• 01 Apr
    Oyindrila Basu

    Travel Is Not Only A Great Experience, But Ensures A Great Mental Health.

    family travel benefit

    The fact that the act of near constant travel these past four years has shifted my perspective on life in tangible and identifiable ways. It shifted who I am, who I want to be, and how I perceive myself. And ultimately, it changed how I see and interact with the nearly every aspect of the world around me: family, jobs and career goals, political views, consumerism and consumption, friendships and my relationships.” – A girl from Florida finally celebrates her four years travel anniversary in 2012.

    After taking adventure trips across a dozen countries, she has gathered hundreds of experiences, hundreds of challenges and about more than a million memories, stories and ideas which she shares in a blog.

    We all love to travel, visit new places. Sometimes because we need a break from our regular life schedule, and want a holiday, or sometimes for adventure.

    Have you ever wondered how can moving yourself from your locality to another, mark a break or a holiday? Why do we go for travel?

    • To balance the roles of the same brain: If you are in the same place, with the same people and same work for a long time, your brain tends to play some mechanical roles in specified ways. The balance of your left brain and right brain is generally damaged, i.e. if you are working from 9-6 every day, coming home having dinner, communicating, going to bed, what you are actually doing are the functions of your left brain, which is analytic, objective, mathematical, digital, while your right brain has nothing to do at all, which tends more towards instinct, art, imagination and emotion. Once you are moving out of your known locality for a travel, you do not know what the new place is going to be like, you can let your imagination free to discover new food, new buildings or roads, new highlands and lowlands etc. a new place always leaves you awestruck. You get an opportunity to appreciate nature, which is the best Art of The Master, and you don’t need to restrict your expressions.

    So travelling gives freedom to your imagination, instinct and emotions, thus when you are able to balance your mind, you feel better, and realize that you have been able to ‘Break’ the shackles of monotony, when you are on a holiday.

    • To change our vision towards life: sometimes, life gives you its own pieces of gloom. You may be having a fight with your loved ones, you may be in depression, you may be bored, possibly then, your emotions are getting the better of you. Changing your location, going for a travel, helps you get a hold on your rationality. A travel is like an escape from the pre-set picture of your life. Once you switch over to another picture, you can compare the both, have an idea of the wider perspectives and then decide. Basically, travelling gives you a broader perspective of the world around you, gives you a clearer vision, with which you can perceive yourself and life. Feeling other places, other people, closely, adds to your experience, wisdom and rationality, which consequentially helps you solve graver problems once you come back from travel.
    • To ensure better physical health: doctors often recommend travel, if someone is ill in health. The reason being, that the body of the patient is well accustomed to his own environment, so the positivities are no longer so positive for him, which can rectify his/her physical health. So a ‘change’ is often suggested. When his/her environment is shifted, the fresh air, the new water quality automatically acts like a medicine inducing positivity in the patient. This is like changing an anti-allergic tablet, if your body is already habituated to it, and hence no longer reacts (for improvement) to it.
    • Travel in general, boosts personality development: travel, especially adventurous trips puts you through various challenges and tests of time, which makes you strong as a person, helps you grow.

    Like if you go for treks to Himalayas, you won’t get the facility of a soft bed or delicious food, but the glimpse of the rising sun on a mountain will be the only source of gratification.

    • It also gives you experiences, visions which can change your attitude towards various facts like lifestyle, politics, human nature etc.

    Personality reflects a series of long-term goals that people aim to achieve”, Psychology Today, and once you are back from a travel, some of these goals are definitely achieved, you feel more knowledgeable, and your personality reflects that confidence, that vision, that enlightenment.

    At the most basic level, travel has humbled me and expanded my perception of my place in the world………. Once I left my bubble in the U.S., I was thrust into new situations outside my realms of previous experience. I saw extreme wealth living aside startling poverty; I met people with radically divergent religious views. People who hated my country but not me. People who loved my country and assumed my America was a land of great wealth, equality, and outrageous opportunities. Opinions, stories, and new baseline realities were shoving into me at startling speeds.

