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Wednesday Wisdom Series


Weekly Good-reads and acts- Mental Health Matters!

When we have a bruised arm or a broken leg, when we are coughing and sneezing, rushing to the doctor is commonplace, an action choice that one makes with an automatic thought.


An entangled confused bruised anxious disordered mind, a sad heart, an angry demeanour, negative feelings clouding the consciousness are experiences that are as commonplace as the physical complaints stated before but rushing nowhere, to no one, to no treatment mode is more of an action choice we often make when it comes to matters of the mind.


Ignorance of the existence of something called as mental health concerns and illness, often leads people to continue to stay in either a state of denial, or to stigmatize or trivialize the mind matters. No wonder myths surround the science of Psychology and the ignorance and possible fears only deepen.


We cannot agree more that this narrative is detrimental not only to the science of Psychology but also to the mental health arena at our homes and globally!

In an attempt to uphold the maxim “Mental Health Matters”, we will be sending you a newsletter pertaining to “Mental Health and Wellbeing” every week, we call it the “Wisdom Wednesday” Series that will be aimed at facilitating mental health enrichment and wellbeing within and around us, through activities, tasks, goals and good-reads directed inward as also outward, feeding good food for good mental health and wellbeing!

Let us walk this journey of wellbeing together for better mental health and wellbeing, since mental health is not only about being or seeking to be happy, it is about aligning the thought-emotion and action triad to reality and achieve our fullest potential as an individual, as a family, as a society! It is a little attempt to facilitate ‘community’ spirit and a sentiment of healing together.

Do remember to tune in to the weekly article, reflect and making it possible to write back to us with your experiences of the same at wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

- Dr. Ketki Gadre

The “Pandemic” Parenting

The first article in the Wisdom Wednesday Series is dedicated to all the lovely and unique parents as us. I say “unique”, since we are the special lot who got to parent during a pandemic! Each one of you, I can guess, will perceive the word “special” on either a positive or a not-so-positive note; some I know will be raising your eyebrows and saying- “huh! special...really; are you kidding?”; some others are so overwhelmed by the parenting process that the whole of last year has brought the worst out of them; while some others believe that the pandemic brought a sense of cohesion among the families and brought people emotionally closer! We have come a long way as parents, right from planning and adapting to a newly-structured home routine, tantrums taking a whole new look, laptops and mobile phones suddenly emerging as superpowers in the house, to experiencing and battling loss, grief and a whole lot of uncertainty. It surely has not been easy! Right at the start, to all the parents who fought it out (and the saga seems to be continuing), kudos to your spirit and grit. It truly is matchless!


The ‘Wisdom Wednesday Series’ is an attempt to a collective effort for a weekly read-review- reflection- action process! This week, we engage in a five- day challenge that will help us get back to (if we have drifted away) or sustain (if we are right on track) our mental health equilibrium. What follows are a set of 5 activities to be done each day for the coming five days, starting tomorrow.


The ‘Wisdom Wednesday Series’ is an attempt to a collective effort for a weekly read-review- reflection- action process! This week, we engage in a five- day challenge that will help us get back to (if we have drifted away) or sustain (if we are right on track) our mental health equilibrium. What follows are a set of 5 activities to be done each day for the coming five days, starting tomorrow.


An essential thing that we will have to do through this process is to reclaim your personal space. Parenting, especially in challenging times undoubtedly becomes even more challenging and the possibility of losing our “individuality” and our own “original selves” is often an unpleasant consequence. I am sure many of us may have experienced that while we continue to support, care and provide for others, there is hardly any time and energy left to even look at oneself either in the mirror on the wall or even in the mind’s mirror! We will have to remember that we can fill others mental health and energy cans only when our own energy can is filled, it is as simple as that! If we have to raise the bar with how our children and our family functions, we will have to first raise our own selves as individuals and as parents! Happier and wiser parents will ensure happier and wiser children and families!

We are not being “selfish” when we care for ourselves or reclaim our personal space, unless we are overdoing it to the extent of forgetting that others exist and that we are responsible! A rational, fair and balanced amount of “self-care” is necessary, not something that we must feel guilty about if we engage in it, since that becomes a determining factor as to how well we follow through other roles in life. Here is a 5-day routine, as stated above, for the coming week that will ensure just this!

I hope that with this “gyaan” so far, you are all set for the collective journey that we all walk together for building happier selves, families and communities. Regardless of the childrens’ age and number in our respective houses, this set of 5 activities is common for all of us who qualify as “parents”. So review how your day generally has been rolling out, and reserve 10 to fifteen minutes each day for each of these activities.

Day 1:
Read the first page of this article again. It might help you get into the zone of self-care and in reclaiming your personal space without feeling guilty.

“Long-lost art of writing letters” Time! ---- Pick up a pen and keep a few pieces/strips of paper ready. On each little strip of paper, write a two-or three-line letter of appreciation to yourself and each family member, highlighting at least two amazing ways that person has coped during these challenging times. For instance, if you are writing to your spouse, it could read something like; “Dear (your spouse’s name here), Its amazing how you manage to put up a smile even when things around are not that great. Love, (your name here)”. If we otherwise haven’t been verbally appreciative of ourselves and others so far, this sudden outburst can be received with a smirk or disbelief. It is ok! Just do it! And record their reactions after they receive the letter. You can be innovative in the ways how this letter reaches them!

Day 2:

Declutter Time! ---- Choose any one area of your house that you have ignored for long and where the mess continues to accumulate there. Clean it up (not by picking it up and dumping it in some other room or shelf of your house). Remember, this cluttered corner is not only blocking your home space with physical mess but also indirectly your mind space, sparking unhappiness every time you look at the mess!

Day 3:

Read and Relax! ---- Sit back and Read the wise words of great psychologists! Think about how those may be relatable to us in our own personal lives.

  • “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination”. – Carl Rogers
  • “Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you try to catch it, the more it flies away. If you focus on other things, it will come and sit on your shoulder”—Viktor Frankl
  • “Strong feelings are fine, it’s the overreactions that mess us up”- Albert Ellis (Source: https://www.goodreads.com/)

Day 4:

Swap the load! ---- By now with each day looking more or less the same, there is some amount of certainty that has come to our households in terms of who does what household chore. Well, in some households the distribution of effort is fair, while in some, it is unequal where one person is loaded relatively more than the others in the house. On this day (and possibly for coming days, intermittently), swap the duties and the load. For instance, if you have been doing the laundry and your spouse has been cleaning the utensils, for a day, break the monotony by swapping the duties among yourself. You may consider redesigning your routine to include this “swap” idea intermittently, to break the mundaneness.

Day 5:

The Photo album Time! ---- Gone are the times when we had to wait for a few days to get the 36 photographs (clicked from our actual cameras on a camera roll--and not the phone cameras) printed at the studio and put in an album. Some of us do have the good fortune of having these albums. For those who only have the digital imprints of the memories can do this activity too. In whatever format, the physical album of printed photos or digital ones, gather as a family and view them. Every photograph has a story behind it. Walking down memory lane, grandparents and parents can narrate stories, children will be thrilled to hear them. Make sure the stories are entertaining and meaningful without any personal attacks and ridicule.

Congratulations! You carved out personal space for five days for yourself that was filled with 5 unique activity additions that may or may not have been a part of your routine so far or so frequently.

Often the simplest things bring us the greatest joy! These set of activities were planned keeping this very thought in mind. I sincerely hope it added tiny value to your mood, life and living. Do share your reflections over your experience while you walked this 5-day task - journey. Looking forward to reading your experiences. It is encouraging to receive reciprocation; therefore, I hope you find some time and write to me at wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

See you next Wednesday. Take good care and stay safe!

- Ketki
Thoughts and Health

Next up in the Wisdom Wednesday series is on Thoughts and health.
First let's begin with an activity.
Grab a pen and paper.
Below are a few scenarios. Read through them and after you read each one, you are requested to note down :


  1. What did you feel while you read the description?
  2. What bodily changes did you notice?

Scenarios :


  1. It is the season of Mangoes. You just bought a box of mangoes. The sweet smell of mangoes have filled your house. You open the box and reach out for one. You cut it and taste it.It is yellow, sweet, soft,pulpy, juicy and planning to make aamras, and mango icecream. Now answer the questions above
  2. You participated in a competition and you have been selected as the winner. All your efforts have paid off and you are closer to all your goals. Everyone around you appreciates you and celebrates your success. Now answer the questions above
  3. You participated in a meeting where you have to give a presentation which is also counted for your appraisal at work/school.You worked extremely hard, and prepared very well to the point you know you’re going to ace it. You're up next and just when you are about to present, the screen freezes, your computer malfunctions and you are unable to do anything for almost half an hour. To make things worse, your phone does not have any network as you didn’t recharge. Now answer the questions above

In the first scenario, did you start craving a mango and notice your mouth salivate, and stomach growl? You may have noticed you also became happy.

In the second scenario, did you notice the smile and happiness you felt? Did you notice the bodily changes brought about by calmness and success

In the third scenario, what did you notice? Were you worried? Did you panic? Did you break into sweat?
Why is it that even though you are not in that situation, you can still experience such emotions? What games is the mind playing?
Here is the thing to note-the interesting thing is, the mind can’t differentiate between what is real and fake. Isn’t it surprising?

Whether there is a snake right in front of you or you are imagining a snake, the body produces almost identical changes but the degree of these changes may vary. In both instances you would panic, get scared, try to protect yourself.
So why is it that what we think has so much impact on our body?

