Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Buddha & I

They came pouring
with labels 
accusatory looks
jibes
raised eyebrows
poison-tipped words
the Buddha 
in the beating lotus
awakens
smiles
holds me tight
repeats
-let it go.
I pity the anguish
I forgive their spite
The palm carrying a burning coal for me
must be burning inside
Shanti! 
Shanti!
Shanti!
I lean over 
to a smiling child
a cup of tea
and pray for the
fanged tribe.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Snippets

Pauses
brief, extended
they are answers.

************************

Silence
heavy like lead settles
sinks the heart.

************************

Words
change meanings
like snakes shed skins.

**************************

Monologues
echo in the soul
To be or not to be.

**************************

Dialogues
essence lost
in between the lines.

***************************

Texts
Two blue ticks
and the anxious wait.

****************************






Thursday, May 30, 2019

Pause and Reflect : Guest Post on Mental Health ( Blogchatter E Books)


When was the last time you did something which made you naturally happy?

I use the word "naturally" here because our life has been seeking all the artificial modes for supplying happiness to us. We put on a happy mask for the outer world, but deep down inside, we are struggling, hiding our real self, pretending and being obnoxious.

May is the month for Mental Health Awareness, a topic which many people shy away from, ignore to learn and understand. A little bit of sensitivity and empathy could help someone, a little knowledge can save someone or even self.


In this high-tech era, we are so consumed with the artificial discoveries that we tend to ignore our inner voice, we neglect what our dear ones are trying to communicate with their broken sentences. We fail to read between the lines and continue to live our superficial life created for our convenience.


Mental illness is not a matter of shame or embarrassment and people need to understand it to save lives. 


Recently I did my bit in contributing some Mental Health Awareness among the people around me by writing a short eBook on Mental Health Awareness, " 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier You" an A to Z guide to self-awareness.











We all go through criticism, judgmental paradox, hypocrisy, color shaming, body shaming, comparison, self-doubt and what makes it even worse is that we remain unaware of the consequences which we might face in the long run if do not get a proper closure to all the encounters we had in our life, neither the suppliers of such traumatic incidents care to make it even and easy for one.


We can certainly not control the external factors, what people think of us, what people say but we can definitely take care of ourselves. We can protect our inner self from getting demolished and debunked, for that we just need awareness, we need to present and be aware.


In order to get a deeper insight, I was exploring the library of Blogchatter eBooks and I discovered two amazing books in the same genre reflecting a lot of useful information over the subject matter, which only helped me to understand this underlying matter of concern more deeply.


POOJA PRIYAMVADA’S MENTAL HEALTH, A PRIMER











In her book, she has mentioned 26 such problem areas which are still unknown to many due to lack of awareness. It is said that it is difficult to understand the pain of others unless you wear their shoes, and the author herself has been through the pain and that’s the reason now imbibed with her own experience and her deep research she is spreading the awareness around her to build a safe and non-judgmental space for all.


The book suggests all the risk factors, common symptoms, and some precautionary tips to avoid the situation and be there for the person in need. The author has very well compiled the list of symptoms, proper diagnosis and timely treatment for the illness like Bipolar disorder, Eating-Disorder, Self-harm, Anxiety which is very essential and on high alert which is only possible when one is aware of it.


DARSHANA SARMAH’S PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD


A handbook about you and your mind. This book discusses some very important aspects and ideas which can bring wonders to one's life if carry forward in a proper
way. The author has very rightly said that the right attitude and right mindset could take you to places and how practicing compassion and forgiveness can set you free.


The book denotes 26 such mindful elements, of which we remain unknown and unaware if worked upon could bring wonders in one's life.







Pause and reflect


Stop and introspect


Why so hurry


What is the rush


Be present


Be aware


Be there.






Much love and gratitude

Priyanka


************************************************************************


Priyanka Nair is a post-grad in Administration, Tech-savvy, loves to explore creative treasure. A Writer by passion and a speaker with compassion.She is a Mental Health Awareness Blogger and a YouTuber, Author of "26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier You" and Co-Author of " Women are Roses".



This post is part of BLOGCHATTER E_BOOK CARNIVAL.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Book Review: Put Your Best Foot Forward



TITLE: PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD: A HANDBOOK ABOUT YOU AND YOUR MIND
AUTHOR: DR. DARSHANA SARMAH
FORMAT: E-Book
PUBLISHER: BLOGCHATTER
PAGES:  67

This is an e-book released in the Blogchatter E-Book Carnival Edition 4 in the mental health category and focuses specifically on positive reinforcements.

