Depression causes and cure

Mind could either be our best friend or worst enemy depending upon our state of mind.

Bhagwat Gita

In this post I would like to discuss depression which is increasing at an alarmingly rate worldwide. I want to write about this because as a child I have seen my father treating depressed people as he is a clinical psychologist. I used to listen to his line of treatment from behind the door. He used to listen to his patients very patiently. I got curious because the patients cried a lot and I wondered why. We didn’t have google in those days. So I didn’t know about depression. My father didn’t share details of his professional life. Years later, my curiosity piqued again. Now my daughter is a doctor so I learnt about mental health from her.

Depression is the main cause of disability worldwide, according to WHO. It can affect adults, adolescents and children. An estimated one in seven Indians suffered from mental disorder of varying severity with depression and anxiety being the most common. Globally more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. More women are affected by depression than men.

What is depression?

It is a mood disorder that involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is different from mood fluctuations that people regularly experiences as part of life.

Causes of Depression:

Bereavement or loss of a closed one can lead to depression. Feeling of grief is the main reason of depression if it persists. It is an ongoing problem. It consists of episodes during which the symptoms lasts for at least 2 weeks. It can lasts for several weeks, months and years.

  • The brain’s physical structure or chemistry.
  • Genetic
  • History of other disorders(anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder)
  • Stressful traumatic events(abuse, financial issues, death of a loved one).
  • Hormone changes (menstrual cycles, pregnancy).
  • Inactivity, dependancy on gadgets, smartphones, less physical work. Empty mind is devil’s workshop.
  • Be an integrated personality. Disintegration causes stress leading to depression.
  • Certain medications.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness or emptiness.
  • Irritability, frustration or restlessness. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that used to be enjoyable.
  • Difficulty in sleeping, sleep disturbances or sleeping too much.
  • Fatigue and lack of energy.
  • Difficulty thinking clearly, remembering,concentrating or making decisions.
  • Appetite or weight changes.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches,stomachaches, or back pain.

There are various methods you could use to sooth the symptoms of depression.

Treatment

  • Exercise is helpful for the depressed mind. It enables you to better handle stress. The endorphins released during exercise give you a mental boost. Lifestyle changes plays an important role in treating depression.The centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that physical activity helps you sleep better at night.
  • Yoga is the best form of exercise which gives you relief from depression if you practice it regularly without any side effects.
  • Meditation is also very effective way of clearing your head and calming your body.
  • Try to express your thoughts on paper instead of bottling them inside.
  • Psychiatrists or psychologist They will treat you with many types of therapy that works to change your thought processes. There is no shame in taking medications to manage your depression. People routinely take medication for physical ailments and having mental illness isn’t any different.
6 yoga poses to relieve depression
Benefits of meditation

How can we cure depression by reading and understanding Bhagavad Gita?

Bhagavad Gita is one of the holiest books of Hindus. It has immense value with enormous intellectual depth that analyses and explains a variety of life experiences. If we followed seriously we will never experience depression.

Few lines from famous Hindi songHum ko bhi gam ne maara tumko bhi gam ne maara is gam ko maar daalo” In English: everyone is getting victim of depression so let’s kill this depression.

It’s my urge to people worldwide that if we include Bhagavad Gita in our school and college curriculum we will understand the truths of life better. Children will be aware of depression before they become prey of this disease.

