Friday, July 26, 2019

Night Owl Turns Into An Angry Bird!

Isn't that true? If you do not sleep for an entire night,  just like an owl, and next day you sure are going to turn into an Angry Bird!

Sleep is very important for our Physical and Mental health. Sleep impacts our thinking and our memory. Lethargy and daytime fatigue are also very common when we have less or no sleep. Also, it doesn’t take long for the poor sleep to affect our gut. Like food, good healthy sleep is also very important for the overall good health. 

Sleep Deprivation:
Sleep deprivation, also known as insufficient sleep or sleeplessness, is the condition of not having enough sleep.
 Sleep deprivation may lead to further problems with higher-level functions, such as planning, organization, and judgment.

Signs of Sleep Deprivation:
• yawning,
•depressed mood.
•difficulty learning new concepts.
•inability to concentrate or a "fuzzy" head.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on your Mind and Body:

1. Digestion and Sleep Connection: 
Often we tend to eat out on weekends or delve in eating junk food, and then our digestion goes for a toss. Insomnia and digestive problems are interrelated. Digestion problems like heartburn, constipation, stomach pain all these problems lead to insomnia.
If you’re prone to digestion issues, you’re likely to have trouble sleeping. And, if you have trouble sleeping, it is likely that your digestion will get affected.

2. Microbiome and Sleep are related:
Microbiome is referred as the second brain as it is home to a nervous system and 100 million neurons. The nervous system of the microbiome communicates with the brain and CNS, Central Nervous System, which helps to regulate hormone production, immune system function, digestion and stress responses.  These microbiomes are also found in intestine which produces and releases many sleep – influencing neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin which is also produced by the brain. Melatonin is produced in the gut as well as in the brain. 

According to Researchers, Preliminary evidence indicates that microorganisms and circadian genes can interact with each other. The characteristics of the gastrointestinal microbiome and metabolism are related to the host's sleep and circadian rhythm. Moreover, emotion and physiological stress can also affect the composition of the gut microorganisms. The gut microbiome and inflammation may be linked to sleep loss, circadian misalignment, affective disorders, and metabolic disease. In this review article, we discuss various functions of the gut microbiome and how its activities interact with the circadian rhythms and emotions of the host. ncbi
Hence these microbiome in our body along with different bacteria and other microbes has an effect on our mental and physical health which in turn influences our mood, immune system, sleep and various chronic disease.

3. Constipation and Sleep: 
When we eat junk food, or any unhealthy food which is less in fiber and more in saturated fat. Such unhealthy foods will result in constipation. Mental stress can lead to constipation as well. Too much stress can upset your gut and thus can make your constipation even worst.
Experts also think that levels of serotonin, a chemical your body makes, play a role in the movement of your bowels, along with affecting your mood.  

4. Sleep, Mood, Anxiety interconnected:
The vagus nerve is one of the biggest nerves connecting your gut and brain. It sends signals in both directions. In line, there is preliminary evidence for gut bacteria to have beneficial effect on mood and anxiety, partly by affecting the activity of the vagus nerve. ncbi.
Lethargy and daytime fatigue, are also common side effects of sleep disturbances.

Rules and Remedies for a Good Sound Sleep:
1.Set up Daily Bedtime Routine: 
Go to bed early and get up early. Do not stay up late. Try to complete all the tasks before bedtime. Try to hit the bed half an hour before your bedtime. Do not browse electronics on the bed. Make your bed no electronics zone. Maintain this strict discipline on the bed. It will help you in the long run for more peaceful sleep and in turn good peaceful life. keep the bedroom quiet, dark and a comfortably cool temperature.

2.Eat healthy food:

 Include lot of greens, fiber, fruits, easy to digest foods in your daily diet. Try to avoid frozen foods which has tones of preservatives, processed foods which are harmful for your gut. Such unhealthy foods make you constipated. Keep your gut free from artificial colors and preservatives. Try to eat fresh and healthy food. Best foods to overcome constipation are Berries, peaches, apricots, plums, raisins and prunes which are high in fiber. Avoid too much sugary foods, refined flours. Enjoy whole grains. Foods that are healthy gives you good sound sleep. Having a glass of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric and nutmeg powder can give you sound sleep. If someone in allergic or sensitive to lactose can have green tea before bedtime. Avoid alcohol if you have constipation. Alcohol if consumed in large quantities can cause dehydration which further leads to constipation.

3.Exercise regularly during the day: 
Maintain daily exercise routine for maintaining good physical health.

4.Avoid Stress during bedtime:
Avoid stressful discussions or too emotional issues during bedtime. 