Thoughts produce bodily changes. What we think directly impacts our nervous system, stimulates the release of certain neurotransmitters and impacts almost every other cell of the body. Interestingly thoughts activate our sympathetic nervous system(SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), a part of the autonomic nervous system. (American Psychological Association, 2018)
When we're faced with a threatening situation our body activates the fight and flight response which is controlled by the SNS. Responses such as increased heartbeat, difficulty breathing and difficulty digesting food is a result of the SNS.
When tense, our PNS works to help us calm down and relax. It counters the responses of the SNS by bringing about the heartbeat to normal rate, improves digestion and breathing.
When we are stressed and worried, it’s only natural for the SNS to activate the fight and flight response. But what happens if the response is constant and prolonged? Yes you may have rightly guessed, long term we may develop illnesses such as heart condition, hypertension.
Hence we need to mind our thoughts as it is often found to be a contributor to stress and which has a direct impact on our body.
What word can you make out from the below letters?

N O W H E R E

Did you read it as No where? Or did you read it as Now here?
Did you notice the mild difference in your body as you read through the words?
This little exercise can also help us understand our possible thinking styles.
Thoughts can be broadly distinguished into pessimistic/negative thinking and optimistic/positive thinking.

Optimistic/positive thinking is seeing the glass half full or seeing the word ‘Now Here’. It is seeing opportunities, hope, happiness and searching for the silver lining even in the darkest of times.
The benefits of optimistic thinking as noted by an article published by Harvard Health
Publishing of Harvard medical school includes- It improves performance, contributes to growth mindset, better health outcomes, speeds up recovery,releases happy hormones such as dopamine,serotonin (Scaccia,2017) which further helps being healthy- physically and mentally.
Interestingly positive thoughts occur in the same region of the brain which is also involved in decision making, planning and reasoning which is the prefrontal cortex.
These factors further contribute towards one being healthy.

Pessimistic/negative thinking is seeing the glass as half empty, or reading the above letters as ‘No where’.
Pessimistic thinking often makes one feel worthless, tense, worried and evokes the fight and flight response and releases the stress hormone-norepinephrine.
Prolonged fight and flight response as highlighted earlier can bring about certain negative emotions like fear and anger can contribute towards development of illness such as heart conditions and hypertension. Pessimistic thinking also makes one feel as if there is no hope and in the process one may miss out on a lot of opportunities and this inturn may make one feelanxious and distressed which could further impact their health.
It is very important to manage our thoughts since thoughts do indeed have an impact on our health and different aspects of life.
It is important to note that optimistic thinking may not always be possible, given the situation and circumstances.

However isn’t it possible to still believe in one self and continue to put in efforts even if the
situation isn’t as promising as it once appeared? Why must you give up on yourself?
Necessary to never doubt,criticise and refrain from being harsh on yourself.
The cells of our body listen and they listen keenly. So remember to always manage your thoughts.

“The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body.”
~ Dr. Bruce Lipton

A book recommendation on this topic- Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism. He is among the pioneers in the field Positive Psychology and his insights in his research on optimism and learned helplessness will be a good read.
A little exercise to manage one’s thoughts.
Restructure negative pessimistic thoughts to helpful kind positive thoughts. It will not happen in an instance, but always keep a track of your thoughts and try to reframe it as much as possible in a way which can motivate you to be kind, loving and appreciative of yourself.
You can prepare a similar table and work on your thoughts. Especially at times like these when we all need to be kind to ourselves.


PESSIMISTIC / NEGATIVE THOUGHT


  • This will never work out.

  • The whole world is in a mess and no one can help me.

HELPFUL, KIND, OPTIMISTIC/POSITIVE THOUGHT


  • It may take some time, but I am sure some day or in some time it will.

  • Even in this difficult times, there are a lot of instances of people helping each other and looking out for each other and I am certain I will be looked after too

Please do send in your feedback and queries to wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

REFERENCES: -

American Psychological Association (2018). Stress effects on the body. American Psychological association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body
Optimisim and Health- Harvard health publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/optimism-and-your-health
Scaccia, A. (2017, May 18). Serotonin: What you need to know. Retrieved from healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin#overview1
Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Learned optimism: How to change your mind and your life. New York: Vintage Books.
Understanding the stress response. Harvard health publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response

- Melissa D’Souza
Emotional Wellness

This week we will talk about ‘Emotional Wellness’- the need of the hour. All of us have gone through a plethora of emotions during our life time and more so since last year when the pandemic began. Sometimes we have cried, sometimes laughed or sometimes we have been anxious, angry or sad. These emotions are perfectly normal as long as they are regulated and within limits. The problems begin when our emotions get out of control. Emotional health is just as important as our physical health. The mind cannot be separated from the body-they are part of each other.


Emotional wellness is the ability to stay emotionally healthy by first being aware of our emotions; then accepting, understanding and managing them. Emotionally healthy people are resilient during difficult situations and have the ability to overcome the challenges that life throws at them. During this pandemic, we all have suffered emotionally in some way or the other. Staying indoors during the lockdown has kept us away from our social circles and those lovely get-togethers. Some of us have been able to bounce back but some are still unable to cope up and adjust to the changing times. How well you deal with adversities and challenges reflects your emotional well-being.
So, friends how do we regain our emotional health?


Let us be in the present moment! Do not look at the past or the future. Let bygones be bygones and the future will take its own course. Mindfulness is one of the tools to cope up with adversities and challenges. Let us be mindful of our thoughts, feelings and emotions! The next step is to shift our focus from things that make us feel low and pursue those things that lift up our spirits. Being happy always is not emotional wellness but being able to handle our emotions well is what makes us emotionally healthy.
Here are some of the ways you can improve your emotional wellness:


  1. Be Positive- Get rid of all negative thoughts the moment they enter your mind. There is power in positive thoughts-say to yourself, “All is well” and believe me things will change.
  2. Reduce Stress-Don’t try to fit-in too many things in your day. Break bigger tasks into smaller ones; prioritise your work from most important to least one. Stop worrying!
  3. Show Gratitude-Be thankful for everything- your family, your shelter, your good health, your jobs, etc. It will make you feel good that you have been blessed with so many things.
  4. Socialise more- Even in this pandemic you can have online get- togethers and virtual picnics. Friends are like the shock absorbers in your car; they are our stress busters.
  5. Build healthy relationships- Begin first at home; work on your relationship with your family members. Stay away from people who talk negatively about you and lower your self esteem.
  6. Me time- Spend some time with yourself every day; meditate, listen to good music, watch movies, exercise often and cultivate a good hobby.
  7. Sleep well-We must all confess that we have lost so many of our sleep hours. A good sleep helps us reset our constantly thinking minds and refreshes us to start a new day.
  8. Avoid News- Stay away from watching or reading news as much as possible. Our minds are constantly bombarded with news right from the time we wake up until the day ends. This has contributed towards increasing our stress and fears which in turn affects our emotional health.
  9. Ask for help- Asking for help does not mean you are weak but it shows that you are strong enough to accept that you need help. Talk to someone you trust and even if that doesn’t help, don’t be afraid to take help from a mental health professional. There is a solution to every problem. Just remember; never give up!

Emotional wellness is all about our inner happiness and contentment. Let us all remember to shift our minds towards positive thinking and beware of our emotions. Understanding and regulating our emotions will make us holistically healthy.
A healthy mind and a healthy body cannot be separated!
In conclusion, good emotional health helps us to balance our emotions however strong they may be and perform to our fullest potential in our day-to-day lives. It directly affects our physical health and it is therefore very crucial to be in full control of our emotions and focus on the positive side of life being content with our selves which is a key to increasing our happiness quotient.
Wish you all good emotional wellness through these uncertain times!

Send us your queries and feedback on wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

- Velma Mendes
Selfcare - A Journey to a Happy Life

Everyone talks about Self-Care but do we know what exactly Self-Care is! Is it important? What happens if you don’t follow it?


SELF CARE - means the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own holistic well-being and happiness.


WHY is it Important?
Practicing self-care not only allows us to help ourselves, but to help others as well. Self-care tends to improve our immunity, increase positive thinking and make us less susceptible to stress, depression, anxiety and other emotional health issues. Taking time out to care for ourselves helps remind us and others that our needs are important, too. Feeling well cared for leads to feelings of calmness and relaxation, and conveys to others that we value ourselves which contributes to long-term feelings of wellbeing. Self -care also makes us better caretakers, people who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves are at danger of deeper levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem and feelings of resentment. Taking time regularly for self-care can actually make you a better caretaker for others.


TYPES OF SELF CARE :

There are five different types of Self-care: physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and professional care.


NO. TYPE OF SELF CARE WHAT IT MEANS
1 Physical
  • Healthy Eating, Regular Exercise, Self-grooming

2 Emotional
  • Acknowledging one’s emotions with little or no judgement

  • Acceptance and expression of feelings

  • Recognise what made you feel good or not so good Eg meeting up with your favourite people, sharing your feelings, spending time with pets.

