• 18 Feb
    Mandavi Pandey

    How to deal addiction with a tough hand?

    How to deal addiction with a tough hand?

    “My husband was addict towards smoking…. there were several things he could quit, but when it came to smoking, it came back again and again. And mostly because he was in the company of those, with whom he mostly smoked. Or maybe, this nicotine became a physical habit, such that his regular bodily activities depended on it. But after seeing my dad suffer from the adverse effects of smoke, I made it a point that I will make my husband quit it. Regular quarrels made some difference perhaps, I knew he was trying, but after a few days he could not stick to his own words….. after the 31st I have not seen him smoke. He made it a point, that new year should have no more, dead cigarette buds around, it cannot be gradually reduced to end, it has to end now….” (Anonymous)


    Most of us are addicted towards various things. Addiction is a state of compulsive practice, or some action which has rewarding consequences as well as later adverse effects. It may not be always intoxication or drug. Addiction can be with anything.

    Too much shopping becomes an addiction.

    Social networking is a serious addiction for the teenagers. Text messages over phone is an addictive communication for many.

    So it is no more about a cigarette or alcohol, it is a wider picture.

    Most of us can work for approximately 10-11 hours a day, after omitting the sleep time, washing and bathing time, eating and drinking time, and general rest period.

    But within the permissible work period, most of us waste approximately 4-5 hours after the addiction that we are carrying.

    You don’t believe it?

    One who is interested in window shopping over the internet, opens up his laptop in the morning to finish some important write-ups, but finally ends up visiting #Jabong or #Flipkart and it goes on from one to the other, from #Myntra to #9Rasa to #Amazon to XYZ, in the process of comparing the price of one particular article that was in the choice list.

    Then what happens is, surfing through other sites, gives you a pop up window which keeps publishing some #ItemsYouMayLike and you click on them to inquire the price and this goes on till after 3 hours you realise that you have actually ordered nothing, but have wasted a hell lot of time, and soon you will be called for lunch.

    Addictions have worse effects on your physical and mental health. Constantly texting over the phone, in between serious study or professional task, breaks your concentration, i.e. disturbs your mental balance because you are trying to do two different activities (or sometimes three) at the same time. Hence it affects the work you are doing.

    Gaming is a serious addiction amongst kids.

    All work no play, makes Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work will make Jack a #NoBoy.

    Game can actually improve your reaction speed and alertness, but at the same time wastes your quality time, that is meant for other serious works. 65% of parents of 5th-10th grade students, complain that their children are losing 16-20 hours in a week, gaming, for which they are having to block the computers, else their studies and co-curriculums are failing to reach completion.

    A game lacks any emotional tangent, so a constant gamer, soon becomes mechanical in his reactions, loses logical reasoning capability, tries to follow an identical pattern in everything he does.


    As for smoke and drink, we all know- “cigarette smoking is injurious to health, it causes cancer. Alcohol consumption is injurious to health” (mostly spoken in a nice flowy pattern) 

    But beyond this, they waste a lot of money, just as shopping and café gaming does.

    Biting nails, scratching your head occasionally, picking your nose are compulsive habits that some people regularly indulge in, and these affect their personality development.

    But mostly we ignore these consequences due to the reward stimuli we receive instantaneously, and sing out, whatever it may count, but we are “Aadat se majboor”

    However, often our addictions get the better of us. But for some it gets serious. They themselves want to quit it, but are unable to. Adverse effects of addiction get visible over a longer period of time, so quit it as soon as you think of it.


    • Be firm in your decision. Firstly, you need to make up your mind that you will quit your addiction, and will not want to derive the momentary pleasure (that it gave) anymore.


    • Fix a date. Mark a date in red, on your calendar, that beyond the particular day, you won’t indulge your addiction further.


    • When the date arrives, throw away the last piece of fag, or any other packets lying around in your house.


    • Keep your promise to yourself, not to anyone else.


    • Avoid places and people which urge you to go back to your addiction.


    Sometimes, your brain will misguide you. You might hear a voice calling out to you, “its ok to take up once, do it, the world won’t collapse”. This is because, when we are tired, our pre-frontal cortex stops reacting actively. Do not pay heed to such voices. Use your rationalization #AntiAddiction.

    Do not let a weak moment soil your long fight against addiction.

    If nothing else is working, take the help of experts and counsellors. Talk to a counsellor for advice. A medical practitioner may help you medicines for curing with addiction.