5.Practice Anulom Vilom: 
Also known as the alternate breathing technique, is excellent for respiratory problems and asthma. It facilitates proper functioning of the lungs, mitigates stress, lifts up your mood and keeps stress at bay. This yoga pose is perfect for all ages.

Benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayam. Not just Yogis know anulom vilom pranayama benefits. Scientists also have discovered through a research that the nasal cycle corresponds with brain function. The electrical activity of the brain was found to be greater on the side opposite the less congested nostril.
Anulom Vilom or Alternate Nostril Breathing is an excellent breathing exercise to balance the right and left side of the brain and to calm down your thoughts. While practicing Anulom Vilom, keep your focus on your breath, following each movement of your breath.

How to do Anulom Vilom:  

- If you begin from the left then close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly to fill up your lungs.
- Now, exhale slowly from the right nostril.
- It is essential to focus on your breath and practice the technique slowly.
- Repeat 60 times or for 5 minutes. You can do this any time of the day.

6.Bedtime Relaxation Technique:
- Have a cup of herbal tea which can put you to sleep (chamomile, green tea, peppermint tea, yogi tea, tulsi tea, Brahmi tea all that keeps you relax).
- Massage your foot with oil, rub a coconut oil, or sesame oil to your feet, gently massage the foot with your fingers for 4-5 minutes. It instantly relaxes you.
- Have a warm bath with Epsom salt, alternatively, you may just soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salt in it. It also helps in relaxing your mind.
- Listen to very soothing music like waterfall, rain, or simple relaxing instrument.
- Some people do believe meditation at night helps to get peaceful sleep. Meditation is very powerful tool to calm our mind down. Hence, meditating just for 5-6 minutes before bedtime can go a long way.

Sleep also appears to be necessary to prepare the brain for learning. When the brain is deprived of sleep, it is difficult to concentrate and form new memories. Lack of sleep disrupts the brain's ability to balance emotions and thinking abilities, lowers the body's natural defenses, and increases the chances of developing chronic medical problems. So lets keep ourselves healthy with good healthy food and good sound sleep. 
Therefore, DO NOT be night owls, have a good night sleep and turn yourself into a happy Songbird in the morning, chirping all day stress-free with positive energy.

Friday, July 19, 2019

ADHD and Ayurveda

“Ok bye Mom”. [Why is the bus so crowded today? Do I talk to the person next to me? Did mom really mean what she said yesterday? Did I carry my colored pencils today? I loved that chocolate cake yesterday..I can have that once I go back home. Is mom and dad going to get separated? Will I be able to learn math today? Ok whatever. I hate math. I love softball. I am going to watch Star Wars today. Ok so I have great imaginations but I often get yelled at. I like to do things at my own pace. So, people have problem with that. But I can build those LEGO pieces in minutes with great focus].
Racing thoughts, all thoughts at the same time without any sequence or occasion. This is an example of what happens in an ADHD kids’ brain. They constantly think unrelated things either alone or simply in the middle of a conversation. Too many ideas at a time. They cannot think steady. They are often like wanderers. Thus, this leads to the forgetfulness, lack of concentration, and difficulties with prioritizing tasks.
This overthinking makes them away from the rest of the world. But this does not make them less intelligent. Some ADHD Children have creative and active ADHD brain. Often, we mistaken their high-power energy with some disease like ADD or ADHD. As parents, we do not approve of such behavior. We quickly want an easy solution to stop that hyper energy. In doing so we are further punishing them and damaging their natural brains with highly chemical stimulants which is not good for them in the long run. As parents we want shortcuts, something which can stop our kids’ behavior immediately and focus their attention on studies. 

Dr. Thomas Brown author of Attention Deficit Disorder, suggests ADD effects the executive functions of the brain, “getting started, shifting focus, making an effort, being persistent, being organized, managing time, managing frustration, and retrieving things from memory”, can all be compromised when suffering from ADD.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says that 5 percent of American Children have ADHD. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the number at more than double the APA’s number. The CDC says that 11 percent of American children ages 4 to 17, have attention disorder. This is a growing problem with 3 million US cases per year.
ADHD evaluations driven mainly by Parents, not Educators, Says CDC Report Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 65 percent of the time, a family member is the one who first has concerns about a child's behavior, according to a survey of households with children ages  0 to 17.

What is ADHD?
ADHD is a disorder that makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. He or she may also be restless and almost constantly active.

• Have a hard time paying attention.
• Daydream a lot.
• Do not seem to listen.
• Are easily distracted from schoolwork or play.
• Forget things.
• Are in constant motion or unable to stay seated.

