1. The human body in which each of us lives is made up of around 37 trillion cells, to be precise. And every day, about 1-2 percent of the cells are renewing. So, exactly after 90–100 days, a new “me” appears. We remain so busy with our routine lives that we hardly acknowledge this fact, and many of us are not even aware of it. So, ‘change’ is the constant tune, not just within the universe but also within us.
2. Now that we understand that our bodies undergo transformation on a daily basis, So, the question is: how does this self-renewal occur? Let’s go back to our past a little bit. The human body develops from the human embryo, which is fertilized by an oocyte and a sperm cell. This embryo is made up of stem cells. The stem cells are the basic cells (undifferenciated cells) of the human body, which, through the process of mutation and transformation grow into different cells like nerve cells, bone cells, muscle cells, blood cells and so on. Throughout our lifespan, these stem cells undergo cell division and keep replicating; that’s how self-renewal happens.
3. Under normal physiological self-renewal processes, different cells in the body have differing rates of cell division. So, the replication process of various tissues, organs, and blood cells in the body has a different time frame, like the skin epidermal cells, which can take around 10–30 days, whereas a bone cell takes 3 months, or a hair grows about 1 cm in one month, and so on.
4. Though our body is constantly changing due to the continuous self-renewal process through different cell cycles like shedding the old skin cells, renewal of intestinal cell lining, and growing hair or nails on a routine basis, this isn’t a simpler process. The human body is still very complicated and has exceptions. Some cells, such as those in the brain (cerebral cortex), eyes (such as lenses), and heart, do not change from birth to death.
5. But then, why is self-renewal important and must be maintained? Under normal physiological conditions, stem cells have two functions: proliferation and differentiation. Though stem cells have a natural proliferative capacity throughout our lives, disease conditions can affect their physiological self-renewal ability and behavior due to factors such as damage or an unhealthy lifestyle (obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking, or a poor diet).
6. A lack of an appropriate environment within the body or poor maintenance of the human body might eventually lead to the exhaustion of the capacity of stem cell proliferation, which causes premature aging or tissue atrophy. With aging, stem cell activity, tissue regenerative and haemeostasis is significantly declined.
7. Sometime, due to the unhealthy environment within the body, mutations lead to aggressive stem cell division without going through the natural cell differentiation process. This can lead to abnormal tissue growth or cancer in the body. Therefore, the physiological process of stem cell division and the natural stem cell behavior can be affected by four disease conditions, like degenerative, metabolic, cardiovascular, and inflammatory conditions.
8. Regenerative medicine and therapies have arisen as a result of the discovery that defective self-renewal mechanisms in the body are the root cause of malignancies and abnormal cell proliferation. Many disorders are being treated with regenerative medicines based on stem cells. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the use of stem cell treatment to treat a variety of diseases like cancer and disorders including type 1 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, burns, osteoarthritis, by regenerating cells, repairing tissues, and transplanting organs.
9. The fact about regenerative medicine is that, though it has helped many patients around the world, the cost of treatment is quite high as the procedure is complicated and the failure rate is high. Human stem cell treatment requires culturing human stem cells in a laboratory setting for a longer period of time, which is quite difficult.
10. The market is flooded with products that promote cell regeneration, anti-aging, and longevity. The lofty claims made by these items are still quite dubious. But it is true that some supplements do work to improve health, lower inflammation, and increase immunity. But in the end, having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, a calm mind, and exercising regularly is all that’s necessary for good health.
Hello everyone! Greetings 🖖 This is my first post after a year long break…
True enough, life is indeed unpredictable. It gives you the most dreadful unexpectedness when you least expect it. That’s what happened to me. Today, when I look back and remember, I still get the goosebumps, the tremble and chill. The misery I went through, will most likely follow me all throughout my life, or for a very long time. The past year was the most challenging and overwhelming for me. In those days, I used to put down my thoughts and feelings to my husband throughout his absence during the difficult times.
