Mental well-being Discussion

Listen to Dr. Ashish Bansal, Vice President of ThinkRoman Care, talk about the various aspects of mental health and wellbeing through Orzuv.

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Mental well-being Discussion

Power of Mindfulness and Meditation to Combat Stress

Deepak Kumar

Deepak Kumar

2 min read

Power of Mindfulness and Meditation to Combat Stress

Harness the Power of Mindfulness and Meditation to Combat Stress

In today's fast-paced world, stress has become an ever-present companion, impacting both mental and physical well-being. Fortunately, mindfulness and meditation offer powerful tools to combat stress and promote overall wellness. This article delves into the benefits of mindfulness and meditation in reducing stress and enhancing resilience.

Stress occurs when your body feels threatened or challenged. While short-term stress can help you react quickly, long-term stress can harm your health by increasing the risk of anxiety, depression, and heart issues. Mindfulness involves being present without judgment, and meditation practices help you become aware and find inner calm. Mindfulness and meditation reduce stress by promoting relaxation, increasing self-understanding, and improving emotional regulation.

Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation

  1. Stress Reduction: Techniques such as deep breathing, body scan, and guided imagery induce the relaxation response, reducing physiological markers of stress such as cortisol levels and heart rate.
  2. Improved Emotional Well-being: Cultivating present-moment awareness helps individuals develop a non-reactive stance towards their thoughts and emotions, fostering emotional resilience and reducing negative affect.
  3. Enhanced Cognitive Functioning: Regular practice improves cognitive function, including enhanced attention, concentration, and cognitive flexibility, which can buffer against the detrimental effects of stress on mental clarity and decision-making.
  4. Better Sleep Quality: Mindfulness-based interventions improve sleep quality by reducing rumination and promoting relaxation, leading to more restful and rejuvenating sleep, essential for stress recovery and overall well-being.
  5. Increased Self-compassion: Mindfulness and meditation encourage self-compassion and self-acceptance, fostering a positive relationship with oneself and mitigating the self-critical tendencies that often exacerbate stress and anxiety.

Incorporating Mindfulness and Meditation into Daily Life

  1. Start Small: Begin with short sessions, gradually increasing duration as you become more comfortable with the practice.
  2. Consistency is Key: Establish a regular routine, ideally incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily schedule to reap maximum benefits.
  3. Find What Works for You: Explore different techniques to discover what resonates most with you, whether it's focused attention meditation, loving-kindness meditation, or mindful movement practices like yoga or tai chi.
  4. Stay Present: Embrace the present moment with curiosity and openness, letting go of judgment and expectations as you engage in these practices.

Mindfulness and meditation offer potent antidotes to the stressors of modern life, empowering individuals to cultivate inner peace, resilience, and well-being. By incorporating these practices into daily life, one can navigate life's challenges with greater equanimity and grace, fostering a deeper sense of connection with oneself and the world.

References

  1. Kabat-Zinn J. Mindfulness-based interventions in context: past, present, and future. Clin Psychol Sci Pract. 2003;10(2):144-156.
  2. Creswell JD. Mindfulness interventions. Annu Rev Psychol. 2017;68:491-516.
  3. Chiesa A, Serretti A. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: a review and meta-analysis. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(5):593-600.
  4. Tang YY, Holzel BK, Posner MI. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015;16(4):213-225.
  5. Black DS, Slavich GM. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016;1373(1):13-24

Holiday Stress: your Self-Care Strategies

Dr. Iqbal Ansari

Dr. Iqbal Ansari

2 min read

Holiday Stress: your  Self-Care Strategies

So what is Holiday stress

The holiday season, while often associated with joy and celebration, can also bring about increased stress for many individuals. Balancing work commitments, family obligations, and the pressure to create the perfect holiday experience can take a toll on mental and emotional well-being. This article aims to provide practical self-care tips and highlight available resources to help individuals effectively manage stress during the festive season.

1. Acknowledge and Set Realistic Expectations

One key aspect of managing stress during the holidays is acknowledging the pressure that comes with heightened expectations. It's essential to set realistic goals and recognize that perfection is unattainable. Accepting that not everything will go according to plan can alleviate stress and allow for a more enjoyable holiday experience.

2. Prioritize Self-Care Activities

In the midst of holiday hustle and bustle, it's crucial to prioritize self-care. Taking time for oneself, whether through meditation, exercise, or simply enjoying a quiet moment, can significantly contribute to stress reduction. Allocating specific periods for self-care activities in a busy schedule helps maintain a sense of balance.

