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Reducing stress during hectic schedules

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Recently, I read an article in Economic times. It talked about the sad demise of Future Group CEO Raghu Pillai. It further pointed out the general stress factor which has a great impact and causes most deaths like these.

Well, I totally agree with the point. Now a day, the stress level of top Management have increased to such a level that high stress has become inevitable which affects their health to a great extent.

My article is not going to give you a medical solution but I will focus on some very simple proven techniques which can help you reduce your stress levels with your busy schedule.

There are 9 such techniques which I am going to talk about and they are so simple that you can use them on the go without worrying about the time factor which is a great concern in your life.

  1. Self-Massage
  2. Walking
  3. Meditation
  4. Soothing Music
  5. Peaceful picture
  6. Singing
  7. Talk to yourself
  8. Yoga Mudras
  9. Visualization

Self-Massage:

Wikipedia says “Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being”

But do you really get time for massage? Well, good news is that there are some simple self-massage techniques which you can use anytime and anywhere that can help you reduce fatigue, release tension, relax, reduce anxiety and several other things.

 

 

 

There is a therapy designed by Japanese called Shiatsu where Shi means finger and atsu means pressure. In this therapy we use         thumbs, fingers and palms to create the same massage effects as done in acupressure.

Check out these simple techniques: http://www.pedagonet.com/other/Shiatsu%20self-massage.htm and use them to get rid of your problems.

Just download it, take a print and paste it on your wall at home and in the cabin where you sit. Paste it at a position which is most visible so that whenever you see the pictures, you can try a few simple techniques to reduce your stress levels

Walking:

Walking is a very healthy exercise. It is proven that walking can help us in prevention of heart diseases.

Heart disease is caused by the build-up of plaque in the coronary arteries which impacts blood flow and reduces the supply of oxygen to heart thus causing disease. Regular exercise can help in preventing heart and blood vessel diseases. These exercises include aerobics, jogging, running, and swimming. Even low level of physical activities can help you maintain your health.

So if you don’t have enough time for yourself just a five minutes’ walk in your garden every morning and evening can help you a lot.

Meditation:

Meditation is a process which helps you to get into a state of deep peace. In this state your mind is calm and silent. This reduces stress and helps you relax.

It is proven that even a simple 5 minutes meditation can help you a lot in terms of health benefits. There are many physiological benefits attached to it like reduction of anxiety, strengthening of immune system, improve skin resistance, cure headaches, relaxed nervous system, etc.

All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Freshen up and sit at a place where you can relax with no disturbance
  2. Relax all your muscles and make your self most comfortable
  3. Take a few slow deep breathe and at the same time take out all thoughts from your mind. Imagine every time you breathe out, the tension is going out. Block out all your mental thoughts
  4. Now that your mind is blank, just observe  and concentrate on your mind. You may find that this state of no thoughts will last only for few seconds and the thoughts pop back. For this just count numbers from 1, 2—till you are free of thoughts and observe the number at which you loose control of your mind. Try it again and you will observe every time the number will increase and you will feel more relaxed
  5. After a certain period you will reach a state of higher consciousness. More you meditate, higher the consciousness will be
  6. After you are finished, slowly open your eyes and get back to normal state

If you play  meditation music and light up an aroma candle, this will increase your level of meditation and thus increase your relaxation levels.

There are certain websites which offer you to download free meditation audios one of them is

http://download.meditation.org.au/meditationmusic.asp

Just download them and play during meditation

Other than these simple steps, there are various advanced techniques which you can use for deeper relaxation.  There are some guided meditations which can enhance your experience. These can also be easily found over net. One such website which offers very useful guided meditations is

http://download.meditation.org.au/guidedmeditations.asp

Soothing Music

While you are working on your laptop, place a soothing tune. No voice but just a pleasing music makes your mind calmer and helps in reduction of your stress.

A German-Jewish poet and author, Berthold Auerbach once said

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”

Use the power of music for cleansing of your own soul.

It is proven that a plain music with no voices relaxes your mind and increases your tendency to enjoy the present condition more. This is a technique which has been used for long by store managers, in malls, and eating outlets. The music makes person forget other worrying things and they enjoy the ambience more. This makes them explore the store more, buy more and even eat more.

Initially you may feel a little disturbance when music is playing while you are working, if you are the silent types but gradually you will get used to it and then it will do wonders for you by keeping you relaxed even on the most hectic days

Peaceful Picture

Set wallpaper on your laptop which you use often. This should be a picture which soothes you most. It can be a picture of your innocent kid, a peaceful waterfall, a flawless painting with smooth strokes or anything which amazes you.