Few life lessons from The Bhagavad Gita are

From Bhagavad Gita
  • Whatever happened, happened for the good. Whatever is happening, is happening for the good. Whatever will happen, will also happen, for good. Whatever you are sulking about, forget it. The job interview that didn’t go well, or the relationships that didn’t work was bound to happen and it happened. Everything happens for a reason. There is a reason you’re going a bad phase and there is a reason you might be basking in glory, it’s a cycle and you need quietly accept it. You need not worry about the future nor should you pay attention to the past. You only have control over present so live it to the fullest.
  • You have the right to work,but never to the fruit of work. “Karm karo phal ki chinta mat karo” is the wisest message the Bhagavad Gita give us. Expectations lead to pain. Keep working and don’t expect anything in return.
  • Change is the law of the universe. You can be a millionaire or a pauper in an instant. Accepting change makes you coherent enough to face any tough situations in life.
  • The soul is neither born and nor does it die. We can achieve nothing if fear is instilled within us. Fear kills ambition,dreams and even the slight chances of progress. The fear of death is absurd,as our souls don’t die. Fear and worry are the two enemies, that are deterrents to our well being. We must strive to eradicate them from our minds completely.
  • You came empty handed, and you will leave empty handed. We came stark naked into this world and we will go without taking anything to our graves.
  • Lust,anger and greed are the three gates to self destructive hell.
  • Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. You are what you think you are. Your thoughts make and define you. If you think you are happy person , you become happy. If you let sad thoughts take over your mind, you tend to become a sad person.
  • Meditation is must for everyone.
  • There is neither this world, nor the world beyond, nor happiness for the one who doubts. Doubts create misunderstandings. They confuse you and fog your mind with unclear thoughts.
  • A person can rise through the efforts of his own mind, or draw himself down,in the same manner. Because each person is his own friend or enemy. You’re your own best friend. If you have a problem, only you will have a solution to it. Believe in yourself.

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Cracking IIT JEE can be a cakewalk for your child

Focused hard work is real key to success.

John Carmack

Recognize your child’s potential

Every parent dreams that their child should crack IIT, but please don’t try to force your child into fulfilling your dreams that they do not want. If your child has keen interest in maths then it can be cakewalk for your child to crack IIT JEE. Maths is a very important skill for IITJEE and requires perseverance to develop.

I want to share my experience on how I helped my son in building a solid foundation for IIT JEE starting from primary school.

Primary School :

We used to stay in a rural area and even though we had access to textbooks, we did not have easy access to any extra study material. When my daughter was in class 6, I got her the infamous RD Sharma. Whenever my husband taught my daughter, Shrey used to just sit and listen. He also used to try to solve her questions and used to get a lot of them right. This just bolstered my hypothesis that my son had indeed developed a mathematical aptitude. He used to try and emulate his father right from the way he dressed to the subjects he liked. He used to say that he wanted to be an engineer and work in a cement factory, just like his Dad.

With his sister in full sleeved shirt and pants like his Dad

Class 5 to 7

We moved to Saudi Arabia as my husband got very good offer from Saudi Cement Co. My children got admission in Dammam International school which is a CBSE school. Their English communication skill got boosted which was not possible in rural school. My son has to study Arabic language because Arabic is compulsory upto class 5. He learned the language and performed excellently in his exam. For three years we were in Saudi Arabia. Then again we moved to India.

Upto class 9 :

During Shrey’s class 7 and 8, our kids were studying in a DAV school in Karnataka. DAV conducts a board exam for class 8 as well. Kids at that age usually are easily distracted and generally do not like studying. I felt that I needed to monitor him while studying and had him read out loud at the dining table while I was cooking. Small things like this not just help in developing concentration, but also ensures that the child understands things well. Shrey never made notes in class, he would always try to focus on whatever is being taught. A lot of teachers complained about this, but I asked them to let him be. Every person is different in the way they learn and understand things. We should let children find these methods on their own, else when the syllabus increases a lot, children feel lost and are not able to cope with it.

Class 9-10 :

My husband and I felt that the quality of education in the rural schools that our children were studying in was possibly not up to the mark for the entrances that they would have to face soon. My daughter had just finished class 10 and we decided that to cement their future, I should shift to Delhi with the children. In India 90% of Mothers sacrifices her career for making the future of her child.

Getting admission in a Delhi school is very hard. Based on Ijya’s(my daughter) 10th pre board scores and Shrey’s admission test score, they were given admission in Amity International. I distinctly remember Shrey saying that he didn’t like the school because they had a very small playground. Soon after their admission, DPS RK Puram put out an announcement for their admission test and I enrolled Shrey for it, even though the number of vacancies was very less. Shrey secured 5th rank in the test and was able to get admission there. Ijya also scored a perfect GPA in her 10th boards and was given admission to DPS RK Puram.