The author Darshana Sarmah is a Ph.D. degree holder in Social Science. Mental health is her niche in blogging. She chooses to create awareness about different aspects of mental health and motivates to grow, develop and nurture a healthy mind set. This is her first e-book.

As the subtitle suggests the aim of this book seems to delve into the deep crevices of mind and find practices and solutions for leading a happier and more balanced life.

The author says in the preface:

“This book is a compilation of my experiences and learning, I gathered during my effort to transform myself into a happier being. This book discusses some very important aspects and ideas (which are either overlooked or considered insignificant) can actually bring wonders to our life if carry forward in a proper way.”

For a first time author this book comes across as extremely well researched and well-executed too. Her use of supporting quotes from well-established authors drives home the point in most chapters.

The topics chosen for each chapter are interesting and relevant to anyone seeking mental health answers.

The author brings in interesting first hand experiences to elucidate her points and that creates an instant contact with the reader, for instance:

“I remember been often accused by my Grandma of my "unmindful talking‟. Yes, I admit the fact that I was in the habit of getting lost and during any long conversation, which means I remained busy in my own uncountable thoughts rather than actually being in the conversation.”

Some of the pictures used in the book are also thought provoking and leave the reader in an introspective frame of mind, so crucial for any mental health practice.

The book also contains relevant and useful extracts and references to other works that have a significant reputation in this field, for instance the author quotes:

Michele Killough, in his doctorate research under Purdue University (1992), formulated the existence of three types of forgiveness. The first type, Detached Forgiveness, involved a reduction in negative affect toward the offender, but no restoration of the relationship. Limited Forgiveness, the second type, consisted of a reduction in negative affect towards the offender and partial restoration of and decreased emotional investment in the relationship. The third type, Full Forgiveness, was similar to the traditional concept of forgiveness and included total cessation of negative affect towards the offender and full restoration and growth of the relationship.”

The various techniques of these practices are elucidated clearly in bullet point format and hence are easy to comprehend and remember for any reader.

Overall it is a well-researched book written in a format and language for the lay-person and can be a great tool in self-help, highly recommended.

The book can be downloaded from:


The author can be contacted at @darshanasbh on Twitter

This review is a part of Blogchatter Book Review Program.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: CREATIVE KIDS



TITLE: CREATIVE KIDS
AUTHOR: Dr. Surbhi Prapanna
FORMAT: E-Book
PUBLISHER: BLOGCHATTER
PAGES:  81



This is an e-book released in the Blogchatter E-Book Carnival Edition 4 in the parenting category and focuses specifically on arts and crafts for young children.

Dr. Surbhi Prapanna is a homeopathic therapist by profession and a writer and blogger by passion. She has more than 4 years of professional writing experience and her work had been published on various prestigious online platforms. This is her first book.
In her own words:

“This book is a collection of 26 easy art, craft, DIY and fun activities for kids. I had kept A2Z theme for this book and shared easy activities with each alphabet. All these activities are simple, entertaining and made up with inexpensive, available at home supplies.”

The author herself says that these activities are suitable for children between the age of 4 and 9 years. Most of the activities hence are sensory, filled with fun and intriguing. In addition the author adds her personal experience of doing the activities with her own children and also offers alternatives for the same activity.

In addition to fun the activities are a lot of learning too, for instance in the activity of Bubble Making the author adds:

“The science behind bubble formation is so simple yet interesting. With water the small bubbles are formed because water has higher surface tension. When we add dishwashing liquid into it, the surface tension of water gets lowered and bubble gets formed.
Also, when we add glycerine the holding capacity of bubble increase and it stay for longer.”

Most of the activities suggested in the book are inexpensive and use material that is easily available around the house that makes most of these activities doable and hugely practical.
In Chapter 6 the author herself highlights the importance of crafting for kids by saying that crafts:

 Develop higher thinking ability- childhood is fundamental phase of life. Crafting is a wonderful and easy process to develop thinking ability at higher level.
 Fine motor skills- crafting accelerate the development of muscles in hands and fingers (in colouring, paint brushing) and thus improve fine motor skills esp. in pre-schooler. They can learn colour, number and shape recognition also.
 Boredom buster- crafting is a great boredom buster. It is an amazing tool to keep them engage and entertain when they get bored.
 Stress reliever- nowadays anxiety disorder, depression and other psychosomatic disorders are common in kids. Crafting works as a great stress reliever for kids. Some scientific study suggested that sick peoples who engage themselves in creative activities require less medication for pain.
 Foundation for future- a child who enjoys clay moulding may become a successful potter or a girl who loves make costume for her doll may become a renowned fashion designer in future.