You may think that as a CEO or COO or any high status person, this appears to be very unprofessional but let me ask you one question. Is your health more important or what others think about you? If you feel your health is more important then you will not feel any resistance

Norton Winfred Simon, a millionaire industrialist and philanthropist of US once said

“If the picture speaks to me, if it tells me something about myself, then I want it. Then I have to have it.”

Keep a picture which talks to you, which asks you to relax, to love yourself and to be worthy of every happiness on earth.

Singing

Wikipedia says “Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm.”

Well not everyone can become a singer but everyone can sing. A soothing music, a nice song pleases you but nothing will work better than your own voice which is most lovable for you. Whenever you are alone, sing your favorite songs aloud and concentrate only on the feelings which it generates and forget everything else.

This will generate positive vibrations in your body and will make you feel better. It may sound stupid initially but it is a technique that really works! Just ensure that the song you choose is a peaceful one, no sad songs, no patriotism, no jazz, just a sweet music full of love.

For example, if you take this song “Rhim Jhim Rhim Jhim , Rum Jhum Rum Jhum” from 1942 love story. It is lovely , soothing, soft, pleasing and generates positivity and fills your heart with fun.

You have to choose such and sing for yourself because you love yourself. No matter bad your voice is, you will still love it the most. Just feel the pleasure it generates within you. It will relax you and de-stress your mind in the most simplistic way.

And if you can combine dancing to that, nothing will amaze you more

Talk to yourself

Sounds stupid?

Gustave Flaubert , French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists once said

 “To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness”

While you are talking to yourself, you are talking to a person who loves you the most, who understands you the most and the one who can never hurt you even in dreams. Will you not like to spend some time with such a lovely person?

Ask yourself to remain calm when in rage, ask for forgiveness when hatred hurts you, ask him to be funny when you want to laugh. Spend a few minutes with yourself and give yourself some more goodness. Tell yourself to be healthy, to be good and to be happy.

Why this works?

Well, there is a psychological principle behind it – Autosuggestions

Auto suggestions are the statements about yourself which you tell yourself. Positive autosuggestions can give you tremendous power and help you achieve what you want from your life.

If you are a very high tempered person and want to become calmer. Tell yourself again and again

“I am always calm’” till it starts to affect your personality.

The same principles can be used to de-stress youself. So speak to yourself and be yourself

Yoga Mudra:

Mudras are helpful in restoring your health. This is done by starting electromagnetic currants in your body that balances various elements.

This can be done with simply using your hand to generate a pose which will energize your body or cure your body

There are many mudras which are used for different purposes. One of them is called Gyan Mudra.

In this, the thumb and the index finger are brought together in gentle contact, not pressing hard, while all other fingers are kept upright. This gives you mental peace, increase your concentration and sharpen your memory.

Another useful Mudra which provides instant relief even during heart attacks is Apan Vaayu Mudra

Fold your forefinger down and touch your thumb. Your little finger should be straight.

To energize your body, you can use Prana Mudra.

Just touch the points of the little finger and ring finger to the tip of the thumb gently.

It also improves your eye-sight.

Other mudras include Apan Mudra, used for relief in urinary problems; linga mudra, increases body resistance to cold; Shunya Mudra, cure ear, nose and throat illnesses; Varun Mudra, maintain water content in body; Rabhi Mudra, which sharpens your intellect and controls rheumatic inflammation.

Just take the Mudra Chart from internet and past it at your house and in your office.

One such chart is available here : http://alturl.com/3nrdu

Visualization:

Another great and simple technique is Visualization. It is an exercise to communicate with your sub-conscious mind. It relieves pain, speed up healing process, reduce stress, anxiety and other forms of stress.

This techniques uses your imagination power to keep your body and mind healthy.. Imagery and visualization release brain chemicals that act as brain tranquilizers, lower blood pressure, heart rate and reduce stress.

One of the simple techniques is called “Pink Bubble”

First relax just like in meditation with closed eyes and imagine the thought which is appearing into your mind as an object.

Imagine it to be placed inside a pink transparent bubble.

Then release it from the bubble and watch it flying away.

As the bubble releases the object, your mind releases the thought which is annoying you.

There are several other effective techniques, some of them can be found on :

http://www.meditationsociety.com/108meds.html

These are very powerful techniques and they cure you from within

So get ready to use these simple techniques to transform you lives and give more days to your life.

