Hello dear friends ...

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to change the way we go about our daily lives. With those changes, some of us are experiencing a wave of losses: economic, social, physical and emotional. For some, these losses may build up and lead to feelings of grief.

So this time we're going to talk about Grief - a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. you may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt and profound sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight.

Coping with the loss of someone or something you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. You may associate grieving with the death of a loved one - which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief - but any other loss can also cause grief. For example, divorce or relationship breakup, loss of health, losing a job, a miscarriage, loss of a friendship, a loved one’s serious illness etc.

Whatever your loss is, it’s your personal thing and you shouldn't feel embarrassed about how you feel, or believe that it’s somehow only appropriate to grieve for certain things. If something or someone was significant to you, it’s normal to grieve the loss you’re experiencing. Just because you cannot see the emotional wounds like physical wounds, doesn’t mean you aren’t suffering.

Symptoms of grieving:

While loss affects people in different ways, many people experience the following symptoms when they’re grieving. Just remember that almost anything that you experience in the early stages of grief is normal—including feeling like you’re going crazy, feeling like you’re in a bad dream, or questioning your religious or spiritual beliefs.

Shock and disbelief: Right after the loss, it can be hard to accept what has happened or one can even deny the truth. You may keep expecting the lost one to show up, even though you know they’re gone.

Sadness: You may experience profound sadness, feelings of emptiness, despair, loneliness. You may also feel emotionally unstable.

Guilt: You may regret or feel guilty about things you did or didn’t say or do. You may even feel guilty for not doing more to prevent your loss, even if it was completely out of your hands.

Anger and Fear: Even if the loss was nobody’s fault, you may feel angry with yourself, God, the doctors, or even with the person who left for abandoning you. A significant loss can trigger a host of worries and fears. You may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure.

So there is no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are healthy ways to deal with this. And to have a better understanding let's get to know about few Myths and Facts about grieving:

Myth: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it.

Fact: Ignorance will only make it worse. For real healing, it is necessary to face the grief and actively deal with it.

Myth: Be strong in the face of loss.

Fact: Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you’re weak.

Myth: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sorry about the loss.

Fact: Crying is a normal response to sadness, but it’s not the only one.

Myth: Grieving should or shouldn’t last for a long time.

Fact: Every individual is different and so is their healing period. So there is no specific time frame for grief.

Myth: Moving on with your life means forgetting your loss.

Fact: Moving on means you’ve accepted your loss- but that’s not the same as forgetting. You can move on with your life and keep the memories.

Ways to Cope

While grieving a loss is an inevitable part of life, there are ways to cope with the pain, come to terms with your grief, and eventually, find a way to pick up the pieces and move on with your life.

  • Acknowledge your pain. Denial will not help. You can try to suppress your grief, but you can’t avoid it forever.
  • Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions and you having any kind of emotion is absolutely ok.
  • Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you. Don’t be hard on yourself and please avoid comparing. It’s easy to compare ourselves to individuals who are coping differently with the current situation. Especially when we’re already feeling low, it can drain us of our limited energy and can lead to resentment towards others and towards ourselves. Instead, focus on your own strengths and coping strategies. Listing your strengths and issues you have overcome is an effective way of highlighting and celebrating your own ability to cope.
  • Cry it out if you want to. Express your emotions. Talk about your loss, the happy and unhappy memories.
  • Accept that many people feel awkward when trying to comfort someone who is grieving. Grief can be confusing, sometimes frightening emotion for many, especially if they haven’t experienced a similar loss themselves. So it's ok if someone doesn’t understand it. But don’t use that as an excuse to retreat into your shell and avoid social contact. If a friend or loved one reaches out to you, it’s because they care.
  • Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way. Even if you’re not able to talk about your loss with others, it can help to write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, for example. Or you could release your emotions by making a scrapbook or volunteering for a cause related to your loss.
  • Fix your routine. At a time when life feels particularly chaotic, setting a routine is important and ensures we have a mixture of social, physical and educational activities in our day. Routine doesn’t mean rigidity, but it can offer a sense of control.
  • Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically. Little bit of body movement through yoga or any kind of physical workout will help you.
  • Try to maintain your hobbies and interests. There’s comfort in routine and getting back to the activities that bring you joy and connect you closer to others can help you come to terms with your loss and aid the grieving process
  • Draw comfort from your faith. If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you—such as praying, meditating.
  • Seek out support from the people in family and friends who care about you or even you can go for professional support.

