Thursday, 29 October 2020

Things I can Control

Things I can Control

There are things that are in our control and things that are never in our control. If we focus on the latter we will get anxious and sad. However, if we focus on the things that are within our ability to manage we are going to feel happy and content. 

  1. The choices that I make - The things we choose in life, it can be the book we pick up and read or the career that we choose. They are all upon us. We are independent when it comes to making choices.

  2. People I spend time with - The people we spend time with have a great impact on us. If we are around people who are positive and motivating we are going to grow, whereas on the contrary people with a negative mindset can bring us down. The choice is ours to make.

  3. How I respond to my mistakes - We all make mistakes, but how we choose to react to the mistake is completely upon us. We can sulk and regret or we can learn from it and move on.

  4. My values and beliefs - We have a certain way of thinking, our values and beliefs are a part of it. They can change with time. How we form them and allow them to control our lives is up to us.

  5. The things I say - Words are important. What we say to others and what we say to ourselves are in our control. Using kind and happy words will impact us greatly. Words control our actions and feelings.

  6. The hard work I put into things - What we achieve is up to us only through the effort that we put in. Our hard work and our dedication is up to us. We can create and control our success.

  7. The boundaries I create for myself - Saying no if we are uncomfortable is in our direct control, it might be difficult but it is not impossible. 

  8. How I take care of myself - The food we choose to eat, the time we choose to sleep, the amount of exercise we want to get is all in our control. What makes us feel good is up to us. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

How to be more Productive

How to be more Productive

Productivity is getting things done more efficiently rather than doing a lot of things within a stipulated time. 

Many people struggle to be productive, to find a flow at work. This is mostly due to distraction, stress, lack of practice, difficulty in concentration etc.

In this fast paced life, the need to be productive is immense. There is limited time and the amount of work increases on a daily basis. 

Here are some ways in which you can increase your productivity.

  1. Do not multitask - Finish one thing at a time. Doing everything together will reduce productivity and a lot of time will be lost. 

  2. Schedule and set goals - The best way to get things done. Fix a time, stick to it and finish your work. You will gradually learn the amount of time you need to dedicate for each work. For now just start.

  3. 2 Minute Rule - If there is any task that can be completed in 2 minutes or less, do it immediately. The work that can be finished now will consume less time than if you keep it for later.

  4. Set time for unpleasant work - Keep a separate time slot for all the things that you don't like to do, keep it fixed and get those work done everyday at that time so that the rest of the day you don't have to worry about it.

  5. Take breaks - Take breaks in between work so that you don't get fatigued. Use that time to rejuvenate. However don't get carried away during these breaks.

  6. Focus on your learning and not perfection - Let go of the need to be perfect. It will waste a lot of time. Focus on how you are learning. Perfection will come gradually.

  7. Keep things Aesthetically pleasant - Make your work environment nice and healthy. Declutter and organise everything. Keep plants, paintings or anything that makes you happy.

  8. Keep a not to do list - We can be very productive as long as we are not constantly distracted by the things that waste our time. Keep a list of things that you are going to avoid doing while you work.

  9. Eat, sleep and exercise - The trio for good health, a good life and productivity. 

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Why Crying Helps

Why Crying Helps

Crying is a natural response to an emotional state. Various emotions bring out the tears such as happiness, sadness, anger or surprise. Some people can cry very easily whereas others find it hard to express themselves through tears. 

Everyone should feel free to cry. Crying is healthy, it is cathartic and improves the sense of well being.

Here are some of the reasons that show why crying is helpful.

  1. Reduces stress - Crying has a soothing effect. It is calming. Crying removes toxins from our bodies and helps to regulate emotions.

  2. Receive support - Crying helps people understand if someone needs support. It helps develop stronger attachment with others.

  3. Reduces pain - Chemicals such as oxytocin helps us to feel good. It reliefs us emotional and physical pain.

  4. Improves mood - The feel good hormones enhances the mood. No wonder one feels better after crying.

  5. Acknowledge suffering -  Helps us recognise our pain or difficulty, so that we can find ways to cope with the situation or seek help from someone.

Crying is good, healthy and comforting. We should allow everyone to cry to feel better. Many cultures believe that men should not cry, which is an extremely harsh and irrational demand. Crying should be normalised for everyone. 

Thursday, 15 October 2020

How to Reduce Distraction and Find Rhythm

How to Reduce Distraction and Find Rhythm

So many things are going  on around us, we have to process so much information at once. It has become very difficult to concentrate on one thing only and flow with it. 

We get distracted very easily. This distraction hinders us from getting things done. If we are not able to finish a task, we feel anxious and sad. As our workload increases with time we get more and more worried.