When we were about to go to bed, on the evening of 8th January 2021, around10.30 PM, after dinner and are routine talk, you complained of a headache. I advised you to take a pain reliever, and go to bed. But to my astonishment, you behaved a little different when you were lying on the bed. You asked me to get the tablet and water for you. When I was back from the kitchen with the glass of water, you couldn’t get up from the bed to have the medicine.The water gushed out from your mouth because you were unable to swallow. Then, all of a sudden, I could understand that something was wrong with you. You began to slur your words. Being a doctor myself, I came to know that you were having a transient ischaemic attack or maybe a stroke. I, immediately called emergency service and requested for an ambulance. I fumbled while speaking as I was very nervous. In the interim, I also called our next-door neighbour Jan, a 72 year old retired dutchman who is quite friendly and is fluent in English. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics examined you and noticed that your left side of the body was immobile. However you were still trying to communicate and was conscious. They hurried you to the emergency room of the nearest hospital in Eindhoven where we reside. Both, Jan and I accompanied you to the hospital. In the ER, I was not allowed inside. We were both waiting outside. At around 11 o’clock, I asked Jan to go back home as he was quite tired and had recently recovered from cancer.
A little later, I was told that they gave you a Morphin injection for your headache and a CT scan was done. Although I was completely shaken, somehow I was calm, still holding on to my gut that things would be all okay. Once the CT scan report came, they confirmed to me that it’s a right brain hemorrhage, which is quite huge and with some strange findings. I was told that they had planned to shift you to a hospital in Tilburg, which is a nearby city, about 45-minute drive from Eindhoven. On top of my shock and cold shivers, I was confused and petrified by this whole chain of events. I was informed that they don’t have the expertise, so that is why you have to be referred to the Tilburg Hospital, which has a better neurological service. Moreover, I was told that your CT scan findings were quite confusing and the bleeding was huge.
Within minutes, the ambulance came and rushed us to Tilburg. Inside the ambulance, you were lying down, still in your senses, tired and awake, complaining of the headache and discomfort. I was sitting next to you and asking you to rest and reassuring you. By almost 12.30 am, we reached Elizabeth Hospital, Tilburg. They rushed you again to the ER. I was allowed to accompany you there. The neurosurgeon on duty examined you and did a scan again. She, too, told me about the right brain hemorrhage and some strange discovery that resulted in the massive bleeding. All the while, I was very worried and heartbroken from inside. I could not hold my tears, cried and felt so helpless. At that moment, I felt that I would lose you and that I had lost everything in life.
Still awake and tired, you were transferred to a medium-care unit to be kept under observation. You asked the nurse if I could stay with you in the room. I know I won’t be allowed in, so I assure you that I will keep waiting outside. During those painful hours, I called your father, back home in India, to inform him about the whole episode. He was totally shocked. I could not hold my tears and was crying on the phone. Then, I called and informed our son too. He was confused and could not believe his ears. He was terrified as well, as he knew that his dad was the fittest one in the family and had never had any kind of illness. I have no idea what went through him at that stage, as he was all alone at home. Due to COVID, he was in our apartment and not in his college hostel. I also informed my sister and my brother-in-law. By that time, it was almost 1.30 AM. I was told to go back home as you were kept under supervision and it was quite stable.
So, while boarding a taxi from Tilburg to Eindhoven, I realised that the coming days were going to be the toughest to handle.That whole night, after reaching home, I cried and cried, just loitering around the house in anguish and pain. I had the impression that I was in for a long, dark journey with no idea what lay ahead.
The following day ,on the 9th of January was even scarier. I was informed earlier that you would be taken to the Operation Theatre for brain angiography. I was in the hospital, waiting to hear about the outcome of your brain angiography. Till 6 o’clock in the evening, there was no news concerning you. I kept enquiring the OT nurse about you. She informed me that you hadn’t been taken out of the OT. My mind was beginning to crawl with fears and anxieties. I was distraught and in panic. The OT nurse then called me at around 6:30 pm and took me to a room. I could sense the worst as I was sitting alone in the room. At that moment, I was terrified and utterly shaken.
