3 Questions to Find the Right Career Direction

 

Ask children what they want to become when they grow up. They all will answer “I want to become a doctor”, “pilot”, “teacher”, and the list will go on. However, this list shrinks as they grow older. It may sound sad, but it is even sadder to be stuck with a job that is not fulfilling your aspirations. Each of us is bestowed with particular talents and personality traits, and they play a major role in our career interests and aptitude different professions.

The process of finding out what you are born to do can be an arduous task without a proper approach to career hunt. It involves asking yourself the following three questions: –

 

  1. How do I define myself?

who am i

 

How do you even begin defining who you are? It’s not quite easy, but not entirely impossible. Just look back at your life so far and find out instances when you have been absolutely passionate and enthusiastic doing something creative. Settle down on one thing that you consider as your greatest accomplishment. Most of the time, it will reveal who you are, what your talents are, and what you want to do with your life.

 

  1. What do I want to do for a living?

work

 

To see if you will truly enjoy a line of work, ask yourself what you will rather do if there is no monetary compensation. This will reveal your interests, which will make it easier to shortlist the possible professions you would enjoy. Go to job fairs and trade shows related to the shortlisted professions, and find out more about the job requirements and responsibilities. Keep track of companies offering jobs in your area of interest, and read employee and client reviews to understand the worst and best-case scenarios in the field of work. By now, you would have shortened your list further, rejecting several possible lines of work.

 

  1. How to seek the right opportunities?

career

 

Have a rough idea of the type of career you want to pursue. Once you have decided, it is time to work out how you want to accomplish it. You have to find out what qualifications can get you there faster, and what kind of skills you must build on to excel in the field. There are more than one way to achieve a goal. So, always have a backup plan for bouncing back if one way isn’t working out as planned. Ask yourself questions like “What will you do if you aren’t accepted into the preferred programme at university?”

When you have satisfactory answers to all the three questions above, it is very likely that your compass is already pointing at the right career direction.

Let us know if these tips have worked for you. Please tell us if you would like to add more to this article. Send your messages on the comments section below.

 

The Causes of Psychological Disorders in the Elderly in India

old-man-1169947

With the rising population of elderly in India, due to rising life expectancy the percentage of the population above the age of 60 is steadily rising. Ageing is a process that affects not only the physical capabilities of an individual, but also the psychosocial aspects of his or her life. To be declared mentally healthy, an individual must not only be psychologically stable, but also be able to use all the cognitive functions and thought process effectively.

In India, due to the changing social and economic realities, the mental health of the elderly is largely neglected. In a typical Indian household, the main factors causing mental health issues in the elderly are: –

  1. Generation Gap-

The race of westernization and the resulting urbanization has severely damaged our traditional joint-family setup, leading the younger generation to belittle the responsibility of taking care of their elderly, and choose an independent nuclear family arrangement to escape from it. The weakening of this social structure has trapped an entire generation of elderly within four walls with no social security from the Government, and no one to share their grief and anxiety with.

  1. Lifestyle Changes –

The ever-expanding generation gap has also brought with it rapid lifestyle changes, that the older generation is unable to cope with. Be it meal timings, choice of food, or quality of sleep, the rapid changes in lifestyle can cause great deal of mental stress in the elderly, which can lead to serious mental health issues.

  1. Loss of Authority and Importance-

Once the head of the family, a parent might expect the same love and respect from his or her children to whom the yoke has been handed over. However, in most cases, with the loss of authority, the elderly are neglected and their requests and wishes are largely ignored by their children. This can lead to severe depression, and resulting memory loss and other physical changes in the elderly population.

  1. Poor Adaptability –

Due to some personality traits, some individuals fail to accept or adapt with the changing lifestyle, and this can often lead to arguments and unnecessary war of words between the elderly and the care givers in the family. This can result in elder abuse by the care giver, which can cause further worsen the mental condition of the elderly.

  1. Bereavement and loss of familiar environment –

Another major factor that affects the mental health of the elderly in the country is losing someone or something familiar. Bereavement or being unable to go back to a familiar setting can cause severe depression in the elderly, which might result in serious mental health issues.

If you are worried about the mental health of your ageing loved one, help is not far. While there are not enough government initiatives in providing adequate mental health care for the elderly, there are online networks like Insighte that can connect you with the brightest counsellors and psychotherapists specialised in handling the mental health of the elderly.

