cope with the loss a relationship, and speaking to someone always helps! Invest in yourself.

Stress Struggles in Young India

He walked into my room, this enthusiastic man who was at the brink of success, a co-founder of a startup that his investors hope will be their unicorn. Life seemed perfect, on paper, but he could not shake off this nagging feeling – am I doing enough – what if I fail – what if I am not good enough – what if this does not work. These thoughts plagued his mind, disrupted his clarity, took away his sleep, and worst of all made him doubt himself.

CEO’s, founders, and entrepreneurs constantly live on the edge, Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions refers to this with an analogy: a man riding a lion. “People look at him and think, this guy’s really got it together! He’s brave!” but ” the man riding the lion is thinking, How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?”.  With this semi-permanent emotional toll, how can one’s mental health not be affected?

Depression, anxiety and stress are common amongst CEO’s, founders, and entrepreneurs and till recently it was seldom discussed but with the growing conversation on the importance of mental health high-level executives now recognize the benefits of self-care, it also has a direct impact on the success of one’s organization and themselves.

Depression and anxiety have overlapping symptoms, first noted in our appetite (increase or decrease), sleep (increase or decrease) and productivity (difficulty to focus, and remain motivated). However, what is frequently noted in depression is that the person feels helpless, hopeless, and worthless. Depression differs from sadness, in that this becomes a constant feeling state, which one finds difficult to overcome. Their willingness to work drops, the enjoyment they once felt no longer exists, they tend to have frequent crying spells, and may even complain of body ache. Anxiety is often noted with the lack of clarity of thought, physical complaints like palpitations, frequent sighing, dryness in the mouth, and/ or frequent micturition. Their cognitive functioning is affected; they find it difficult to recall events/ details and focus. Stress a type of anxiety is good – it keeps us engaged, thinking, and productive, some of us get our best work done when we are stressed. Nevertheless, when there is excess stress, distress it is then that our productivity drops, clarity of thought is affected, the ability to effectively plan is impaired, and fatigue sets in. Usually, depression and anxiety co-exist, each triggering symptoms in the other, almost like a vicious circle that is difficult to break out of.

There is no one single factor that gives rise to these symptoms it is often a combination of multiple things and situations.  However, the commonly noted ones with CEO’s, founders, and entrepreneurs are expectations from self, perceived expectations of themselves from their clients and team members, things not going according to plan, a setback, or unrealistic goals.  Keeping an eye out for maladaptive self-defeating thought patterns and the above-mentioned symptoms help early identification.

In my experience, I feel strengthening the basics is a great way to take care of one’s mental health. Being an entrepreneur, CEO, or a founder requires one to adapt their lifestyle, and thinking style to the constantly changing demands. Some proven effective strategies are…

Timeout – carve time out for yourself. Spend a few minutes every day doing something you love for yourself and note it. This helps you take care of your emotional needs and reminds you that there are a lot of things going right in your life. It is important to have a separate social life, this means your idea of socializing does not only mean going out for drinks with work colleagues. Take time out to nurture old friendships, make new ones, and do something you love just for fun!

Exercise – this releases endorphins that help us feel happier, manage anxiety better, and cope with stress effectively. Research also states that exercise helps with clarity of thought, and improves our ability to learn. Try exercising outdoors; connecting with nature is a natural relaxant for most.

SMART goals – this often spoken about goal setting technique is effective. You need to have specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals. SMART goals need to have a 5 year, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, and 1-month vision. This is subject to change depending on situations. However, having a plan ensures you remain on your chosen path. One must spend 30minutes a week reflecting on their work, progress, and areas of improvement and then only plan for the week ahead.

Mindfulness – mindfulness is a type of meditation –it means focusing only one thing at a given time, the here and now. When doing a task, only focus on it. Do not let the thoughts of the past or worries of the future bog you down. Truly committing to the moment, by focusing on it increases productivity, efficiency, and creativity. It also reduces feelings of sadness, and worry. A great way to practice mindfulness is by engaging your senses (visual, tactical, olfactory, taste, and auditory) in the given task.

Talk to someone – I’m a big advocate of talk therapy. Regularly spend time talking to someone about how you“feel” even if things are going great. Dedicating time to freely express allows us to reflect, know what we are doing right, where we need to improve, how we need to improve and where we would like our life to go. Very often just voicing out our thoughts, allows us to unleash the wisdom within.