Two doctors entered the room and sat in front of the table where I was sitting. One doctor started talking to me about the procedure they had to perform on you. They said that you had an atrioventricular fistula in your right brain which had to be repaired, otherwise the bleeding was profuse. The procedure went well, but you have not yet regained your consciousness from the anesthesia. They were very uncertain about the outcome and that you might have slipped into a coma. They told me that they were expecting the worst scenario, maybe brain death. My whole world was shattered at that moment. I was almost lost and could not stop myself from crying. I was in a complete state of shock. The doctors and staff did try to console me. Jan, our elderly friend, explained to me to take things practically and control my emotions. I called our son, your brother, and my family and informed them regarding your state. I was told to return home and was assured to be informed of any further developments regarding your state. When I got home, it felt like the longest night, the darkest and scariest night of my life. That whole night, I grasped onto my mobile, waiting for any news about you.
On January 10th, I came to the hospital and was informed that you had been shifted to the ICU. The doctors told me that they had to drain a huge bulk of fluid from your brain and that your vitals were stable. I was informed that your MRI scan showed a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, which got worse due to a congenital defect of the AV fistula. Such cases are rare.The condition was worse as you had hydrocephalus, so the fluid had to be drained to reduce the pressure.
The first time I saw you in the ICU with a ventilator and machines, drains, and drips all over, it was really hard for me. I went near you and called your name. You did respond with a little movement of your right hand. I was relieved and was happy as I could see little hope of light after these 2-3 hard days. That day was quite positive for me as the doctors were happy with you for being responsive to the treatment and procedure. But then, they still reminded me about the uncertainty of your condition. There was still a huge amount of fluid left in your brain which had to be drained continuously. You were still in a comatose state, with a low score on the neurological scale. I was told to call our immediate family members from India as your chances of survival were low. I called our son, back in India, and asked him to pack his bag to come to the Netherlands. I also informed your family and mine regarding your present state. I called your employer and informed them because they had been trying to reach you for the last 2-3 days due to your professional obligations. I also informed my project coordinator and let go of the project that I was doing.
After going through all the procedures of an emergency visa, our son arrived on January 14th. This was a life-changing event for him as well, as he had been very close to you, his father. He did go through an emotional roller coaster during those turbulent days. And, seeing you in that state, he had acted very mature and calm. He has been my biggest support through this storm. Our neighbors and friends have also been very supportive through the difficult time. Your employer has been a great support system for me and our son. We will always remain grateful to everyone who has been there for us through those difficult hours.
You stayed in the ICU for almost 2 months. Everyday, I visited twice, once in the morning and then in the evening. During my time spent with you in the ICU, your eyes remained close most of the time, but you do respond to my touch with right-hand finger movements. Some days were good and positive, while some days were scary. Our son, too, visited you in the ICU. But, he had to leave as his exams were approaching. Your neurological state improved slowly and your vitals were stable. You had gotten out of the ventilator. They decided to shift you to the rehabilitation centre after you regained consciousness.
I was initially quite optimistic and excited about your development and recuperation during your time in the rehab facility. However, because the prognosis was poor, we, also had to deal with a number of setbacks in that situation. Your severe cognitive impairment and short – term memory problems were not responding well to therapy. Your left side is completely paralysed, and there is no recovery. You still struggle with a few cognitive issues. However, you continue to make good progress in terms of your awareness, speech, memory, and physical development every day. Your speech is clear and concise at present.
After more than a year, you are still residing in the rehabilitation facility, and your therapies are still ongoing. I see you almost every day of the week. While we converse and laugh on certain days, other days are sad when therapy doesn’t work out. As I’ve come to terms with your situation, I’ve begun to feel content. My greatest satisfaction comes from watching you smile while I am with you.The hardest lesson life has taught us today is to be cheerful in the moment we share together right now because we don’t know what the future has in store for us. When I see you now, hope is the only thing in which I will still believe and live.
Being one of them or maybe, we must have come across people who are overwhelmed with trivial things, or sensory subtleties like a crowded place, loud noises, a strong odour. Or people who get easily stressed out, quickly get hurt or being overly emotional. This happens because such people are born with a particular personality trait and a susceptible nervous system so considered as High Sensitive People.