Causes of ADHD:
Heredity is the most common cause of ADHD. Other risk factors for ADHD have to do with factors that can influence brain development and functioning such as exposure to toxic substances in the developing fetus and acquired brain injury due to trauma or disease.

Treatment for ADHD with Modern Science.
Some Common Stimulants for ADHD:

Most families prefer stimulant medications.
Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, ProCentra, Zenzedi)
Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

Side effects and disadvantages of Stimulant Medications:
According to a study reported by the American College Of Neuropsychopharmacology, long-term use of the popular ADHD drug Ritalin can potentially result in serious brain injury.
Chemically similar to cocaine, the short-term side effects of Ritalin include “nervousness, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, headache, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and psychosis.” It was thought that Ritalin had limited long-term effects, but a past study recorded in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed this not to be the case.
Another study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that Ritalin causes physical changes in neurons in reward regions of mouse brains and these effects were similar to the long-term side effects of cocaine. When placed together, the three studies implied that the long-term side effects of Ritalin include both the onset of clinical depression and potential brain injury to the frontal lobes.

However, with increased awareness of natural treatments, People have realized the importance of natural treatment. Natural treatments do not have side effects. It takes a lot of time and effort but it does work.

Ayurveda on ADHD
The inability to keep a steady thought stream or focus, is described in the Caraka Samhita as one of twenty main blocks of Vata in the body.  In chapter  XXVIII  verse 198, The Caraka Samhita states, “ If vyana-vayu is occluded by prana-vayu, then there will be loss of all the senses, and there will loss of memory as well as strength". (ref.
Ayurveda believes in overall health of an individual which means that just not the mind which needs attention but, the mind, body and soul. For example, when you are diagnosed with ADHD by your Physiatrist and if later you decide to go to an Ayurvedic doctor, both these doctors would have a different viewpoint regarding this disease. While your allopathic doctor might prescribe you Retaline or any medicine which is common to most ADHD person. Your Ayurvedic doctor might not even use the term as ADHD and start with diagnosing your physical body and your mental condition this is because according to Ayurveda, mind and body are connected and thus if any one of these got affected is because the other got ignored. Hence, the Ayurvedic doctor will provide natural herbs and good diet which is according to your dosha. These herbs come with no side effects. It comes with only positive effects on the mind and body and soul.

Knowing Vata, Pitta, and Kapha (The Doshas):

Vata governs Movement and Communication.
Pitta oversees Digestion and Transformation.
Kapha provides Cohesiveness, Structure, and Lubrication.

Vata: Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and movement of thought across the mind. Located in the brain, head, throat, heart and respiratory organs.
Pitta: Pitta represents the energy of transformation and is therefore closely aligned with the fire element. Pitta is closely related to intelligence, understanding, and the digestion of foods, thoughts, emotions, and experiences; it governs nutrition and metabolism, body temperature, and the light of understanding.
Kapha: Kapha governs moistening and liquefying of the food in the initial stages of digestion. Located in the upper part of the stomach. Governs lubrication of the heart and lungs. Governs calmness, happiness and stability. 

Tips for Balancing Vata:
Vata imbalance typically begins in the digestive tract, where vata has accumulated as a result of a vata-aggravating diet or lifestyle. This might involve eating foods that are dry, rough, or difficult to digest. This in turn increases vata and can lead to dry conditions like constipation or dry skin.

In order to manage ADHD symptoms, one needs to follow these vata balancing diet. 
To keep Vata in balance, favor the sweet, sour and salty tastes and avoid bitter, pungent and astringent foods.
• Give fresh food to your child. A big NO to frozen foods, processed foods, and foods with preservatives.
• Favor naturally sweet foods like fruits, most whole grains are good for Vata but no refined flour like all purpose flour which is difficult to digest. Milk, ghee, fresh yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds, oils and lean meats are good for Vata.

You can take your Dosha quiz here 

I am not an expert, I would suggest you to go to these sites and get the maximum information on balancing your Doshas and also consult a good Ayurvedic doctor for treatment.

There are certain foods that you need to avoid irrespective of whether you are on Allopathy, homeopathy, and or Ayurvedic medication/treatment for ADHD. Maintaining good healthy diet goes a long way in managing ADHD.  Avoid certain foods that are unhealthy for a person with ADHD. There is no use of treating with medications of any kind if you keep eating unhealthy food and ruin your system. 

1. Sugar: Today sugar is in everything that you eat. American families start their day with cereal, baked foods like muffins, donuts which are sugar based. Of course, there are healthy ones too like eggs, bacon, ham etc. However, replacing sugar with honey or maple syrup is a better option than refined sugar. Sugar is definitely not good for the ADHD brain. It can fluctuate your energy levels and indirectly affects your focus. It is not the cause of ADHD however, It can trigger ADHD symptoms. 