Why you should Love Yourself More and how

love yourself

Are you that nice guy or gal who will go out of your way to be “nice” to someone just to be remembered as “good”, and be loved and respected? If yes, then you would also know the bitterness and the helpless feeling you get at the cold response from the other person. Hey, it is good to be nice! True! However, if you are sacrificing your wants, needs, and desires to walk that extra mile for a special someone, it could do you more harm than good. What you forget is the fact that there is a kind, passionate, intelligent, and creative person craving your love and attention – YOU!

Essentially, you are all that you have in any point in life. What you tend to forget in the frenzy of proving your “niceness” to others is that you are more important to you than anyone else in your life. Sounding a little narcissistic? Nah. A little selfish maybe. And why not? At the end of the day, your existence would be meaningful if only you have around you what you want for yourself. You are invaluable to yourself. You must love yourself more. When you love yourself, you will have happiness within you, and other people would crave to take part in it.

Here are 5 steps to recover from your self-destructive “niceness” misadventure, and love yourself more: –

  1. Stop Worrying too much

Worries are good if they are constructive, but most often they are not! Stop worrying too much about anything. Stop worrying too much about what people expects of you. Focus on what you want from life and not what others want you to do. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for yourself in a sea of expectations, but the virtue of being true to yourself is much greater than sacrificing yourself to achieve someone else’s expectations.

  1. Bid Goodbye Unrealistic Expectations

Keep your ambitions and expectations simpler and achievable. When you find yourself completing each of them one by one, you will find greater satisfaction and happiness than you would have otherwise. If you have set your eyes on a massive goal, break it down into smaller ones and climb the ladder one step at a time. Be “nice” to yourself for once, and keep manageable expectations for yourself.

  1. Shake off the dust, and Rise!

You need to love yourself more when you fall. Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself when you face a failure. Shake off the dust and rise like a child learning to walk. You will get there eventually. Right now, be there for yourself at all times.

  1. Celebrate Achievements

One way to express your love to yourself is to celebrate and congratulate yourself at the completion of your goals. Breakdown your ambitions into little goals and celebrate each milestone reached with a tangible reward like a bottle of wine or a box of chocolate.

  1. Build a life of your own

Irrespective of your relationship status, always have something to do that you are passionate about. Have a hobby or something that you like to indulge in. This not only gives you happiness, but also makes you attractive. You will also gain the respect of those around you when you have a life of your own.

Let us know how these steps worked for you. Let us know if you want to add more to it. We would love to hear from you. Leave your additions in the comment section below.

Do you Emotionally Abuse Yourself? Let’s find out

Do you feel you are the odd one in your peer group? Do you feel you don’t deserve the good things in life? Do you hesitate to express your opinion, fearing you might be wrong? If yes, you are most likely abusing yourself emotionally. Emotional abuse could be detrimental to your self-confidence. You might even tend to unconsciously inspire your external environment to confirm your inner-criticisms and end up becoming a social outcast.

Here are a few common misbeliefs it builds in yourself: –

  1. “Nobody loves me. I am not worthy of anything good.”
  2. “Don’t express your opinion. It’s most likely wrong.”
  3. “Better don’t express your needs, lest they think you are needy”
  4. “I can’t have friends. I am not cool enough”
  5. “I am worthless. Yes, but I am honest about it.”

If you feel this way, the first step in rescuing yourself from this self-destructive routine is to identify the source of such feedbacks. Once, you find out whether these judgements come from an external agency or internally, you can make the necessary changes. If it is some individual whose influence is causing you emotional abuse, then either confront him or her about it, or avoid that person entirely for your own good. If the criticisms are from the inside, you must decide if you would like to deal with it yourself, or seek a psychological counselling.

If you decide to change your situation yourself, you must start by identifying negative criticisms and turning them into constructive ones. It may not be as easy as it sounds, but once you learn how to see yourself in a more positive light by changing the tone of your inner criticisms into more constructive ones, you will notice a change in your overall outlook towards life.

If you need help from an experienced counsellor, you can easily find a reputed online counsellor on the Internet. Check out popular mental health networks like Insighte who can connect you with the right psychotherapists in the country who can help you solve your situation.

Once you start confronting your life’s challenges more realistically than abusing yourself emotionally at every move you make, you will find your splintered sense of self healed and reinforced on every level. It is indeed worth a try. Let us know if it worked for you.