It is important that we get things done well and on time. It will further boost our confidence and we can feel satisfied.

  1. Focus on a single task at hand and do not multitask. Multitasking decreases productivity by 60% and reduces creativity. We also make more mistakes when we multitask.

  1. Keep the most distracting object away. The mobile phone. Tell yourself that the task at hand is the most important thing right now.

  1. If you are most productive for 30 minutes, after which you tend to get distracted, commit to the task for 30 minutes followed by a 5 minutes break. Take the break carefully. Do not start any activity that is hard to pause.

  1. Reward yourself after getting a task done. Order the food you really wanted to eat once you are done. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Brain Activities for a Better Life

Brain Activities for a Better Life

Our brain is our life support. It controls every other part of our body. When we keep our brain healthy, we are going to find that every other functioning in our body is improving.

How to have a healthy brain? The answer is we have to keep it active. When we are giving our brain various kinds of activity we are opening different avenues for it to grow, develop and nourish. 

Whenever the brain is presented with new information in the form of activities, the brain creates new connections and is revitalized. 

Various brain activities and how they affect us:

1) Puzzles - Such a sudoku, crossword other brain teasers. Puzzles improve mental speed, short-term memory and visual-spatial  reasoning.

2) Building Vocabulary - Learning new words daily helps improve visual and auditory processing. Helps us sound smart as well!

3) Dancing - Helps us develop new neural connections, improves executive functioning, long-term memory and spatial recognition. Reduces stress with the feel-good hormone serotonin.

4) Listening or playing music - Improves cognitive, motor skills, spatial-temporal learning etc. Music helps the brain to produce new neurons. Music helps us deal with stress and pain!

5) Discovering new routes - While travelling, adventure, hiking or going to work everyday. Improves cognitive flexibility, memory and creativity.

6) Learning a new language - Help us develop new areas of our mind, improve memory and strengthen the brain's natural ability to focus.

Positive Affirmations for Embracing Change

Positive Affirmations for Embracing change.

Change is natural, perfect and healthy. Since there is no constant one will naturally accustom to the change. It is gradual and healing. Keeping faith in the process and trusting oneself is key. Changes are always positive. Some positive affirmations to help through the process.

1. I know that everything in my life is changing perfectly.

2. I am thankful for the new challenges that help me grow and become stronger.

3. I purposely choose to adapt to changes in my life.

4. I will learn new things about myself.

5. Things may be different but that's not always a bad thing. 

6. I accept the things I have no control over.

7. I will experience wonderful things in new ways.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

How to Stop Letting People take Advantage of You

How to stop letting people take advantage of you

If you are empathetic, kind, understanding life will bring you a lot of joy, however there are going to be times when you feel that certain things are unfair. One of the biggest problems that kind people experience is people taking advantage of them.

Your general nature does not allow you to deny a request or a demand. However, keeping up with all of the demands becomes toxic and exhausting. 

Some pointers to help you through the problem: 

1) Understand if people genuinely need help or they are just being lazy or manipulative. Some people have a nature to get things done via others to make their own lives easier. Pay attention to such selfish acts.

2) Set your limit. If the demands are repetitive and infinite. Limit the amount of money, time, resources you would want to give. If you set a limit you will not go beyond it and exhaust yourself.

3) Take some time before you say 'Yes'. This will help you understand the situation and prepare. Preparation is required if you are not used to restrict such people.

4) Say 'No' and be okay with someone being upset with you. It is natural that others will be disappointed if you restrict. The next time they will rethink before taking advantage. 

5) Talk to someone who understands. Who can help you to not feel guilty for setting boundaries. It is natural to feel guilty. However, you need to say no for your wellbeing.

Friday, 9 October 2020

How to be Assertive

How to be Assertive

Assertiveness is a social skill that relies on effective communication, in which you have healthy confidence to stand up for yourself while maintaining respect for others.

If you are assertive with your viewpoint, you can express yourself without being hostile or submissive. You will have a better chance of being understood and getting what you desire. 

Let's discuss 5 steps to become assertive.

1) Be calm and speak up. Pay close attention to your body language. Lean in a bit, maintain eye contact, keep a smile or a neutral expression. Mentally be prepared with what you want to say.

2) Understand and accept disagreement. Being assertive does not mean that you have to be aggressive or put people down. You need to state your point of view, as well as understand what others have to say. A disagreement will not make you angry.

3) Keep it short and simple. What you need to say has to be short and direct, so that people can understand easily. If you beat around the bush or be extremely elaborate, people might lose interest or get annoyed. 

4) The power of 'I' - Rather than saying 'You should' or 'Your never', say 'I feel' or 'I understand that'. 'You' statements sound aggressive and belittling, whereas 'I' will make you sound more empathetic and confident.