If you feel it is a huge list then start with just one, practice it for few days and once you get used to it, try starting one more.

So best of luck and wish you a very good health and prosperous living.

Categories: Uncategorized

Build confidence and be yourself

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

 

Just recall the day when you were much younger, say 12 year old. You had a subject called mathematics. Now a problem came in front of you. How did you solve it?

1.    Read the problem carefully to understand it

2.    Write the set of data given

3.    Think of the formula(tool) which should be used to solve it

4.    Apply the formula and get the answer

Well, life works in somewhat similar way.

You have a problem: Lack of confidence

Step 1: understand it

To understand what you need is: determine the causes of the problem

Step 2: Write down the data which you get

To write it , observe yourself for finding out the specific issues you face and write them down

Step 3: Learn the tools, if you don’t know them and list them down

Step 4: use them and you will have a solution in your hand

Now, this sounds too hypothetical to understand and to follow it. So what do we do?

Let me take you through each of them one by one in depth so that you will know how to make yourself confident

Step 1: Understand it

First you need to know, where are the places where your lack of confidence appears.  There are certain symptoms which can help you to understand your situation  in a better way. When you see the symptoms, write them down on a piece of paper. I would recommend you to keep a diary so that you can make your exercise continuous to track your improvement. And if you can’t write on the spot, try to remember them and write them down after you go home or any other peaceful place where no one can disturb you. But don’t leave it for long as you may tend to forget them

1.    Do you want to say something but don’t say it? Write why you didn’t say it

2.    Did you stammer, while talking to a person? Write what made you stammer

3.    Were you supposed to do something but you didn’t with no specific reason? Write the reason for your avoidance

4.    Did you say something which regretted later? Write what you said and what made you say that

5.    Did you avoid someone for no specific reason? Write why you didn’t want to see him or her

6.    You wanted to say something but you said something entirely different?Write what you wanted to say and what you said. Also write why you said that

7.    Did you hear people around say that you look afraid? Ask them frankly why did they feel so

Any time you didn’t feel confident, write it down. Don’t show it to anyone but yourself and once you are done with finding a solution, tear them off.

Step 2: Write down the data which you get

                             

Gather all the data together and sit down to write them seriously on a sheet of paper.

Data compilation: First you need to complete it like I said you may have skipped some points because you didn’t get chance to write. Write them down.

For Example:

1.    I wanted to ask a question to the faculty who was giving a lecture in my class I didn’t ask because I thought my question was very stupid

2.    I was stammering, while talking to my boss about a deal which we didn’t get. I was trying to explain the reasons. I thought he will not take my reasons in good spirits and will think that I am not good enough to handle the situation. Also he will shout at me, humiliate me

3.    I had an opportunity to give a presentation to customers but I gave it to a colleague. I was afraid that my presentation skills were not up to the mark and I may end up screwing things. I thought I will forget important points and I will not be able to answer a few questions which they will shoot at me.

4.    I was asked my colleague not to disclose our condition to a competitor but I told him everything knowing that could cost us a deal. I disclosed our weakness. I said it because the other person was more confident and felt that even if we tried hard , he was the one who was going to get the deal. He was too sharp to hide anything from and even if I didn’t tell him, he would know

5.    I tried to avoid a customer whom I was supposed to meet and explain the reasons for delay in delivery. Our company was at fault and I felt if I tell him this, he would think that I am not efficient enough to make my people work for me

6.    I was asked to tell the prospect that I loved their field which is why I wanted to work on their project but I said, my company is going to give some good incentives for the work to me as it was a big deal. I wanted to say that the deal was my personal interest but I said that I was doing it just for getting more money. I said that because I got nervous  and suddenly I felt it was stupid to say what I had planned to say. I got nervous because I was not the pampering types. I couldn’t lie.

7.    My boss said I looked very diffident as if someone was going to eat me up? He said my body language shows that I don’t have confidence which reflects my lack of knowledge

Step 3: Learn the tools

                  

Write down all your reasons (lines marked In green) and use the tools mentioned below:

1.   Negation: Now after writing all the points, start to negate them.

2.   Justification: Now write the justification for your negation as if you are not the person who have these problem but your friends has written it.

For Example:

1.     I didn’t ask because I thought my question was very stupid

Negation: Well, the question was intelligent

Justification:

a.    I heard other students asking even more silly questions

b.   Another student asked the same question and the teacher said “good question”

2.    I thought he will not take my reasons in good spirits and will think that I am not good enough to handle the situation. Also he will shout at me, humiliate me

Negation: Well, a broken deal was not my mistake. And I don’t feel that I not good just because he is shouting at me.