Routine – create a fixed routine. Having a fixed routine takes away the pressure of decision-making on smaller tasks like choosing what clothes to wear, what or when to eat and exercise. A routine saves energy resources that can be reallocated towards making other important decisions thereby increase one’s clarity of thought and reducing fatigue ability.

The life of an entrepreneur, CEO and founder is not easy. Their roles are challenging, and it is up to them to take accountability for their own mental health because of their health directly impacts not just themselves, their organization, but also the lives of people who consume their products. They are heroes people are fashioning their lives around, and they must handle this responsibility with (self) care.

WRITTEN BY PRIYANKA VARMA

Priyanka Varma is a clinical psychologist, counsellor and psychotherapist. She currently consults at The Thought Co, Holy Family Hospital, Global Hospitals, and MindCraft. Her true love is homemade chocolate cake, and when she is not daydreaming about it, she pursues her research on Internet addiction.

Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World

Since 1992, ‘World Mental Health Day’ is officially commemorated every year on October 10. It was started as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health by the then Deputy Secretary Richard Hunter.

During the initial couple of years, this day aimed towards promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public on relevant issues. However, as the day grew in significance it was decided, in 1994, to have focused themes each year. The first theme in 1994 was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World”. Within three years, WMHDay had become a valuable occasion for interested government departments, organizations and committed individuals to arrange programs to focus on aspects of Mental Health Care and Awareness.

This year the World Federation for Mental Health focuses on Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World – the theme for World Mental Health Day 2018.

Are you young at heart and age?

Do you see yourself engaged with a lot of things in all walks of life simultaneously?
Have you ever felt mentally drained, involved with things you didn’t see coming next, and unable to have answers to your own thoughts at times?

Well, you are not alone – Welcome to the age of adolescents and early years of adulthood!

This phase of life comes with many challenges and changes. From changing academic institutions, advancing from school to university, figuring career paths out at internships and jobs, strengthening and creating social networks, forming romantic relationships and creating an important online presence. Alert – there is a lot going on! The life of a young adult is anything but easy!

The emotional rollercoaster this stage brings makes this phase at times stressful; especially when you are trying to live up to self-created expectations. If this phase is not managed well one can become vulnerable to mental health concerns. The pressures of everyday life can affect us all, and if not addressed it can often lead to loneliness, depression, suicide, and engage in risky behaviours, emotional difficulties, and much more.

Many mental disorders begin from an early age but often go unnoticed, undetected and untreated.

Consider three steps for better mental health:

  • First, become aware and be present, spend a few minutes each day introspecting.
  • Second, acknowledge your emotions, moods, and feelings of both the positive and not so positive!
  • Third, when in times of disturbances and unmanageable difficulties, it is best to speak to a mental health professionaland gain insight about your thoughts, emotions, actions, and behaviours. It is best to speak it out loud! Remember, a therapist/psychologist is always there to listen to you, without any judgments and biases. Psychologists are there to provide unconditional positive regard, and assist you in finding the wisdom from within to learn to cope with the various situation life throws your way.

 

 

Reference: September 25, 2018. World Mental Health Day History – World Federation for Mental Health. Retrieved from https://wfmh.global/world-mental-health-day/

How do you actively listen?

If you’ve ever had an argument with a friend, your significant other or your relative- one of you might have said this at some point “you’re not even actually listening to me” or through the argument, one of you might have not “felt heard”.
Listening is an activity where you receive information through sounds. You might listen to a lot of sounds when you’re having a conversation with your friend- the phone buzzing, the music, other people talking, etc. In a situation like this, you might think you are hearing them out, but there is a high chance you will not be able to retain or understand the information they gave you in the near future.
Psychologists and other researchers think that when you want to fully understand and respond to what your friend is saying, the skill required is called active listening.
Active listening is an activity where your full attention is on what is being said, with no distractions. A lot of verbal and non-verbal cues are included under this skill. The nonverbal aspect includes the person’s posture, eye contact, movements and smile. On the other hand, the verbal aspect includes remembering, questioning, reflecting, clarifying and summarizing the information given to us.

