• 26 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    Get Slim And Trim Belly With Dispositional Mindfulness

    despositional mindfulness

    Last day I was watching a movie #SizeZero which was celebrating fit and fine curvaceous body as opposed to skeletal structure of a size zero model. Fat is fit was the mantra. It is true; there is no point in damaging your health for becoming slim. However, if your weight and curves get overdone, that can lead to obesity, which can be the cause of serious problems like diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, cholesterol disorder etc.

    What we eat is not the cause of our fat belly, the way we eat is important.

    Taking a thoughtful diet full of all the required nutrients will always keep you in the best of your health.

    Taking periodic meals is a useful mechanism to keep your weight in control and reduce over intake of calories.

    Recent research has found out, that only giving a thought to the diet plan may not work. A more effective mechanism has been discovered which they call ‘dispositional mindfulness

    Dispositional mindfulness is different from our general knowledge about mindfulness practice, which is a kind of meditation to concentrate on present and physical sensations.

    It is more of a regular awareness of the present occurring, activities, physical sensations and emotional thoughts. This is kind of an inherent nature in a person, which never looks into the past or future but sub consciously focuses on the present. However, this can be preached and practised as well.

    If we apply the dispositional mindfulness to selecting our food items, possibly we can reduce a huge amount of bad calorie and unhealthy carb from our diet.

    Let’s look at how dispositional mindfulness is linked to lower fat in the body.

    Eric Loucks’ study, published in the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, looked at how 394 people in the New England Family Study (NEFS) scored on the six-point Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). 

    The researchers also measured the amount of belly and hip fat each person had using the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket. They also gathered measurements of body mass index and other data on each participant’s health, lifestyle, and demographics.

    The results showed that people with a score less than 4 on the MAAS scale were 34% more prone towards obesity and developing extra belly fat, than those who scored 6 and above. Both of these results were statistically significant.

    In short, a person who is generally mindful as opposed to those practising it within a period of meditation, tend to be more thoughtful about their present actions, and will dissuade from impulsive snacking.


    How to practise it?

    Start with small steps- Try being mindful for a day’s snack. Choose wisely on what you want to eat. Slowly you can extend it to breakfast, lunch and dinner diet.

    Focus on fruits and vegetables with colour red, orange and yellow-when you choose colourful objects in your diet, your senses will focus on it, and you will be more aware and conscious towards the experience of eating. Moreover, red fruits and vegetables are rich in anthocyanins, the largest source of antioxidants, while orange is more of carotenoid compounds that is good for eyes and brain. β-cryptoxanthin is a part of yellow fruits and veggies which are anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antihistamine hence will help you to fight serious diseases. In short, these useful nutrient compounds will cut down your belly fat and add to your health.

    Focus on the calorie intake- while assessing your health, pay attention to the amount of calorie intake each day. Find out which food item contain how much calorie, and consume accordingly. In this way you can shift your focus from long term worries to your food, and that will positively add to your good health.

    Think about why you are eating- when you go up to take some food, think or ask your body why you are eating? Are you eating because you are hungry? Or because you are bored or tired? Or because there is something tasty in the kitchen? This will interrupt your craving for the moment and once you answer the question, you can be mindful towards stopping the action.

    Enjoy the experience of eating- smell the aroma before eating, choose your favourite colour and relish every bite. This will help in better digestion, as saliva will be generated easily, hence belly fat can be regulated.

    Pay attention to your physical sensations after eating- after a particular diet, you can focus on the physical alarms. Are you feeling light, heavy, happy, or stressed? If you feel heavy and difficult to move after intake of food, it means you have taken the wrong diet or in wrong quantity. Avoid your mistake from the next time.

    Do one thing at a time- do not eat while reading, watching TV or doing other activities. Eat when you are eating. Mindful eating will help you regulate the amount of food intake and will also enrich the experience of eating.

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  • 25 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    10 Interesting facts on anxiety

    anxiety fact

    Anxiety is one of the significant mental health issues that commonly affect human beings. Different people have different reasons for anxiety. Sometimes too much rush; not being on time can be the reason for anxiety, sometimes a subject of study like maths can be the cause of anxiety, or sometimes just the question ‘what if’. We have discussed about the cause and cure of anxiety earlier. Now we present to you some interesting facts on anxiety which you should know-

    • Anxiety means physical sickness beyond mental stress- anxiety causes physical ailments beyond stressful thoughts and brain storming. We know that amygdala is responsible for out flight response mechanism, but when the brain senses terror, real or imaginary, it generates stress hormones in the body- adrenaline and noradrenaline, which can cause chest pain, headache, nausea and fatigue.