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." - Havelock Ellis

I hope you find this helpful. Please take care of your mind and body and always remember that we care about your emotional and psychological well-being. Feel free to approach us. Appointments for the sessions at Well-being Cell can be booked here.

So Let's talk about taking control of life by cultivating an active mindset. We all are more than capable of seizing control of our life and our healing. Some of us may have to work harder than others, but we are all capable and deserving of creating a better future for ourselves. The faster we start to realize this, the sooner things will start to improve. Hold yourself accountable for your behaviors and habits that work against your overall wellbeing. Get uncomfortable and challenge yourself to do better and be better. Be disciplined, stay committed and protect your energy by holding boundaries.

Self reflection prompt: Which one of these do you need to focus on more?

Active minds that think and study, like swift brooks, are seldom muddy. - Arthur Guiterman

Please take care of your mind and body and always remember that we care about your emotional and psychological well-being. Feel free to approach us. Appointments for the sessions can be booked here.

So today I just felt like sharing an important tool with you all, which might help in regulating emotions.
One of the best ways to work through your emotions is by writing them down. If you can record how you are feeling and what are you thinking, you are better able to track your emotions and notice the triggers/warning signs. Putting down our problems on paper often helps us identify the cause and find a solution more clearly.

The above image reflects kind of a "mood journal". The questions in it prompt you to record your feelings and work through them. Once you start recording for several days or weeks, you will begin to notice certain patterns/trends. By recognizing these trends, you can work on eliminating those triggers.

Working on improving your emotional health doesn't not mean you will find a solution to your triggers right away. This takes time and require repeated practice.

Emotion regulation is extremely significant for a whole constellation of problems people encounter. - Richard Davidson

Please take care of your mind and body and always remember that we care about your emotional and psychological well-being. Feel free to approach us. Appointments for the sessions can be booked here.

This time we are going to talk about the vital role of a positive life approach in one's life. The people who succeed aren’t the ones who avoid failure; they’re the ones who learn how to respond to failure with optimism.

"Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you." - Mary Lou Retton

Change and challenges are part and parcel of life. At times, how to deal with these changes/challenges become difficult for many of us. How you respond to these challenges make a difference in life. Developing a positive attitude can make your path easy. Researchers have found that positive thinkers:

  • Live healthier lives
  • Have successful careers
  • Make better decisions
  • Are less stressed
  • Have healthier relationships

Positive thinking is a choice that can be learned. So hereby, we are sharing a small document (PFA) which may help you in building a positive mindset. We suggest you please have a look at it and get benefitted.

Download PDF here.

Always remember that we care about your emotional and psychological well-being. Feel free to approach us. Appointments for the sessions can be booked here.

These COVID19 Pandemic times are very difficult for each one of us. Mental Health has become a major concern in this scenario and people of all ages have been afflicted. Work and study from home during such times adds up to the levels of stress and anxiety.

But don't worry. You are not alone. We are always there for you. For us mental health and well-being of the IIIT-D community is very important. So feel free to share your emotional, psychological and behavioral concerns with us, and we will help you deal with your concerns, empathically.

Our Well-being Cell's counseling services can be availed online during this lockdown period. Confidentiality of your interaction during the sessions will be strictly maintained. Appointments for sessions can be booked here.

Whether you're guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that's no joke.

A good sense of humor can't cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.

Short-term benefits
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.

Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.

Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects
Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up, though. It's also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.

Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.

Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.

Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

Improve your sense of humor
Are you afraid you have an underdeveloped — or nonexistent — sense of humor? No problem. Humor can be learned. In fact, developing or refining your sense of humor may be easier than you think.

Put humor on your horizon. Find a few simple items, such as photos, greeting cards or comic strips, that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office. Keep funny movies, books, magazines or comedy videos on hand for when you need an added humor boost. Look online at joke websites. Go to a comedy club.