3 Psychological
  • Learn to say No where it’s necessary

  • Practicing gratitude

  • Working on Self Reflection and affirmations

  • Maintaining lower level of stress

4 Spiritual
  • Getting in touch with your inner soul

  • Contributing to the causes you care for

  • Meditation, connecting with Nature

5 Professional
  • Balancing your work load with small breaks

  • Checking on your co workers

  • Planning and organising your work desk

HAVE A LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING PICTURE:

MYTHS & FACTS RELATED to SELF CARE:

  • It’s all about pampering yourself It can also mean creating boundaries

  • It’s for those with Poor Mental Health Its for everyone and it keeps you ready for challenges life throws at you

  • It’s an expensive affair It’s as simple as calling a friend or going for a Walk

  • It’s indulgent and selfish It means caring for oneself and for those around you. Its essential for avoiding burnout

Activity: Think to yourself, “What do I need right now?”. For every box below, think of activities that evoke that feeling. Remember, there are no wrong answers.


Tip: Print this out or save this document to refer to when you need to boost yourself in any of these areas. We left an empty box at the bottom for you to fill in any gaps we may have missed.


WHAT CALMS YOU?
Examples: Meditation, Getting Fresh Air


WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
Examples: Upbeat Music, Organizing Your Space, Setting Goals


WHAT COMFORTS YOU?
Examples: Wearing Comfy Clothes, Drinking A Hot Beverage, Eating Your Favourite Treat


WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL FULFILLED?
Examples: Mastering A Skill, Giving Back To Your Community, Completing A Project


HOW DO YOU LIKE TO EXPRESS YOURSELF?
Examples: Dancing, Playing Or Listening To Music, Writing


WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL CONNECTED?
Examples: Calling A Friend, Joining An Online Community, Spending Time With A Pet


BENEFITS OF SELF CARE:

What are the benefits of self-care?


1. Healthy relationships with ourselves
Taking time out each day for self-care helps to develop healthy relationships with ourselves. It is an absolute fact that you are the most important person in your life.


2. Positivity
Practicing self-care produces positives feeling, which helps boosts confidence and self-esteem. Most of the activities you are likely to add to your list of self-care practices will make you feel good.


3. Productivity and motivation
Focusing on self-care can improve productivity and motivation. It could be that you spend your time looking forward to the fifteen minutes you get at the end of the day to unwind. So, you’re motivated to work hard to get there quicker. And will leave you feeling refreshed and energised and prevent a burn out.


4. Higher engagement levels
If we do self-care activities, we are likely to have higher engagement levels. Which means we’ll feel more connected to the world around us. The relaxation you get from your self-care will give you more awareness of what is going on around you.


5. Fight fatigue and illness
Neglecting self-care practices can lead to fatigue and illness. It also decreases our ability to support and look after those who are important to us (which connects us back to point one!)


REFERENCES: -

https://www.mycpid.com/importance-self-care/
https://www.thehappyjournals.com/benefits-of-self-care/
https://www.purposefulhabits.com/six-types-of-self-care/

Hope this article was useful! Do write in your valuable feedback on: wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com
Best wishes!


Ms Priya Pai
School Counselor
CDLC, Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School

- Ms Priya Pai
The “Self-talk Saga”

The three Cs- ‘Clutter’, ‘chaos’, ‘constant- chatter’- do not necessarily invoke pleasant states of the mind. Given a chance, one would want to cease being a part of an environment characterised by the three Cs and rather choose a better, quieter and a reflective space. Escape is possible if these three Cs are in the physical environment- outside of us- like for a simple instance one can avoid going to an overly busy and noisy market and instead choose to order stuff online and save the head and the heart from the bombarding of sounds. But a tough circumstance is when these three Cs are within, dancing their way in our mind space! The self-talk saga is just about this constant clash of clutter and chaos and a yearning for a peaceful, reflective mind space.


The range of the self-talk content stretches right from “What should I make for dinner... to what do I think about a particular person, to what does my future hold…to what kind of a life am I living…if only my life could have or not have certain things and people…to constantly looking at oneself either in good or not-so good light”. Many a times we engage in talking to ourselves, we often call it “thinking”, but most of the times it actually is an unconscious process, where we are unaware of the constant chatter that goes on in the mind space. As one goes about engaging in activities of life and living, this saga of a voice constantly talking inside the head continues. It runs like a background score. If only the talk was more consciously guided, it could serve a miraculous purpose for all of us. For predictable reasons, if the self-talk is uplifting and encouraging, we choose actions that benefit the life of our own and those around us; if the self-talk is otherwise, we may mess up our own lives and that of others around us too.


Self-talk is here to stay, there is no escape; so, our effort then better be just to guide it in a way that is more conscious and regulated and that ‘we’ control it rather than being controlled by it! The self-talk especially the negative one, needs a reframe! So we have to ‘notice it’ and ‘reprogramme it’ to serve us better rather than make us dance to its tunes.


We don’t have to do much with the positive self-talk which tells us “ wait and think before you act”, or “how can I plan my day and my life”- this is good self-talk. The moment it turns to change its route to have thoughts like “I know I cannot cook well, then what is the use planning an exotic meal; I know I will not succeed because I will do something silly and fail or I always mess up” and the like, let it push an alarm, that we need to silence this negative voice that seems to overpower the positive voice. Now both the voices reside in the same mind space. But the negative one is so loud and unconsciously we have fed and nurtured it so well that it has assumed undue importance and position in the mind-space. The meek positive voice has become a tiny speck that tries shouting out but cannot be heard in comparison to this loud negative one. So the first step in regulating our self talk is to ask yourself, which voice are you feeding and nurturing predominantly? And here is one of the many ways we can try doing that:


1. Make it a conscious effort to notice and catch yourself every time you are indulging into negative self-talk- write it down in your self-talk log/diary. Whenever you are faced with an imagined or real stressful or challenging situation, ask yourself what goes on in your mind and body- this is a good start for becoming aware of the kind of self-talk you are doing. See how one thought snowballs into magnifying the biases you may have about your capabilities and potential. Once you notice and write down the thought-statements, assess its function by asking yourself- how does this thought help me grow, or how does it limit me? What is a more effective thought statement I can replace this one with?

2. Post it- Pin it and Look at it! Just to remind you that you are on a journey to reprogramme your self-talk, put sticky-notes or little cards at places that are easily and frequently visited and visible. On those notes, write a word or two of the positive self-statements that will put a hold on your thought train and save it from derailing! A simple phrase like: Watch your thought or words like “stop”, “really?” may serve as good cues to halt your usual junky thought train and move it towards a better destination.

3. Turn to a trusted person who will help you notice your thought strains and help you identify helpful and unhelpful ways of thinking that you are unconsciously engage into. It is often easier for us to spot negative self-talk that drives action in others and the same logic will apply when others catch us and further enlighten us! Take their feedback gracefully without putting up a defence or a denial drama!

4. Years of nurtured negative self-talk will not change magically by a whish of a wand. Practice, perseverance and continued action in the same direction of change is necessary. Trying these hacks once in a while and proclaiming they don’t work or ridiculing them might not be a good idea. We may have to consciously “do it” and “do it for a good enough time” to see its effect. So be aware, accept the areas and thoughts that need to change and act accordingly. Be patient in the process however.

For the next 7 days, we set our mental health journey aimed at regulating our self-talk in ways discussed above and see the magic beginning to happen in our relationships, at work and in every role that we play!


Do write to me how the journey is rolling out. Awaiting your self-talk entries in your logs and journals. Send them to me at wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

- Dr. Ketki Gadre
Hope

Next up in the Wisdom Wednesday series is an article on ‘Hope’. A very vocalised concept especially in the current situation where we are all hoping things get back to normal as soon as possible


Hope has always been a part of our lives since time immemorial. We’ve all had instances wherewe hoped we would get the things we wanted- a particular grade or admission in a particular college or even hopeful we get a particular job or hoped we stay fit and healthy.


We can all relate to the feeling of being hopeful-wishing something positive happens as planned and the happiness that follows once we’ve attained what we hoped for.


Very often we are led to believe hope is something abstract and something which cannot be seen and thus we struggle how to practise being hopeful. In this article we will look at a popular theory on hope and identify ways in which we can be hopeful.


If we have to define hope in a simple way it helps us get something that we want or desire for. In a sense there is an aspect of our thought involved.


One popular theory on hope is Charles Snyder’s Hope theory. Snyder (2002) define hope as “the perceived capability to derive pathways to desired goals and motivate oneself via agency thinking to use those pathways”.

There are three important points to take note of in these definitions.


1. Hope is goal directed. We are hopeful because we have a goal we wish to achieve.
2. Pathways thinking- These are processes or steps one would take to reach the goal.
3. Agency thinking - The thoughts and actions which we engage in to motivate ourselves to attain those goals and continue sticking to the pathways.


With this theory we have scope of being hopeful that what we hope for may come true which itself brings a smile to our face.
Let’s look at an example of how hope with the help of this theory can be practised.
Suppose I want to get first place in the upcoming exams, how is hope utilised here?


1. The desire i.e. the goal is to get first place.
2. What pathways can I practise to attain the goal? I make it a point to prepare a daily study schedule and practise as many past papers as possible.
3. What agency thinking can I engage in? Reminder, agency thinking is how we can motivate ourself, so here one needs to identify motivating factors which are personally relevant for them. With respect to this example, motivators such as feelings of self-accomplishment, or some incentives can be utilised to motivate oneself to accomplish goals which will further may the thing one hoped for become real and achievable.


You may have gotten a hint that whatever you hope for is very possible to come true given the goal is attainable and real given the circumstances, you use apt motivators and identify and engage in appropriate steps.
Send us your queries and feedback on wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

- Melissa D’Souza
MUSIC - The anti-ageing pill for the brain

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” It can connect people to themselves and others. It can be understood by people across all age groups; from the new born child to the centenarian. Music is a powerful tool for healing of the mind, body and soul!