    • Anxiety can be genetical- anxiety can be inherited by a child from his parents with inheritence of α-endomannosidase gene which is responsible for stress and anxiety disorders.


    • Exercise reduces anxiety- a regular pattern of healthy exercise can keep you stress free. Physical activity keeps you more focused on bodily sensations, hence the provoking thoughts come and disappear easily.


    • Anxiety confuses the sense of smell- People with anxiety show a greater tendency to label neutral smells as bad smells. Typically, when processing smells it’s only the olfactory (smelling) system that gets activated. When a person becomes anxious the emotional system becomes intertwined with the olfactory processing system.


    • Exposure to anti-depressants during pregnancy can affect adult anxiety- if a mother is treated with anti-depressants during pregnancy, the child, after growing up can be automatically more resilient to anxiety.


    • Anxiety becomes the most common form of mental health problem in the United States. It’s estimated that approximately 10 percent of teenagers and 40 percent of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder of some kind. The number crosses depression rates.


    • Statistically, women are more commonly afflicted by anxiety disorders than men.


    • If you are with social anxiety, people will actually think you are fabulous- often people with social anxiety feel they are less confident but research has found that because of over thinking and over sensitivity, when they speak, the words are well constructed and meaningful, which leave a deeper impression on others.


    • Anxiety is closely related to OCD- Obsessive compulsive disorder is a kind of anxiety, where we behave like maniacs with the worry to ensure that a particular thing has been done. For e.g. to check that lights in the house have been switched off, we constantly go back to the same rooms and look on the switch board, sometimes, even on it and off it again to ensure. This kind of reaction is also panic mechanism.


    • A healthy diet can reduce anxiety- American Journal of Psychiatry found that people having a diet of fruits, vegetable, fish and meat tend to be less anxious that those influenced by western diet of fried food, burgers, pizza.

    Image source

  • 25 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    If You Are Feeling Rushed With Anxiety, Speak Out Your Thoughts Loud To Alleviate Them.


    Often we are in a hurry if we have to accomplish a task within a prescribed deadline. We start rushing with things that there is not much time. We start perspiring, sometimes shivering with tension. Some of us has the habit of biting nails when they are nervous about completing a task. This is not normal, this is anxiety. The sense of being ‘rushed’ in a situation is due to anxious thoughts.

    So what can we do to immediately avert this thought of anxiety which is not good for health?

    We need to talk it out loud. If you are feeling rushed, shout and admit it to yourself that ‘I am feeling rushed’.

    It is scientifically proven that if you speak out your feelings and emotions the thought actually keeps reducing in intensity.

    “Matthew Lieberman at UCLA, in a research shows that when we name an emotion we actually diminish activity the amygdala and other parts of the limbic system, which is the part of the brain thought to be largely responsible for feelings of anxiety and other stress-related emotions.”

    Better to speak with yourself on the anxious feeling rather than be in the thinking. If we are lost in the thinking process about ‘what can happen’, ‘what I have to complete’ and ‘what all task is pending’, it aggravates the anxiety within us, with no solution.

    The more we try to consciously avoid anxiety, more we are driven towards it. Consoling yourself with the thought that ‘almost everything is complete, but there is not much time’, only makes you more nervous about the timeline. But when you speak to yourself with your inner voice ‘yes I am nervous’, being in thought is no longer there, so anxiety and tension is much diminished.

    Make your steps towards the goal purposely faster. If you are running short of time, try to focus on the game of moving and doing things fast. Walk faster, move faster, do faster not because you have to reach the goal, but because you want to do it, you want to move faster to test yourself. This can alleviate the nervousness in your brain.

    Also feel the sensations while doing the work. If you are walking, feel the motion of your footsteps, feel the breeze on your face, if you are typing, notice how your fingers are falling on the keys, this kind of intentional brain activity, can take your mind off the thought, ‘I have to rush, I have no time’. This is kind of a stress reliever.

    Bring all the efforts together, when you want to stop being anxious for being in a hurry.

    Talking the emotion is helpful, it reduces the thought by bringing the feeling into action. When we talk it out, we automatically find a solution to the situation by making our activities faster for the sake of doing fast. When we concentrate on the sensations while we work, our focus shifts from the anxious thought to a more conformed, fruitful procedure, which is, actually hurrying up, not thinking.

  • 05 Sep
    Oyindrila Basu

    Marital responsibility and Sex life.

    depression and marriage life

    Gender roles are definitive in deciding behaviour in a marital state. Recent studies have depicted that men who are more engaged in household chores like cooking, cleaning, washing etc. feel less affinity towards sex than men who are not engaged in such types of work.