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.

Consider trying laughter yoga. In laughter yoga, people practice laughter as a group. Laughter is forced at first, but it can soon turn into spontaneous laughter.

Share a laugh. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. And then return the favor by sharing funny stories or jokes with those around you.

Knock, knock. Browse through your local bookstore or library's selection of joke books and add a few jokes to your list that you can share with friends.

Know what isn't funny. Don't laugh at the expense of others. Some forms of humor aren't appropriate. Use your best judgment to discern a good joke from a bad or hurtful one.

Laughter is the best medicine
Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you've had your chuckle, take stock of how you're feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant? That's the natural wonder of laughing at work.

"There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor." - Charles Dickens

The fear is simply because most of us are not living with life. We are living in our mind. Our fear is always about what's going to happen next. That means our fear is always about that, which doesn't exist. And if the fear is about non-existent, then our fear is 100% imaginary. Right?
If we are suffering the non existential, can we call that insanity? So, most of the people among us are may be in just socially accepted levels of insanity. But if we are afraid or if we are suffering anything that doesn't exist, it adds up to insanity. People are always suffering either what happened yesterday or what may happen tomorrow. So our suffering is always about that, which doesn't exist. And it is simply because we're not rooted in reality. We are always rooted in our mind who's one part is memory, another is imagination. In one way both of them are imaginary only as they don't exist right now. We are lost in imagination and that's the basis of your fear. If we are rooted in reality, there would be no fear.
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood - Marie Curie

As the New Year has been started, it can mark an opportunity to set New Year’s resolutions, or a chance for a fresh start along with updating our vision board for 2021. Right?

So at this moment it is really important for us to understand the advantage of being Hopeful.

The difference between those who let their circumstances bring them down and those who choose to embrace the goodness of life and find that comfort, lies with the important element of hope as it is a powerful antidote to feelings of despair and desolation.

A life marked by hope is a life marked by optimism. Hope structures your life in anticipation of the future and influences how you feel in the present. Such mental time travel influences your state of mind and alters your behavior in the present.

The positive feelings you experience as you look ahead, imagining hopefully what might happen, what you will attain, or who you are going to be, can alter how you currently view yourself. Along with hope comes your prediction that you will be happy, and this can have positive behavioral consequences.

It have been found that the cognitions associated with hope -how you think when you are hopeful, are pathways to desired goals and reflect a motivation to pursue goals. Also better problem-solving abilities have been found in people who are hopeful when compared with low-hope peers, and those who are hopeful have a tendency to be cognitively flexible and are able to mentally explore novel situations.

Hope is passion for what is possible. - Soren Kierkegaard

I am hoping that the New Year will bring joy, peace, love and happiness to all of us.

Wishing you and all your loved ones a Happy New Year-2021

Happy New Year-2021





This is a real life story of engineer John Roebling who built the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, USA back in 1870. The bridge was completed in 1883, after 13 years In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However, bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.
But Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of the bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion, he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer that the bridge in fact could be built.
Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headlines of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.
The project started well but when it was only a few months underway, a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was also injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk.

“We told them so:

“Crazy men and their crazy dreams”. “It’s foolish to chase wild dreams”.

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scraped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap, Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the briddge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm t some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task.
As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight steaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.
It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.
He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do, It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.
For 13 years, Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.
Perhaps, this is one of the best examples of a never say die attitude that overcomes a terrible handicap and achieves an impossible goal.
So dear friends, often when we face obstacles in our day to day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realized with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

Being emotionally resilient is an essential ingredient in our personal success. It gives us the strength to persevere through tough times, to bounce back from mistakes and failures, to keep our heads on our shoulders and not give up until the success we are after is achieved.

The ability to be emotionally resilient is more than just the ability to put our heads down and plough through until we make it, although this might be required at times. It includes the ability to keep things in perspective so that we don’t get lost in our striving; the ability to see things in perspective and to keep our life in track and on track as we strive towards our goal Ever dealt with a really difficult situation? We’ve all had our emotional resilience tested. Sometimes it feels like you just want to give up.