As usual, Shrey was more interested in his sister’s syllabus and used to keep trying to her questions for the portions that were relevant to both 9th and 11th. Shrey always hated going by the rules and would often study whatever he wanted to and not follow any coaching institute as such. He joined FIITJEE in class 9th, but shifted to VMC in class 10th. He just used to listen carefully in class and was always very confident of his knowledge and would never care about exam results, be it good or bad. I had to force him to study for class 10 boards because I knew the importance of that result which he was taking very lightly.

Class 11 :

Shrey used to play TT a lot and he was quite good at it too. I did not want him to stop doing everything just for JEE. He used to go to play TT at a nearby sports complex everyday for around 2-3 hours in the evening. It was only later when he was too exhausted to study after school and playing TT that I asked him to stop and surprisingly, he agreed.

At this time, most of the tests conducted by coaching institutes were on a few chapters and Shrey never scored particularly high in them, but he was very sure of himself and would never doubt himself, a quality in him that I admire. He finished the mathematics syllabus for class 11 and 12 during 11th itself and had a very strong base in Physics from all the questions he solved with his sister. He did not study a lot during 11th, but made sure that all his concepts were clear.

Parents Teachers Meet

Class 12 :

Come class 12, he started having doubts about his coaching centre and decided to shift to Pace. Pace had started a special (Zenith) batch for just a select few students under Mr Sandeep Singhal, who presently leads StepApp. When he first went there, Mr Singhal invited him and me to his office and asked him what was his favourite subject to which Shrey replied Rotation. I was shell shocked as this was a topic that he complained during class 11 and I made him solve all questions from HC Verma and the coaching materials. He had never yet accepted that it was now a string topic for him. This just goes to show that where things aren’t easy, we can power through and get good at it. There is no point in trying to leave an entire chapter especially when you have the time to work on it.

Once he started going to class with the Zenith batch, he started showing a lot of improvement, which was mostly due to the peer group that he had there. The teachers were also of top quality and since the batch had only 7 students, the teacher was able to focus on each and every child. They had the freedom to schedule doubt clearing sessions and even give tests from the centre.

Shrey was very serious about how he studied and since he had to give the exam in May, he would always study without a fan or AC to emulate exam conditions as best as he could. He always said that it is best not to leave things to chance. Soon, I started to see improvements in his test scores. In the first VMC JEE Adv pattern test, he secured a 600ish rank among barely 3,000 students. From there, the first Fiitjee AITS that he gave, he secured rank 35. It was the first glimpse of what was to come.

He finished his entire syllabus before the school winter vacations ended and started solving questions from various sources like Irodov and other Olympiad papers. Even though his teachers advised him that questions of such difficulty no longer come in the JEE paper, he said that if my concepts are clear enough to solve these, I will feel more confident about the way I solve problems in the exam.

Another very interesting thing that I found out after JEE was that he was very very good at eliminating options. All his friends in the Zenith batch said that he could tell the answer of the question just by looking at the options.

KVPY(Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana)

My son has also cleared KVPY with good rank and entitled for scholarship if he had joined Indian Institute of Science Bangalore which is a premium institute of India.

Boards:

Soon, the time for board exams started approaching and just like class X, Shrey was ignoring the long term impact that this score might have on his life. He started saying that board exams were going to be his relaxing time right before the final stretch of preparation before JEE Advance. I had to literally force him to study for the exams. After his Maths board exam, he said to me that the paper was rubbish because most of it came from NCERT and hence everyone would score well.

He scored 96.2% in his board exams.

JEE Mains:

Shrey refused to study topics that were not in JEE Adv syllabus but were in JEE Mains syllabus even after repeated reminders. Even during the boards, whenever he had a long break, he would solve JEE Advance level questions/papers. He scored 276/360 in his JEE Mains and even though he wanted to score 300+, he was fine with it.