2. Caffeine and Soft drinks: Caffeine can also interact negatively with stimulant medication. In fact, most Doctors advice ADHD kids to stay away from caffeine and aerated drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant; it enhances dopamine and increases focus and alertness. However, people should also know that this alertness is temporary, it wears off after some time and you may feel restless once it wears off. Kids who drink coke and other aerated drinks, enjoy the drink and feel alert, however, it is temporary after some time they might go into anxiety or restless since suddenly there is a increase and then decrease in dopamine level. It is better to cut off aerated drinks and coffee from your diet.

3. Technology fasting: Yes, there can be something like technology fasting, especially for ADHD kids. Today most kids are glued to their cell phones texting or playing games. Too must exposure to electronics agitates their nervous system. Decide on a particular day and let your kids take a break from all the technology (I know it is difficult but reward them for this) Give rest to their senses for a day. Let them know you would also sacrifice watching TV for a day. It works! This helps to give rest to our senses and also cleanse the mind. Electronics gadgets like Xbox, iPhone, iPad, stimulates the senses, and is toxic to the mind. Time out the devices for your kids. They would not listen but as parents we need to be strict on such rules for it is going to benefit our kids. Also do not let them sleep with their phones or iPad, let them charge their electronics in some other room. Schedule strict time-outs for technology.

4. Unhealthy food:
Red Dye: European Union has required warning labels on foods with artificial dyes stating that they may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children. especially Red Dye #4).
When an influential study combined synthetic food dyes with the preservative sodium benzoate, it found increased hyperactivity. You might find sodium benzoate in carbonated drinks, salad dressings, and condiments. Other chemical preservatives to look for are:
  butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  sodium nitrate
  tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
You can experiment by avoiding these additives one at a time and seeing if it impacts your behavior. (ref.
Some children may also be sensitive to Wheat, milk, peanuts, eggs, treenuts, and soy. It is however, very important to diagnose your child’s sensitivities and allergies with a good doctor. 

5. Enroll your child in some Sports Activities:
This is important for a hyperactive kid as ADHD kids needs to release their energies in the right direction. hence, enroll them in some sports that they like. basketball, softball, swimming all are good releasing your energy but also improves overall health of the child.

Be patient with your child when giving alternative treatment because alternative treatment takes time and cooperation from the entire family. Just remember to not let your child feel he is compromising too much on things. Give them the best alternative, spend time with them. Give them lot of positive strokes and assure him/her that the alternate plans are working very well.

Today most people are adopting Yoga and Ayurveda as an alternative therapy for ADHD. According to Ayurveda, ADHD can be cured with ayurvedic diet, tonic herbs, control of senses and devotion. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Proactive Mental Health

Did you STOP at the amber traffic light today? Many views amber light as a “hurry up” light and race to get through the intersection before the light turns red. This is when collisions happen. But, amber means ‘Start Stopping’. 
Well this is no traffic coaching. Just like these cautions  on the road, how many of us use cautions in our life situations? When there are difficult situations in life, some people tend to be in a hurry, their emotional life tends to be like a roller coaster, they hurry to explode with anger before even stopping and thinking about the consequences. Such people are quick to show their reaction and in doing so they lose self-control. These are the signs of reactive people.

Intuitively, we should take the same proactive approach when it comes to our mental wellness. Like the amber light which cautions us that the signal is about to turn red, and that we need to start to slow down and stop. We need to take the same proactive approach when it comes to our mood swings.
In mental health, the word “Proactive” plays a vital role. When we have mood swings, we do not try our best to control it or manage it, we get drowned in our own emotions and then once the episode is over, there comes the guilt! You are having a roller coaster ride with your emotions and not just you, but you take your entire family on an emotional roller coaster ride. A ride which you decide how long you want and when to stop. You’re reactive!
The word “reactive” implies that you don’t have the initiative. You let the events set the agenda. You’re tossed and turned, so to speak, by the tides of life. Each new wave catches you by surprise. Huffing and puffing, you scramble to react to it in order to just stay afloat. 

When you are Proactive you can: 
• Manage impulsive feelings and distressing emotions well.
• Stay composed, positive and unflappable even in situations which are not under control.
• Think clearly and stay focused under pressure.
When you are proactive, you make good choices about how you respond to something happening. You are always ready with a calm attitude when things don’t go your way, you aren’t happy but you stay calm. 
There are endless differences and we would end up only talking and doing nothing about it. You might have loads of insight; it would not help you if you do not turn that into action. Being proactive is not a difficult quality; it is a choice or way of dealing with things that we can develop.