How do the toughest people summon the will to keep going?

Steven Southwick and Dennis Charney have studied resilient people for over 20 years. They spoke with Vietnam prisoners of war, Special Forces instructors and civilians who dealt with terrible experiences like medical problems, abuse and trauma.

Be Optimistic

Yes, looking on the bright side keeps you going. But what’s more interesting is that they’re not talking about delusional, Pollyanna-style, rose-coloured glasses here.

Truly resilient people who need to survive the harshest situations and still accomplish goals (like POW’s and Special Forces units) balance a positive outlook with a realistic view of the world.

Like pessimists, realistic optimists pay close attention to negative information that is relevant to the problems they face. However, unlike pessimists, they do not remain focused on the negative. They tend to disengage rapidly from problems that appear to be unsolvable. That is, they know when to cut their losses and turn their attention to problems that they believe they can solve. And they’re not the only ones to realize this. When Laurence Gonzales studied survivors of life-threatening scenarios he found the same thing: they balance positivity with realism.

But that leads to an obvious question: how the heck do you do that?

Gonzales realized the distinction is in being realistic about the world but confident in your abilities: see the world accurately — but believe you are a rock star.

Face Your Fears

Neuroscience says there’s only one real way to deal with fear: you need to face it, head on. This is what the most resilient people do.

When we avoid scary things we become more scared. When you face your fears they become less frightening.

What do Special Forces soldiers think when facing the most terrifying situations?

“I’m scared, but I can learn from this,” or “This is a test that’s going to make me stronger.”

Think positive. Face your fears. Good advice but what do we need to develop deep down to overcome life’s biggest obstacles?

Have a Moral Compass

The emotionally resilient people that Southwick and Charney studied all had a strong sense of right and wrong. Despite being in situations that could threaten their lives, they always thought about others, not just themselves.

Research has shown that many resilient individuals possessed a keen sense of right and wrong that strengthened them during periods of extreme stress and afterward, as they adjusted to life following trauma. Also altruism – selflessness, concern for the welfare of others, and giving to others with no expectation of benefit to the self – often stood as a pillar of their value system, of their "moral compass."

Practice Spirituality

This was the #1 thing that one researcher found when studying people who overcame tragedy.

Dr. Amad found religious belief among survivors to be the single most powerful force in explaining the tragedy and in explaining survival. But what if you’re not religious? No problem.

Much of the strength from religious activity comes from being a part of a community. So you don’t have to do anything you don’t believe in, but you want to be a part of a group that strengthens your resolve.

Get Social Support

Even if you’re not part of a religion or community, friends and loved ones are key when life gets hard. When Admiral Robert Shumaker was a POW in Vietnam, he was isolated from the other captives. How did he maintain his resolve? By tapping on the wall of his cell. His fellow prisoners could hear it, and they would tap back. It’s ridiculously simple but their “tap code” let them know they were not alone in their suffering.

During his eight years in North Vietnamese prisons, Shumaker used his wits and creativity to help develop an ingenious method of communication, known as the Tap Code, which provided a critical lifeline that allowed scores of prisoners to connect with one another. Our brains need social support to function optimally. Connection with others releases oxytocin which calms your mind and reduces stress. And the solution isn’t just receiving help from others — it’s giving help.

As Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Have Resilient Role Models

When you study kids who grow up in impoverished circumstances but go on to live productive, healthy lives, what do you find?

They had great role models who provided a positive example and supported them.

One of the first psychologists to study resilience, Emmy Werner, followed the lives of children who were raised in impoverished homes with an alcoholic, abusive, or mentally ill parent. Werner observed that resilient children – the ones who grew up to be productive, emotionally healthy adults – had at least one person in their lives who truly supported them and served as an admired role model (Werner, 1993; Werner & Smith, 1992). Other research has found a similar pattern: The resilient individuals have role models whose beliefs, attitudes and behaviours inspire them.

But sometimes it’s hard to find people we know we want to be like. That’s okay.

Although we generally think of role models as providing positive examples to admire and emulate, in some cases a particular person may stand out in the opposite way – embodying traits we emphatically do not want to have. We can think of such a person as a negative role model.