My son in News after JEE MAINS

JEE Advance:

The build up to JEE Advance was a very tense time for me as all he did was solve papers from as many institutes as I could arrange for him. he would solve two full papers in a day. Yes, two full 6 hours papers in 4 sessions of 2-2.5 hours each. Even though he registered for various exams like VIT and Manipal, he refused to give them and only under pressure from his father did he go and give the Manipal exam in which he secured Rank 28.

Everything seemed to unfold like a dream, every exam that he gave, he would score very well and rank among the toppers. I initially hoped that he would rank among the top 10 but now it started seeming like a reality. He would take photographs of things that he would need help remembering and would revise them whenever he felt tired or before going to sleep.

3 days before the exam, he declaerd that he was done preparing and started watching movies and TV Shows on the laptop. He was always very eccentric and very sure of himself. Lated I got to know that whenever he used to get a question wrong, he would first doubt the answer key and then only would he doubt himself.

On the day of the exam, he was not visibly nervous. He looked calm and was talking very easily. He was very sure of himself and he knew that he had prepared well for the exam. Now there was nothing else he could do. Even after the first paper, he seemed normal, slightly happy if anything. He didn’t say anything at that time but he knew that he had done pretty well in the paper. The second paper is where disaster struck, atleast according to hum. He messed up in filling in 8 questions in the OMR in a row out of which only 2 were filled with the correct answer. This shook him up but I believe that having a calm state of mind and having the experience of giving so many tests, he was able to pull through somewhat.

He secured a rank of 610 in JEE Advance. He scored 144/180 in the first paper and 97/180 in the second. In contrast, his friend who secured AIR 21 scored 147 in the first paper and 160 in the second paper.

For the full video, please visit : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcebpPvlKyU

Success is sweet but the secret is sweat.

John Carmack

Polite Advice to Parents

If possible don’t send your child to hostel for preparations because at this stage your child needs your support more. At least mother should stay with him or her.

A few tips that I would like to share with you which is going to benefit the aspirant:

  • Basic Concepts should be clear. This is the key for cracking JEE Advance.
  • Listen carefully to your teacher in the class.
  • Work hard consistently.
  • Do focused study.
  • Take breaks when studying for long durations.
  • Keep your child away from social media.
  • Have close check of your child’s friend circle.
  • Always take feedback from your child’s teacher in school and coaching institute.
  • There is no shortcut to success so do consistent hard work.
Convocation IIT Delhi

Hope you will like this blog. If anyone of you have any doubt please feel to ask me. Please give feedback about my experience. Do share your experience about your child’s preparations or achievements.

Excuses don’t burn calories

How I reduced weight in one year without dieting

When people tell me they can’t afford gym, I tell them to go outside; planet Earth is a gym and we’re members. Run, climb, sweat and enjoy all the natural wonders that are available to you.

Steve Maraboli

During and after pregnancy I gained 15kgs of extra weight. I was enjoying my motherhood so much that I postponed my fitness to one more year. When I started experiencing ankle pain then I realised that I had gained lots of weight. I decided to start working out but daily I used to procrastinate due to two young kids. I would promise myself to start the next day. Tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow is a disease.

Weight gain after pregnancy

The main reason for my weight gain was a calorie rich diet for a healthy child. I decided to take control of my life and incorporate exercise.

I started slowly

We don’t gain weight in one day so don’t try to lose weight in one day. If you want to lose weight and maintain it, you need to go slow. Don’t look for fad diets that have flooded the market. I started slowly by changing my lifestyle so that my weight loss should be healthy and sustainable.

We can come up with countless excuses to escape workouts and eating junk food but friends remember excuses don’t burn calories. Try to reduce junk food from your diet if you want to be healthy, fit and slim. Workouts are like life. The harder it is, the stronger you become. You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.

Many people ask me which diet I’m following. But I don’t follow any diet plan. I lead a healthy way of life, and I incorporated a healthy lifestyle gradually for a smooth transition.

Awarding myself for the hardwork

Like most people I’m a foodie, it was not easy to stop myself from eating all kinds of foods. But when I started taking my weight loss seriously and I lost weight I felt so good about myself. To wear trendy clothes is one thing and to look good in them is another. Ladies start your weight loss program from today if you want to carry your outfit well.