    Once you are able to overcome your weakness, you will feel so much confident. Giving up addiction is not easy, but once you do it, you will have a sense of freedom, you will feel happy that you have done it. You will save a lot of time, money and physical and mental energy.


    You can now do some productive work, practice your hobbies, or spend some quality time with friends and family, because you do not have your addiction. Initially some of your #CrimePartners may insist that what you are doing is cowardice, sheepish, foolish etc. etc. but once you achieve this freedom, you will actually become more likable in the society.

    Then you can also set an example for your peers.

    Image source:

  • 18 Feb
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Is Intelligence the only ingredient to success?- EQ, BQ, MQ

    Is Intelligence the only ingredient to success?- EQ, BQ, MQ


    We spend all of school and college being tested over and over for our intelligence and memory. A lot of times, students don’t understand the real world value of what they are learning. They just mug it up and take it out on the paper.


    A recent study found out that the most high stress jobs are the ones that involve the most interaction and dealing with people. If you are a programmer, given that you know your code, you can make a good program.


    But how do you deal with people, who are so complex, so different? People managing big teams or having to resolve issues and negotiate day in and day out, were highly stressed.


    If intelligence and knowledge was the only requisite, then all the knowledge from MBA books should have helped managers, and they would not be so stressed at all. However, the truth is that there is a set of interpersonal skills, that make us more successful than intelligence. The main aspects of these skills, are emotional intelligence, body language and morality or ethics.


    Emotional intelligence is the capacity to understand the emotions of oneself and others, and to use this knowledge to interact with people in a much more appropriate manner. For example: if I know a colleague has lost someone, they are perhaps in a very fragile state of mind and may be slacking in their work as a result of that. A person with low EQ may threaten them or yell at them, making the other person angry and defensive, plus the work still suffers. Someone with high EQ on the other hand, will have a heart to heart chat with them, and help them to feel better, and at the end of it, request them to maybe look at work as a temporary escape from the sad thoughts. This would help get the work done and keep the relationship intact.


    Body language again is something that impacts us in a big way. For example, someone with an open body pose is more likely to be approached for a negotiation, a promotion, a job offer, even for a leadership position! Power posing means to hold body positions that elicit power. It not only has an effect on others but also on us. We tend to feel subjectively better and powerful when we switch to better body language.


    Morality or ethics are important because people want to approach people whom they can trust. Following a set of principles and being open about it tends to help increase the level of trust felt by others. Therefore, someone who is morally inconsistent may have a lot of problems getting their work done because people do not trust them enough to work smoothly with them.


    Overall then, being liked is more important that coming across as knowledgeable or smart. Research suggests that people are likely to buy a product from someone they like, even if it is a bad product, than purchase a good one from someone who is rude or condescending towards them.


    And to be liked, it is important to have good levels of emotional intelligence, proper ethics and suitable body language. The best part is that all these can be learnt, just like a hobby!

    So the summary is that someone with a good IQ along with a decent Emotional Quotient, Moral Quotient, Body Quotient will most probably progress much more in life than someone with only very high IQ. A good sense of humor and presence of mind plays a important role in career these days.

  • 16 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    Make your Retirement a new beginning

     Make your Retirement a new beginning

    "It took me a while to figure out who I was. It was a difficult transition. At first, I literally couldn't say the words — 'I'm retired.' "- Nancy Schlossberg, a professor of counselling psychology at the University of Maryland.

    Most of us are heard speaking big about retirement. “Oh! Finally, the holidays will arrive; I am waiting for them," “after retirement, will take a trip to Las Vegas," and things like that.

    But when the day actually is about to arrive, and the convocational flowers and cards start reaching your desk; it is not easy.

    You get nervous, slightly excited, that till date, you have worked for making farewells successful, and tomorrow, it's going to be yours, But you are not happy.

    Besides money, it is more of an emotional combat to deal with retirement.

    You, worked for almost 30 years or more, in office structure, meeting colleagues, sharing lunch together, and coming back home at a fixed time, retirement means a shift of identity.

    The next day of your retirement you won’t have any of the activities, you have been doing for nearly half of his lifetime. An emptiness, that suddenly reminds of the last day of school, or the convocation ceremony day in college. But it’s a part of life, and you have to take it as it comes.

    Finance: Retirement causes a kind of insecurity and anxiety in most people, of how they are going to survive without a regular monthly salary!

    Researchers have found, that a common man requires 90% of his pre-retirement income to maintain the same lifestyle when he is no longer working.

    Well of course, retirement should not mean compromise for you. Make your financial plans much ahead.