Music is the essence of every function, ritual, worship, meditation, exercise or therapy. We can’t imagine a world without music. Music is not only created by humans with their melodious voices and instruments but also by the singing birds, animals, streams, trees, and the beautiful nature around us. There is no place in this world where music does not exist.


If we want to keep ourselves fit, we exercise but if you want to keep your brain young, you listen to music.


“There are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does,” says John Hopkins, an otolaryngologist. “If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, you can choose to either listen to music or play a musical instrument as it is a great tool; it provides the brain with a total workout.”


“Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It is based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it,” states John Hopkins, the otolaryngologist.

There are five different types of Self-care: physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and professional care.
Listening to music causes the release of Dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.


Daniel Abrams, a researcher, found that when we listen to music, our brains are doing much more than simply processing sound.

Contrary to the notion that art and music are processed by the right hemisphere of the brain, and language and mathematics by the left, Daniel J. Levitin reports in his New York Times Bestseller, “This is Your Brain on Music”, that music is processed throughout the brain.


Effects of music on the brain :


  1. Improves mood : Studies show that listening to music can benefit overall well-being, help regulate emotions, and create happiness and relaxation in everyday life.

  2. Reduces stress : Listening to ‘relaxing’ music (generally considered to have slow tempo, low pitch, and no lyrics) has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in healthy people and in people undergoing medical procedures.

  3. Lessens anxiety : Studies show that listening to music helps reduce anxiety in students studying for their exams or people working on stressful jobs.
  4. Improves exercise : Music can enhance aerobic exercise, boost mental and physical stimulation; and can also increase overall performance.
  5. Improves memory : Research has shown that the repetitive elements of rhythm and melody help our brain form patterns that enhance memory. In a study of stroke survivors, listening to music helped them experience more verbal memory, less confusion, and better focused attention.
  6. Eases pain : In studies of patients recovering from surgery, those who listened to music before, during, or after surgery had less pain and more overall satisfaction as compared to patients who did not listen to music as part of their post-operative care.
  7. Provides comfort :Music therapy has also been used to help enhance communication, coping, and expression of feelings such as fear, loneliness, and anger in patients who have mental health issues.
  8. Helps children with autism spectrum disorder :Studies of children with autism spectrum disorder who received music therapy showed improvement in social responses, communication skills, and attention skills as well.

In my years of experience as a Special Educator till date, I have always used music to calm down children with Autism and control the behaviour of extremely hyperactive children. When music is played in the background, children can concentrate better to stay on the given task and also complete it in the allotted time. This not only applies to children but also for the adults in their workplace.


In this article we have discussed about the effects of soothing, calming soft music on the human brain. However, there are other genres of music like Jazz, Rock and roll, Country, Classical etc. which can have a different effect on our brains. For example, fast and loud music like Rock music, can give positive energy to people while exercising, making them feel more lively and energetic whereas this same music may give a headache to others. Some people love Classical music but others find it boring. Each of us is born unique and has affiliation towards different genres of music but there is one thing in common - All of us love music.

So let us practice listening to soft, soothing, calming and peaceful music that suits us best to help us relax, and keep our brains younger, more energetic and livelier.

Please feel free to share your experiences with music and send us your valuable feedback on : wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com


REFERENCES: -
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/keep-your-brain-young-with-music
https://sharedvision.org/2019/06/13/an-introduction-to-how-music-affects-your-brain
https://www.gethealthystayhealthy.com/articles/10-health-benefits-of-music

- Velma Mendes
Dealing With Procrastination!!

WHAT IS PROCRASTINATION? - Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadlines. Some researchers define procrastination as a "form of self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences.


Root cause of Procrastination and Remedies


1. The Perfectionist’s Fear
Procrastination is sometimes a subconscious failure. If you put off a task long enough, then you don’t have to face up to the potential (and usually imagined) negative results. If you’re a stickler for minor details, the stress of getting things “just right” may be too much and cause you to delay continuing the task. Either way, fear is at the root cause and can sabotage your desire to move forward.

How to Tackle It
Try visualizing the completion of your task in a positive way. Perfection doesn’t exist. Simply put in your best effort and realize that’s all you can do. This will help you stop asking, “Why do I procrastinate?”

2. The Dreamer’s Lack of Action
This is a person who is highly creative and has many brilliant ideas but can’t quite seem to bring them to fruition. The main reason for this is because there’s usually no structure or goal-setting involved once the idea has been created. This aimless approach ends up manifesting as a lack of decision-making and significant delays on a project.

How to Tackle It
Once you have your idea, write down a timeline of what you want to achieve and by when. Ideally, do this daily to keep yourself on track and accountable. Creative minds tend to jump from one idea to the next, so cultivating focus is essential.

3. The Overwhelmed Avoider
This is the sheer overwhelm of a daunting task. The complexity of a task can cause the brain to lose motivation and avoid doing it altogether, choosing instead to stay in its comfort zone. The search then starts for a more enjoyable task, and the harder tasks are put off. This can cause stress and dread when the task inevitably comes up to be completed.

How to Tackle It
Break the challenge down into smaller tasks, and tackle each one individually.

4. The Busy Bee Who Lacks Prioritization
If you’re asking, “Why do I procrastinate?” it may be that you either have too many tasks or don’t truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task. The result? Getting nothing done. Time is spent switching constantly from one task to another, or spending too much time deciding what to do. This often happens to people who like to multitask or have a variety of things to do all the time. Things can get mixed up, and prioritization can become an issue.

How to Tackle It
It’s all about priorities and choosing important tasks over urgent ones. Make sure to question the value and purpose of each task, and make a list in order of importance.

5. The Distraction-Prone
Another common answer is simply distraction. Research has shown that our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods of time, and it looks for something else.

How to Tackle It
Be mindful of your workspace and potential distractions. Schedule a specific time to converse with your co-workers, put headphones on to minimize listening to what’s going on around you, and switch your phone off. Aim to do this for 20-30 minutes at a time, and then take a break. This will be a much more efficient way of working and getting things done. This is also why scheduling down time is so important for productivity.


TEN Bad Things about Procrastination


1. Procrastination can lead to poor academic performance.
2. Higher levels of stress associated with procrastination may be linked to poor self-compassion.
3. Procrastination promotes negative feelings.
4. Procrastination may have a genetic component.
5. Procrastination is self-defeating behaviour.
6. Putting off what needs to be done likely results in a poor product.
7. With procrastination, you get things done, but they’re the wrong things.
8. You add to the workload of others when you procrastinate.
9. Procrastinators may be paralyzed by fear of making a mistake, a loss of self-worth.
10.The end-product of chronic procrastination may be mental health issues.

REFERENCES: -

https://www.lifehack.org
https://psychcentral.com

Hope this article was useful! Do write in your valuable feedback on : wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

- Ms. Priya Pai
The Difficulty of Saying NO!

Saying “No” is a difficult task. For each one of us, some time or the other, while for some of us, each time! What holds us back and what moves us forward, (if at all we do) is essential a process to understand exactly how the three processes of thinking emoting and acting align with each other when we finally make a choice or a response.


Self-awareness and consistent mindful indulgence and engagement into examining of ‘what sort of a person I am, how much do I let negative emotions overpower me, how much do I let positive emotions empower me, what is it that is important to me, as a person and for my immediate significant others; what are my needs that I can’t ignore or I am ignoring under pressure to respond, what are the demands of the other person to who I have to respond in a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’; how will the person feel if I respond with a ‘no’, how far would it be detrimental to my relationship with the other person, how far does it matter to me or my significant others; how courageous or weak I feel to face the consequences of saying ‘no’; is that what is influencing my choice of response; how resilient I am, how happy and content am I going to be once I make a response and what comes my way after that’….Whooaah!


A continuous mention of me and significant others is intriguing, isn’t it? We, Indians, belong to a more collectivistic culture where our ‘in-group’ is almost a whole and sole entity for us, and we generally don’t wish to break the barriers or cross the horizon with regard to maxims of thought, emotion and behaviour laid down therein. Hence, we first weigh any threat that our decision may pose or damage that it would do to the ‘in-group’ value-and-belief system. So, if saying ‘no’ in the in-group confines which is conceptualized as putting ‘one’s needs ahead of other consequently termed as selfish, it makes us weak to exercise our right to say ‘no’ and we step back. We continue to indulge in the task that we do not wish to continue, with no heart or head in it. And there is where the mindless journey begins. Tasks and goals are accomplished not because “I” want to but because I am “expected to”. I sometimes wonder, is saying “no” difficult because of the reasons that we are often caught up in a process ofpresenting reasons that will finally make the person who we are saying “no” to agree with. Isn’t such an agreement difficult when one person wants you to say ‘yes’ and the one who wants to say ‘no’, that’s you—poles apart.


Having said this, then what is the way out? One thing for sure, there certainly IS a way out, when most of us feel so overwhelmed at times, that we feel there is no way to resolve this!


A thought that I recently come across may help us resolve this. “Before you say Yes to something, ask yourself, ‘what am I saying No to’?” Feeling pressured to saying ‘yes’ against our will and wish, falling prey to reasons aforementioned, lets first make a list of things which we will be forced to say No to and how much of a difference missing out on those things would make to our lives. It thus, implies that some self-work may go a long way to help us decide and gather the courage to say ‘No’.