    Families which follow the traditional gender roles in marriage, and the women in the house do the cooking, washing, sweeping and such chores, while men pay the bills, take the car for servicing etc. have men who are more interested and inclined towards sex.

    Gender role is generally defined as a set of attitudes, behaviours, and self-presentation methods ascribed to members of a certain biological sex. This includes norms for behaviour, which some researchers have started to call “the rules of masculinity” or “masculine ideology.”

    Men who indulge in cooking, cleaning etc. feel psychologically feminine too, hence they are less inclined to progress towards sex, however, researchers and author add here, that it is not that those men do not have sex.

    Co-author Julie Brines, professor of sociology at the University of Washington, said:

    "The results show that gender still organizes quite a bit of everyday life in marriage. In particular, it seems that the gender identities husbands and wives express through the chores they do also help structure sexual behaviour."

    Lead author, Sabino Kornrich studied husbands and wives spent 34 hours each week on traditional female household chores, the couples spent an extra 17 hours each week on "men's work".

    These couples were found to have sex 4 times a week approximately, while couples in which female does the household work have sex 1.6 times as oftener than the former.

    The prevalent reason can be the traditional ideas associated with the males’ progressive role towards sex, which is determined by his income, while the female’s income doesn’t influence her sexual inclination or satisfaction level.

    A woman, though working, generally does all the household chores also, and hence she feels moderate towards sex, hence when a male indulges in cooking, washing etc. he also tends to feel a moderate inclination towards sexual drive, as the energy level in neutralised, or reduced.

    However, these days, the marriage and roles in it, have changed, it is not the same.

    Today, not all responsibilities of the house are burdened on the women. Couples need to free themselves from all kinds of workloads of the day, and find a free time for themselves to regain their energy for personal relationships.

    There should be a balance in lifestyle where couples share their responsibilities, at the same time accommodate some personal space and time for each other so that they can enjoy a healthy romantic life.

    Image source

  • 24 Aug
    Oyindrila Basu

    How can we make our happiness, a long term truth?

    mood enhancing activities

    All of us want to be happy, but we hardly can do so consistently, however, currently data science has proved that if we can manage our mood inconsistencies in the proper way, we can remain happy.

    New findings from large-scale data clarify how hedonic considerations shape human behaviour.

    In fact, the study tells us, how we can overcome the pleasure of short-term gains to gain a long term peaceful settlement in the mind.

    It depends on a few basic things; we can ensure our happiness by choosing our daily life activities wisely; what to do when is the key concept behind managing your mood.

    A team of researchers, led by Maxime Taquet, a research fellow at the Boston Children's Hospital, developed a smartphone application to monitor in real-time the activities and moods of over 28,000 people.

    The team found that, rather than following the pleasure or hedonic principle, people's choices of activities instead consistently followed a hedonic flexibility principle. 

    Results showed that people who are happy choose to engage in exercise, meditation, work outs etc. when they are sad, and opt to do monotonous tasks like household chores, office work etc. when they feel better in mood.

    These considerations can shape your behaviour and ensure long term welfare; this is also the possible method for overcoming your short-term gain attraction, which will give you long time peace and happiness.

    For e.g. you lose the flat race competition on the sports day in school; instead of crying on the situation and mourning over your loss, you can use the situation as a motivating factor to develop yourself; if you really like the sport, and you have talents of a runner, you choose to practice harder; more practice will build your self-confidence, it will make you fit, and give you the finesse required to be a champion in the national games or state level competitions.

    On the other hand, if you keep complaining about your present loss in a school sports event, it will waste a lot of time, it will hamper your studies, will put you into depression, and this mourn will be of no help, you won’t become first if you cry.

    Hence it is an individual’s choice of activities, which gives him/her happiness or success.


    Choosing what to do with your time, is the crucial choice a person should make, to direct his/her emotions. Mood enhancing activities should be engaged in when you are feeling low, and alternately, do the heavy duty tasks when you are already charged up.

    For e.g. if you wake up in the morning with a cross mood, or low energy, do not open your laptop immediately for office emails, better sip on a cup of warm green tea, and start your exercise schedule for about an hour, to sweat and lose some calories; it will alter your mood as your heart rate increases; and when your mood is good, you are feeling lively and joyous, you can do works like kitchen cleaning, sweeping, wiping floors, vacuuming etc.

    Hence, directing your activities can actually make your happiness consistent; you will feel happy even when you are not happy, and also feel happy when you are happy.

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