    Start saving, continue saving from your salary, while you are still working. Invest wisely in company retirement policies, reliable insurance firms and with banks, to keep funds coming into your accounts recurrently, even when you are at rest.


    Psychological preparation for retirement: Mostly, the sense of retirement brings boredom along with it. A fit and fine person is suddenly told to be at home one good morning, and it is going to be a continuous process now.

    Often it creates a kind of frustration in the mind; you want to break-free, though you have been hoping to rest so long, this rest period doesn’t seem agreeable to you, because it is never going to end. In the USA, retirement generally doesn’t come before 70, while in India, retirement age is 60 in general.

    A retired person may sound agitated or rude in the initial days, but it is important to keep a check that the frustration does not exceed the limit, beyond which you feel yourself to be worthless.

    Keep yourself ready for the situation. Mentally start accepting, that after the prescribed date, you will leave your old monotonous life and start a fresh chapter, an unknown episode in your life.

    Plans for retirement: Make retirement, a new beginning for you, instead of calling it an end.

    Life is long, and time is short, so utilize each moment to the fullest. There are many more exciting things beyond your 9-5 job.


    • Get yourself engaged in your hobbies, they have been ignored so long. If you are a writer, start your new book with #TheDay. You never know, this practice can actually lead you towards a brand new profession.


    • If financial security is not an issue, start preparing for trips with your partner, and go all #AroundTheWorldInEightyDays. There are so many places in the world that you have wished to visit, but time had never permitted you. Start afresh with the ones near your reach.


    • If you have wanted to do something of your own, today is the day to start up a fresh business plan, or invest on your interest to find a new genre for yourself.


    • Increase your contacts. Meet your friends and relatives at regular intervals, or organize get-togethers and parties at home to keep your social life active.


    • If your parents are there, and you have unintentionally ignored them, being employed, it is the day to compensate. Make them feel once again, that you love them, spend time with them. Do some small things every day, that can give them joy.


    • You can also employ yourself in some social work, that will always keep you in positive spirit.


     What you should not do:

    • Do not brood over your old days in office. Stop re-uttering, “I have been an expert in my office; everyone appreciated my work” or “every afternoon the lunch hour used to be a gala time."


    • Do not let your ego overshadow the appreciation for good work. Many a times, it happens that you have been in a very senior role at the time of your retirement, which stops you from accepting any decent work in future, because there is someone senior overseeing you. Always keep yourself ready for service, if it suits you.


    • Manage your temper. Do not vent your frustrations on your family. That can ruin your personal relations when you most need them.


    Sometimes you should not plan anything; life will come to you with surprises. Let yourself adapt to each new day. If you are hyperactive, you can start planning for a jungle ride with your old friends who is also retired, or may be a safe and short trek. Basically, enjoy your retirement, as a long and good vacation like we used to do for our school summers.

    When you enjoy each day, whether you are working or not, you will be healthy and hearty.

     References: 1 2 3



  • 12 Aug
    Oyindrila Basu

    Your Hands can do Wonders.

    sleeping baby


    In our blog Psychological tricks to help you progress in life. we had discussed how you can persuade someone into agreeing with you by nodding your head while asking the question. There are several tricks which you can use in a positive way while interacting with people and I bet, you will never fail to impress.

    Your hand movements and their postures and actions can do a lot in your communication, especially when you are with strangers or less-acquainted people.

    A slight touch can convince someone to your call, who would otherwise have turned down your offer.

    You do not believe it? Yes, it is true. In our day to day life, we are faced with several requests from all sides, especially the ones like “would you like to opt for a life insurance with us?” “would you like to try our new product for free?”, “would you like to check our new scheme?”, so on so forth, to which we generally say a polite “no, thank you”.

    However, sometimes, we are motivated to apply for a new charge-less credit card or may be a new dress which we haven’t planned to buy, and we do not really remember what made us agree with the sales person.

    Well it generally happens to be a heavy discount or most probably their hand gesture and ‘touch’.

    Yes, the magical touch, which when given the right way can crack a million-dollar deal for you.

    But there are a few rules for giving the right touch in the right way, being cautious when you are doing it with strangers.

    1. You need to study the body language of the other person to know whether he will welcome your hands to reach his/her body. If a person is sitting with crossed arms, it is clear, he is not open to any form of touch, not even a handshake.


    1. Do not use force while touching a stranger with your hand; well that might just end up getting you beaten, as because it will appear like a poke or a pinch, or something assaulting.


    1. When you are with strangers, and what to use your hands on him, do it on the upper arm, that is the area between shoulders and elbow.