Dealing with self-doubts: Now, this can be a debilitating task, especially when we are caught up in between the devil and the deep blue sea! Self-doubt is at its best when it is a time to decide, because we live under the pressure if I make one decision, I would regret not making the other. There is no end to it! Therefore, let us first get aware and accept that these situations are a common occurrence, and this is a phase or situation that will probably hold less value some years ahead! To overcome self-doubt, gather evidence, by thinking about the times you have said yes, when you really wanted to say ‘No’; how did you benefit or lose? How did you feel predominantly, how did it matter with regard to the larger picture of your life situation? Seek answers for this, which might help you deal with the current dilemma.


Talk it out: Discuss first, with yourself and significant others who you think will, firstly be patient listeners to your vent out and thought-emotion upheavals, secondly, give you unbiased perspective. I have met people who have often revealed that in times when decision making is tough, especially of saying a ‘No’, trust people who you know genuinely care for you and will put up realistic perspectives. All of us may not be fortunate to have people playing both the functions for us at the same time. In that case, consider seeking professional help, if you are not content with the course of discussion.


Is it the right time, really? Analyze if saying “no” is actually the essential thing at this moment, or you can push the moment forward and buy time. There are situations and decisions that can actually wait, but if we are conditioned for a quick need of closure for things and issues, we may rush unnecessarily. Hold on, look realistically, discuss, debate and make a genuine effort to resolve.


The key thus, is, accept that I am on the edge to decide, and also am I really there? Rate your emotions on a scale in terms of how grave, how immediate is the need to say “No”, what are the gains and losses of both “Yes” and “No”, who are you saying “No” to and how and how much do these responses matter at the immediate and distant level and time and above all, how is the decision going to influence your self-belief now and in future, when you look back after a few years or so-- make, maintain or mar it! There is hardly any accomplishment as worthy as overcoming and gaining victory over fear with responsible and courageous choices and the support of significant others. Go for it!!


Your comments are awaited: wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com


- Dr. Ketaki Gadre
Perseverance

Perseverance is a very important character trait for you to be successful in life. It is the act of continuing to pursue something regardless of any odds or obstacles that may exist.


Eventually, perseverance will lead to achievements, which are a direct result of hard work and the desire to continue to push until you have reached your goals. It requires a long term commitment and self-discipline. It is fuelled by passion.


It is closely related to a range of other concepts including resilience, motivation, drive, determination, grit and passion.
None of us get to where we are in life without some level of grit and perseverance. Most of us have faced challenges both great and small throughout their life, to reach where they are today. Our intellect, ambition and creativity definitely may help us navigate through those difficult paths, but it is our determination that keeps us going and helps us accomplish our goals. Perseverance means that we prioritize sustainable future rewards over short-term pleasures in the present.


Crucially, all forms of learning and mastery require perseverance (Duckworth et al., 2010; Ericsson, 2006). If we did not persist with our efforts to speak; walk; master a bike, learn a new language, or instrument; or overcome anxieties or beliefs that hold us back, we would all remain stuck.
We have heard the story of King Robert Bruce, the king of Scotland, who learnt a lesson on perseverance from a little spider who kept trying again and again and succeeded to climb at the seventh attempt. Here are a few more real life examples of perseverance.


1. Thomas Edison , the inventor of the electric lightbulb, tried relentlessly to realize his vision of the lightbulb. He failed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times before he had his breakthrough moment. He was reported to have said while still experimenting: “I have not failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways to make a lightbulb that won’t work”
He also believed that, “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.”


2. Walt Disney’s , success, too, did not come easily. As a young man, he was fired from the local newspaper, where he worked as a cartoonist. His boss believed he lacked creativity.
His animation company failed, leaving him in dire financial difficulties. Despondent and with nothing to lose, Walt Disney travelled to Hollywood. There, too, things were not easy. He faced a barrage of rejection, was told he would never make it, and that Mickey Mouse
– his passion project – was destined to fail. Well, it did not.


3. Sudha Chandran, a Bharatanatyam dancer, lost her right leg in a road accident at the age of 17. She was shattered by this great loss but she never gave up and just after two years she was back on stage dancing with a prosthetic leg.


4. V. Revathi’s journey to being part of the Indian 4x400m mixed relay team to Tokyo Olympics (2021) has been possible only because of her continuous pursuit of her dreams. From losing her parents at an early age to doing odd jobs to provide a helping hand to her
grandmother, Revathi’s life has been a great struggle. With grit, determination, and many years of perseverance, she is on her way to the Olympics.


Ways to Improve Perseverance :


Angela Duckworth argues that growing grit from the inside requires four essential ingredients:


  • Interest
  • Practice
  • Purpose
  • Hope

We must, first of all, follow our passion. That entails discovering what our core passions are. This process involves curiosity, trying new things, experimenting, and actively seeking to develop and stay with our interests.
Then, we have to practice. But we must practice deliberately, by honing in on our weaknesses, setting challenging goals, and incorporating feedback.


Purpose refers to our desire to contribute to making the world a better place and to helping others. It can be a core driving force for passion.

Hope, the fourth and final ingredient, is related to the belief that our efforts matter and that they can improve our future (Duckworth, 2016).
As parents, we should encourage our children to pursue difficult things that interest them and help them to stay on and focus on the activities they have chosen at least for a while. We ourselves could be the good role models for our children to look up to. We are not born with Perseverance – it comes with practice through the years.

“The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it." - Kalpana Chawla


Looking forward to hearing from you. Share in your stories of perseverance on wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com


REFERENCES: -

https://positivepsychology.com/perseverance
https://www.forbes.com/sites/maryjuetten/2020/01/23/the-importance-of-perseverance
https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/perseverance-quotes

- Velma Mendes
Nutrition and Mental Health

As they say, we are what we think! Similarly, what we eat contributes to our Mental Health along with our physical Health.


3 Ways Diet Impacts Your Mental Health


Here are some more details on how good nutrition impacts brain health:


1. It's crucial for brain development.
"We are, quite literally, what we eat," says Roxanne Sukol, MD, preventive medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute. "When we eat real food that nourishes us, it becomes the protein-building blocks, enzymes, brain tissue, and neurotransmitters that transfer information and signals between various parts of the brain and body."


2. It puts the brain into grow mode.
Certain nutrients and dietary patterns are linked to changes in a brain protein that helps increase connections between brain cells. A diet rich in nutrients like omega-3s and zinc boosts levels of this substance. On the other hand, "a diet high in saturated fats and refined sugars has a very potent negative impact on brain proteins,".


3. It fills the gut with healthy bacteria.
And that's good for the brain. Trillions of good bacteria live in the gut. They fend off bad germs and keep your immune system in check, which means they help tame inflammation in the body. Some gut germs even help make brain-powering B vitamins. Foods with beneficial bacteria called as probiotics. It helps to maintain a healthy gut environment, or "biome." "A healthier microbiome is going to decrease inflammation, which affects mood and cognition," Ramsey says.A high-fat or high-sugar diet is bad for gut health and, therefore, your brain.


How Poor Nutrition affects our Mental Health?


High Amount of sugar, fatty foods, junk food or poor eating habits can lead to-


  1. Mood changes or Irritability
  2. Anger issues
  3. Difficulties in Concentration
  4. Anxiety issues
  5. Poor Memory
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Mental health related disorders in some cases

FOODS TO AVOID THAT NEGATIVELY IMPACTS OUR MENTAL HEALTH :


1. Refined sugar:
Simple sugars found in candy or soda can cause blood sugar levels to spike and drop, which could lead to bursts of energy followed by lethargy and possible depressive feelings. Fluctuations in blood sugar can also worsen many of the symptoms associated with anxiety.


2. Foods high in trans fats:
Eating foods high in trans fats like potato chips, pizza, and fast food are linked to decreasing serotonin levels. These foods affect our mental health by causing inflammation that could prevent the production of Omega-3 fatty acids that improve brain function and mental health.


3. Caffeine:
Too much coffee can leave you feeling shaky and anxious. If you suffer from anxiety, it could be a good idea to limit or cutting out caffeine.


4. Inappropriate drinks:
People often think of it as a mood elevator, but it’s actually a depressant. More so, it increases anxiety symptoms the morning after drinking, particularly after overindulging. Lastly, it reduces the quality of our sleep.


5. Highly processed foods:
Limiting or avoiding convenient options like frozen dinners, instant soups and Maggi, and any products with added sugar or loads of sodium can boost your mood temporarily but affects the health in the long run.


Looking forward to hearing from you. Share in your stories of perseverance on wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com


THE BEST FOODS TO EAT THAT PROMOTE MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS :


1. Dark, leafy greens:
Foods like kale, spinach, and broccoli are a part of a healthy diet because they are loaded with vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, folate, and vitamin B-12. Consuming more of these foods can improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression and anxiety. Additionally, these vegetables are also prebiotic foods that provide your body with good gut bacteria, which promotes positive mental health.


2. Healthy fats:
Examples include oily fish, avocado and extra virgin olive oil. Healthy fats like these have anti-inflammatory properties that could help prevent symptoms of depression and lift your mood.


3. Berries:
Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all low in sugar and high in fibre and vitamin C. Vitamin C can help regulate cortisol levels, which is a key hormone released during stress that causes anxiety.


4. Nuts and legumes:
Foods like walnuts, almonds, beans, and lentils are staples of healthy eating. They are loaded with healthy fats, protein, fibre, and magnesium linked to reducing anxiety and depression.