6 points to understand a high sensitive person:
1. People born with this personality trait is not abnormal, nor this isn’t a disorder. They have this personality because their brain is wired differently. There are scientific reasons for this kind of behaviour. Anatomically, their brain has a prominent insula which is responsible for their heightened state of emotional and sensory sensitivities. Their brain is wired to have a lower threshold for emotional and sensory reactivity. Genetically, they are associated withthe 5HTLPR gene, which is related to mental issues like depression and anxiety. This personality trait is also known as sensory processing sensitivity (SPS).
2.High sensitive person does not necessarily are introverts. A few percentages of people with this trait can behave like an extrovert. Introverts are people who like or enjoy being alone. In contrast, HSP can have deep human connections and can be comfortable with a few set of people. They are sensitive to physical, mental, emotional and sensitive subtleties.
3.High sensitive People are deep thinkers, highly emotional and intense. They are sensitive to the external sensory sensitivities like a crowded place, parties, loud noises, strong smell or any physical sensations. Such personality is gifted with highly creative talents like art, painting, music, writing or in any such creative fields.
4.People with this trait can overthink easily. Overthinking can lead to repeating the same trail of thoughts, which can quickly turn to negative thinking. Repeating the same spiralling thought pattern can also lead to anxiety, depression and stress disorder.
5.High Sensitive peopleare not comfortable with multi-tasking or highly competitive environment. Too many tasks at a time can make them overwhelmed and stressful. So, choosing a profession or a job, which they can enjoy doing is quite crucial.
6.If you are born with this trait, self-acceptance is crucial. Self-criticism doesn’t hold any purpose. Though it is quite challenging to go through the everyday stress of life, living with emotional and sensory subtleties, but they have the capabilities to overcome them. They can thrive and become very successful too. Adjusting the environment according to their convenience and keeping a few trusted friends and family for emotional support is hugely beneficial. As far as physical and emotional strain is concerned, adopting a healthy lifestyle, enjoying a hobby, a daily exercise routine, sleep, mindfulness, meditation can help to lead a balanced life.
Ashwagandha: This is a herb, initially grown in India, also in the Middle East and some parts of Africa. As the name signifies, ‘Ashwa’ meaning ‘horse’ and ‘gandha’ means ‘smell’. So the herb smells like horse and doesn’t taste good either. But, this herb is well known for its exceptional medicinal properties. It is used in Ayurvedic Medicine from an ancient time. Its botanical name is “Withania Somnifera”. Since it has some fantastic health benefits, various researches have been carried out across the world to prove it’s efficacy. Well yes, this herb has been considered safe and now widely been used as a supplement for various health issues and overall good health.
Scientifically, this herb is an adaptogen, meaning that it adapts the requirement of the body. It balances the body’s homeostasis depending upon the emotional and physiological stresses by strengthening the nervous, endocrine and immune system. The main medicinal compound found in this herb is called ‘Withanolides’. It is found beneficial for both men and women’s health and can be used in case of children too.
The top benefits of Ashwagandha:
1.Ashwagandha helps to boost the overall health, enhances the immune system, increases muscle growth and power. It increases stamina and endurance power. 2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Ashwagandha reduces the level of cortisol and empowers the adrenal health. It can improve the mood by acting as a natural antidepressant. It improves sleep quality by reducing stress and anxiety and calming the mind. 3.Aswagandha benefits the thyroid health. It helps to keep a balance of the different thyroid hormones. As it is anadaptogen, it can benefit in overall balance of thyroid hormones so it helpful in thyroid issues. But studies shows that it is more effective in hypothyroidism than hyperthyroidism. 3. It is highly beneficial for brain health. It can reduce inflammation in the brain, improves neuronal health and memory. It is used successfully to improve conditions like Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s disease. It can help to improve focus and concentration, so it is used in cases of ADHD too. 4. It can be beneficial in both males and females by improving the reproductive health and endocrine system. So, it has been used successfully in case of males to improve the level of testosterone. 5. Studies suggest that it has anti-cancer properties and prevent the growth of new cancer cells. More shreds of evidence are required in this regard. 6. It can lower the blood sugar level as it improves the insulin secretion and increases insulin sensitivity. It can also lower cholesterol level and so is heart-friendly.