5) Respecting your own boundaries - Understanding when to say 'no' or 'yes'. If you feel that others are being rude to you, in that case you can decide what you will or will not do. If you respect your own boundaries, others will learn to do the same.

It takes time to learn and practice assertiveness. Start today and gradually you will succeed.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

How to stop seeking Validation

How to stop seeking Validation

We seek validation from others when we are unsure or doubtful about something. It is good to take advice, however, seeking validation on a continuous basis makes us less confident. We rely on others and stop trusting our own instincts and judgement.

1. Increase Self Awareness : Recognise when you are feeling unsure, doubtful or uncertain about something. The more self aware you are the easier it will be for you to understand and keep a check when and how you are seeking validation.

2. Understand why you need approval : Before turning to others ask yourself "What do I think about this?" "Why do I need to ask this person about this". Try to take sometime to think why is it that you are seeking for validation on that particular event or situation. Whom are you seeking validation from?

3. Trust your inner voice : It might be scary at first but do what you feel is right. Tell yourself that your knowledge is enough to decide upon something. The more you trust your instinct the more confident you get.

4. Do what makes you comfortable :  "Before asking someone else let me try it my own way. What will make me comfortable? What do I feel is the right way?" Base all your decisions on your comfort. It is the easiest way to get things done.

5. Embrace your uniqueness : Everyone has their own unique style of doing things. Stop trying to fit in, learn about life your own way. You will gradually learn that your way is better as it is developed by you.

Types of Conversations that are better than Gossip

Types of Conversations that are better than Gossip

Healthy conversations are uplifting, light hearted and leaves you in bliss. Whereas gossip can excite you temporarily but it leaves behind a bitter and low feeling. Gossip creates misunderstanding and stress. Be around people you can engage with positively.

Discussed below are types of conversations that are terrific for self development. 

Individual goals - Discussing dreams and aspirations leads to better understanding of self. It is valuable to understand how others dream as well. It strengthens the bond between people.

Personal Values - How to define and live by them. Different people have different values such as honesty, trust, love and faith. Sharing values helps in personal development.

Learning from past experiences - Past experiences provide a blueprint to how we behave now, both good and bad experiences are excellent for sharing and learning from.

Stories - Fiction and non-fiction. Storytelling is a very good way to engage verbally. Sorties help connect with new people.  

Discussing bottled up feelings - Discussing feelings lead to emotional growth. It helps to deal with trauma and stress. We can find relief and happiness in such discussions.

Funny incidents - The ones that will make our bellies hurt. Easiest to start with, fastest way to bond with people. Sharing joy and laughter at its best.

Sharing knowledge - Philosophies, politics, science, art, education and everything about the universe. Wildly engaging in terms of content. Interesting and best for self development.

Creative Ideas - Leaving one motivated and excited. Mutually helpful and grossly engaging conversation. Creative ideas help in career and life growth.

Engaging in healthy conversations is beneficial for mind and body. It is healthy, keeps one occupied. It provides better bonding between individuals. 

Things to keep in mind before opening up to someone emotionally

Things to keep in mind before opening up to someone emotionally

We are social beings, we attach ourselves with other human beings to survive. We have a natural tendency to depend on others emotionally. There is a need to confide in people, discuss or plan situations, events or moments. 

However, we need to keep certain things in mind before we confide in someone or trust someone with our problems. Not only there is a  risk of confidentiality breach but if people do not receive the problem well, their reaction might affect us adversely. 

1. How well does the person deal with stressful situations? Is the person calm enough to understand the situation?

2. How non judgemental is the person's view of the world? Or do you find the person biased or critical.

3. How well can the person keep secrets? Does the person gossip about things that should not be  discussed?

4. How is the person doing right now emotionally? Is the person looking at things positively or he/she is going through their own distress?

Not everyone is at a place to help us at the moment. It is better to let the person heal before we ask them for advice. Till then we can find someone who is more emotionally capable to guide us at the moment.

Friday, 2 October 2020

5 Steps to deal with Anxiety


Anxiety is our body’s natural response when we come across something dangerous or fearful. It helps us get things done, like studying for exams, paying rent on time etc.

When we experience anxiety there are certain physiological changes. We feel restless, our hearts beat faster, we might experience breathlessness, chest pain, we sweat a little more than usual, and it may be accompanied with racing thoughts.

How to deal with Anxiety?

1.      Physical Acceptance: Telling oneself that this is just a feeling. Anxiety is uncomfortable but not dangerous. Changing the way one feels about anxiety is important. Rather than saying “I can’t stop myself from feeling this way, I can’t handle my anxiety.” We can start saying “It’s okay to feel this way sometimes”, “I am not enjoying this but this will not injure me.” One has to make space for anxiety.


