Post : Mind control : How do I get that ?๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿค”

Hello everyone ! Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป

Our mind is illusional. Whatever, we think and perceive is our own derived illusion. It’s our biggest friend and at the same time can be our biggest enemy. Therefore, a common quote says ” You may die a hundred deaths without a break in the mental turmoil “ Our mind makes up everything that happens in our life – good or bad, big or small, ugly or beauty, sad or happy, success or failure, it ‘s all within this thing, called mind. So, how do I control this thing ‘mind’ and remain focus on my goal and life purpose?

Understanding the mind, and its content is very important and fundamental. What makes our thought world? How do thoughts are generated? We build up mental impressions through the different inlets of this outer world. The inlets can be :
*Five senses: sight, hear, smell, touch, taste
*Memory: That has been built up over the years of this outside world experience, right from the day we were born.
*Activity: That we perform , habituated and do throughout the day.

We create thought by an idea backed with emotion. Through different inlets, we build up thoughts as our mental contentย every day. We generate, perceive, analyse, process and ruminate our entire thought world. So, we keep doing the same mental activity of thinking, analysing, ruminating every day. The thinking pattern doesn’t change. So, does our behaviour and habits. It is uninterrupted, a never-ending process which we may not be even aware.
According to Yoga Psychology ( Yoga Sutras), our thought world mainly depends on mental fluctuation (Vritti) and thoughts (prataya). The mental impulses (vritti) are created through the different inlets like the senses, memory, activity which inturn create mental impressions generating thoughts (prataya). This is the reason, when we are in a positive , vibrant environment, surrounded by positive people, we generate positive, beautiful, creative thoughts. But, when we surround ourselves with negativity, we generate negative thoughts of guilt, anger, pain, hurt, jealousy and so on.

Normally, what happens, when we centred our mind for a particular activity, at the office or home. There are endless distractions. Okay, we try to control the distraction or cut down to some extent, but still mental fluctuations and wondering thoughts continue to distract us. This is because the memory continues to generate unstable thoughts in an unstable mind.
Therefore to manage our mind, we need to control our mental fluctuation and thoughts. The only way to control them is through a concentrated mind. A concentrated mind can be achieved through the power of attention. The power of attention is our very own property (which arises from self) which we can achieve by practising and training our mind. It is a steady power of awareness which is created at our own will. It is the only capability that we can learn to develop for mind control. Whereas, the mental fluctuations (impression) and thoughts are greatly influenced by our outer world, the external distractions. They are not completely within our control.

The different states of mind depending on the power of attention can be defined as
*Ordinary mind: When both the mental fluctuations (vritti) and thoughts (prataya) are unstable. The mind is rather restless distracted, jumping from one thought to another.

*Focused mind: When there is less mental fluctuation (stable vritti) but thoughts are still wobbly (unstable prataya). This is the learning mind.

*Concentrated mind: When both the mental fluctuation (vritti) and thoughts (prataya) are on the same line, stable enough. This is the highest level of attentive mind.

*Meditative mind: When the vritti and prataya are concentrated at the same point, on a similar goal. That is the mind is concentrated at one point say, your attention is entirely on your breath or a point of focus. That is when both mental fluctuation and thought are at the same point. This is the highest level of concentration.

The power of attention is similar to a focused beam of light where all your energies are focused. With this power of attention, you can learn, achieve, complete tasks and attain success in whichever areas of life you want to. That is the reason, we should always learn to perform an activity or task one at a time. So, we give our full power of attention. Handling multiple tasks all at a time can be like a scattered beam where all your energies are distributed. You can be able to do some while some are left undone. Your mind will keep fluctuating and your attention span will be variable and unstable.

So, how do I learn to achieve a concentrated mind with the ultimate power of attention? How do I control my mind, my inner thought world, daily? How do I focus my mind on one activity at a time? How do I take charge of myself? This is a self-learning task, an ongoing process. Two comprehensive ways:

1. To achieve the power of attention, two important things matter the most :
Awareness: Being consciously aware all the time. Feeding our thought world and thought process with positive, constructive and creative thoughts.
Will: Self-training and developing a restrained impulse towards worthy goals, purposeful life.