Maintain Physical Fitness

Again and again, Southwick and Charney saw that the most resilient people had good exercise habits that kept their bodies (as well as their minds) strong.

And, interestingly, this seems to be more important if you’re someone who’s a bit more emotionally fragile. Why?

The stress of exercise helps us adapt to the stress we will feel when life challenges us.

Researchers believe that during vigorous aerobic exercise, the “anxiety-sensitive” person is forced to tolerate many of the same symptoms (that is, rapid heart rate, sweating, and rapid breathing) that frighten him or her during periods of anxiety. Over time, the “anxiety-sensitive” individual who continues to exercise vigorously can learn that these symptoms of arousal are typically not dangerous, and the fear that these symptoms trigger gradually decreases in intensity (Salmon, 2001).

Keep Your Brain Strong

No, that little brain game on your phone isn’t what we’re talking about. Resilient people are very often lifelong learners. They keep growing their mind, learning to learn, and adapting to new information about the world.

In our experience, resilient people tend to be lifelong learners, continually seeking opportunities to become more mentally fit. This not only keeps you sharp but has a whole host of positive health benefits associated with “…a range of health outcomes; well-being, protection and recovery from mental health difficulties, and the capacity to cope with potentially stress-inducing circumstances; … self-esteem, self-efficacy, a sense of purpose and hope, competences, and social integration. Learning developed these psychosocial qualities through extending boundaries, a process which is quintessential to learning.”

Be “Cognitively Flexible”

All of us have one way we typically cope with difficulty, but what sets extremely resilient people apart is they use a number of ways to deal with stressful situations.

People who are resilient tend to be flexible – flexible in the way they think about challenges and flexible in the way they react emotionally to stress. They are not wedded to a specific style of coping. Instead, they shift from one coping strategy to another depending on the circumstances. Use Humour as one of the coping mechanisms for moving forward in life.

Find Meaning in What You Do

Resilient people don’t have jobs — they have callings. They have a mission and purpose in life that gives meaning to the things they do.

So when times are hard, they feel a greater purpose is behind them, pushing them forward.

Thus, finding meaning in life also adds to one’s developing emotional resilience.

And of course, we are always there for you.

There once was a happy monkey wandering the jungle, eating delicious fruit when hungry, and resting when tired. One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest.

He sniffed the apples and smelled nothing. He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood, but they were beautiful, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter.

He admired his new possessions proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He became so attached to them, that he didn't even notice his hunger at first.

A fruit tree reminded him, but he felt the apples in his hands. He couldn't bear to set them down to reach for the fruit. In fact, he couldn't relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails. The apples became heavier, and the poor little monkey thought about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn't climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go?

Letting go of such valuable things seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling it's fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples and reached up for his meal. He was happy again.

Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. A man carries an image of himself as "productive" - carries it like a shiny wooden apple. But in reality, his busyness leaves him tired, and hungry for a better life.

Still, letting go seems crazy. Even his worries are sacred apples - they prove he's "doing everything he can." He holds onto them compulsively.

There are four things we can never recover in life.

A stone after it has been thrown into the valley.
Words after they have been spoken.
An opportunity once it is missed.
And time, once it has gone.

Considering the average lifespan of a human being today to be about 70 years, 70 X 12 is equal to 840. Now that's how many months we have in our life to live in this world. And if our life was represented by a jar and those 840 months by the marbles in the jar; every year 12 marbles are being thrown out of the jar. Last year 12 marbles have gone as well. Gone forever, never to come back again. Look at how many marbles you now have in the jar to make a difference, to leave a mark, to stand apart.

Utilise your time well and time will treat you well
leading you into an overall sense of well-being.

Usain Bolt won about 8 gold medals over 3 Olympics and his net worth is about 60 million dollars. And do you know how much time did he actually run on the tracks in those Olympic games? It is less than 2 minutes. Yes you read me right. Less than 2 minutes. It is those 2 minutes that gave him such a massive boost and made him who he is today.

But to make those 2 minutes as valuable, Usain invested his time in training hard for 20+ years.