    1. You can also end a conversation with a handshake, especially when you need to say thank you.


    1. Your touch should go unnoticed, so do not do it more than a moment. This can be the biggest tool of persuasion.

    Now why is this important?

    Do you remember saying please while asking for something? Also holding the hand of the other person in your palm while saying so? Yes, we do it, especially with close ones, friends, family, relatives. Now what difference does it make between, “Can I borrow your pen?” and “Can I borrow your pen, please”?

    The word ‘please’ shows your earnestness and makes sure, that you are not demanding the help; also, it ensures that you really need it.

    Similarly, the touch of your hand shows your sincerity, genuine pledge and somehow makes the listener feel comfortable with you; and once a person feels comfortable and familiar with you, he/she cannot generally refuse your request. But make sure, you follow the golden rules, to deliver that touch in the right way, which will be formal, yet appreciated.

    Image source


  • 10 Aug
    Oyindrila Basu

    Demystifying Mental Healthcare Bill


    Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    Finally, India is progressing towards a stigma-free society. Last day, on Quora, a person asked me, that she doesn’t like people with Asperger’s Syndrome, so is that wrong. I explained to her how she was building up a stigma within herself, and how it was not good for her mental health also; I referred to her an article on A Clean India, free from taboos, stigmas and misconceptions and hence someone commented on the post with an acute sarcasm, “A Clean India? Haha…you have centuries to go”, well I was really embarrassed to find what people conserve about India and their attitude towards a social cause.

    But today, I can proudly answer the person, that it won’t take centuries anymore to preserve and emancipate the rights of mentally growing population of our Nation; stigma is gradually getting down-marked with the ink eraser of law.

    The Parliament on Monday passed the ‘Mental Healthcare Bill’ in the Lok Sabha. The bill was previously passed in the Rajya Sabha in August last year. This bill intends to replace the Act of 1987 which is found to be inadequate for people with mental health challenges, in the present scenario.

    This is a very progressive step towards securing a position for this particular population, which, though not correctly measured, should be 6-7% of Indian population according to the statistical reports of 2005.

    Till date, people suffering from depression, stress or anxiety feared to voice their problem openly as because the society could call them ‘mad’, if they opted for treatment; even 1-2% who were severely affected by schizophrenia or PTSD found no help in their locality, as because good mental health treatment and psychiatric therapy was not common in all clinics, hospitals and the like areas.

    The picture we had in mind reflected, that people with any kind of disillusionment were sent to the asylum where they were given electric shocks to pacify activity, irrespective of diagnosis.

    However, the new bill passed, guarantees every individual the right to access mental health care facilities irrespective of caste, creed and colour.

    The Bill states thatevery person the right to access mental health care and treatment from the government. This right includes affordable, good quality, easy access to services such as minimum mental health services in every district. Persons with mental illness also have the right to equality of treatment and protection from inhuman and degrading treatment.”

    The Bill also ensures that every individual have the right to protect themselves from “inhuman and degrading treatment” and establish “right to equality of treatment…. and complain regarding deficiencies in provision of mental health care”.

    So this is a huge step towards fighting social stigma and attitude towards mental health. When the law declares a behaviour as nuisance and punishable, it automatically reduces in volume; we all remember how dowry and domestic violence on women, had to be legally declared as offence, to protect women’s rights; we have not been able to eradicate it completely, however, the society cannot practice such things freely anymore.

    The most important aspect of this Bill is on decriminalizing of suicide, which was very much required.

    “A person who attempts suicide shall be presumed to be suffering from mental illness at that time and will not be punished under the Indian Penal Code.  Electro-convulsive therapy is allowed only with the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia. The therapy is prohibited for minors.”

    The Bill also specifies the process and procedure to be followed for admission, treatment and discharge of mentally ill individuals.  A decision to be admitted in a mental health establishment shall, as far as possible, be made by the person with the mental illness except when he is unable to make an independent decision or conditions exist to make a supported admission unavoidable.”

    Hence a lot of queries regarding mental healthcare therapies are already answered.

    However, the Bill is delegated to a few challenges in implementation as well. The Bill doesn’t include any specification on the guardianship of a mentally challenged individual; what will be his rights and duties towards the individual etc. hence a person with severe mental health problem may not get a secure guardian for survival and guidance.

    Also it doesn’t discuss the financial source for the treatment facilities which will be provided to people with mental health deviations. 

    However, the Bill is a form of motivation for every Indian citizen and we can breathe a sigh of relief as because this a global measure towards promotion of awareness and good mental health.


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