FOR WHOM IS THIS BOOK USEFUL
  • ·         Kids
  • ·         Parents
  • ·         Kindergarten and Primary Teachers
  • ·         Educators and Facilitators
  • ·         Anybody creative


WHY IS THIS BOOK A MUST READ
  • ·         Easy to do activities
  • ·         Explanation is easy to comprehend
  • ·         All activities are unique and fun
  • ·         Kids can easily do these on their own with little assistance and supervision
  • ·         A good practical guide for long weekends and vacations


Overall I highly recommend this creative book.


The author can be contacted via http://surbhiprapanna.com

This review is a part of Blogchatter Book Review Program.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Reflection Post #AtoZ #MentalHealth

Honestly this time being my fifth consecutive time at the A to Z challenge there was so much that came easily to me, the planning for the challenge and other peripherals and yet there were two challenges within the challenge:

1. The difficult topic

I have myself been a Fibromyalgia and Mental Health Survivor choosing the Mental health Awareness theme was both cathartic and triggering in many ways.

Yet I have been wanting to speak about this for a long time now in this manner aprt from my colums and articles at other portals, and when I began to write I felt just 26 days or 26 topics weren't enough to cover the vast subject of Mental Health. 

So I picked the most relevant topics according to me and have tried to create a mini database of sorts for anybody looking for basic Mental Health Awareness content.

2. The Tech Curses

April they rightly say is the cruelest month, by mid- month I had at an average about 2-3 posts done in advance and it seemed I was doing fine when all my gadgets seem to act up. So on a borrowed machine I wrote about 12 posts in 3 days and had to keep them scheduled. 

Never before in my 4 previous years I had done something like that, so I was challenged with completing the task at hand and maintaining the quality of content I was producing. 

To top it all my topic was such that I could not afford to give out wrong facts and figures. This year's challenge has really tested me skills and perseverance and as of now I feel this is my last #AtoZ.

But as they say Never Say Never.

Wishing all the best and thank you to both Blogging from A to Z international family and Blogchatter in India for keeping the spirit high.

Good luck for the future!
Keep Blogging! 


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Z - Z Gen & Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


Generation Z — the group of young people born roughly between 1995 and 2015, who are currently between 4 and 24 years old. Today, one in three teens between the ages of 13 and 18 has an anxiety disorder.


Members of Generation Z are the most likely of all generations to report poor mental health. Psychologists believe what stresses today’s young people out could be a product of what their parents experienced while they were very young. Youngsters today are less hedonistic, better behaved and more lonely than ever before. Z'ers having grown up with a smartphone has led them to expect information and entertainment on-demand, instantly, and in phone-sized bites.


The American Psychological Association found that almost one-third of teens say they feel sad or depressed and overwhelmed due to stress. A report by the Association finds the rate of adolescents reporting symptoms of major depression increased 52 percent between 2005 and 2017 — from 8.7 percent to 13.2 percent — among youth from the ages of 12 and 17.



The increase was even higher — 63 percent from 2009 to 2017 — among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Depressive symptoms among “Generation Z” – teenagers born at the turn of the millennium – are around two-thirds higher than the “millennial generation” born in the early nineties.


They are also more likely to self-harm, suffer from poor body image, skip sleep and be overweight

School and the pressure to get good grades appears to be the leading source of stress for many young people. Work, finances and health-related concerns all stressed out more Gen Z adults than adults overall, the report says. Money was the most common source of stress, affecting 81% of Gen Z adults and 64% of adults overall.

Research has shown that a strong social network can help mitigate the effects of stress and improve mental health overall. Social media doesn’t seem to be helping, either — while about half said it was a source of support, another 45% said social media made them feel judged, and 38% said it made them feel bad about themselves.




Just like our bodies develop a biological immunity through exposure to threats, our psychological system can also develop immunity through exposure. In today’s over-protected Generation Z when parents fight too many battles for their kids, it doesn’t allow children to develop the coping skills they need to deal with adversity.

Teenagers from poorer households tended to report a wider range of behavioural problems than those from rich households, but concerns about mental health seemed to affect both groups equally.

While Generation Z might be more likely to report poor mental health, they’re also more likely than older generations to be aware of their mental health and seek out help when necessary.


DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here




Monday, April 29, 2019

Y - Yoga for Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


The eight limbed path of yoga includes: Yama (moral codes), niyama (self-discipline), asana (postures), pranyama (breath practices promoting life force), pratyahara (sensory transcendence), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), samadhi (state of bliss). “Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind” - Patanjali Sutras

Yoga originated in India several thousand years ago as a system of physical and spiritual practices. It was formalized in the second century BC in the form of the Yoga Sutras, attributed to the scholar Pantanjali. The word roots of yoga mean “to join” in Sanskrit.

Joining mind and body, and individual and collective selves is the essence of this ancient South Asian practice.

Yoga has minimal side effects and is cost-effective in comparison with pharmacological treatments and psychotherapy. Yoga’s added benefit is that it improves physical fitness and encourages self-reliance.


Yoga has been shown to enhance quality of life in people who are healthy and ill. A review study found that yoga is as effective or better than exercise at improving a variety of mental and physical health measures such as stress, quality of life, mood states, heart rate variability, pulmonary function and so on.







From a yogic perspective, the breath is a bridge between mind and body. Slow diaphragmatic breathing is common to almost all forms of yoga. The key to quieting the mind is slowing and deepening the breath. Practicing yoga helps to regain mental stability, calmness, and tranquility, primarily because of this kind of breathing.


Practitioners are able to connect internally through this stillness and silence. Virtually all yogic practices, including asana (postures), pranyam (life force practices), dhyana (meditation), encourage quietness and listening within. Being kinder and gentler to oneself and others is part of the practice on and off the mat.


More than any other aspect of yoga, researchers have investigated how it affects individuals with mental health conditions. The results are overwhelmingly encouraging, suggesting that yoga helps improve mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.


With one in four people affected by mental health disorders at some point in their lives, many people are viewing yoga and mental health retreats as effective strategies as an effective strategy that can help protect and restore the mental health of individuals throughout the world.





Yoga has been shown to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate nerve activity. This is especially relevant to people who have anxiety disorders in which GABA activity is low.


However, patients with mental disorders should not try yoga on their own but only after consulting their psychiatrist and psychotherapist. For minor everyday anxiety, simple yogic breathing techniques might be worth a try as a self-care strategy.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here





Saturday, April 27, 2019

X- Expressing Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness

Artwork and psychiatric disorders are often linked. Accomplished artists with psychiatric disorders express themselves and their emotional distress through their works, and art therapists use the visual arts to help clients understand their problems and cope with them.


Several notable artists with psychiatric disorders have expressed their thoughts and moods in their artwork. Mark Rothko, Edvard Munch, and Bernard Buffet stated that their artwork reflected their depressed mood. Art historians and writers have interpreted the paintings of some artists (including Paul C├ęzanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock) as showing evidence of a psychiatric disorder.

Psychotherapy clients are often at a loss to describe how they feel. The discipline of art therapy is devoted to helping individuals express themselves without the need for language or logic; their lack of artistic skill or training is no barrier to self-expression.



Artists, psychologists, and sociologists have weighed in on this topic for more than 200 years, without a resolution. Benjamin Rush, the “Father of American Psychiatry”, thought a connection between mental illness and artistic creativity was likely. The Italian criminologist and psychiatrist Cesare Lombroso,theorized that artistic genius was also a form of mental illness.

Art Therapy

The first documentation of art as therapy was in the mid-19th century, in Scotland when asylum inmates were given art materials and encouraged to draw and paint. Since then, art therapy has evolved into a professional discipline with study at the Masters level leading to certification.

Art therapy is used with hospitalized patients with severe and persistent mental illness, inpatients with depression and anxiety disorders, and outpatients with any emotional disorder. Some addiction recovery programs use art therapy, as do programs for autistic children, incarcerated prisoners, and multi-lingual programs where verbal exchange between clients is limited.







Anyone who feels overwhelmed or pressured by the hectic world we live in should try art therapy. Creating art will give you a chance to slow down and explore any issues you may be having. 

Art therapy improves the mental health of people who are dealing with addictions, anxiety, attention disorders, grief and loss, dementia, depression, eating disorders, physical illness, PTSD, trauma, relationship issues and much more.

Since the focus is on the process and not the final product, art therapy is not about becoming a great artist but about finding meaning and connection in your life. All you need for it is a willingness to experiment.