In this new year invest in taking care of your body. Invest in nurturing and nourishing your relationships. Invest in finding and discovering your purpose, your passion, your calling in order to enhance your professional growth. Invest in pursuing and cultivating a meaningful, deep spiritual connect. And for some reason, if you found yourself stuck in any of these, some of these or all of these areas in the last year. This new year brings a fresh opportunity to press the refresh button. Refresh the page of your life and live well. Because at the end of the day remember we are all just stories. And make sure that yours is an inspiring one.

The topper of the class,
is a happy Homemaker.
Back bencher of the lot,
is an Entrepreneur.
The flamboyant fashionista,
became a dreaded Lawyer.
Often ignored Joe,
turned a well-known Writer.
The one who failed in math paper,
is a Fashion Designer.
And the one who often got to stand outside the class,
is a respected Army Officer.

The reunion taught me how people come with many layers, and told me why we should never judge a book by its cover.


30 actions to look after ourselves and each other

1. Make a plan to help you keep calm and stay in contact.
2. Enjoy washing your hands. Remember all they do for you!
3. Write down ten things you feel grateful for in life and why.
4. Stay hydrated, eat healthy food and boost your immune system.
5. Get active. Even if you are stuck in doors, move and stretch.
6. Contact a neighbor or friend and offer to help them.
7. Share what you are feeling and be willing to ask for help.
8. Take five minutes to sit still and breathe. Repeat regularly.
9. Call a loved one to catch up and really listen to them.
10. Get good sleep. No screens before bed or when waking up.
11. Notice five things that are beautiful in the world around you.
12. Immerse yourself in a new book, TV show or podcast.
13. Respond positively to everyone you interact with.
14. Play a game that you enjoyed when you were younger.
15. Make some progress on a project that matters to you.
16. Rediscover your favorite music that really lifts your spirits.
17. Learn something new and do something creative.
18. Find a fun way to do an extra fifteen minutes of physical activity.
19. Do three acts of kindness to help others, however small.
20. Make time for self-care. Do something kind for yourself.
21. Send a letter or message to someone you can’t be with.
22. Find positive stories in the news and share these with others.
23. Have a tech free day. Stop scrolling and turn off the news.
24. Put your worries into perspective and try to let them go.
25. Look for the good in others and notice their strengths.
26. Take a small step towards an important goal.
27. Thank three people you are grateful to and tell them why.
28. Make a plan to meet up with others again later in the year.
29. Connect with nature. Breathe and notice life continuing.
30. Remember that all feelings and situations pass in time.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. - Viktor E.Frankl

Organizing your emotions helps you organize your energy.
Organized energy is productive energy.

Emotion = Energy in motion.

If you are feeling unproductive or unfocused, it's often because your emotions are disorganized. This often happens because you're thinking of 100 different people, places and things. You're feeling the push and pull of all the conversations you've been having and everything you've been going through. Even if these things aren't part of your conscious inner dialogue, they are affecting you on a deep, subconscious level. And they need to be dealt with.

Mediation and journaling can be extremely useful here.

When you don't take the time to
clarify and organize your emotions,
you cant generate the energy
you need to be productive (or feel good).

Emotions affect energy, energy affects productivity.

-Daniel DiPiazza

Have any of you tried doing exercise - like a gym workout or jogging and have realized that physical activity is painful?
Have any of you as students worked hard to get good grades and have realized that studying hard is painful?
Have any of you wanting a promotion at work put in a lot of energy and realized that the laborious effort is painful?
Have any of you in wanting to save a relationship tried to keep your ego aside to adjust and realized that bending down is extremely painful?

Friends... pain is such an integral part of life that try as hard as we may, we just cannot escape.

But we have a choice to accept the right kind of pain that initially hurts but eventually heals,
that initially is uncomfortable but eventually unleashes our true potential,
that initially we want to avoid but eventually very happily accept
or The wrong kind of pain where the beginning is so much pleasure but at the end life is just a pity.
Where in the beginning you are so mesmerized but at the end - just a royal mess.
Where in the beginning things are so comfortable but at the end very complex.