    The pace of life quickens when you’re outside of your home base,” says the Florida girl after her four years long travel experience.

    • Travel can help you to create something new: you never know, just your passion for travel can transform you to another person, and create new things, like you may start writing a book, or start painting, or photography, because we all want to record our travel experiences in some form.

    Liz Carlson who was an English teacher in Spain, turned to a travel writer when she was suffocated by her routine job in school. Ever since then, “From camping with the Bedouins in the desert in Jordan to paragliding in New Zealand, she’s fully embraced having both a life filled with travel, while also encouraging others who might want the same that it is possible,” through penning down her experiences in her travel books and websites.

    In other words, we can also say, travel helps fostering your creativity.

    • Travel also changes your orthodox beliefs: widening your vision on people, cultures and practices, will automatically make your beliefs on customs and rituals more dynamic. Like you will no longer rush for washing your hand every time you enter home, from outside, once you are in America, and you see that people don’t even wash in latrines, but use only toilet paper rolls. (just a joke! J)

    Your purpose of travel can be anything, you can be a foodie, so you want to travel, like did Montrealer Jodi Ettenberg, after working for five years as a corporate lawyer in New York.

    Your work or profession can also be a good scope for you to travel new places, like it happens for our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. J

    But travel develops you as a person, as a human being, and boosts a positive mental health which helps you heal your worst wounds, and cope with life in a better way.


  • 01 Apr
    Oyindrila Basu

    How To Break The Chain Of Toxic Parenting By Recognizing The Truth?

    chain of toxic parenting 

    The term ‘toxic parent’ was coined by Craig Buck and Susan Forward in their book to describe parents whose own negative disposition leaves an indelible imprint on the mind of the child. Toxic means poisonous. Of course the term was very literal, meaning parents who mete out violence and abuse or sexual assault to their children are toxic for their health. But in the long run the term has undergone transformations.

    Toxic parenting can be any kind of negative parenting which leaves a legacy of shame and guilt in the child as an adult. Negative parenting can refer to incorrect method of treating your kids based on half knowledge, ignorance, neglect or some old propagated myths which damage the self-development of children.

    Sometimes parents in their attempt to be best and perfect, eventually turn out to be worse for their kids. Hence identifying the truth about yourself and your kids is the primordial necessity to avoid toxic parenting.

    How can we identify the truth?

    • Break the chain of mythical parenting- In a family, toxic parenting comes down ages like a chain, because one is influenced by the other. A couple usually takes the lesson from their previous generation and try to follow what they have done, hence the same methods and procedures continue like a chain. This is not correct. Your improvement on parenting will come with your exclusive experience. Do not blindly follow other’s instances. Even if your parents did something, doesn’t mean they were correct and that you have to follow it.


    • Break the myth of ‘good’- we have been hearing from our seniors that parents should always be ‘good’ to their kids, otherwise they do not love them. What is being good? We all have flaws; we are not always good; we go through emotional outbursts, make mistakes and show lack of wisdom at times in life. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t love your kids. Sometimes your children can be the most annoying, disgusting wreckless people on earth and you feel like hitting them on the head. It is normal; you have full rights to feel that way. Your goodness belongs to yourself, you are not answerable others. you know you love your kids; teach them and nurture them with the depth of love; you don’t need to prove it to others.


    • Break the myth of agreeability- Children are always taught to agree on everything what elders say. They are taught not to argue. Agreeing is easier; arguing is bad behaviour. No it is not true. Argument is healthy. An argument leads to knowledge, opens various avenues. Teach your child to argue with logic and reasoning, that is proper parenting.


    • Break the notion that kids should do what they are told- children are not puppets. They have their own thought and understanding. Respect their individual mind. Let them grow with self-respect and assertiveness.