Tell us if the article has helped you look at life more positively. Let us know if we have missed anything. Feel free to share your opinions about the article on the comments section below

5 tips to overcome your Social Anxiety Once and for all

who am i

Do you feel like hiding under a desk every time you are asked to face an audience? Do you feel anxious and uncomfortable at the very thought of being put in awkward social situations? If yes, it is very likely that you are shy and suffering from chronic social anxiety. It can be extremely debilitating and you might miss a lot of good opportunities. You tend to think too much and overanalyse each and every step you take in life, and you fear getting involved in awkward confrontations with others around you.

Here are 5 tips on how to overcome your social anxiety and live a tension-free life: –

  1. Join an Acting/ Public Speaking Class

You may wonder why you would even think of joining a public speaking or acting classes, when you faint at the very thought of facing an audience. Surprising as it might seem, this is a tried and tested way to overcome your shyness and social anxiety. Even though you might struggle with the sessions, but eventually, you will see a gradual change in your attitude towards public performance.

  1. Stop being confined to your Comfort Zone

The first step in overcoming your shyness is to attack it in its foundation. Your shyness and social anxiety is rooted in your comfort zone, which is a mental space that your mind walled you within. Instead of lurking in your comfort zone, jump out of it and confront your fears. If you are too shy to speak in public, make sure you use all the opportunity to speak or perform before a public audience.

  1. List your Goals and Make a plan to Achieve them

Invest some time in thinking what you want to achieve in the days ahead. When you set goals, also think of an activity that will get rid of your shyness. Make a list of such activities and include them in your life goals. One such activity would be to have a conversation with someone in your office or college you have never spoken to. This will help you get over your shyness in meeting new people and make you more open to small talks.

  1. Regular Breathing Exercise

Anxiety can cause our breathing to be quick or shallow, which in turn worsens the situation. You can reverse the situation by practicing mindful breathing routines that focuses your attention to the way you inhale and exhale. This can reverse the symptoms of anxiety and work in resolving whatever is triggering your anxiety.

  1. Project a Confident body language

A simple action like folding your arms across your chest can betray the fact that you are a shy and guarded person. Appearance can play a major role in the way you see yourself. Change your body language in such a manner that it exudes a confident and charming personality, so that you start believing in it and eventually overcome your shyness.

Rome was not built in a day. Have patience with each step and you will eventually see results that will boost your confidence further. Let us know how these tips have worked for you in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.

Techniques in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that can change your Life

Psychologists insighte

CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is systematic program that involves training an individual to think and act in a healthy and constructive manner. However, the basic elements of CBT like mindfulness and detachment have been around for over a thousand years as a part of Buddhism and Hinduism. What makes this program stand out is the variety of techniques that you can combine and test. Here are a few popular techniques used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that can change the way you look at the world: –

  1. Mix and Match Perspectives

You can test different thoughts and perspectives about different aspects of your daily life and thereby counter certain negative notions and solve pressing problems in your life. For example, let us suppose you want to give up smoking. You begin with the thought – “If I sprint whenever I feel like smoking, I will smoke less.” Alongside, you can also test a thought like – “If I eat a chewing gum whenever I feel like smoking, I will smoke less.” Try these two approaches on different occasions and see which gives a more effective result.

  1. List and Review your Thoughts

Our thoughts are formed from our immediate and long-term experience, but those formed out of immediate experience tend to dominate our mind, which need not always be valid. In order to check the validity of a stream of thought, make a list of such thoughts and seek evidence for and against it. For example, let us suppose you are writer, and your latest manuscript was rejected by the publisher. These are the thoughts running in your head- “I am not a good writer”, “I am not as good as I used to be”. Consciously, make a list of such thoughts and collect evidence for and against each of them. Use positive evidence like, “I am still being paid for all my published works”, “I am still able to write 5000 words every day”, and balance out your negative thoughts.

  1. Plan Positive Activities

Make a weekly or monthly plan of fun activities you would like to do for yourself. For each day of the week, plan a small activity that you think would give you more happiness and satisfaction. Do something that you don’t do every day, like learning to play a music instrument, surprising an old friend, etc. These will build more positive emotions in you that can help you view your reality more positively.

  1. Grading Fears and Gradual Exposure

List out your worst fears and rank them in the order of 1 to 10 or more. For example,if your worst fear is driving, mark it 1. You also feel a little apprehensive talking to women, which you can grade in between 5 to 10 according to the severity of the condition. Now that you have graded your fears or things you avoid, you can start by solving the one on the 10th position, and slowly move up the ladder. As you overcome one fear after the other you will gain a lot of confidence in the process. You will be able to build enough confidence by the time you reach the number one in the list.