5. Fermented foods:
Research indicates that you can improve your mood and mental health by adding foods like yogurt and pickles to your diet to help encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria.


A BETTER DIET MEANS BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
We know it’s difficult to start or even maintain a well-balanced diet. We encourage you to adjust your diet by thinking of ways you can moderate negative foods and increasing others that promote physical and mental well-being that fit your lifestyle.

REFERENCES: -

https://www.nwpc.com
https://www.webmd.com

Hope this article was useful! Do write in your valuable feedback on : wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com
Best wishes!
Ms Priya Pai
School Counselor
CDLC, Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School

- Ms. Priya Pai
The Mental Health “Lens”

Judging and Judges are not restricted to a courtroom to convict a person guilty of a criminal act. We engage into acts of daily living and being which are not criminal in the slightest of the sense, but we have judges all around in the form of our friends, family, co-workers and society at large. We are judged for what we wear, how and what we talk, what we think and who we are. The science of Psychology talks about something called as “Schemas” the mental representations of things, people and phenomena built in our heads through personal and outside influences and experiences. These schemas are our trusted lens to view the world and we believe that all that this lens shows us is the reality and nothing other than that is real or true or valid or justified.


What we forget is that where we focus the lens is what is available for us to see! And often times, out of habit, convenience, ignorance and our big fat friend “our” ego, the “capital I specialists” that we all are, we believe very firmly, that my idea of good and evil is the supreme most since I am somebody and so I cannot be wrong. We all have that little or more of a narcissistic streak in us!


Don’t we know this, of course we do. But the funny thing is, we catch this habitual thought pattern in others rather quickly than we would identify the fact that we also are doing the same thing!


While we move about from one interaction to another in the family or at the workplace, we are carrying these thought bags packed with the “I, Me, Myself” and biased lenses fixating on what I choose to see (and ignore what I don’t want to acknowledge or accept or serves as a blow to my comfort zone of beliefs).


Here is a gentle reminder to do a quick check-in of the kind of lens you are carrying. Is it wide enough to pan and incorporate diverse perspectives and personalities in our psyche, is it clear enough to help you see things clearly and as they are, are you carrying a lens cleaner to clean the lens at regular intervals, are you moving your hand carrying the lens regularly in different directions to catch the uniqueness around you, is your lens seeking all that is beautiful, picturesque, fair, compassionate and humane and moving its focus away from all that and all those who pull you down, criticize you, demean you.


Remember, our life becomes all that we put the focus of the lens on. Don’t forget to focus it on things and people who are worth it!


Awaiting your comments at: wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

- Melissa D’Souza

Understanding Anger

Anger is an emotion which we’ve all experienced and expressed from time to time. Anger is something we express when we feel someone has hurt us or refused to listen to us. Given the current situation, it is natural some of us may feel angry. Expressing anger has its benefits as well as disadvantages and I am certain if we had to make a list of advantages and disadvantages, the list for disadvantage would never end.


It makes it further imperative that we manage anger given that it is a reaction and many situations from time to time may be such that we react angrily. We often assume that anger is the solution to the problem, but very often anger is the problem which can further complicate the existing problem.


Anger can arise from different factors such as someone scolded you, losing a competition, being compared with someone, relationship discords,someone disturbs you while you are busy, trying to complete tasks but failing to do so, not being understood, when things don’t go our way; the list again for this could be endless.


Very rarely spoken about is how anger can arise as a result of sadness and helplessness. We often associate anger with just the person having less tolerance,or someone who is aggressive and powerful. However, many times anger can arise as a result of sadness and helplessness and people may cry and distance themselves as a result of such anger.


Anger is not always unhealthy. Anger can be a very healthy emotion if used in a correct way and for the correct purpose, e.g. anger towards prevailing injustice can lead to creating certain laws which would prohibit such injustice.


What are the signs of anger?


Shouting, getting in physical and verbal fights, refusing to listen are often signs of anger. Clenching the jaws or grinding the teeth, headaches, increased heart rate, dizziness,and anxiety are also signs of anger. Refusing to talk, staying silent as if a sign of punishment, being resentful, irritated, or constantly hovering around the person and excessive use of sarcasm, yelling or even crying could also be indicators of anger.
It is important to consider these signs in relation to the event that has happened and how you reacted to it. If you see these signs independent of the situation you may find it difficult to correlate.

How does one know if the anger is inappropriate?


If the anger is arising due to no specific reason, or if the expression of such anger causes harm to others, or if the expression of anger is disproportionate to the event which has happened, and if you notice your health and the health of others around you deteriorating due to such expression it is high time one reflects and evaluates and seeks appropriate help.


Some questions you can ask yourself to know if your anger was appropriate or inappropriate are as follows :


  • What made me upset?

  • Did the person do something to make me angry or is it some other factor such as something which happened at my workplace/school/ with friends etc caused me to react more angrily?

  • Is there something which is making me sad or makes me feel powerless and helpless?

  • Was the way I reacted appropriate with respect to what and who triggered such a response?

  • Could there have been some other non harmful ways in which I could have reacted?

  • If I did something similar, would I be comfortable to receive the aggressive reaction I just gave someone else?

  • How is expressing such anger affecting my well-being and the well-being of others?

Managing Anger :


Anger can be managed effectively only once you accept and are willing to work to control anger.


  • The first important thing to remember is to always be alert about how your body is reacting. Remember the body communicates with us. It is important to be vigilant for any signs of anger and also recognise the situation adn the person which can cause anger to arise.

  • The next thing after recognising the signs or factors that cause anger, engage in mindful breathing. Take a deep breath and exhale. This helps activate the parasympathetic system which works with calming and relaxing the body (Refer to Article 2 of Wisdom Wednesday series to know more).

  • After you have calmed down, talk it out and also engage in conversation with “I” statements. E.g. I am hurt at what you did and that’s making me angry. This also brings me to the point, one must never go to sleep angry, and if suitable is always best to talk it out.

  • Write it down- If talking it out isn’t comfortable, write it down. Letting it out is much better than bottling it up.

  • Time-out- Another thing you could consider is taking a time out from the situation. During this time out focus on yourself and ways to calm down so that your thoughts are clear once your return from the time out and can engage in constructive conversation with minimal expression of anger

  • 5-4-3-2-1 technique- when you notice the signs of anger, acknowledge FIVE things you see around you, FOUR things you can touch around you.THREE things you hear, TWO things you can smell and ONE thing you can taste. While this technique generally is used for anxiety, this is certainly helpful in grounding and help you relax right now and refrain from saying and doing anything harmful as a result of anger.

  • Use of humour from time to time to ease the situation has proven to be helpful in preventing the escalation of the situation.

  • For long term benefits practise meditation, as it helps you calm down and gives a clarity in thoughts.

  • A little exercise which requires physical strength such as walking, running or even writing/drawing, knitting, colouring can help ease the anger.

  • Understanding ourselves is a much bigger reward than it is believed to be. And remember anger hardly solves anything, it often creates stress and destroys a lot of things which may be hard to fix back once again. Hence, let’s work towards understanding ourselves and identifying safe and healthy ways to express ourselves.

Try this next time when you notice signs of anger.


1. Ask appropriate questions with regards to if the anger is helpful or not. base_convert 2. Identify at least 3 things you can do to ease your anger and try to practise it from time to time and keep a track of how you felt before and after practising those techniques. These can be selected from the above points on management of anger.


Please do send in your feedback and queries to wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com We would love to hear from you!


REFERENCES: -

https://www.mentalhelp.net/anger/recognizing-signs/
https://med.stanford.edu/psychiatry/about/covid19/anger.html

- Melissa D’Souza
Parenting Children with Special Needs

Parenting is all about raising physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually healthy children and supporting them right from the infancy stage, all through childhood to develop into independent adults.
All of us will agree to the fact that it is really challenging to be a parent in these changing times. It is not only exhausting and physically drains us of our energy but also affects us emotionally. To add to this, raising a child with special needs can affect the whole family. It is totally an unplanned journey; it’s like running a marathon unprepared.


‘Special needs’ is an umbrella term that refers to an array of disabilities. It is used to identify both physical and neurological disabilities that affect a person’s normal functioning and behaviour.


Children with special needs may have mild, moderate to severe disabilities and they may need extra support, guidance and care to meet their educational, social, emotional and medical needs.
Special needs are of different types. Some children are born with it or it can be acquired later in life. A child who is born healthy and later loses his ability to walk due to an accident falls under the category of special needs. He needs special care and adjustments to support him through his life. Similarly, children that have neurological disabilities like Cerebral Palsy, Autism, ADHD, Intellectual impairment, etc. need special care to help support them and overcome the challenges faced by them. Parenting of such children needs that extra love, understanding, patience and endurance.


No one was ever prepared to be a parent of a child with special needs. It is like being hit by a thunderbolt when they realise that their child is differently abled. They all have to go through a plethora of emotions: shock, denial, anger, grief, confusion, guilt and then finally acceptance.


Some of the many challenges faced by these parents and the primary care-givers are:


  • Learning about the disability

  • Researching, locating and accessing effective treatments and resources

  • Coping with the emotional and physical demands of caring for an individual who is differently abled

  • Getting to the innumerable appointments with medical providers, therapists, advocates, and school personnel

  • Advocating for appropriate school interventions, accommodations, and placements

  • Paying for the many treatments and interventions not covered by health insurance or the school system

STRESS

The burden of stress is great for parents of those with special needs. A recent study found that mothers of adolescents and adults with autism had levels of stress hormones comparable to soldiers in combat.
Finances are often a source of stress. Frequently one parent, usually the mother, sacrifices her career to attend to the child’s needs with a resulting loss of income for the family.