2.Control of thoughts:
*Exposure to right kind of thoughts: Feeding the mind everyday with right kind of thoughts. Reading good books, being in a positive, good company, surrounded by positive vibrations.
*Right behaviour: Good conduct, right behaviour pattern influence thoughts and emotions. That means reframing our cognitive abilities. Correcting our behaviour patterns as on when required.
*Right lifestyle and habits: Maintaining a regulated lifestyle and habits will greatly influence our mind. You cannot have a stable mind with an unstable lifestyle.
*Purposeful life: Working towards a specific goal, understanding and working towards a meaningful life. Developing a stable mind through meditation and prayers. This cannot be achieved overnight. It is an ongoing, self-learning process. You and I have to keep working on it daily.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all ๐Ÿ’

References: Science of Focus by Pravrajika Divyanandaprana (Vivekavani)

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Post : Placebo effect and Nocebo effect ๐Ÿค—

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful Friday ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป

I am sharing with you today, a beautiful talk by Dr Lissa Rankin MD, which gives you the idea how powerful is our mind, which has the ability and the enormous capacity to heal the body from any disease and illness.

Hope, you like watching it as much as I do.

Blessings and much love to all ๐Ÿ’

Post : Emotions affects physical health ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ 4 ways to better handle your emotional wellbeing.

Hello Everyone ! Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป

Your body is not a single entity. It is a community of 50 trillion cells which behaves the way you think, feel and act. When you are in good emotional health, your healthy mental state influence every cell of your body to grow, function healthily and die in normal cyclical order. Again, new cells born and the cycle goes on. But, then this is an ideal situation.

Today, life is full of stressful and unwanted changes. Some of these events like a job change, job stress, death of loved one, divorced or any such situations create a stronger sense of anxiety, sadness, pain which can completely disrupt your emotional health. With emotions running high, your physical health gets affected causing you to develop high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, stomach ulcers, weight issues etc. Not only this, your immune system gets affected greatly. You are more prone to disease and illness. So, how do we deal with this?

Controlling our external environment, or the circumstances and events in life is not within our control. There is nothing we can do about it. The only thing we have control is on our emotions, thoughts which do influence our physical health.

4 ways to handle better your emotional state:

1.Resilience: Always keep having a positive view of self. Love yourself and understand your self-worth. This helps in creating a security blanket around yourself. Having strong social support, being close to your loved ones, friends do matter. Learning to accept change in the environment, and keeping everything in proper perspective is important. Not everything in life will happen as per your will. All these mindsets help in building resilience to deal with any situations healthily.

2.A balanced life: Always count on your Blessings and gratefulness. Focus on things in your life for which you are grateful. Try not to get obsessed with anything like job pressure, relationship issues, problems at work or at home. Because things do change with time. Let go of the things which are stressful to your life and make time for things which you can enjoy. Create a balance in your life which helps you, in your both, emotional and physical health.

3.Calm your mind: There is a strong mind-body connection. The more your mind is calmer, the more you are stressfree and enjoy a healthier body. Always, make time to engage yourself in mind activity like meditation, listening to calm music, deep breathing, stretching or Yoga.

4.Self-care: To take care of emotional health, try taking care of your physical health by following a healthy routine of eating healthy, sleep, exercise. Releasing pent up emotions by sharing with loved ones and friends is important too. Exercising also helps in letting out pent up emotions.

Thanks for reading.

Much love to all ๐Ÿ’

Post : Meditation minimizes Inflammation ๐Ÿ™Œ

Hello everyone ! Hope everybody is doing great ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

We know by now that chronic inflammation is the commonest cause of various disease state in the body. Inflammation is a natural attempt of our body ‘s immune system to fight against a certain state like infections, injury or toxins which can harm the body. It is a defence system.