Active Listening was first introduced by Carl Rogers and Richard Farson who believed that it could help bring positive changes in the clients in psychotherapy. They called it “empathic listening”. Carl Rogers was also the founder of the Humanistic Approach of Psychotherapy that focused mainly on understanding oneself. He believed that people should not be judged and therefore focused on listening to clients’ problems and reflecting it back to them, unbiased. According to Roger and Farson’s essay: ‘Active Listening’, “Listening brings about changes in people’s attitudes toward themselves and others; it also brings about changes in their basic values and personal philosophy. People who have been listened to in this new and special way become more emotionally mature, more open to their experiences, less defensive, more democratic, and less authoritarian.”

So, how does one listen “more actively”?
First, you’d start by showing more interest in what your friend/relative/colleague is saying. This is usually done with the help of non-verbal cues. For example, putting your phone face down will help your friend to talk more comfortably because now he knows you will not be distracted by your phone anymore and you will pay attention to them.
Or for example, saying “hmm”, “yes”, or smiling after some sentences so that he knows you are still listening to him. Another important cue is eye contact. Looking directly at the person makes them confident that what’s being said is being heard.
The most important aspect in active listening is refraining from judgement. Judging the person will not let him/her talk more openly about the problem, instead, it could also lead to more insecurities and problems. To listen and understand the whole problem before coming to a conclusion is very important. This should help in building trust and showing empathy towards the others’ problem. Refraining from judgement and instant conclusions will build what Roger’s called “unconditional positive regard” in the relationship. It means that whatever is experienced is accepted as is, without any biases.

Asking questions, clarifying something that is misunderstood and reflecting what’s being said is also an important part of active listening. For example, if you feel your friend has more to tell, but looks stressed and doesn’t seem to say much, you’d ask “So, what caused the fight between you and her?” Asking an open-ended question would allow your friend to think clearly about it and allow him to talk about it too. Paraphrasing and summarizing the issue also helps to look at it from a macro-level, giving a better perspective.

Another way of avoiding fast judgement and misunderstandings is by clarifying the doubts the listener has. If your friend is saying something you don’t comprehend, you would ask, “Sorry to interfere, but what do you mean by…” or “so what you’re trying to say is…”

 

Does active listening work?

For jobs that require maximum communication such as psychologists, counsellors, doctors, teachers, salespeople- active listening is a skill that is usually needed. However, that does not mean that other people cannot acquire it. Active listening helps inter-relationship communication, it allows us to understand each other and ourselves better. In the professional field, it increases teamwork, and is an important skill for a leader of any group to have. And all in all, it helps us understand and remember more information in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga – your Wellbeing Dealer

Stress the one word that plagues the existence of almost everyone. We have allowed it take over mind and body leading to damaging effects. It’s time we look for some remedies to undo the wrong the stress has created in our lives.

Meditation, yoga, jogging, swimming and dancing are not only hobbies and activities that can be performed at leisure but also the most effective stress-busting exercises. They are good for both our physical and mental wellbeing. Despite the benefits of these exercises people struggle to take time out to take care of themselves. Self-care is the most important ingredient in life. We have to take time out from all the other responsibilities for our self.

From all the effective strategies mentioned above, there is one I am particularly fond of. It is the most power-packed and relaxing form of wellbeing – it’s YOGA.

 

Yoga, an ancient practice, means ‘union’, it is more than just stretching your limbs or sprawling on a mat, it is an intricate form of exercise that combines our mind, body, and soul. Regularly practising yoga creates calmness, clarity, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension and inflammation, and improves our mental wellbeing. A session of yoga can make you feel rejuvenated, empowered, grounded, calmer, healthier, active, and on a ‘yoga high’.

Since 2015, June 21 is observed as the “International Day of Yoga”. This day is celebrated annually with activities that help spread awareness on the benefits of yoga. The Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, proposed the idea of yoga day during his speech at the UN General Assembly in September 2014.

Apart from the physical benefits, Yoga helps us with various mental health benefits –

 

Being Mindful –Being in the here and now has a positive effect on you – it helps you gain courage, have healthy ego functioning, balances your emotions, encourages self-care and self-love, and motivates you to become fearless. It helps you become more aware of what you are feeling and how your thoughts are connecting to your emotions. With every focused deep breath you take, you become more self-aware as you build self-trust, self-capability, and engage in a non-judgmental relationship with yourself.