Justification:

a.    There was a genuine reason which was not under my control which caused this failure

b.   He is a dominating boss and no matter whose mistake is this, he is going to shout at meout of habit and also because he is going to get a beating from his boss

c.    No one could have handled it in a better way than I did

3.    I was afraid that my presentation skills were not up to the mark and I may end up screwing things. I thought I will forget important points and I will not be able to answer a few questions which they will shoot at me.

Negation: I have the best of skills to give the presentation

Justification:

a.    I have made it myself and I know more than anyone else about it

b.   I understand the subject better than others and there are no questions which I can’t answer

c.    Forgetting is a natural phenomenon and I have kept a small summary sheet which will help me to handle the situation. So even if I forget a point, I can easily recall.

4.    I disclosed our weakness. I said it because the other person was more confident and felt that even if we tried hard , he was the one who was going to get the deal. He was too sharp to hide anything from and even if I didn’t tell him, he would know

Negation: He didn’t know anything about us and there was no way he had an edge over us. He was not sharper than me. He could in no way guess what I had in my mind. He was just bluffing.

Justification:

a.    I know that we are into the same boat and there is no way he could know more than me

b.   My boss told me that we have a better offer and we will surely win. I trust him and I am confident about our winning position

c.    He was trying to know about our weaknesses which shows that he is insecure and that he has a weak point which we may get a  benefit of.

5.    Our company was at fault and I felt if I tell him this, he would think that I am not efficient enough to make my people work for me

Negation: The mistake was not mine and the circumstances were not under my control. I know how to make people work but there are certain people who no matter what happens, just don’t work.

Justification:

a.    I tried my best to coordinate with my people to get the deliveries on time

b.   Deliveries couldn’t be made because of unavailability of the raw material which was to be taken from supplier and I don’t have any control over suppliers production

c.    There were many people who made things go faster just for me but only a few of them couldn’t make it. I can’t blame myself for those few.

d.   I now know the loopholes in the process and next time I can ensure that delay doesn’t happen

6.    I wanted to say that the deal was my personal interest but I said that I was doing it just for getting more money. I said that because I got nervous  and suddenly I felt it was stupid to say what I had planned to say. I got nervous because I was not the pampering types. I couldn’t lie.

Negation: What I wanted to say was a perfect thing to impress my customer. I can lie when it is required and that too with confidence. And I was not trying to pamper them but I just wanted to make them feel good about it.

Justification:

a.    My boss told that it was a good thing to say and I have to accept his views because he has more experience than me

b.   Well there is no harm in saying something which makes a person feel good evern if it not entirely true

c.    I have lied several times in my life so why can’t I do it now?

7.     He said my body language shows that I don’t have confidence which reflects my lack of knowledge

Negation: I have the best of knowledge and I am not afraid

Justification:

a.    I am not supposed to know as much as he knows. After all he has more experience than me and once I reach his position, I may know even more than him

b.   I know everything about my job so there is no need to be afraid

Now write the justifications together on a piece of paper .

3.   Tear the papers on which you have written your weak reasons(in green) and feel as if while you are tearing them, you are taking them out of your mind

4.   Carry your new justification sheet with you wherever you go . Keep on reading them whenever you get time. Use them as positive autosuggestions to make yourself feel more confident and next time you face the under-confidence. You can even make flashcards such that on each card you write one positive sentence and keep on looking at them at occasions.

5.   Imagine as if it is a monster inside you and you need to throw it out. Close your eyes and move your index finger towards your mind. Think about the monster and tap the finger on your head to throw the fear monster out of your head.

Step 4: use them and you will have a solution in your hand

These five simple tools mentioned in previous point will take away the fear from within but make sure you don’t skip any of them even if they sound stupid because they work!

Keep the process on till you completely eliminate the fear inside you.

Every time you feel victimized by the monster, you can start by creating a new sheet and repeating the process.

The bases of these tools are the principles which are explained in psychology.

I will not get into deep but just so that you know the effectiveness, let me tell you in brief.

1.    As per psychoanalytic theory, our mind has two parts: conscious and subconscious

Conscious is the one which makes us thik and we control it. I makes judgments and that is the actual mind with which we think or believe something

Unconscious is the one which listens to our conscious and does the actual work. But you are unaware of it process. It can’t make judgments about your thinking but just take it as the instruction and follow it.