When cell damages, your body releases chemicals in the form of antibodies and protein to combat the threat and increases the blood supply to the damaged area to fasten the healing. This usually lasts for a few days and is called acute inflammation. But when the response lingers for a long time can be harmful to the body. In the chronic inflammatory state, the body goes into a constant state of threat. This is the state responsible for many diseases ranging from cancers, asthma, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Chronic inflammation is influenced mainly by chronic stress, anxiety, prolonged infection, injury, autoimmune diseases (like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriasis and many more), long exposure to toxins and lifestyle factors like smoking, obesity, alcoholism.

Physically, maintaining the health of the body by eating an anti-inflammatory healthy diet (antioxidant-rich ), exercise, Yoga, sleep helps the body greatly to prevent and defend from the inflammatory state.
But then, this is not enough, our environment, our thoughts, feelings, emotions are equally important for healthy mental health, responsible to prevent and defend the body from the inflammatory state. So, how do we maintain a sound, calm mind in spite of all the day to day triggers of stress from our daily grind?

Several types of research have found that meditation-like mindful practises does reduce inflammation by impacting in the brain ‘s functional connectivity. Stress reduction mindfulness practices have shown a marked reduction in inflammatory biomarkers like C reactive proteins.

Learning and practising meditation isn’t rocket science. We don’t need a special session under an expert or Guru to learn to meditate. It is simply a state with the least distraction and freeing the mind from the clutter of thoughts. It is making an effort to put our mind in a relaxed, calm and โ€œnothingโ€ state. There are loads of books, reading materials and videos on Youtube and other channels of guiding and teaching you to meditate. But for me, self learning and adopting my method to relax my mind and meditate , works better. Just devote some time for yourself everyday, away from all distractions.

Mindfulness too greatly helps the mind to free from the thoughts clutter. Like meditation, you don’t need to go to a “no thought” state. Instead, you remain fully aware of your surrounding, yet not being reactive to it. It is a basic human ability to be fully present at the moment. Like being simply aware of your breaths, or simply focussing on whatever task you are performing at the moment.

To conclude, whether you may meditate or learn to practise mindfulness, the main purpose is to clear your mind from unnecessary thoughts clutter. This helps your mind greatly from going into chronic stress and overthinking. Maintaining a calm and relaxed mind not only prevent unnecessary inflammation but nurture the physical body and is also self healing.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all ๐Ÿ’

Post:Who is your life partner ? ๐Ÿค”

Sunday Inspiration

Hello everyone, I am sharing a beautiful message that I came across about who your real life partner is. This is a beautiful message given by Shri Shri Ravi Shanker, a renowned spiritual guru from India.

I found it interesting and beautiful. Hope you will like it too.

Thanks for reading.

Much love๐Ÿ’

Post: 3 ways to switch into the anti-inflammatory lifestyle

Inflammation is a body’s normal immune response to injury, wound or disease to protect, defend, fight and repair against the damage. It is our body’s defence mechanism on the cellular level. When we are young, the body’s immunity is at an optimal level. But as we grow older, though the body’s cell renewal process goes on, the immune system slowly decline if we do not take proper care.

So as we grow older, not only we have to maintain a healthy lifestyle but also consider the anti-inflammatory aspect of living a healthier and disease-free life.

Risk factors of inflammation are chronic stress, anxieties, depression, pain, anger, hurt, fear or most of the negative emotions. Other important risk factors can be unhealthy food habits like bingeing habits, fat (omega 6 fatty acids) rich foods like soy, peanuts, mayonnaise, plant-based oils ( sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil), alcohol, refined sugar. Sedentary habits, with no or very less physical activities, are all pro-inflammatory.

Some more pro-inflammatory factors like processed foods, heavy metals, pollutions, smoking, drugs and disturbed or toxic relationship.

So, how do we incorporate the anti-inflammatory aspects of our lifestyle?