    • Break the myth of kid’s voice- we have been watching and hearing that kids should be taken care of, watched over, seen, but not heard, i.e. kids can say anything, we should not bother about that. This is incorrect. Kids have a voice of their own, they have rights to say what they feel, and they need to be heard, corrected if they are wrong in a proper way.


    • Don’t infantilize your kids, encourage self-sufficiency- let your child do things themselves. You can assist them if they need it, but don’t make them feel that they cannot do things without you.


    • Let your child’s achievements be his own and his failure be his own- don’t hang your emotional expressions on your kids. “My child’s success is my success, if he is happy I am happy.” “If he is misbehaving, I am to be blamed.” This is a wrong attitude. You can claim but you can never feel what your children is feeling so you should not claim his success and achievements, he has earned it with his talent, let them belong to him.

    Parenting requires lot of patience and understanding. It demands attention, and recognition of the truth. Know the difference between criticizing and correcting. You are elder, behave like one. Show your maturity in resolving conflicts; your behaviour will teach your kid.

    Image source 

  • 01 Apr
    Oyindrila Basu

    Why Mostly Teenagers Suffer From Depression?

    teenager and depression

    Though we cannot generalize a statement, but it is true that teenagers are more prone to stress and other hazardous factors that affect the mental health.

    There can be several reasons:

    • Teenage is a phase of transition in one’s life when he or she progresses towards the outer world. They tend to move out from parental care, and starts doing things alone. going alone to school, going alone for tutions, going alone for shops are common activities, and several new situations arise in the pathway which may not be very favourable. Inability to handle them properly can cause depression.
    • The care factor is reduced when a person reaches his/her teenage. As parents slowly allow free movement to their kids at this stage, children also tend to discover new space, new knowledge, new understanding. They care less about what others are concerned of; what parents are bothering about; they want to get loose. However, in the process of alienation from familiar ties, they reach a stage where they feel futile. Friends, foes, new habits, everything turns out to be useless at some points of time; they are unable to find the truth, and this leads to depression.
    • Teenagers these days are loaded with a lot of study pressure, exams, tutions etc. school syllabus is getting more and more extensive day by day, and it becomes too hectic for a teenage child to handle all this pressure. Texts are getting advanced as compared to standards and hence each subject requires a tutor if you wish to excel. Completing 6 hours of school and then attending 3-4 tution classes each day is a lot of stress and pressure, and when the child breaks down, he succumbs to depression.
    • Teenagers are often stressed with competition. The pressure to succeed and this pressure means reaching the top; being at the uno position. Everybody cannot handle this pressure equally. The set expectation of society, of parents and relatives is too high, and a teenager has to undergo this pressure; in case he or she fails to keep up to the goal set by the society for him or her, it means a lot of despair. Teenagers are no taught to handle failures and that is very sad.
    • Teenagers face serious problems regarding bullying, ragging, love relationships, break-ups, betrayals which they are not able to discuss with elders in the house. Unable to solve the problems they are usually stricken with anxiety. Also lack of a proper vent of emotions leads towards depression.
    • Outer distractions affect the inner consciousness- when one steps out into the world, there are positive as well as negative influences like addiction, drug, and many other attractive things which can be fatal in the long run. There is a dilemma going on in a child’s mind on what to accept. The bad habits are attractive, they lure him or her, at the same time, the childhood values are not completely effaced. What to do, how to do, these questions do not come with a clear answer. They are in between two phases, one which was innocent and devoid of reality and one which looks dangerous, yet attractive, the practical life. Teenagers often face this confused state of identity, which can be a major cause of depression.
    • There is also a scientific causative factor for teenage depressive behaviour- the dysfunction of gene DCC during adolescence can be the cause of behavioural problems. The DCC gene is linked with the prefrontal cortex which remains active to its best during the teenage years and regulated all the emotional and cognitive activities called the "executive suite," including calibration of risk and reward, problem-solving, prioritizing, thinking ahead, self-evaluation, long-term planning, and regulation of emotion. Hence disruption in the DCC gene functioning can cause problem in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex which leads to behavioural dissociations in the teenager.