Jumpsuit love

Say no to stress

Whenever we are stressed out we reach out for a cup of ice cream, chocolates, cakes, pastries and what not. Stress leads to weight gain. When we workout regularly we can kick the triggers of the stress out of the window.

Classic monochrome

Eat home cooked food

Fast food and many prepackaged food and snacks contain high levels trans fat, sugar, sodium and carbs. Try to eat home cooked food only. Stock your refrigerator with healthy foods. Throw out the unhealthy ones.

Choose whole foods

Include fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins to help lower our fat, sugar and cholesterol intakes. Refined flour is very bad for health so please avoid this. Try to take sprouts twice a day.

Get in to workout

Make time for workout. Just get it done. Nobody got in shape by thinking about it. They did it. Exercise has many benefits. Of course, the weight loss is there, but you also get endorphins which improves your mood. Yoga tones up your muscles and all that stretching and deep breathing relieves stress. Your skin clears up and glows from within and you have more stamina to get through your schedule.

Fitness is like marriage. You can’t cheat on it and expect it to work.

Bonnie Pfiester

If you can spare 2 hours for Facebook you can definitely manage 1 hour for the workout. Please think seriously about this.

Walking is the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.

Carrie Latet

I reduced 10 kg in one year by walking for one hour and yoga for one hour.

Health risks linked to obesity or overweight

Excess weight leads to obesity. If our BMI is 30 or higher we should start exercising immediately to lose weight because it may lead to many risks. Friends, what are you waiting for ? Plan your exercise schedule if want to lead healthy life. Obesity can cause

  • Heart disease and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Breathing problems

Precautions:

Don’t Start doing yoga by yourself initially, learn yoga poses from trained yoga expert. If you are suffering from any disease don’t forget to consult your doctor before starting a new workout or yoga.

Let me know about your weight loss journey and share your tips in the comments section.

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The new cure for high blood pressure

Blood pressure is like trust. It’s silent, vital to good health and if abused, it can be deadly.

Frank K Sonnenberg

High blood pressure or hypertension is a silent killer. It is a major condition that can lead to heart problems and stroke. Ideally, Blood Pressure should be lower than 120/80.

Reasons responsible for High Blood Pressure

Eating too much salt, being overweight, sedentary lifestyle or even taking certain medications can cause high blood pressure as a side effect.

One in 5 Young adults in India have high blood pressure and one in 3 young adults have high blood pressure in the USA.

Even I have faced blood pressure issues. It all started when I began experiencing severe headaches. Initially, I thought that the headache must be due to acidity, so I took fruit salts like ENO but they didn’t seem to work. I went to a nearby clinic to get a check-up. The doctor took my blood pressure as a routine check and it was 145/90. The doctor prescribed some drugs that would help lower my Blood Pressure. I knew that once I start with the medication, I’ll be dependant on them. I consulted my father, who even at the age of 72 is fine and dandy. He gave me a few methods on how to control high blood pressure which I want to share with you.

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Ways to lower blood pressure levels

  • Increase activity and exercise more

Increasing activity also increases our heart and breathing rates. Over time our heart gets stronger and pumps with less effort. 40 minutes moderate to vigorous physical activity sessions 3 to 4 times per week is required. You don’t have to run a marathon. We can increase our activity in the following ways:

  • Using the stairs instead of a lift where possible
  • Walking to nearby places instead of driving
  • Doing household chores
  • Gardening
  • 10000 steps per day is required.
Brisk walking
Jogging
  • Lose weight

Try to lose weight if you’re overweight. Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates.

  • Eat more potassium and less sodium

Increase your potassium intake and cutting back on salt also lower your blood pressure. Potassium lessens the effect of salt in your system.

Diets rich in potassium may be harmful to the kidney, so talk to your doctor before increasing potassium intake. Foods naturally high in potassium are:

Milk, yoghurt, fish. Fruits like bananas, apricots, avocados and oranges.

  • Eat less or no processed food

These foods have extra salt so avoid eating them. Eat home-cooked food.