  1. Deep analysis of a Negative Experience

One popular belief is that the best way to overcome a negative experience is to stop thinking about it. However, it is found that it never goes away unless it is given the attention it demands. Perform a detailed analysis of the memories of the experience and focus on its imagery as long as it takes for the distress to dissipate. Once you thus train your mind to deal with a negative memory productively, you will find a lot of energy and happiness at your disposal.

Hope the above techniques have helped you gain a better understanding of your mind. Let us know your comments and feedback in the comments section below.

7 Steps to Beat Exam Anxiety once and for all

Exam is not something everyone enjoys. Even if you think you are fully prepared, exams often turn out stressful. Do you find yourself jittery at the very mention of exams? Do you feel your heart pounding against your ribs the night before the exam? Do you wake up in the middle of the night with exam fright even when there is no exam the next day? If you are nodding yes to at least one of the above questions, you are facing exam anxiety.

Do not worry if you have exam anxiety. It is human to feel exam fright and it is perfectly normal. Though the title says “beat exam anxiety”, you must make peace with the fact that you cannot really beat it, but you can manage it constructively with a few mind tools that we are going to show you here: –

 

  1. Identify your needs

Make a list of your daily needs and prepare a daily routine that meets all your needs and allocates time for exam preparation. When you have your needs met as much as possible in a timely manner, you will have more energy and time to prepare for going into exam mode.

  1. Discover a Pre-Exam Routine

Experiment different learning strategies and variations in your daily routine and discover one configuration that works for you. Find a combination of activities that gives you maximum time and energy to prepare for exams.

  1. Segregate your consciousness into normal and exam-day configurations

To write your exam efficiently, you need to be in the zone, a consciousness level that is different from that of your normal day routine. You must separate and prepare your consciousness into normal day and exam-day performance configurations weeks before the exams and train yourself getting in and out of each mode.

  1. Enact the Writing of Exam physically on the morning of the examination

On the morning of exam day, enact writing the exam physically before a mirror to warm up your mind to go into exam mode.

  1. Check your Exam Equipment and ensure it’s all there

On the day before the exam, make sure you have all your exam equipment in place, like hall ticket, pen, pencils, refills, and other tools required to write the exam. Doing so will free your mind to focus on preparing your mind for the exam in the next day.

  1. Take Deep breaths

Try deep breathing techniques to relax your body and mind on the day of exam. Take a deep breath, hold it for 10 seconds and release slowly. This will relax your nerves and regulate your heartbeats. Deep breathing techniques can help you go into exam mode quicker.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of living in which you focus on everything in the present, keeping all your worries at a distance and looking at them rationally. Practice living at the moment, and you will realize you have much more energy than you thought you had. You will now have more energy to invest in your exam preparation.

Hope these steps help you in managing your exam stress. Let us know your experience in the comments section below. Tell us if there are any other mind tricks that worked for you. All the best for your exams!

3 Easy Steps to Strengthen your Mind

You have that manuscript to complete, but words are not flowing as usual. Your mind wanders and you find yourself in the middle of a thousand unrelated thoughts. You wonder if only you had a way to focus your mind on the task at hand. Don’t be daunted by the impasse for there is a way to fortify your mind against the torrent of random thoughts.

Follow these 3 steps to strengthen your mind and train it to bend to your will: –

  1. Detach yourself from your Thoughts

As the first step, you must acknowledge the stream of thoughts to be discrete and identifiable. Now, stand back and observe each of them as a third person, without getting involved in it. Just sit back and watch them pass not letting them have anything do with you.

  1. Identify and Name your Thoughts

When you are “witnessing” your thoughts, name each of them for what they do to you, like “sadness ball”, “fear thorn bush”, etc. When you give a name to each of your feelings, you process them more rationally than otherwise. When you identify and recognize negative memories, you reduce its emotional impact significantly.

  1. Clear away the Negative Thoughts

Once you have named and classified your thoughts, the final step is to let go of the negative ones. Keep the lessons learnt, but let the memory never haunt you again. Just let the memory just pass by like a dry leaf whenever it returns, not affecting you in any way.

Make sure you spend a little time every day to practice this 3 step ritual. The rewards can be life changing. Imagine a calm and clear head a day before an exam or a presentation. What more would you need than a functioning mind that is in your complete control. Let us know how this 3 step formula has worked for you. You can type in your messages into the comment box below. We would love to hear from you.