Mental Health Benefits of Art Therapy Activities
Art therapy can be used as a complement to traditional mental health treatment.  The aims are:
  • ·         Self-discovery
  • ·         Self-esteem
  • ·         Emotional release
  • ·         Stress relief

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


Friday, April 26, 2019

W - Women & Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


Mental ill health among women is on the rise. One in five women (19%) experience a Common Mental Disorder (such as anxiety or depression), compared with one in eight (12%) men.

Mental disorders can affect women and men differentlyWomen are more likely to have mental health problems than men, with young women at particularly high risk. Some disorders are more common in women such as depression and anxiety. There are also certain types of depression that are unique to women. Some women may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormone change, such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression.

The origins of much of the pain and suffering particular to women can be traced to the social circumstances of many women's lives. Depression, hopelessness, exhaustion, anger and fear grow out of hunger, overwork, domestic and civil violence, entrapment and economic dependence. Understanding the sources of ill health for women means understanding how cultural and economic forces interact to undermine their social status.





Women tend to experience mental illness slightly differently than men. Specifically, women are more prone to internalizing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, while men are more prone to externalizing mental illnesses such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and antisocial behaviors. An internalizing mental illness is one which causes a person to turn inward. It often leads to withdrawal, ruminating, loneliness, and feelings of sadness. Women who find themselves retreating from life and internalizing their emotions should consider the possibility of a mental illness when this sign is combined with other factors.

Some women specific mental health issues include Post-partum depression.  Having a baby can be an exciting time in a couple’s lives. However, the process can also trigger some mental health concerns. Aside from experiencing postpartum complications, such as depression, anxiety, or birth trauma, there are also experiences with infertility, pregnancy loss and reproductive complications (PCOS, endometriosis, etc.) that can crop up during this stage of life. Postpartum depression may occur in women who have a history of depression, anxiety or trauma.

Women in poverty are more likely to face poor mental health, with 29% of women in poverty experiencing a common mental health disorder compared to 16% of women not in poverty. Women in poverty who have experienced abuse are even more likely to experience poor mental health.

Females are generally more predisposed to hormonal fluctuations as well. Biological differences alone can prove key to the development of some mental health issues.



Men and women still have different levels of control over the determinants of mental health such as access to resources, status, roles, options and treatments. As such, gender is important in defining susceptibility and exposure to a number of mental health risks. Gender can also explain differences in mental health outcomes.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.




Thursday, April 25, 2019

V - Violence & Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


 Research has shown that people receiving effective treatment for a mental illness are no more violent or dangerous than the rest of the population. People with a mental illness are more likely to harm themselves – or to be harmed – than they are to hurt other people.


Public opinion surveys suggest that many people think mental illness and violence go hand in hand. In fact, research suggests that this public perception does not reflect reality. Most individuals with psychiatric disorders are not violent. Although a subset of people with psychiatric disorders commit assaults and violent crimes, findings have been inconsistent about how much mental illness contributes to this behavior and how much substance abuse and other factors do.

 Violence is not a symptom of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. There is a slightly increased possibility that someone with a psychotic illness may be violent if they:
  • ·         are not receiving effective treatment
  • ·         have a previous history of violence
  • ·         misuse alcohol or drugs.





Symptoms of psychotic illnesses may include frightening hallucinations and delusions, as well as paranoia. This means there is a small chance someone who is experiencing these symptoms may become violent when they are frightened and misinterpret what is happening around them.

However, it is true that a minority of people with schizophrenia can become aggressive when unwell. One reason for such a response could be a fear of symptoms, such as hallucinations. These people normally express their aggression towards themselves, or to family and friends – rarely to strangers.

Research suggests that violence by people with mental illness — like aggression in the general population — stems from multiple overlapping factors interacting in complex ways. These include family history, personal stressors (such as divorce or bereavement), and socioeconomic factors (such as poverty and homelessness). Substance abuse is often tightly woven into this fabric, making it hard to tease apart the influence of other less obvious factors.



Mental health workers, people with a mental illness and their families all agree that the most important step in preventing violence is to make sure people receive effective treatment as early as possible.
Mental health workers need to know who is most at risk of being violent or of being a victim of violence and make sure they receive the most effective treatment – as quickly as possible and for as long as they need it. This is especially important in a person’s first episode of illness.
It is important for everyone in the community to understand that mental illness is not a choice. It can happen to anybody. It is equally important to understand that violence is always unacceptable, and must be addressed in certain cases as a public health issue.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.




COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind
}

Orange Flower Awards

I WILL RING THE BELL.WILL YOU?

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!