  • Stop smoking

Smoking causes an immediate but temporary increase in blood pressure and increase in heart rate. Later on, it causes high blood pressure.

  • Mid day Naps According to cardiologist Dr Manolis Kallistratos from Greece 30 to 50 minutes mid day nap lowers your blood pressure to 5mm hg. Friends do not feel guilty if you sleep for 50 minutes in afternoon.
  • Reduce stress

We are living in a stressful era. Workplace and family demands are now contributing to stress. But we have to find ways to de-stress ourselves which is important for our health and blood pressure. Read a book, watch a comedy show, listen to music or just dance. This will help reduces stress.

  • Yoga and meditation

Yoga and meditation are very helpful in reducing stress. Yoga comprises of breathing control, posture which is very effective in reducing stress and blood pressure.

Camel pose
  • Lastly, take prescription medication

If your blood pressure is very high or doesn’t decrease even on making these lifestyle changes, take prescribed drugs. Drugs have side effects so lifestyle modifications are the cornerstone for treatment of high blood pressure.

So readers, what are you waiting for? Start becoming active from now. If I can lower my blood pressure you can also. We just need to chalk out a plan and follow it meticulously.

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How you can look young forever

Yoga has a sly, clever way of short circuiting the mental pattern that causes anxiety.

Baxter Bell

Today people are spending their hard-earned money on purchasing creams and serums to enhance their facial beauty. These companies promise to give you wrinkle-free skin, fairer skin etc. Readers, don’t ever believe them. A large number of Beauty parlours are sprouting up. They make false promises of making you glow in 1 hour. Please don’t listen to them. People of the high-income group are going for Botox and cosmetic surgery to look younger, these have severe side effects. Ageing gracefully can be dreaded statement in this world of innumerable ageing creams and serums loaded with chemicals.

Glowing skin by yoga

Our face works hard

It helps us see, breath, chew, speak, laugh, cry, grin, smile, frown, etc. It gets hit by the sun, rain, wind, snow, scratches. Face is the mirror of the whole body. Whatever is going inside our body and mind gets reflected on the face. The face absorbs and stores a lot of tension. To help relieve facial tension we need exercise. We need to be fit and healthy for the face to glow. By applying makeup or beauty creams, we can beautify our face for a short time. Try to keep yourself away from all artificial things and go the natural way.

Breathing exercises and yoga are the best way to make your skin glow with zero monetary investment. With yoga, you can get rid of fine lines and fat from your face that too chemical-free.

Mother of two younge children

Yoga means addition- addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.

Amit Ray
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Benefits of yoga on skin and whole body

  • Yoga is a holistic approach to health and well being.

Yoga helps in keeping muscles of the face tighter, rejuvenated, fresher, looking younger, lesser sag, just as yoga does to the muscles all over the body, by giving oxygen to the facial muscles.

  • Helps slow down the aging process

As we grow older, we witness fine lines and wrinkles forming with time and this makes us look aged. With yoga, we can get rid of these fine lines eventually and get tighter and toned skin.

  • Helps release tension

Yoga helps us be calm. Inhale the future exhale the past. Our sedentary lifestyles have led us to sit at one place for more than 8 hours leading excessive tension on spinal cord, neck and core muscles. Yoga helps release tension in these areas and help us relax.

  • Helps eliminate double chin

If you hate looking at the mirror with a dreaded double chin, yoga might be just the perfect deal. Neck exercises can help us deal with the stubborn fat on the chin.

Yoga can get you naturally glowing skin and toned facial muscles. You don’t need any anti-ageing surgeries and other chemical interventions. Sweat today, smile tomorrow. I follow this. I rarely go to a beauty parlour and have faith in yoga. The secret of my beauty and youth is only yoga.

When I used to go for my Yoga class, people had the impression that I was recently married and didn’t have any children. Being regular with Yoga has kept all my signs of ageing at bay.

Yoga poses for glowing skin

Bow pose (Dhanurasana)

Shoulder stand (sarvangasana)

Shoulder Stand

Sun Salutation ( surya namaskar)

Ushtrasana (camel pose)

Camel pose

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