    Mental health is the most important thing. Competition and pressure should not be levied on teenagers beyond their abilities. Parents and teachers should develop a friendly approach towards them to understand their problems better. Depression can come, it can also be cured; the important role is that of the family.

  • 01 Apr
    Oyindrila Basu

    How To Stop Worrying?


    Worrying is chronic. It is more a kind of an epidemic disease which spreads from one person to another just by having a talk or two. When you are speaking to your friend, you start the talk for joy, pure relaxation, but soon the discussion shifts to your exams or your office appraisal, or salary structures etc. once you lend your ears to them you soon start worrying about the same too, because you are in no different situation.

    Sometimes, worry just enters your window like a gush of wind; there is nothing around but you begin worrying. Worries can be result of anxiety, hence when they are useless, without a base, and uncontrollable, they are subject to clinical help.

    None of us wants to visit doctors, especially for something which is in the mind :/ (well when I am worrying, what can the doctor do? He cannot solve my problem and stop the worry!)

    How can you effectively control the act of worrying?

    We have already discussed in our previous posts how anxiety can be alleviated by focusing on day to day activities, or present actions rather than thinking in the mind. The same way, ‘mindfulness’ or focus on our daily lives can help reduce unnecessary and long term worries. We need to stop thinking of long term problems and pay attention to what we have at hand. Even long term benefits should not much bother you, as because once you start thinking on long earned profits, worries of by chance not attaining them will also haunt you.

    Get yourself out of the obsession- Worry is an obsessive thought. You need to get yourself out of this obsession. Convince yourself that this obsession is dangerous, if required, try reminding yourself about some of the biggest Hindi film taglines on obsession like “Vaada: obsession is dangerous” etc. J which might really scare you of the danger and help you stay away from worrying.

    Your focus should be on day to day activities- Think of what you will cook tonight, how can you make the meal more interesting! Feel the green ingredients at hand; smell their freshness to use them as the best garnish. Let your taste buds get accentuated by the terrific aroma of hot and spicy barbecued chicken; watch it cook in the oven light as it slowly turns golden brown. These simple sensations and experiences can give you the pleasure of ‘now’, and slowly diminish your worries on the future.

    Engage in a better obsessive activity- like solving puzzles, board games or video games, thriller novels etc. Nowadays, games are lot beyond just fun. They can become obsessions. Mind power is tested and transformed within the games and slowly it tends to become obsession. You will learn new strategies through such activities, and hence you won’t get time for worrying, if you are engaged in your daily life.

    Schedule time for exercise- make exercise a part of your daily life. Anxiety is averted by exercise so is worry, which is an element of it. While working out, focus on breathing; pay attention to the amount of calorie you are losing every day. In fact, the machines are designed such that you can observe your heart rate, calorie lost, time of work out etc. in front of your eyes. Your focus automatically shifts to the pleasure of losing weight; of gaining a fit body, from worrying and getting fat.

    Celebrate short term gains- if you have bought a new dress; be happy; come home; share the news and celebrate with a bowl of ice-cream. Appreciate the fact that you have achieved one thing that you desired. This will give you contentment. Don’t omit the small episodes of life to worry about when you will have enough money to buy a Honda Civic or BMW.

    Visual and sensory motor distractions can be really effective- television, computer, gardening are activities which can be enjoyable, and will provide you images which are new to perception in your daily life. These will distract you from worrying.

    Use progressive muscle relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is a stress management technique by which you can learn to reduce anxiety by learning how to relax the muscular tension. It can be done alone or in combination with abdominal breathing, which means breathing fully from your abdomen or from the bottom of your lungs. It is the reverse of the way you breathe when you’re anxious or tense, which typically involves breathing that is shallow and high in your chest. Practice progressive relaxation for 5-10 minutes until you feel fully relaxed and free from obsessive thoughts.