Since it is a natural herb from a green shrub, its root, leaves and different parts of the plant are used in Ayurvedic medicine. But the most widely used is the root powder extract. It is available in capsules and powder form. The ideal dose as a supplement is 500mg once or twice daily depending upon the individual body types and body weight. The best way to take the dose is at a convenient timing after a meal. A healthy diet is advisable along with the herb to get the best possible result. Since it has a robust medicinal compound, it has to be always used under Expert advice.
Though considered safe, like all herbs, overdosing can lead to toxicity. Some of the side effects are important to note before using this herb.
1.Drug interaction: People using medicines for thyroid, blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases should never carelessly use this herb. Because, using this herb, can interfere with the efficacy of the other medicines used. So, this herb should be used only before advice by the treating Physician. 2.Large doses of Ashwagandha can cause gastrointestinal irritations like vomiting, stomach upset and diarrhoea. People should not use it if one suffers from a stomach ulcer. 3.Pregnancy and breastfeeding women should avoid using this herb as it can cause a harmful effect. 4.It can cause sedation when taken in excess or along with antidepressant pills. 5. It is better to avoid using this herb in individual who are opting for surgery as it can slows down the central nervous system.
Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and great day 🙋🏻
3 things to know about hyperhidrosis :
1. Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterised by excessive sweating from the eccrine glands, which is about 4-5 times more than an average person sweating. This condition can harm the life of the individual at the professional, mental and social level. Physiologically, sweating is a normal phenomenon which occurs to regulate the body’s temperature. It is actually, a function of the sympathetic nervous system that causes the sweating. In hyperhidrosis, tremendous sweating occurs in hands, feet, scalp, face and armpits, making it annoying and irritable. This condition affects about 5% of the global population.
2. Hyperhidrosis has no known cause but can be associated with certain medical conditions. So, reasons can be group as : a.Idiopathic (no known cause) b.Hereditary factor c.It can be related to certain medical underlying conditions and due to the intake of certain medications. d.Specific conditions which can be associated with hyperhidrosis: Obesity, Stress disorders, chronic anxiety, hyperthyroidism and menopause.
3. There is no known cure for hyperhidrosis. Though topical creme and antiperspirant are there, treatments are available to manage such cases quite well. Some treatment options are : a.Iontophoresis: It is a non-invasive procedure of delivering electric current to the affected body parts like hands, feet or armpit while that particular body part is submerged in water. Though this procedure is common, it has a limited success rate and requires frequent intervention. b.Botox injections: This method is quite effective but again requires numerous injections and repeated sessions. c.Sympathectomy: This is a minimal surgical procedure which is used to remove the sympathetic nerves that control the sweating of the affected parts. This procedure is the most effective one.
The cost-effectiveness of each of the procedures can be decided, depending upon the individual’s requirement and severity.
Thinking is what makes us the most intelligent species on this planet. It is this thinking what drives us to learn, study, analyze. Thinking makes us competent and innovative and help us to perform a task or job. But, when thinking becomes out of control, nagging and overtime, then, we start creating problems for us. As a habit, overthinking is not uncommon. We all may have it to some degree, more or less. Some realize it and correct it while others may be so drawn to it, which may lead to toxic consequences like anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies and insomnia.
Ten simple ways to stop overthinking on a day to day basis:
1.Awareness: Before you can change the habit or develop a strategy, it is essential first to be aware of this habit of your mind. Whenever a thought lingers you, there is also some emotion attached to the thought. You start imagining worst possible scenario because the mind tends to think about the negative first. Maybe, this is from the time of evolution of our species, to foresee a potential danger first. So, imagination causes the mind to be strained and anxious. An anxious mind keeps brooding again and again. So, being aware of this state of mind is a fundamental key to change.
2.Reshaping your thought process: Instead of avoiding the thought or running away from it, start to reshape your thinking to a positive one. Instead of imagining the worst scenario, imagine the best scene. Instead of brooding onto the fear, create a strategy and achievable goals.