The pain of exercise or the pain of disease - which one will you choose?
The pain of studying hard or the pain of being unworthy - which one will you choose?
The pain of effort at work or the pain of stagnation - which one will you choose?
The pain of adjusting with a loved one or the pain of a broken heart - which one will you choose?
The right kind of pain or the wrong kind of pain.

You will have to choose one. Choose the right one and live your life right.

Once in a physics class, the teacher asked the students, “Why do we have brakes in a car?”

Varied answers were received:

“To stop”
“To reduce speed”
“To avoid collision” etc.,
But the best answer was,
“To enable you to drive faster”

Give it a thought.

For a moment assume you have no brakes in your car then how fast will you drive your car?

It's because of brakes that we can dare to accelerate, dare to go fast and reach destinations we desire.

At various points in life, we find our parents, teachers, mentors & friends etc. questioning our progress, direction or decision. We consider them as irritants or consider such inquiries as “brakes” to our ongoing work.

But, remember, it’s because of such questions (periodical brakes) that you have managed to reach where you are today. Without brakes, you could have skid, lost direction or met with an unfortunate accident.

Appreciate the “brakes” in your life. Use them wisely!

A farmer was taking three of his donkeys for sale to the market. On the way he saw a river and decided to have a dip. Since he had only two ropes to tie the donkeys to a tree, he looked around wondering how to tie the third one.

He saw a sage and sought his help if he could give him a rope to tie the third donkey. The sage did not have a rope but had a suggestion. He told the farmer, “let the third donkey see you tying the other two donkeys to a tree. Then you pretend to tie this one also”. The farmer did as he was told and went for a dip in the river. Coming back, he thanked the sage and saw that the donkeys stood exactly at the same spot where he had left them. He untied the two donkeys and patted the third one to start moving. After going a little distance, imagine his surprise when the third donkey stood still at the same spot. Cajoling, kicking or talking did not help with the donkey, refusing to move from the spot.

The farmer went back to sage, who told him, “untie the third donkey”.

"But”, protested the farmer, “I have not tied him”.

The sage asked, “You know it. But does the donkey know that?”

Sure enough the farmer went back went through the motions of untying the donkey. The donkey moved immediately as though released and walked over to join the other two donkeys.

We too are tied up by too many imaginary ropes which are really non-existent. The only truth is there are no boundaries in real life and anyone can stretch to any extent.

Life - All About Untying Mental Blocks.

Have you ever felt that your mind freezes during the exam? Have you ever been in a situation when you sit down at the examination desk and realize that all that you’ve been revising for the past few months is forgotten? Does your heart race or do you find it hard to breathe during exams? This particular form of stress is known as exam anxiety, and some people are more susceptible to it than others.

In a study published by Martyn Denscombe (2000) found teenagers suffer from exam stress due to four reasons: the future occupational consequences associated with the outcome of the exam; they related their self- esteem with the grades (students are likely to have higher self- esteem if they have higher grades); unrealistic expectations from parents and teachers leading to performance pressure; and fear of getting judged by their peers.

Recognize the negative emotions
To deal with exam- related stress, it is essential that you recognize the negative thoughts. Once you examine these thoughts, then you will be able to see how unrealistic they are. Challenge the thoughts that say you are a failure and can’t succeed. Replace self- criticism with self- correction. Instead of getting discouraged by the result of the previous exam, you must identify weak areas and work on them. Indulge in more positive self- talk like ‘I can do it,’ ‘It is just an exam.’

Time Management
All work, no play leads to exam stress. Teachers and parents should help children identify their concentration span and facilitate their studies with appropriate breaks during the exam. Time management plan can be made for all the subjects so that adequate time can be given to all the subjects and revision time is adequately sought. You should build your timetables with activities which you enjoy like watching favorite TV programme, going out with their friends, going to play football in the park or listening to their favorite music for an hour.

Active study strategies
There are active strategies which can be employed by the students while preparing for their exams. Students can teach or explain the lesson to someone else which can be implemented efficiently in group studies. Think about the questions expected in the exam and write the answers. Students can prepare graphic designs and semantic maps which offer a visual rep short resentation of ideas. When abstract information is laid in concrete, and visual form such as a chart, diagram, word, map event, scene, experiment or character (from a story) are readily retrieved later.