    The above methods can help you implement new goals and activities in your daily curriculum which will require focus and understanding, so when you start thinking about small achievements, engagements and managements, you will eventually be shifted from a long term problem, hence less of worry will occur. Try it.

    Image source


  • 31 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    How To Fight With The Self Critic Within You?

    self critic

    I am such a loser; I can just never get the sums correct…. I had practised them so many times; yesterday too I have been struggling with them, especially the one with 10 mangoes, but I got the same error! How could this be? I mean am I nuts or a bull! Had there been a devil’s trance on me in the hall? Why was I getting the same answer to the sum again and again till the bell was gone!!! I am a horrible fellow. I can never do maths; I deserve to be kicked out of the class, maybe the school.”

    These are the possible kinds of thought that haunts us, when we cannot achieve a desired score in maths exam, or cannot be amongst the first three in sports. Self-criticism is good for your development; it helps you to persevere, try harder for perfection and achievement. However, don’t you think the inner thoughts described here are too loud?

    When you cannot remember anything but only worse things about yourself, know that it is getting too harsh and can be detrimental to your health.

    If you constantly provoke yourself with discouraging thoughts, you will soon start believing them, and soon lose hope thinking you can never achieve what you desire.

    So basically, your self-criticism which is supposed to be a booster gives an opposite effect of a dominator, and you behave negatively rather than moving positively towards the goal.

    Too much of dissatisfaction with self can damage your confidence, you start fearing your goal; gradually, you fear to attempt the task any further.

    But if something gets into the head it is difficult to get rid of it.

    Too much of self-criticism will make you a maniac. You will start hallucinating that people are laughing at you; they are mocking your failures, even though nothing of such has happened. Slowly, you will be forced towards the periphery of a good social life.

    So how to fight this? How can you control being a freak?

    • Remind yourself of the good things that you did in life. This can charge you up whenever, you are disturbed with the provoking thoughts of your failures. A person cannot be full of follies; we all have our list of achievements and we love to cherish our merits.
    • So next what you can do is take out your medals and certificates and look at them all over again to cherish the memories of your greatness. Feel proud of your successes. Laugh at the moment you won the awards.
    • If you are pulled down with too much of criticism in your mind, navigate the reason behind it. Try to find out why you are being so critical. Is there anything seriously wrong with you, which needs to be rectified immediately? No, we do not suggest that you accept your mind’s words as true, but try to look out for scope of improvement. When you try to focus on the causative factors, and the remedies to the criticism, the actual thought will slowly vanish from the mind. Kind of practising mindfulness.
    • Read more books to keep yourself active, whenever your mind tells you that you are worthless. Reading will give you a feeling of fulfilment, that you are knowledgeable.
    • After any kind of failure, criticize yourself, but to prevent being overburdened with the thoughts, practise rewarding yourself. “I shouldn’t have been so dumb, this is not the right way; the match was really important, if I could only beat her by 5 minutes, I could win it”, this is self-assessment which will help you improve, “but anyways what is gone cannot be retrieved, I have to try my best for the next match, but I am really fatigued, let’s go for a strawberry golla first and then a #SalmanKhan movie at the town hall”, this is the reward.
    • Self-conversation is a good way of resolving disputes with yourself, however, if the self-critic in you gets vehement, it will be like someone else is trying to prove day as night to you. you find it difficult to manage your plight. You keep blaming yourself for the failures, the mistakes. In such a situation, start talking to others. when you know what others think of you, how they assess you, confidence will be regained. Even the fact that they acknowledge your mistakes and are compassionate towards your plight will help you express yourself better, and talking out will remove the ugly thoughts.

    Develop a compassionate awareness of yourself and you will be able to move towards your goal with a fair pace.

    Image source

    References: 1 2