The emotional impact is enormous and may include:


1. Fear and worry about:

  • The child’s pain and suffering
  • The child’s future
  • The question of whether you are doing enough or doing the right things to help the child


2. Guilt over:

  • The limitations of your ability to protect the child
  • The loss of attention toward other children, your spouse and aging parents
  • Your jealousy and resentment of those with “normal” children


3. Feelings of isolation because you:

  • Miss out on many family-oriented activities because your child’s disability prevents her/him from successfully participating.
  • Encounter criticism and judgment of your parenting from others who don’t understand your child’s disability.
  • Feel like an outsider around parents of typically developing children.


4. Grief over:

  • The loss of hopes and dreams you had for the child.
  • Not having the parenting experience you had imagined.
  • Recurrent reminders of what your child misses out on, leading to chronic sorrow.


SELF-CARE AND SUPPORT


Parents of children with special needs are often exhausted and frequently become depressed. Their reserves of time and resources for self-care are even more depleted than those of parents of typical children. Yet their need for refuelling is also greater. To be sustained through the marathon of caring for a child with special needs, it is essential that parents attend to their own needs simultaneously.


Here is what is missing in the world of these parents- Self Care. Everyone is so concerned about the deficits of their children that no one is looking at the emotional crisis happening in the lives of the parents and the overall family.


It is extremely important for both the parents to jointly attend to the needs of the child. In addition to this, a hired primary care giver and family friends can give some respite to these exhausted parents. As a Special Educator, most of my time is spent working with the parents and counselling them to attend to their physical and emotional needs first and not to neglect themselves.


Often the most beneficial support and information parents receive, is from other parents of children with special needs. Most of them have built a community where the latest therapies and interventions are shared and recreational group activities are arranged on a regular basis, both for parents as well as children with special needs.


Parenting is really hard work, but when you are raising a child with special needs, the level of care and stress is not just higher - it shifts the foundation of families and adds unimaginable complexities for everyone involved.


Dear parent, if you are one such parent, I trust you will treat yourself with more compassion and take time to unwind engaging yourself in some activity or hobby you are passionate about. Never feel guilty of giving yourself some time; time to look in the mirror and pamper yourself, to learn that dance form you always wanted to, to take some baking classes and do whatever gives you happiness.


Wishing you all the best in life !


VELMA MENDES
Special Educator
CDLC
SINGHANIA SCHOOLS


We will appreciate your valuable feedback on : wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

REFERENCES: -
https://www.caremark.ie/understanding-children-with-special-needs/
https://www.bu.edu/fsao/resources/pcwsn/

- Velma Mendes
Time Management !

Time Management is the need of the hour. It’s very essential in the current times! “Time management” can be simply explained as the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are high.


BENEFITS OF TIME MANAGEMENT :


1. Less stress
Managing your time reduces your stress levels and increases your confidence. Taking control of your time also reduces stress and anxiety. Good time management means meeting tight deadlines and planning your time. Managing your time stops overwhelm and ensures you don’t feel tired all the time.


2. Better work-life balance
One of the most important benefits of time management is a better work-life balance. If you achieve a better work-life balance, you can be more productive at work and have more time to spend on your most important relationships.


3. More time freedom
Time management techniques ensure you have the time freedom to do more of the things that matter most to you. Good time management ensures you focus time on your biggest priorities. Prioritisation creates greater time freedom. When you have greater time freedom, you can focus your time on reaching your biggest goals.


4. Greater focus
Effective time management increases your focus and improves your productivity. Greater focus allows you to capture bigger opportunities. It also allows you to spend more time on the projects, goals, and people that matter. Time management is important in helping you achieve greater focus and prioritisation. When you better manage your time, you increase focus and take control of your day.


5. Higher levels of productivity
Good time management skills increase your productivity and help you get more done. Time management skills help you reduce stress and prioritise your time. Effective time management clarifies your goals and prioritises your most important tasks. As a result, you have more time to achieve bigger and better results.


6. Things are simpler and easier
Effective time management skills make things simple and easy. When you take control of your time, you are more confident and capable. Good time management ensures you feel clear and confident about how to use your time. As a result, you stop feeling overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated.


7. Less procrastination
Procrastination happens when you don’t manage your time. When you aren’t clear and focused on your goals, it’s easy to procrastinate. Poor time management causes distraction and procrastination. Building effective time management skills and managing time ensures you don’t procrastinate. Managing your time ensures you feel in control of your workload, which helps to stop procrastination.


8.Less distraction
Effective time management eliminates distractions and boosts concentration. Distraction impacts your time management and lowers your productivity. Developing effective time management skills increases focus and limits distractions. When you manage time, you can plan better and prioritise better. This helps you schedule your most important work.


9. Increased energy
One of the biggest benefits of managing time is greater energy and motivation. When you work longer and harder your energy levels can drop and you feel tired all the time. Good time management skills help you manage your energy and productivity levels. One of the most important benefits of time management is greater energy. Increased energy helps you focus on your most important work.


10. Time to think
Effective time management techniques give you more to think and plan. Planning your time ensures you have more time to work on your biggest priorities. With more time to strategize, you have more time to focus on achieving your goals.


How to use the Covey Time Management Matrix?


1. List the tasks you need to complete. ...
2. Include deadlines. ...
3. Identify the most urgent tasks. ...
4. Organize by importance. ...
5. Place tasks in the correct quadrant. ...
6. Assess your productivity.


Benefits of using the Covey Time Management Matrix: -

Using the Covey Time Management Matrix can have many benefits including:


  • Increased productivity: The order of this method can help you decide what to put first in your life and how to efficiently approach these tasks. Having an organized and prioritized list of tasks can help you complete more and the most vital tasks in the same amount of time.

  • Clear habits: Using this matrix can help you identify which quadrants you spend most of your time in and assess your own behaviour. You can then develop new habits of focusing only on Q1 and Q2 items.

  • Work-life balance: With more productive habits at work, you are better able to find time for the things that matter most to you outside of work as well.

  • Improved planning skills: Prioritizing tasks appropriately with this matrix can also help you determine clear short-term goals that can be completed within certain timeframes. This can help you better plan projects and long-term goals.


REFERENCES: -
https://lucemiconsulting.co.uk
https://www.time-management-success.com

Hope this article was useful! Do write in your valuable feedback on : wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com
Best wishes!
Ms Priya Pai
School Counselor
CDLC, Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School

- Ms. Priya Pai
Looking within and around

The pandemic has readjusted the pace of life and living for most of us. It has got with itself different life lessons for different people. Leaving aside these one and half years of ordeal and challenges, life before it has been busy with “no time to stand and stare” and “no time for any thought work” as being the norm (excuse) and a lot of “ I must have this”s. The forced confinement however did facilitate forced reflection-introspection time (thought work) and minimalism (it is okay to not have all of it) among many of us that has reportedly made many of us steadier and stable.


Renowned psychologist Albert Ellis believed, propagated and theorised a phenomenal set of ideas that thoughts and beliefs about a situation or circumstance cause a response and action and not necessarily nor always the circumstance itself. This maxim that formed the basic premise of his Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy seems so applicable to the unique responses people gave to this unique life situation. People unfortunately, undoubtedly suffered and despite this objectively justified perception of a challenge, most emerged, evolved and transformed in terms of their perspectives, attitudes, thoughts and beliefs about life and their own position in the cosmos and infact their own life.


The greatest life lessons relatable for those who did engage in looking inward in their mind space were those of “it being important and essential to slow down, stay steady and want less”. But looks like to attain this and to sustain in this thought space is not easy since there will continue to exists, people around us who will “unrealistically” rush, compete, achieve and consider that to be a real living! There is a difference in how “mindful” and mindfull” ways people lead their lives. With any life position and situation, we are in, it is possible to be mindful; it simply means the more involved and consciously present in what one is doing with all head and heart! We believe that since we are moving on with life each day alive and surviving, we are living, but we possibly need to reassess our own involvement in our own lives. Often times, we are either dragging or being dragged by forces outside of us. To make our lives beautiful and realistic, the conscious presence of one in one’s life is essential, but this insight comes to a few who engage into a balancing act of meditative states of being and carrying on with worldly life and living. Meditation is bliss but often times is made to believe as something for only some people and mostly unattainable something, a belief that is not true. If we simplify the definition of the term and the idea as an action of seeking and experiencing steadiness and silence, it does seem attainable. The sweetness of sugar can be attempted to be explained by those who have tasted it, but undoubtedly, it would still not be nuanced and enough and one would understand it in the real sense only when one tastes it personally. Being in a meditative state is similar to this.


So grab a time in a day, sit still and in silence, let the thoughts create a mess-most likely they will- you try and pay attention to a single idea, chant, number or any such non-distracting thought anchor that will help you focus with your eyes closed. Tall and strong trees take time to grow, so let us be patient and continue the nurturance and experience. Engaging in meditative states consciously and consistently and experiencing steadiness and calm has a great potential to percolate in our worldly life and living, making us more involved and mindful of our existence and living!