Role of parents
Jane D. Hull stated that ‘At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of the parents.’ Parents must acknowledge that children can sometimes fail to do well if they are unable to cope with the stress. They should provide a conducive environment to their children which is positively reinforced. They should commend their child’s performance with positive statements like ‘well done,’ ‘you can do better’ rather than saying ‘that was not enough.’ Parents should celebrate the efforts of their child instead of solely focusing on the result. They must avoid setting unrealistic expectations on their children as it enhances stress and performance pressure on children.

Ensure that you are healthy
There is a famous quote which says that the body achieves what the mind believes. There is a close connection between our mind and body. The simple rule is that children should listen to their body during exams: Eat when you’re hungry, rest when you are tired, relax when you are stressed and step back when you feel overwhelmed. It is seen that during exam, some students start binge eating while some don’t feel like eating.

Parents must ensure that their kids are eating a healthy diet which includes green salad and fruits. Children also face problems related to irregular sleep cycles or insomnia during exams. Parents should make sure that their kids try to keep a fixed time for sleeping as far as possible. Children should avoid afternoon prolonged sleeping; a nap may be helpful. They should avoid taking any food or liquid which contains caffeine and chocolate three hours before their sleep time.

Most children complaint that they have no time for play and exercise during exams. Whereas, exercise is all the more necessary during exams because they act as ‘stress buster.’Simple exercises such as stretching, jogging and running relieve the stress and ensure physical fitness during exams.

Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. They began with enthusiasm and no one said a word the whole day. By nightfall of the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out.

The first monk blurted out, "Oh, no
! The candle is out."
The second monk said, "Hey!
We are not supposed to speak!"
The third monk said in an irritated voice, "What is this? Why did you two break the silence?"
The fourth monk smiled and said, "Wow
! I'm the only one who hasn't spoken."



Each monk broke the silence for a different reason, each of which is a common stumbling block in our inner journey: distraction, judgement, anger and pride.

The first monk got distracted by one aspect of his experience (the candle) and forgot what was more important - the practice of witnessing without reacting.

The second monk was more worried about others following the rules than in actually practicing himself. He was quick to judge without noticing that he himself was guilty of what he was criticizing.

The third monk let his anger towards the first two monks affect him.
The singular burst of anger ruined the effort of the day.

The fourth monk lost his way because of pride. He was convinced he was superior to the others, proving his ignorance.

Why did the fourth monk speak at all? He could have simply maintained his silence and he would have been successful in his endeavor. But if he had, chances are, the other three might have continued to argue and not even noticed his silence. Some people are like this. Their motto is "If I'm doing something good, but no one notices, I might as well not be doing it at all." They believe that the reward is not in the effort, but in the recognition.

There is a beautiful quote, "It is the province of knowledge to speak; it is the privilege of wisdom to listen." As we learn to truly listen, witness and observe without impulsively reacting with distraction, judgement, anger and pride, then we understand the true meaning of silence.

Once upon a time, there was a cobbler who was very busy. He lived in a large village and was the only cobbler there, so he was responsible for repairing the footwear of everybody else. He was so busy that he didn’t have time to repair his own boots.

This wasn’t a problem at first, but over time, his boots began to deteriorate and fall apart. While he worked feverishly on the boots of everyone else, his feet got blisters and he started to limp.

His customers started to worry about him, but he reassured them that everything was OK. However, after a few years, the cobbler’s feet were so injured that he could no longer work and no-one’s footwear got repaired.

As a consequence, soon the entire village started to limp in pain, all because the cobbler never took the time to repair his own boots.

I wrote this to illustrate a simple principle that is so often disregarded.

If you don’t look after yourself, after a while you’ll be no good to anyone else either. Your best intentions will mean nothing and you’ll be unable to do what you’re meant to do.

If you don’t take the time to care for yourself, no-one else will.

I’m not talking about living a self-absorbed existence.

I’m talking about making sure that you have the energy and focus required to sustain your performance in the years ahead.

I’m talking about fixing your boots.

Are you looking after yourself?