2.      Practice Relaxation: Taking slow deep breaths, it is also known as abdominal breathing. Slowly breathing through nose, while the stomach rises, and then slowing exhaling through mouth, pushing out as much air as one can, as gently as possible. Deep breathing helps one relax through an anxious situation.


3.      Develop a Growth Mindset: One can let go of the need to do everything perfectly and replace that with a growth mindset. Shift goals from getting things done perfectly to learn things instead. Allowing self to make mistakes and learn from them.


4.      Practice Compassion toward Self: Give self credit for the smallest things that one achieves. Writing them down, sharing with family or close friends. Rewarding self for the little things that one does will motivate to pursue things further. Example, “Yes, I woke up on time,” or “I read 2 pages of a book”. So, rather than being harsh and saying “I cannot even do this much”, which is self punishing, one should be compassionate towards self.


5.      Face the fear: Running away from a situation provides short term relief from anxiety. When one faces the situation step by step one realises that the situation was only perceived to be fearful. Facing the fear along with relaxation helps deal with the anxiety. Telling self “I will do it even if it makes me anxious, I will do it till my anxiety is reduced to half.”       



5 steps to deal with Anxiety: Anxiety is our body’s natural response when we come across something dangerous or fearful. It helps us get things done, like studying for exams, paying rent on time etc. When we experience anxiety there are certain physiological changes. We feel restless, our hearts beat faster, we might experience breathlessness, chest pain, we sweat a little more than usual, and it may be accompanied with racing thoughts. First, physical acceptance of anxiety, telling oneself that anxiety is just a feeling. Second, practice relaxation, deep breathing helps one relax through an anxious situation. Third, develop a growth mindset, one can let go of the need to do everything perfectly and replace that with a growth mindset. Fourth, practice compassion toward self; give self credit for the smallest things that one achieves. Fifth, facing the fear along with relaxation helps deal with the anxiety.


How to Deal with a Breakup


Breakups are situations in life when a relationship comes to an end. Break ups can be mutual or one sided. In a mutual breakup both the parties fall out of love and decide to go their own separate ways. Mutual breakups occur when both the parties decide that they want different things in their lives or they mutually lost attraction towards each other or they have both started liking other people. All breakups are difficult, letting go of a person is painful. However, one sided break ups (i.e. if one of them is dumped) it is much harder. Such breakups occur if only one person decides to move on whereas the other person wants to stay in the relationship. It is especially problematic if there is cheating or a third person involved.  There is a lot of pain, emotional turmoil, helplessness, fear, loss of self-confidence and so on. Discussed below are some of the ways in which one can deal with a break up. 


1)      Tell yourself that this is indeed a very difficult time that you are going through emotionally. It is not easy at all. Even though the pain seems impossible, it will still get better with time.

2)      Set your own boundaries. How much of that person you would like to see on social media. How much contact you are willing to keep. If it is easier keep that person out of your sight. See less of them. Block them. It will provide a better space for you to move on.

3)      Stop looking for answers from your ex pa
rtner for every unanswered question in your mind. Chances are that you will not find any if you haven’t yet. It will leave you more broken and in doubt. Give yourself a closer, so that you can be at peace. Not all questions need to be answered right away.

4)      Try to stop reliving old moments, it is very hard, but stop looking at old pictures together. It will make the pain worse.

5)      If you are feeling low, cry it out. If you can’t stop thinking about the person take a few deep breaths. Tell yourself that it is normal to have thoughts about your partner. However, it is just about time, gradually the pain will disappear. Don’t tell yourself “I will not think about him/her” because that is not possible.

6)      Don’t Stalk. This will hinder your healing process. The more you stalk the longer it will take for you to move on. It will make you sadder.

7)      Focus on a new beginning. Tell yourself that better things are waiting for you. The faster you heal and move the better chances you will have of meeting someone better and well suited for you. Look at your past relationship as a learning experience.

8)      Don’t force yourself to date again or meet someone new immediately. Take your time to heal from the previous wounds.

9)      Think about the times when you were not in the relationship. What were the things that kept you happy and involved back then? Focus on the activities you had to let go because of a busy schedule. Do things that give you meaning and purpose in life. 

10   Take up new activities, learn new things, form new associations, meet new people give yourself opportunities to grow out of the past relationship. Spend time with the people you love. Grow and heal.

Breakups are a part of life. They are not life. Trust yourself and move on bravely.

Scope in Psychology (My experience)

A common question I get asked is what was your journey like while you studied Psychology and what is the scope of Psychology in India. Here ...