 

Betters Your Mood – It helps release the feel-good chemicals – endorphins in our brains. These chemicals are released when an individual feels happy, calm, and positive. With regular yoga practice, one can have reduced levels of stress and naturally improve mood swings.

 

Improves Memory and Concentration– You equip yourself to focus better while practising yoga in a calm natural environment and simply focus on your breathing sounds and movements. It helps calm your nerves and clear your mind of all the unwanted and negative thoughts in your life. You are able to remember things, which are important and necessary to you in a better way, and thereby making you feel positive about your thoughts and self which definitely leads you to perform better in all your life circumstances.

 

Helps reduce the symptoms of Depression & Anxiety: It helps decrease inflammation and increase the production of a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, which eases the symptoms of depression. Yoga also helps decrease the levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and in order to reduce anxiety, one must find a way to combat stress. It helps you slow down your rapid breathing and heart rate, which helps decrease the stress levels.

 

Helps with Sleep Difficulties: Relaxation and breathing techniques help you to calm all your senses and you feel refreshed. Yoga helps you better the blood flow that aids in soothing all your senses and makes you feel peaceful, de-stressed, and calm. This helps you have a better sleep and reduces symptoms of insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep difficulties when practised regularly.

 

Keeping in mind that every individual is unique, yoga is customizable to suit your needs. As a beginner, it’s about being comfortable and at ease with yourself involving different techniques of breathing, warm-ups, aasanas, meditation, slow dance moves, etc. For beginners, it is better to join a Yoga class, rather than watching it off YouTube. The guided and personal monitoring you receive during class will allow you to focus on your technique, maximize the benefits of the exercises, and most importantly prevent your body from getting injured. In case if you have any other health-related problems, informing the trainer prior to admission is important.

It takes time and effort to adapt to yoga. Start slow and gradually progress. Give it a shot, continue it for some time, gain results and you will always experience the benefits of yoga.

The quote by Guillemets T. “A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves.” simply sums it all!

 

5 Yoga Poses for your Mentalhealth

Yoga is much more than physical exercise; it is the union of the mind, body and soul. This 5000-year-old wisdom has made an international come back with its proven and much-researched benefits for one’s physical and mental health.

 

We caught up with yoga teacher Tanvi Mehra, founder of the Tangerine Arts Studio for her 5 go-to-yoga exercises that are great for one’s mental and physical health. Here’s what she had to say…

 

1. Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Dog) 

Downward Dog

Tan states that it helps boost self-confidence. Because of the increased blood flow to the top of the body, shoulder stand can help improve brain function and cognition and reduce anxiety and depression.
This takes pressure off the heart, which has to work less to get the blood flowing to the brain.

 

2. Malasana (Garland Pose)

Garland Pose

It helps the digestive system and the bowel system, it helps open the hips and spine. This, in turn, helps in promoting the smooth functioning of the body and its systems and helps to open the energy channels.
This stretch releases the stress trapped from your head to your toe as you flex. It creates awareness in the body, as the actions are coordinated to ensure no part is being overworked.

 

3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) 

Bow Pose

The bow pose wakes up the spine, chest and shoulders and when the spine is alive and awake the energy is always flowing. This pose helps keep depression and lethargy at bay.
Ancient yoga and modern science conclude that the spinal cord is the most important part of the body strengthening and stretching the spinal cord is a good stress and fatigue buster.

4. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand ) 

Shoulder Stand

This helps calm headaches, relaxes the mind and helps in circulation.
As the flow of blood moves to the head, the brain is nourished. Furthermore, it stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands and normalizes their functions. Research says the irregularities in thyroid functioning often leads to depression, this asana helps counter any irregularities.

5. Balasana (Child’s pose) 

Child's Pose

It relaxes the muscles, cools down mind and body and relieves stress and fatigue.
This pose reminds us that resting is good! This pose requires you to pause and recharge your batteries.

 

Yoga holds tangible benefits for emotional and psychological complaints. It allows us to step back, focus on ourselves, the needs of our body and mind and then take care of ourselves.

 


Tanvi Mehra is a dynamic Yoga teacher and Founder of Tangerine Arts Studio, she has inspired many to make yoga a part of their daily routine, thereby creating space for them to work towards physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Men with Postpartum Depression

It had been more than a year since Aryan came into this world. Finally, they had a baby to cuddle with every night, someone they had longed for. But the stalks not only brought Aryan, two opinionated grandmothers, but also post-partum depression. Sleepless nights, a screaming infant, and fights between Mrs And Mr K were now routine.