There is no better way than being Proactive when you are in Mental illness. There are various ways how you can manage your Mental Health Proactively:

• Be very regular in your medication:
Medication is the core in getting balanced in your mental illness. Taking medication regularly at the same time, speeds up the process towards healing.
Most medications come with side effects, know those side effects beforehand and try to work on those side effects. For example, if you are taking medications like Paxil (just an example, not a prescription advice), some of its side effects include insomnia (sleep problems), anxiety. So, if you can work on these side effects beforehand, they would be less chance of those side effects. For insomnia, you can avoid naps in the afternoon, have herbal sleep tea just before bedtime at night.  Avoid phones, iPad near bed. Listen to nice soothing music, or simply do a 5-7 minutes meditation which would help you sleep. 

• Keep a log on your Mood Swings:
I know it is weird, but believe me it works. It can work as an encouragement for you. Everyday, decide to not get angry or irritated on small matters. There are two aspects in this, you get mood swings and then you go into guilt. Guilt makes you more depressed. So, it is a cycle, you get angry and then you feel guilty. Break that cycle, mood swings will be there, accept it, learn and move on! do not go into guilt. Let your family know that this will happen sometimes. But also assure them that you are working on it. If you keep your log on moods, you will be counting on the episodes and if you figure out any large gap between the episodes, that would be encouraging for you to continue the same diet, behavior and sleep pattern.

• Food and mental health are connected:
The mood-food connection is ever-rising. What you eat is what you are (what your mood will be). Our physical health is an integral part of our mental health. Unhealthy eating patterns can cause mood swings. For example, The Aspartame in Diet Coke can really do a doozey on those with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Aspartame is a dangerous chemical that contributes to neurotoxicity.
A new study found that those who drink a fair amount of sweetened sodas and fruit drinks – whether diet or regular – have an increased risk of depression. The study was presented in 2013, at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in San Diego.
The proactive approach would be to stop all carbonated drinks and switch to a healthier option. Even consuming too much refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries cause blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly. This can also lead to mood swings. Eat fresh and healthy food to improve your mental health.


Proactive people have better self-Control and therefore can focus on problems/situation which have no control, and think ahead of consequences, look for alternatives, and try the best plan ahead.
Red Light 
1. Stop, calm down and think before you act

Amber Light

1. Set a positive goal
2. Think of lots of solutions
3. Think ahead to the consequences

 Green Light 

1. Go ahead and try the best plan

 So next time you are driving, stop at the amber light, and use the time to think how you are going to use this amber light in your life situations. Remember, you have a choice, to slow down, stop and think about the consequences, plan and think ahead, be proactive.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How to Deal with Bullying

There was a tragic death of 12 year old Shukri Yahya Abdi, a Somali refugee who came to the UK alongside her mother and siblings for a better quality of life and safety and instead was a victim of bullying at the Broad oak High School, Bury, Greater Manchester, a town (formerly in Lancashire).,where potential failures to protect this student by staff may have inadvertently led to her death last week. The girl seems to have made various complaints about bullying to the school, however, the complaint was overlooked by the school authority. The child was helpless and thus took her life. There is a petition on ( which promotes reform of the schooling system, so incidence like this won’t happen again to any other student.
This is a case which happened in the United Kingdom. However, in the United States there are also cases of bullying which takes place in schools. There are preventive measures taken by Schools. But the bullying does exist.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s national survey of student safety in secondary schools, 16 percent of all students reported being the subject of rumors, and 5 percent reported being excluded from activities on purpose within the past school year. Approximately 4 percent of students reported being the targets of cyberbullying, including acts intended to damage social relationships or status. Specifically, 2 percent reported that hurtful information had been posted about them online, and 9 percent reported that they had been deliberately excluded from online activities (Nieman, 2011).

What is Bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

Bullies are like pack of hyenas they may not attack individually; they may always run in packs. One person will start and others will follow that person blindly. They just want to be seen as part of the dominant group; they will follow the dominant leader and do as their leader says.