3.Change your Perspective: This is important because overthinking is ground to fear of losing or failure. So, instead of thinking on the negative terms, start thinking on the time frame—prioritize the perspective. Whether the thought or emotion do hold any value in your future, maybe five years from now or perhaps just next month.
4.Distracting the mind constructively: Many people tend to overthink when they are alone or lonely. So, it is essential to do things or develop hobbies to keep your mind occupied and let out the emotions like painting, dancing, photography, gardening, playing an instrument or even jolting down the thoughts.
5.Perfection: Aiming to be perfect is just not done. This will lead to unnecessary anxiety or stress. Instead, focussing on your progress and growing day by day is the more practical approach.
6.Overcome fear: Fear comes with failure in the past or with a bad experience in the past. But, having a past loss, doesn’t mean you will have the same outcome every time. 7.Realize the truth: The truth is that we cannot predict the future. Future is associated with an element of uncertainty. So, instead of thinking and worrying about the end, it is wiser to focus on the present moment. Focus on all the positive aspects of your life, which makes you joy and cheerful.
8.Accept your worthiness: Overthinking is usually associated with fear of failure, that you are not good enough, not worthy of success. Keep yourself reminding that you are good enough; you are capable enough to accomplish all your goals. 9.Be grateful: Living in gratitude is the most important view in life. We should never forget to be thankful for the life we lead, being able to breathe and for the things and loved ones we have around.
10 Last but not least, the physical body affects the mind and vice versa.So, regular exercise, meditation, walking in nature all help profoundly to keep a healthy mind with a healthy body.
Inositol is a pseudovitamin, more commonly referred to as vitamin B8. Unlike other vitamins, Inositol is not considered essential as the body can make it. The kidneys and other body parts can produce it. Inositol is mostly found in the brain. It is vital for the body because it is involved in several crucial processes of the body namely –
1. Insulin regulation and helps to maintain blood sugar. It can improve the insulin sensitivity of the insulin receptors and reduces insulin resistance. 2. Fat metabolism which prevents the fat from accumulation. 3. Neurotransmitter synthesis like Seratonin which is greatly affected by Inositol. Therefore, it affects our mood and behaviour. 4. Calcium signalling. 5. Epigenetic regulation. 6. Cytosketetal formation.
Because it plays an essential role in these processes, it helps to benefits and improve many chronic conditions like :
“Adrenal Fatigue” is a laymen term which we frequently come across or must have heard often these days. Stress is a common thing these days which we encounter in our everyday life, especially in today’s time. In every aspect, not just in personal and professional lives, but also financial, health-related and not to forget this pandemic time of COVID 19.
Not a medical diagnosis, this term ‘adrenal fatigue’ was coined by a Naturopath named James Wilson. He referred it to a set of unspecified symptoms which arises due to the hypofunction of the adrenals.
When adrenal glands, a small pair of organs which lies above each kidney doesn’t function at an optimal level, there is an imbalance. When the body is in a state of prolonged stress, the adrenals keep secreting hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are meant to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system during fight or flight response. Without the presence of any potential threat, the person tends to remain in this fight or flight response state due to chronic stress.
So specific symptoms appear like anxiety, high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, puffy face, Sleep disturbances weight gain and fatigue As a result of the prolonged release of cortisol, the adrenals tend to get fatigued and burnout. Hence, the term adrenal fatigue aptly is referred to such a state.
Cortisol, as such, is not a harmful hormone. This is a useful hormone which, since evolution has been with us, which helps us with our survival instinct to protect us from potential threat or danger. Typically, this hormone is produced at a necessary level to carry out its normal function of helping in the metabolic process in the body. Cortisol is always at a balance with the growth hormone, which is secreted by the pituitary. The growth hormone is an essential hormone for growth and regeneration. But as we age, the growth hormone release decreases. So, there is a somewhat an imbalance of the growth hormone and cortisol balance. That’s where the different troubling symptoms start appearing.