1.Less is more: The more we lead a simple basic life, the better and longer, we can live healthier and happier. Essentially basic life, meaning, eating well, sleeping well, a good amount of physical activity in the daily routine. Keeping away from any negative emotions as much as you can. Staying away from stress and anxieties as much as practically possible. Living a life of Gratitude and contentment are the keys.

2.Wholesome diet: Plant-based food, plenty of vegetables, fruits to have daily, whole fibres are all good. Certain known anti-inflammatory foods like food rich in omega 3 fatty acids ( fishes like salmon, sardines, tuna), avocado, olive oil, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, dark chocolate, nuts, berries,chia seeds. Spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon all have anti-inflammatory properties.

3.Physical activity: Workouts and gymming are all very good in keeping the body shape and weight at check. But the important part is you should also keep your cortisol level (stress hormone) in balance. It’s always wise to avoid heavy workouts which can shoot up the cortisol level. Because stress hormones are risk factor responsible to contribute to chronic inflammation. Design your workout and physical activity routine plan as the way you are comfortable and as far as you enjoy doing them. Yoga is another practice which has a lot of stretchings as well as help to keep your mind at peace.
Don’t forget to meditate daily which gives you the much needed mental peace and solace.

Post : Cortisol cautious workout๐Ÿšด : 3 important reasons.

Cortisol or hydrocortisone is a naturally occurring stress hormone which is secreted by the adrenal gland. It is naturally produced during the fight and flight response to pumping up the extra energy to confront the situation. Under normal circumstances, the cortisol level fluctuates throughout the day as we are on the run through the day.

Since it is a hormone, it is circulated throughout the body by blood and affects all the organs of the body. Keeping aside the adrenal gland abnormalities where the cortisol level is very high (Cushing’s syndrome) and very low (Addison’s disease), the level should be appropriate for normal body functioning and well being. Irregularities in the cortisol level can affect the body’s metabolism and vital functions like blood pressure regulation. When cortisol is raised, the person may have weight gain, high blood pressure while a low level can lead to low blood pressure, weakness and weight loss.

Since most of the workout techniques involve a high level of stress and exertion, the cortisol level is pumped up. This is important to be regulated as high levels are harmful to the body. So, the choice of workout, how far you can push yourself or whether your body is ready to take up physical stress are some queries that should be considered.

So how can I be conscious about my workouts and also be quite vigilant about my cortisol level?

  1. Doing high-intensity workouts for long hours, not paying attention to the pain and injury to the body is no good to the body at all. Long hours of high cortisol level might slow down the body’s metabolism. High intensity workouts should normally be done for 30 -40 mins in a day. Going for low-intensity workouts like walking, swimming, yoga, skating, cycling are better options. Low intense training like resistance bands, gliders are also better choices. Following such workouts are more useful and restorative for the body and the cortisol level is also quite maintained.

2.Listening to the body’s need is important. Whether your body can perform a certain exercise is important. If you do have any injury, pain, skip the day with another form of physical activity. Scheduling the week with different forms of workouts and physical activity is wise and beneficial. Mix matching with Yoga, stretching, gliders and rest of the days with other forms like walking, swimming, cycling, aerobics are wise.

3.Help your body’s natural healing capacity. To maintain the cortisol level, prevent it from rising, some days rest your body, go for messages, physical therapy and other forms of relaxation techniques. Go for relaxation yoga poses like Balasana (child pose), Matsyendrasana (reclining fish pose) or savasana (corpse pose). Meditation with relaxing music is healing too. All these practises are restorative and bring out overall wellness.

Thanks for reading.

Happy workout ! Take care,

Much love to all ๐Ÿ’

Post: 5 interesting physical changes that happen in your brain during meditation.

I do practise everyday my daily routine meditation for around 20 to 30 mins. I do it every day as a part of my yoga routine. Being a medical professional, I always had the inquisitiveness to know behind the science for meditating.
Many types of research and studies have been going around behind the science and physiological changes that happen during meditation. Since there are too many studies and too much research floating around in various media, it is very confusing sometimes. By now, all of us know that meditation benefits us to be more focus, reduced stress, mindful, calmer and compassionate.