Types of Bullying
There are five types of bullying:

1. Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
  • Teasing
  • Name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm

2. Social Bullying: Research and school-based prevention practices have generally focused on the more visible and widely recognized forms of physical and verbal bullying. However, as public understanding of youth bullying behavior continues to evolve, definitions have been expanded to recognize social bullying as an important form of youth aggression.
Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
  • Leaving someone out on purpose
  • Telling other children not to be friends with someone.
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Embarrassing someone in public
3. Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
  • Hitting/kicking/pinching
  • Spitting
  • Tripping/pushing
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Making mean or rude hand gestures.
 4. Cyberbullying: With growing technology like Instagram, snapchats, Facebook etc. teens have engaged themselves in communicating through these sources. Most teens have become addicted to technology. They have created their own world around these technology.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:
• Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
• SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
• Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
• Email

5. Sexual bullying/Harassment:
 Just like other kinds of bullying, sexual harassment can involve comments, gestures, actions, or attention that is intended to hurt, offend, or intimidate another person. The bully can pass comments on person’s appearance, body parts, sexual orientation, or sexual activity. The harasser can verbally abuse the person or use technology to harass him/her sexually. For example, by sending inappropriate text messages, pictures, or videos. Sometimes, a bully can try to take sexual advances too. Sexual harassment happens usually in teens. 

Where and When Bullying Happens:
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet.

A child is being bullied in school.
Contact the:
1. Teacher
2. School counselor
3. School principal
4. School superintendent
• School superintendent
• State Department of Education
• U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
State Department of Education

Someone is feeling hopeless, helpless, thinking of suicide.So
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  online or at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in our national network. These centers provide 24-hour crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

What Can I Do?
There are many things that you can do if you're being bullied or know someone who is. You can:
• Talk to your parents immediately once you are been bullied. Speak to your teachers, school counselors. Parents should see to it that they address the issue as soon as possible. Always email the teachers and school principal about the incident so you have the complain documented. School would also take action immediately when they have an email in hand. If not you can escalate the matter further.  

• I know it is difficult but you can always try ignoring the bullies by walking in front of them as if nothing happened, just ignore them completely. Do not respond to their comments.
• As I said earlier, bullies are like hyenas they work in packs, and you are all alone so don’t try to go to them when they are in group.  Just try to stay away and ignore them. But, let me tell you that you are the Lion, so do not fear these hyenas. They are not strong enough so bullying is their way of releasing all negative energy/emotions. Do not feel bad but put a brave face and move on.
• Talk to your school counselor or teacher, and Parents. They would definitely give you support and address the issue.
Schools and classrooms must offer students a safe learning environment. Teachers and coaches need to explicitly remind students that bullying is not accepted in school and such behaviors will have consequences. Creating an anti-bullying document and having both the student and the parents/guardians sign and return it to the school office helps students understand the seriousness of bullying.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Dealing with Passive-Aggressive in a Relationship

Alex took his family for a vacation on a cruise. His parents were supposed to join in, but his parents did not want to go with him and his family. Well, his relationship with his parents had some cracks which affects Alex on vacations and family functions. Alex however, got his wife Lisa and two kids, who enjoyed the cruise. Alex asks Lisa, Honey! Did you like it? Lisa says of course I loved it. I wish they had more menu options in the dining restaurant ”. Alex confirms again, “so you did not like it, you mean?”. Liza says “no of course I loved it, I love to be in the cruise with you”.
That day Alex gave a detached feeling to Lisa. He was with her all the time but not there mentally. He was sulking from inside. In the evening, Lisa wore a nice dress and asks Alex if he wants to join in for a musical night at the cruise. Alex with a sullen face refuses and says “oh no! You go ahead, I will be checking with the Casino here, it seems to be good”. She had no clue what’s going on. She asks Alex if there is anything wrong. Alex is fuming mad from inside but holds his feelings instead he refuses and says with a smile “nothing wrong, just go ahead, you will be late for the show”. Well there! Lisa gets angry with this silent treatment with no intimacy. Alex however, shows surprise and with a smile says, there is nothing wrong. He is also relieved that finally the anger is out. That anger coming from Lisa is his anger. Alex was angry all this while but did not know how to express it, for him expressing anger is bad. He had been misunderstanding that Lisa did not appreciate the cruise and did not appreciate his efforts for this vacation plan. Alex is indeed Passive Aggressive. But, hush! Do not tell him this directly. Do not use this label. They hate labels.  Let’s find out how to deal with such passive-aggressive people in a more empathetic and assertive way.

Passive-aggressiveness is behavior that involves using indirect aggression towards others.

Who are Passive-aggressive people?
There is a general perception among people that Passive-aggressive people are cold and emotionless, that’s not true, most Passive-aggressive people are emotional and empathetic towards others. however, they do not know how to express anger.
Most Passive-aggressive people are highly intelligent. They are logical, so if you happen to argue or fight with them, they would fight with you logically, never emotionally. They do not know how to confront emotionally. But inside they have that feeling, those emotions which they want to express but something holds them back.
Passive-aggressiveness, as the word indicates, is a tendency to engage in indirect expression of hostility through acts such as subtle insults, sullen behavior, failure to accomplish required tasks.