For example, if consciously your mind says that  you are stupid, your unconscious will give his best to prove you stupid in front of others

The tools that I have mentioned makes you aware of these harmful conscious thoughts which makes your unconscious go against you and enables you to control them and in turn control the subconscious to make it work for you.

Sigmund Frued, the founder of psychoanalysis once said

“Look into the depths of your own soul and learn first to know yourself, then you will understand why this illness was bound to come upon you and perhaps you will thenceforth avoid falling ill.”

So you need to understand yourself because the solutions to all your problems lie within you.

2.    Another principle which is used here is “Autosuggestions”, a system for self-improvement developed by Emile Coue.

They activate the infinite power of our subconscious mind to work for positive goals.

You can use autosuggestions and affirmations to achieve many different kinds of positive goals, such as confidence or courage, better memory or concentration, recovery from disease, better relationships, removing bad habits; and success in anything you do.

As per Emile “When the imagination and will power are in conflict, are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception.”

So autosuggestions gives positive power to your imagination so that you win and not lose.

Well, there are other principles also involved but they are much complex and are not necessary to know in the context.

Hope you enjoyed the ideas given and look forward to use them to transform your lives.

Categories: Uncategorized

Railways and Bedbugs!

April 9, 2011 4 comments

The first time in my life, when I had to wait for so long in an “Upper Class Air Conditioned Railway Waiting Room” at Mumbai, Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, was an unforgettable experience.

We had booked the tickets for 8:35 pm train but the timing was changed to 4 a.m., an alteration which was permanent but never informed to the passengers until they  arrive at the station. The journey which we were going to cover was around 16 hrs from Mumbai to Nagpur and our waiting time for houdah mail was 8 hrs.

This has not happened for the first time to me. I had the same experience with another train, Samarsata Express covering the same route, when I was going with my husband. Only the difference was that we couldn’t go back this time as in previous case and ended up waiting at the station waiting room.

I am a person who is capable of sleeping anywhere and in any condition, whether it is a bus, car, plane or a rock. Even while standing, I could have controlled sleep, when I used to travel in Virar local from Bandra to Mira Road and vice versa. But there is only one thing which can’t sustain – Bedbugs

I was sitting on a red colored sofa kept just opposite to the one my sister was sitting on. She had been complaining for long that something was biting her but I didn’t think of bedbugs then. I joined her on her sofa after some time when we decided to watch a movie  but soon I started to suffer the same torture.

Looking at her swells and mine, I guessed that it was a work of a bedbug We got up from the sofa to check our bags. A big bedbug was roaming happily over my sisters red hold-all. She zapped off the insect with her hand resulting in its death. My guess was right.

Then she guesstimated that bedbugs got there due to one of our bags which had termites in them. We kept our bags at some distance from the sofa and continued our fun but even after this attempt, we still suffered the same problem. I took the chance to guess that the insects belonged to Railway because I had experienced a similar attack previously in one Government of India guest house an year back.

We  got up to clear our doubt and Alas! I was right again, one by one the termites were appearing from gaps of sofa seats.

We got up with a shock. The small insects which were not even the size of our finger nails, scared the hell out of us. It seemed as if the sofas were cleaned.

The terror left our heart bumping and we couldn’t sleep for the whole night. The image of wandering bedbugs, making our skin swell kept us alert and awake.

We looked for help from the wooden tables expecting that the open wood will not have them but the creatures didn’t leave the wood either. My sister saw a bedbug nicely sitting on one of the creeks of a nearby table.

They were fat with the care given by railways and happy with the attention given by us. They looked as if smiling at the thought of sucking our blood, while our faces looked horrified.

Our jumping on the sofa and run around the room created awareness in another family sitting on the same couch. Gradually the news spread and all faces looked worried except the ones who were too busy sleeping to realize the havoc.

To make it easy for the new comers, my sister wrote a message on paper “ Don’t sit, Termites here” and kept it on the sofa. After a few minutes two boys came sat on the sofa without seeing the paper but after a few minutes they found their bodies itchy and checked the sofa. One boy picked the paper on which was written a warning which they didn’t see. He got confused, looked everywhere but there was no other place for them to sit so they made a compromise and shared the place with bedbugs.

What could I or anyone say after this experience? I think Railways loved these minute living beings and I would think twice before taking a halt in any of area publicized by Government of India, especially if it has a sofa or a bed.

 

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