Your comments, feedback and experiences are truly valued. Do write back to us : wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

- Dr. Ketaki Gadre
The choice

A man loses his job. He decides he is no longer good enough and is never going to be able to make it ever again. On the other hand, another man loses his job and decides that whatever happened, happened for good, and now whatever he can do, he will do to secure another job, and use his time to pursue his talents and work something through it.


A student performs poorly in the exams and their parent’s criticize and ridicule them. Another student who also performed poorly in the exams, is encouraged to try and see other innovative ways of studying so as to do well in the upcoming exams.In the above instances it can be seen that different people can view the same situation differently.


Would it hence be fair to say, we chose to see ourselves poorly and negatively. Would it be fair to say we also choose to see ourselves positively and in a healthy and optimum manner? Does the idea “We chose to see ourselves poorly and negatively” sit well with you? Do situations like those in the above example determine who we are or do we ourselves choose to see ourselves within certain parameters of success and failure.Is our value determined solely by what happens to us or do we let it determine us? A little thought over this will highlight how we often chose to identify situations which have been beneficial and which haven't and let it determine us.


When it comes to our own self, do we have the choice to see ourselves in various ways or do our circumstances solely determine who we are?
Let’s read this quote “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl, the author of the book Man’s search for meaning, was a victim of the Holocaust. Through this book, he has shared his views of the possibility of meaning and purpose in suffering and how the difficult situations which we go through can be viewed as meaningful and enabling us to grow. He has clearly highlighted how we choose certain attitudes and the attitudes which we choose ends up determining us.


I would like to clarify that this statement in no way undermines the difficult situations one may experience and its effect but rather it tells us that yes situations may be hard to deal with but let’s refrain from choosing attitudes which will further make it difficult for us. Lets not choose attitudes and behaviours which can be harsh and tough on us and others and limit our whole human experience to something which may just be a droplet as compared to the vast ocean.


If seen in such a perspective, failures, setbacks are usually a droplet in the vast ocean called life. So why let a droplet determine the whole ocean?
It surely isn’t easy to process this but; if not for the stormy rains, would we see a rainbow? And if not for darkness due to the night sky, would we be able to see the stars?


We don’t hold a grudge against the rain or dark sky, knowing well there is something beautiful coming out of it. Then why do we let the negative, heart-breaking things we go through determine our worth and self-esteem? Why do we choose to let such instances define us?
When faced with a difficult time, e.g. we didn’t get the marks, job, college of our choice, instead of reducing ourselves, to our weakness and failure, we must choose to see ourselves as someone who at least tried nevertheless, who despite the failures, we are still willing to make an effort. Instead of crying about the end of a relationship or loss of job,or failure, can we rework the way we think of the situation and make a choice to see ourselves favourably and positively recognise our efforts and skills sets?


We become what we think, and we are what we let ourselves believe. So keeping this in mind, let’s choose to see ourselves positively and in a healthy way no matter how many dark days, and failures, lets never see ourself and those around us by just their shortcomings. We don’t plant weeds and thorns in our garden, rather we plant beautiful flowers in our garden. We are clearly making a choice here. Similarly, we must choose to think and believe positive and healthy thoughts no matter how many challenges and setbacks come our way.


Let's do an activity.
The next time you face a setback/challenge, keep a track of your thoughts and see who you choose to believe. If it is something negative e.g. I am not a capable person, reframe it to “Well if it didn’t work this time, lets see what went wrong and rework it with another idea”..


Please do send in your feedback and queries to wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com We would love to hear from you!


REFERENCES: -

The Choice: Embrace the Possible Book by Edith Eger
Man's Search for Meaning Book by Viktor Frankl

- Melissa D’Souza
Empathy in Daily Life

What Is Empathy?


Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place. Essentially, it is putting yourself in someone else's position and feeling what they must be feeling.
When you see another person suffering, you might be able to instantly envision yourself in the other person's place and feel sympathy for what they are going through.
While people are generally pretty well-attuned to their own feelings and emotions, getting into someone else's head can be a bit more difficult. The ability to feel empathy allows people to "walk a mile in another's shoes," so to speak. It permits people to understand the emotions that others are feeling.
High Amount of sugar, fatty foods, junk food or poor eating habits can lead to-


The difference between Empathy and Sympathy :


Sympathy (‘fellow feeling’, ‘community of feeling’) is a feeling of care and concern for someone, often someone close, accompanied by a wish to see him better off or happier. Compared to pity, sympathy implies a greater sense of shared similarities together with a more profound personal engagement. However, sympathy, unlike empathy, does not involve a shared perspective or shared emotions, and while the facial expressions of sympathy do convey care and concern, they do not convey shared distress.
Research has shown that empathy makes people better managers and workers, and better family members and friends. But it’s bigger than just its personal effect. We’re all in this together, and researchers say that connection and compassion are crucial to a sustainable and humane future.


Some people are more naturally empathetic than others, but there are easy, evidenced-based exercises that anyone can do to increase their empathy.


  • Talk to New People

    • Start conversations with strangers or invite a colleague or neighbour you don’t know well, to lunch. Go beyond small talk – ask them how they’re doing and what their daily life is like.

    • Follow people on social media with different backgrounds than you have (different race, religion or profession).

    • Put away your phone and other screens when you’re having conversations, even with the people you see every day, so you can fully listen and notice their facial expressions and gestures.


  • Try Out Someone Else’s Life

    • Don’t just stand in someone else’s shoes, as the saying goes, but take a walk in them, said Helen Riess, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School.

    • If someone’s behaviour is bothersome, think about why. If it’s your teenager, for instance, start by acknowledging that he might feel stressed, but go further: Consider what it’s like to live his daily life.

    • Spend time in a new neighbourhood, or strike up a conversation with a homeless person in your community.


  • Join Forces for a Shared Cause

    • Working on a project with other people reinforces everyone’s individual expertise and humanity, and minimizes the differences that can divide people.

    • In the present times, help children who have lost their parents to covid.

    • If you have experienced grief or loss, join with others who have experienced something similar.



Everyone is not born with empathy but we need to cultivate it. We can teach our children to be more empathetic by first being a good role model of empathy in action. We can nurture its growth throughout our lives—and we can use it as a radical force for social transformation. We can make empathy an attitude and a part of our daily lives, and thus improve the lives of everyone around us.


REFERENCES: -

www.verywellmind.com
www.psychologytoday.com www.nytimes.com/guides/year-of-living-better/how-to-be-more-empathetic

Please feel free to share your experiences with us on : wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com

- Velma Mendes
Exercise and Mental Health

Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. A lack of physical activity can lead to mental health problems, according to experts. Evidence presented at the British Nutrition Foundation conference showed that not getting enough physical exertion can cause mental health issues.


What impact does physical activity have on wellbeing?


Here are some more details on how good nutrition impacts brain health:


1. Impact on our mood
Research has proved that we feel more content, positive and calmer after we exercise.


2.Impact on Stress
Exercise reduces stress levels significantly and also improves sleep quality.


3.Impact on Self-Esteem
Self-Esteem is how we perceive our self-worth. It helps in coping with life stressors. Hence, Exercise plays an important role.


4. Reduction in mental/physical health issues
Exercise helps in reducing mild mental health issues and preventing physical health issues and improving digestion.


Here are six types of workouts that could improve your mental health: -


1.Running (or walking)
If you need motivation to get moving, the 'runner's high' – the clarity and expansion one feels after a jog or sprint session – should do the trick. Outdoor exercise or eco-therapy can be particularly beneficial and research suggests it can actually be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression.


2.Boxing
The notion that hitting a punch bag releases stress and anger is true. Finding an outlet for aggression can be both empowering and healing. Short, sharp 'rounds' of punching, followed by rest, results in an intense interval session, which releases endorphins.


3.Pilates
'Learning the skill of Pilates and focusing on technique and how your body feels while in a class is a very mindful activity,’ ‘Pilates is brilliant for stress reduction and relaxation.Aside from the feelings of wellbeing from moving and mobilizing your body, its focus on breathing and relaxation can help to switch on the body's parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for sleep and relaxation.'


4. Yoga
One of the main reasons yoga helps us create better mental health is that it integrates body and mind, although it also works well when incorporated with talking therapy and meditation. For everyone, particularly people who find it difficult or too scary to sit and look at their own mind, yoga can be a gateway to helping understand what they need physically mentally and emotionally. The continued focus on the breath brings us into the present moment and instigates a parasympathetic response from our nervous systems (responsible for 'rest and digest' and helping us calm down).'


5. Spin classes
These days, spin studios with strobe lighting, bespoke playlists and sometimes even choreographed routines to make fitness fun, bringing participants into the present moment so they can leave their worries behind while they burn off anxiety via their pedals.


6. Resistance training
Lifting weights or bodyweight exercises can have a huge impact on how you feel and look; building muscle and self-esteem as well as curbing anxiety. Recent research shows that low-moderate intensity resistance training produces a reliable and robust decreases in anxiety, but there's also evidence to show it helps improve cognition and may improve the functioning of your central nervous system (which has a big impact on mood and fatigue levels).


*** KINDLY NOTE EXERCISE IS JUST ONE OF THE COMPONENTS TO GOOD MENTAL HEALTH. Therapy, Counseling, good diet, family support and many more things contribute to a healthy mental health.


Hope this article was useful! Do write in your valuable feedback on : wisdomwednesdayseries@gmail.com


Best wishes!
Ms Priya Pai
School Counselor
CDLC, Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School

ANNOUNCEMENTS
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • Welcome to the new website of Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School.