Causes of Passive-Aggressive Behavior
The exact cause of passive-aggressive behavior isn’t known. However, both biological and environmental factors may contribute to the development of passive-aggressive behavior.

Researchers believe people who exhibit passive-aggressive behaviors begin doing so in childhood. Parenting style, family dynamics, and other childhood influences may be contributing factors. Child abuse, neglect, and harsh punishment can also cause a person to develop passive-aggressive behaviors. Substance abuse and low self-esteem are also thought to lead to this type of behavior.

Some common Passive-aggressive behavioral pattern:
1. Silent Treatment:
In the above Scenario, Alex is angry and cannot confront directly with his wife Lisa. Hence, he gives her a silent treatment. Well, that’s the worst thing your loved ones can do to you. But there are more subtle ways that a person may subject you to the silent treatment. You may not be able to even spot it. He may be there with you, converse with you but at the same time give you the feelings of detachment through his non-verbal gestures and at times lack of intimacy in a very subtle way which only you can notice. However, if you bring up the point, you may be accused of blaming him for no faults of his/her. Because Passive-aggressive are very good at arguing logically. They might just accuse you of finding faults in them. Since it is so much at a subtle level you may not be able to explain him/her that he/she may be hurting your feelings.
What to do:
The most effective approach is to ignore their behavior and pretend nothing happened. When you do not react that’s when they stop, they know it is not working for them. Another approach is to give them lots of assurance that you appreciate him/her and that you love him/her. Go at an emotional level and talk to them, ask them what is the hurt, is anything bothering them. Sometimes, Passive-aggressive stems from past emotional hurt which leads to low self-esteem. You have to constantly give your partner positive strokes to maintain their self-esteem. 

2. Subtle insults
Subtle insults are worst than upfront insults. A subtle insult could be with regards to your weakest points. For example, your friend visits your home and she is a working woman, you are not working, you are a home maker. When your partner subtly insults you by praising your friend overly, that she is working really hard and managing both work and house, it is challenging and it needs great efforts.  Now, isn’t this subtle? most of you might not even guess if this is an insult. Well, there you go! It is difficult to spot.
What to do:
You cannot ignore such behavior as it might affect you psychologically. You might at some point go into depression and mood swings.
Ideally, you and your partner can get to a place where you feel secure enough in your relationship that you can change your boundaries without fear of losing yourself or the relationship. 

3. Failure to finish tasks:
Starting projects and not finishing, but also sulking when someone else finishes what they haven’t. Competing tasks late or slowly even if others are waiting.

What to do:
Set clear expectations. The most effective way to manage is to set crystal clear expectations at the very outset of an interaction and to never assume that the passive-aggressive person understands your instructions fully. Be sure to review your expectations before the deadline many times, so he/she knows that you are expecting him to finish task before the deadline.

4. Withholding:
Withholding communication, refusal to talk or discuss the problem is another form of expressing anger and asserting power passively. They may refuse to talk things out, they may play the victim game and say “you’re always right”, shutting down the discussion. They retain their power with silent treatment or material/financial support, affection, or sex. This undermines intimacy as a way to fight against their dependency.
What to do:
You might feel angry, powerless, confused when trying to figure out with your partner. But do not react. Never say you are a problem, that you are passive aggressive, they hate labels. You have to be assertive, look from yours as well as others perspective. Do not say words like you hurt me. Do not blame. Empathize with your partner and deal with it assertively. Say something like, "we both need to discuss and resolve this".

The Passive-aggressive person knows he has a problem, they are intelligent enough to know what’s going on inside, however they just do not want to acknowledge it to you. They hate to come out of their idealistic personality who never losses his/her temper. They love their nice man/women image. They think its not good to be angry.
If you genuinely want to save your relationship then do not be passive or aggressive, do not play the game, eye for an eye with them, else at the end you both would suffer. Be assertive, set your boundaries, show love and appreciation from time to time. Don't blame or judge your partner. when you get angry or shout, you escalate conflict and give a chance to your partner to not take his/her responsibilities.  Just make them aware about how it affects the overall harmony of a relationship. Be assertive, confront the issue, not the person, be empathetic towards your partner. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Sweet Poison in our Plate!