Helpless, hopeless, and despair filled their lives, Mr K struggled to attend to his wife’s needs, his demanding job, and the duties of being a father.

Mr.K had never felt this overwhelmed at work. Routine tasks seemed cumbersome, and his ability to focus had dropped. Soon enough Mr K’s cigarettes and alcohol consumption were on the rise. At his regular check-ups, his GP always stated, “you must be there for your wife and child”, brushing aside Mr K’s emotional needs, this was only till Mr K could not cope with any longer.

| 1 in 10 fathers experience postpartum depression.

Unlike women, men are less likely to express their feelings of sadness and more likely to react to their depression with anger, restlessness, and anxiety. These feelings are often triggered by a change in structure and dynamic within the household, something they are not entirely prepared for.

At the University of Sheffield Jane Iles, Pauline Slade, and Helen Spiby asked couples to complete a questionnaire about their stress levels at different times following childbirth—after 7 days, 6 weeks, and 3 months. Their findings suggested that the symptoms of postpartum depression were similar among men and women. The severity of symptoms for men often followed their partner’s or occurred simultaneously. In both men and women, higher levels of postpartum depression were related to inadequate partner support.

It is important to realize that men are as likely as women to experience postpartum depression. It important for men to accept these feelings and seek help to cope with the changes.

Here are a few things men can do to help them with postpartum depression

  • Speak to a mental health professional – it is a cathartic experience. The empathy and non-judgmental space it provides a sense of acceptance, something the father needs.
  • Join a support group – knowing you are not alone, and it is okay to feel what you are feeling.
  • Exercise – it produces happy hormones that lift the mood and creates a sense of clarity.
  • Take breaks – disconnect mentally for a bit, it refreshes and rejuvenates the mind.
  • Sleep well – this acts like a reset button, it gives you energy for the day ahead.
  • Fair division of work – even though the father may return to work before the mother, we must acknowledge that his hours away from the baby still count as productive waking hours. The overall workload must be divided between both parents.

In India, we are fortunate to have doting grandparents. It is important for grandparents to realize that they are there only to support and provide suggestions, parents need to make joint decisions and work together as a team for their child and help the grandparents respect, accept and appreciate the decisions made by new parents.

 

References:

Kate Quinn, Helen Spiby & Pauline Slade (2015) A longitudinal study exploring the role of adult attachment in relation to perceptions of pain in labour, childbirth memory and acute traumatic stress responses, Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 33:3, 256-267, DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2015.1030733

 

Welcoming EVERY Individual…

Mumbai will soon have their first LGBTQIA support group

In Thane, Mumbai – India,  The Institute for Psychological Health (IPH) introduces SAAHAS (Sexuality. Awareness. Acceptance. Health. Support.) – A free therapy support group for individuals who identify as being on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

About the organization and support group:

The Institute for Psychological Health (IPH) is a mental health organisation based in Thane. As psychologists committed to the philosophy of ‘mental health for all,’ we recognise that the LGBTQIA+ community in India faces significant challenges. While one’s sexual orientation or gender identity are not mental health concerns, the discrimination and stigma about them may put individuals at risk for mental health issues. At the same time, concerns about being outed, fear of being judged, and concerns related to accessibility and affordability of mental health care, may make it difficult for individuals to seek psychological help. Individuals may feel isolated and alone if there is no supportive family and friend structure.

With the view of addressing these concerns, IPH announces a free support group for individuals who identify as being on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. This group will meet on the third Sunday of every month. It will be run by two psychologists using LGBTQIA+ affirmative therapy approaches. Our aim is to provide a safe non- judgemental space for individuals to share their concerns, receive therapeutic help, understand and work on their mental health issues, and be a part of a social support network of peers with similar concerns. The group sessions will be held in Thane west. 

Recognising the fears and concerns of community members, utmost care will be taken to ensure confidentiality of group members. We would like to meet each individual who wishes to be part of the group face to face (before they join the group) for the purpose of screening, for assessing your needs, and also so that you can meet us and clarify your doubts and concerns. 

 We hope you can join us on this journey.

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