How to ensure your Teenager’s Emotional Well-being?

body 1

Teenage years can be really challenging for both the child and the parents. Adolescence can be a struggle for your little one, who is confused between the desire to become independent and being attached to parents. Added to this agony, the emotional and physical changes they experience can often become unbearable. Another challenge most adolescents face is fitting in the peer groups at school, while at the same time building their own individuality.

How can I help in ensuring my Teenager’s Emotional Security?

The first and foremost thing you can do as a parent is reassuring your child of your constant emotional and moral support. Teenagers rely a lot on parental feedback in calculating their response to the changing environment. During this time you must make sure that your child feels secure and confident to adapt to the new situation.

However, do not neglect your responsibility to communicate your expectations and restrictions. When you promise them total support, make sure that you insist on moral values like honesty, respect for one another, and self-control, so that while they build their own personality, they adhere to these values.

Provide constructive feedback for your kids, instead of constantly criticising them for every little mistake. It is found that positive feedback inspires better response from the children, and it helps them grow more confident and successful.

Teach your child how to be responsible with one’s privileges by defining the limits or boundaries. Teach them to make peace with the limits to help them grow into law-abiding citizens. Make sure that you encourage your child to talk openly with you when faced with any kind of problem. Create an environment free from the fears of judgement or punishment, so that your children may feel safe and secure at home and maintain a healthy relationship with you, founded on trust and honesty.

How to find out if your Teenager is going through an Emotional problem

Children in their teenage years are more susceptible to self-destructive behaviour. Reasons can vary from sexuality and low self-esteem to social acceptance issues arising from peer pressure. The typical symptoms include anger and restlessness, drastic changes in weight, a drop in academic performance, chronic gloominess, and a complete lack of motivation. When you notice these signs, make sure that your child is able to confide in you about what is bothering him or her.

Most parents are puzzled at these drastic changes in their children’s behaviour and often end up reprimanding them aggressively. This can do more harm than good. Maintain an open communication with your children, and be patient when they express their frustrations. Ignoring even a seemingly silly problem can lead to larger implications in your child’s emotional growth. If you feel you aren’t able to provide a complete solution to the problems, do not hesitate to seek help. There are a number reputed online mental health networks like Insighte.in who provide the expert services of highly experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. Help is just a phone call away.

Not everything you hear about Autism is necessarily true

autism

There are tons of information online on autism and related disabilities, but not everything you read about it is necessarily true. You can find several websites connecting the rising prevalence of autism in children to immunization or pesticides, but in reality the cause of autism is still elusive. The first step in understanding autism is to know that not everything you hear about autism is necessarily true.

Lifestyle Changes and Autism

One of the most commonly heard notion about autism is that it is a new disease caused by lifestyle changes. However, it is found that the earliest reports of autism in children date back to 1799. More than a disease, autism is a neurological disorder caused by some genetic anomaly. Though there are no conclusive proofs, lifestyle changes and food practices may be one of the many factors causing the rise in the number autism cases these days. Still, no direct evidence could be found to connect lifestyle changes as the sole cause of rising autism in children.

Immunization and Autism

Once there was also a widespread allegation that child immunization was the cause of autism in children. There was an extensively researched article published supporting this claim in 1998, but it was promptly invalidated and branded “fraudulent” by leading medical journals. The reason behind the publicity of such a study was that most of its test subjects started showing symptoms of autism after administering MMR vaccines, but the truth is that it is at the prescribed age for immunization that autism symptoms naturally manifest. Thus there is no conclusive proof that immunization has caused autism in these children.

Are All Autistic Children are Geniuses like in the Movie Rain Man?

There have been reports about autistic savants with exceptional intellect or mathematical skills. It is true that autism doesn’t necessarily come with mental retardation often most of them have higher than average IQ, but you cannot rule it out entirely. Since, autism is a spectrum disorder, the characteristics change from person to person. It is important to make early psychological assessments and seek assistance to train the child to cope with his or her environment.

Autism and Parenting

Once, there was a popular belief that autism was caused due to lack of proper parental care or emotional support. However, no scientific study could ascertain the cause of autism in children, and thus this theory too was promptly refuted and retracted. Autism is a genetic disorder, and has nothing to do with parenting. Yet, for children suffering from autism, parenting is highly important and all the more challenging duty for the parents.

Let us know if you feel we have missed something. Tell us from your experience the different theories that you hear about autism. Post your messages in the comments section below.