What is sugar?
Sugar is sucrose, but what does it look like? Sugar’s chemical structure is quite simple, as far as molecules go. It contains just two molecules, bound together by mother nature: one molecule of glucose is bound to one molecule of fructose.
You will find more detailed information on this website

Types of Sugar:
The various types of sugar are derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose, and galactose. "Table sugar" or "granulated sugar" refers to sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose.
White sugar or granulated sugar, Confectioners or powdered sugar, baker’s special sugar, Coarse sugar, fruit sugar, liquid sugar, invert sugar, brown sugar (light and dark), turbinado sugar, Muscovado sugar etc.
we consume way too much added sugar. Adult men take in an average of 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the National Cancer Institute. That's equal to 384 calories.
the American Heart Association suggests that men consume no more than 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams) of added sugar per day. That is close to the amount in a 12-ounce can of soda.

Where does your added sugar come from?

Where does your added sugar come from?
Food group
Proportion of average intake
Soda/energy/sports drinks
Grain-based desserts
Fruit drinks
Dairy desserts
Ready-to-eat cereals
Yeast breads
Source: CDC, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–06.

Sugar and Mental health:

The food you eat can also have long-term implications on your health. Specifically, eating too much sugar may increase your risk for mood disorders, including depression. Eating too much sugars may increase your risk of depression, mood disorders and several chronic health issues.
A study1 conducted by the University of South Carolina concluded that the more sugar hyperactive children consumed, the more destructive and restless they became. A study2 conducted at Yale University indicates that high-sugar diets may increase inattention in some kids with ADHD.
Sugar occurs naturally in complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and grains. It’s also present in simple, refined foods like pasta, cakes, baked goods, bread, soda, and candy. The typical American diet relies heavily on these easily digestible carbs, and includes far too few complex carbs derived from healthier sources.
We all reach out for sugar when we are stressed.  After a stressful day, when our mood is low, it is easy to reach for a tub of ice cream or similar sugary treat. But evidence of the link between sugar and mental health is mounting - and it's not just sweets that rack up our daily sugar intake.
In 2002, a study of overall sugar consumption per person in six different countries(Canada, France, Germany, Korea, New Zealand, and the United States) - published by Dr. Arthur Westover, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas - implicated sugar as a factor in higher rates of major depression.
Since then, several other research teams have investigated the effect of diet on mental health. For example, consumption of processed and fast food - including hamburgers, pizza, and fried foods - was found to be higher in both youngsters and adults with increased rates of depression.

How to substitute sugar with natural sugar?


Honey not only comes with great taste, but also is loaded with great health benefits. This blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids make it a liquid gold. Try to use honey in shakes or any drinks that you make with sugar, just replace it with honey. Honey has many health benefits when used in moderation, could be of great use:

Cough Suppressant:
Honey is a cough suppressant, reduces throat irritation and aids in sleep: Honey helps with coughs, especially buckwheat honey.

Prevents cancer and heart diseases:
Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help in reducing the risk of different types of cancers and heart diseases.

Natural sweetener:
Sugar can be substituted with honey in many food items and drinks. Honey contains about 69 per cent of glucose and fructose. Honey is used as a sweetener that is better for overall health than normal white sugar. Use honey instead of sugar in your cereals.

Helps in weight-loss: 
Though honey has more calories than sugar, when honey is consumed with warm water, it helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly, honey and lemon juice as well as honey and cinnamon's concoction can help in reducing weight.

Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal in nature:
“All types of honey are antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide," said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

Cures a hangover:
If you are also combating a hangover, worry not! Just grab a bottle of honey and drink it by mixing it with water and let it do it's magic. As honey is gentle on the stomach and contains a mix of natural sugars such fructose, which is known to speed up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver, it acts as a sobering agent.


Jaggery (or gur popularly known in India) is made from unrefined sugar, and is obtained by boiling raw, concentrated sugar cane juice till it solidifies.
Jaggery is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium, which help prevent free radicals (responsible for early ageing). It helps boost resistance against infections, hence building stronger immunity.

Eating jaggery has its own benefits:

Acts as a detox:
It acts as a detox, as it helps cleanse the liver by flushing out nasty toxins from the body.

Prevents constipation:
It prevents constipation by aiding digestion. It activates the digestive enzymes in our body, thus helps in proper digestion of food.

Helps women fight Premenstrual syndrome (PMS):
Eating a piece of jaggery daily can help women combat PMS symptoms including mood swings, menstrual cramps and abdominal pain.

People suffering from diabetes, however, should consume jaggery in moderation, as it is slightly higher in calories (calories up to 4 kcal/gram) and can create fluctuations in blood-sugar levels.

Keep that poison away! Too much refined sugar is harmful to the body and promotes inflammation and disease. Consuming too much added sugar can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation both of which can cause heart disease. Eat healthy and natural sweets with low glycemic levels. Substitute sugar with other natural sweets like honey, jaggery, coconut palm sugar, date sugar and molasses and consume in moderation.