3. Establish Boundaries

The holiday season often involves social gatherings and family events, which can be overwhelming. Setting clear boundaries and communicating personal limits is vital. It's acceptable to decline certain invitations or limit the duration of social interactions to prevent burnout and ensure adequate self-care.

4. Create Realistic Budgets

Financial stress is a common concern during the holidays. Creating a realistic budget for gift-giving, travel, and other expenses can help manage financial strain. Consider alternatives such as homemade gifts or shared experiences to reduce the financial burden while still celebrating the season.

5. Seek Support

Sharing feelings of stress and anxiety with friends, family, or a mental health professional can be beneficial. Knowing that you are not alone in experiencing holiday stress can provide a sense of validation and support. Social connections and open communication can help foster a supportive environment.

Resources for Managing Holiday Stress

Fortunately, various resources are available to assist individuals in managing stress during the holiday season:

a. Mental Health Hotlines: Reach out to helplines and mental health support services for immediate assistance and guidance.

b. Online Support Groups: Joining online communities or support groups allows individuals to share experiences and coping strategies with others facing similar challenges.

c. Mindfulness and Relaxation Apps: Utilize apps that offer guided meditation, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to promote mental well-being.

d. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): Many employers provide EAPs offering counseling and support services to employees and their families.

While the holiday season may present its share of challenges, incorporating self-care practices and accessing available resources can make a significant difference in managing stress. By setting realistic expectations, prioritizing self-care, establishing boundaries, managing finances wisely, and seeking support when needed, individuals can navigate the holidays with greater ease and joy. Remember, the essence of the season lies in connection, gratitude, and self-compassion.



Power of Optimism in a student’s life

UPG Student- Shreysi Chandra

UPG Student- Shreysi Chandra

1 min read

Power of Optimism in a student’s life

Optimism, what is optimism? Optimism is the quality of being full of hope and to look at the brighter side of any situation. It is said this word literally holds the power to change a person’s entire life. But is it really so? When I feel disappointed about certain things I often think that it is not always possible to have a positive outlook. When the situations are demanding or threatening we tend to lose our confidence and then the monstrous fear steps in to make things worse. At the start of each day, think about it, we always get two options to choose from in every situation- to look at the positive or negative, to be a victim or to learn from it. It all depends upon our perspective.

Our lives are indeed influenced by people around us but we are the real makers of it, we have to own it with pride at the end of each day. Being optimistic at all stages of life is very important and it has a much greater significance in a student’s life, in our lives. We are in a process of learning and while going through it we come across new people with different opinions and judgements. We become so entangled in the simple words of mock or teasing by other people that we forget who we really are. Earlier, these opinions affected me and tried to put me down.

Now when I look back at it, I realize those were the things which made me stronger and instilled in me to be more confident. It is because I chose not to let go or think low about myself but to embark on a journey of knowing and becoming a better version of me. Pessimism is destructive, realism lacks imagination and optimism widens the spectrum of love, happiness and faith. Life is only how we see it and we have to choose our perspective to fly high and succeed in life by cherishing the little moments and being grateful for it.

Choosing to be positive is easy, but remaining positive in the face of adversity is challenging. No matter how steady your mind is or how high your EQ (Emotional Quotient) level is, there are moments or circumstances when negative thoughts start to kick in and cause a lot of worry, anxiety, and unease.

In such cases, going with the flow is the best option. You can't control everything, right? Consider your mind to be an ocean, and your thoughts to be little fishes that wander around at random. Allow them to swim so that they do not sink!



A Diagnosis of OCD- A new beginning

Dr Ganeev Singh

Dr Ganeev Singh

2 min read

A Diagnosis of OCD- A new beginning


“I don’t know why, but I have always felt the need to be spotlessly clean all the time”, said Radhika, who was clearly fidgety, her eyes darting around the room as if looking for solace in a world that she found no comfort in.

“Doctor Saab, she packs her backpack for school at night and then does it all over again till we stop her”, said her father, “First we thought nothing of it until...”

He paused for a second as if to gather his thoughts, “Until one day we saw her picking at a scab on her arm and she just kept going, and there was a lot of blood...but she did not stop. We decided to get her to a doctor immediately.” I felt this was all I needed to make a preliminary diagnosis, at this point

I asked the father if he would let me speak to Radhika in private.

He obliged and Radhika looked uncomfortable as he left, she kept her eyes locked to him till he left and the door swung shut.

Trying to make her feel comfortable I said, “If you want him inside the room then we can make that happen we don’t have to speak alone, I just felt that there are certain things that even he does not know that you may be experiencing” Radhika’s head was bowed in silence and she twiddled with her thumbs as if contemplating whether I could be trusted or not.