Some ways when cortisol can be lowered in the body naturally: 1.Increase growth hormone release by sleep, exercise like walking. 2. Intake of Vitamine D3 of 10,000IU daily, Vitamin like B1 and B5, which also supports the adrenals. Sun exposure can be beneficial in this aspect. 3. Omega 3 fatty acids are useful for the adrenals—wild fishes like salmon, codfishes, flax seeds, avocado are some sources. 4.Minerals like potassium, magnesium: Banana, soy products like tofu, edamame beans, walnuts, almonds. 5. Herbs like Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Rhodiola. 6. Relaxation methods like mindfulness, meditation, yoga
Specific hormone-like Oxytocin which is also called the love hormone, secreted by the posterior pituitary, helps to balance the cortisol level in the body. Some simple ways to increase or ensure the release of oxytocin in our daily life 1. Take a walk, spend time in nature, or with a pet. 2. Self-love and self-care 3. Laughter 4. Hugging and cuddling
“The best use of imagination is creativity, the worst use of imagination is anxiety”. Deepak Chopra.
Humans are the only species since evolution, who have the most evolved mind. They can undoubtedly imagine both constructively and destructively. So, it’s our thoughts alone which can make or break us.
Being anxious is having an uninvited guest into your house, which you are trying to avoid, but still, he refuses to leave.
Anxiety is a state of mind, not a disease. Every day, we generate about 70,000 thoughts, out of which majority of them are negative and repetitive thoughts which do not serve any purpose. Thoughts are the main stimulator of our state of wellbeing. Whether you are physically healthy or not, thoughts are only instrumental which determines our state of wellbeing. It’s the day to day thoughts that creates our perceptual reality which we believe our real world. Hence, this is the hard truth that needs to be acknowledged by us.
It’s essential to educate ourselves that thoughts typically creates our reality. So, if we modify our thinking pattern or start creating empowering thoughts and beliefs, we can easily change the world around us. Therefore, thoughts are so powerful that they can push you to the peak of physical and mental wellbeing or dumped you in the pit of depression and anxiety.
So, how does anxiety builds up? Out of 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts generated, every day, about 90% of them are just repetitive and negative thoughts. There is overthinking and rumination of the same type of thoughts. As the cycle continues, there is an alteration in the chemical makeup of the brain. Dopamine and serotonin, the mood regulators get depleted in the brain. The production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) gets consumed, and slowly there is shrinkage in the size of the brain. When the cycle becomes vicious, and anxiety state becomes chronic. It started to interfere with daily activities. Such a state is regarded as an Anxiety disorder. As chronic stress get elevated and reaches the threshold, there are significant changes taking place in the brain.
Some noticeable changes are : 1. The more the brain is engaged in anxious thoughts, the more the ‘anxious neural pathways’ are strengthened. 2. The brain is stuck in the state of ‘high alert’, becomes more reactive to the stress receptors for possible threats which are mostly imaginary. 3. The fear centre in the brain becomes more prominent and more significant. 4.Not just the chemistry, but changes start appearing up to the DNA level in the brain. 5. Brain ageing process also fastens. 6. The circadian rhythm is disturbed, and the sleep cycle gets disrupted.
Simple ways to get rid of the anxiety state : 1. Firstly, it is better to face the anxiety. More avoidance will lead to more exaggeration. So, visit your fears, and start being an observer. Being an observer of your mental state, create a sense of indifference, feels like you are different from your state of mind. You understand that the mind and body have created a false association to any external object or stimulant as the triggering factor.
2. Diaphragmatic breathing: Long bouts of inhalations followed by long rounds of exhalation. The deep breathing technique: Like taking a prolonged deep breath of inhalation by counting 1-4, then, a pause of 1-4, followed by an exhalation of 1-4, then another break of 1-4, and the sequence continues. That is why this technique is known as four-square breathing. This slow and deep breathing causes the oxygen to reach your brain, and the parasympathetic nervous system gets activated. It can be an instant stress reliever. 3. Naming your anxiety is as expressing your state of mind to another person. Putting words, and explanation of your anxious thoughts will stimulate the frontal cortex. Your brain will be more attentive in the frontal cortex and deviated from the fear centre, which is responsible for the anxious state.
4. Mindful and relaxation techniques like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, which all goes to help stimulate the parasympathetic system, which is for relaxation.
5. Plant-based food is known to have a calming effect on the human mind.