“It's not that I don’t want to tell you what is on my mind, it's just that I myself am not sure whether my thinking is even logical at all” she spoke suddenly, I just nodded indicating her to go on. “I have this feeling that my parents are going to leave me alone and go away.” she continued, “I think it started when I was in my room and Papa was sitting down with me. and I heard the main door click shut, and that is when I felt all these negative thoughts come into my head. I ran out of the door and searched all around the house frantically.

Finally, I found him outside the house taking a phone call” “Ever since that day I find myself performing these daily rituals and I keep telling myself, If I touch their bedroom door every night before bed they won’t leave me and go” As I had predicted, “Radhika, How long have these intrusive thoughts been coming into your head?” “More than 2 years,” she replied. “I feel you have something called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,” I said, with a well-rehearsed tone, my years of practice have made me more sympathetic about how a devastating diagnosis can impact my patients.

“Although there is no complete cure, symptoms are more than manageable with either drug therapy or Cognitive behavioral - Exposure Response type Therapy and I have had patients who have achieved complete remission in less than 1 year” “Exposure-response.... That sounds uncomfortable” she said. “Maybe at first, but facing your fears head-on is sometimes the best option and it doesn't even involve medications.

I explained to her. “We’ll meet weekly and try out this regimen” and proceed from there. “I am going to be constantly involved in this treatment process and I’ll guide you every step of the way.

Although it is a slower method of treatment, it has proven to be more effective in the long-term treatment of OCD.” “If ever there is an emergency or you need to schedule an appointment on an urgent basis you can always go through my office and I will be there as soon as I can, I know this is not easy for you or your family but we’ll try our very best, Let me know if you have any questions.” For the first time in our 30-minute meet, Radhika smiled.


MDMA: A New Hope for PTSD Treatment

Dr Ganeev Singh

Dr Ganeev Singh

2 min read

MDMA: A New Hope for PTSD Treatment

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) remains a challenging condition impacting a vast number of individuals globally. As conventional therapies may not suffice for all patients, the psychiatric community is actively investigating innovative treatment methods. One such avenue gaining attention is the potential application of MDMA-assisted therapy. This article will provide insights from a mental health expert on the benefits, challenges, and ethical aspects surrounding the use of MDMA for PTSD treatment.

MDMA's Role in Addressing PTSD:

MDMA, also known as "ecstasy" or "Molly," is a synthetic drug with properties that can influence brain neurochemistry. It induces emotions such as empathy, openness, and reduced fear, making it intriguing for therapeutic purposes in PTSD. By lowering emotional barriers, MDMA may enable patients to approach traumatic memories in a more manageable and less distressing manner.

MDMA-assisted therapy involves controlled administration of the drug in a supervised environment by trained therapists. It facilitates improved communication and connection between patients and therapists, creating a conducive setting for exploring traumatic experiences and emotions.

Potential Benefits:

Enhanced Psychotherapy: MDMA may contribute to a deeper and more constructive therapeutic experience, potentially helping patients access repressed emotions and memories, enabling them to process unresolved traumas more effectively.

Reducing Avoidance Behaviors: PTSD often leads individuals to avoid triggers associated with their trauma. MDMA-assisted therapy could aid patients in confronting these triggers with greater efficacy, leading to a reduction in avoidance behaviors and overall improvement in functioning.

Fostering Empathy and Trust: The empathogenic effects of MDMA can strengthen the therapeutic alliance between patients and therapists, fostering a safe and supportive environment for emotional healing.

Challenges and Ethical Considerations:

Safety and Regulation: MDMA is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it is illegal and not recognized for medical use in most countries. Rigorous research, safety

protocols, and regulatory approvals are necessary before considering its widespread use for PTSD treatment.

Potential Risks: While clinical trials have shown promising results, there are potential risks associated with MDMA use, including adverse reactions and potential abuse. Thorough assessment and patient screening are crucial to identifying appropriate candidates for this treatment.

Long-Term Effects: The long-term effects of MDMA on the brain and mental health require further investigation. As a psychiatrist, it is essential to consider both short-term benefits and potential risks when exploring this treatment option.

Conclusion:

As psychiatrists, we are continually seeking innovative ways to alleviate the suffering of patients with PTSD. While MDMA-assisted therapy shows promise in aiding the healing process for some individuals, it is essential to approach this potential treatment modality with caution, considering the ethical implications, safety protocols, and legal constraints. Ongoing research and clinical trials will play a critical role in determining the long-term viability of MDMA-assisted therapy as a valuable tool in our efforts to combat the devastating effects of PTSD and bring hope to those in need.