But I would like to highlight more on the actual physical changes that can happen to the brain on regularly meditating based on scientific studies. Meditation by any religious, traditional and yoga form mainly follow two methods of focusing.

Single focus method: In this method, you have to focus on a particular thing, maybe your breathing, or the area between your eyebrows (the pineal gland) or maybe the physical sensation around your body. When you wander, you bring your focus back to the particular thing that you are focusing on.

Open focus method: In this method, when you close your eyes, you don’t focus on a particular thing. You keep your focus open on the dark, wide-open space around you. Whatever thoughts, come your way, you are aware of them and let them go without focusing on them.

What happens to your brain when you do meditation daily for 20mins to an hour for 8 to 10 weeks? Physical changes have been reported in the limbic brain based on various researches.

Amygdala: This is a part of the limbic brain which is responsible for most of your emotional stimuli mainly fight or flight response. This area is responsible for stress, fear, anger, violence, pain and so on. Meditation causes to shrink the amygdala, making it smaller than it’s the usual size. Therefore, due to these physical changes, your response to these emotions of stress, fear, anger is reduced considerably and you become calmer.

Pons: This is a part of the brain stem which is mainly responsible for processing all sensory inputs, and vital activities like sleep, respiration, swallowing, facial expression. Meditation has helped to strengthen the pons, thereby improving all its vital functions.

Posterior cingulate: This part of the brain is responsible for “understanding self” and controlling the wandering thoughts. When you process any kind of information, this part of the brain is responsible for the relevance of self and the degree of subjectivity. Meditation helps to strengthen this part of the brain which in turn helps you to take a more wider approach to issues, and be more considerate towards self. It helps you to be non-judgemental and not take things personally. Precuneus is also part of the limbic cortex which helps in self-relevance. It is responsible for happiness state. Meditation helps strengthen this area too.

Left Hippocampus: This part of the brain is for long term memory and cognition. Meditation helps to increase the volume, the grey matter in this area. So your memory and cognitive abilities start improving.

Temporo Parietal Junction: This part of the brain is responsible to help you understand perspective to any issues. It is this part of the brain which is responsible to understand the other person’s view, be more empathetic and compassionate. Meditation helps to strengthen this area in the brain.

Post: 7 tremendous benefits of a particular breathing technique (Kapalabhati)

I have been a yoga practitioner for years. It has been very instrumental in overall wellbeing in my life.
Kapalabhati in Sanskrit means โ€˜skull cleaning or shining’. It is a breathing technique practised as Pranayama in yoga. Though the word sounds awkward, it is a breathing exercise of successive, rapid, forceful exhalations followed by brief passive inhalation.

The procedure is quite simple:

  • Sit comfortably in Padmasana or simply legs crossed.
  • Rest your hands on your knees.
  • Follow your normal breathing for some time.
  • In a quick moment, contract your abdominal muscles, and forcefully exhale air from both of your lungs.
  • Then allow air to fill your lungs slowly without effort.
  • Perform this cycle for 10 times at a stretch, then return to normal breathing. With daily practice, the cycle can easily go up to 120 times with each round.

Since this is an ancient old practise, in spite of having tremendous benefits, it has some contraindications.

  • Not to be practiced by women who are either pregnant or during menstrual cycle.
  • As there is too much of abdominal movements, not to be practiced by someone having abdominal hernia.
  • Not to be practiced by a person with slip disc, back pain or neck injury.
  • If you suffer from acute respiratory infections, it is better to rest, and let the infections go before doing any Pranayamas.

This practice has ample benefits. 7 important ones are.
1.It is a very useful tool to release congestion and volatile toxins from the body. It also cleans the nasal passage and respiratory system. It is powerful detoxifying method.

2.Since there is a contraction, relaxation of abdominal muscles, it stimulates and improves digestion.
3. It increases heart rate and blood circulation.
4. It is known to reduce stress, anxiety and tensions.

5.The endocrine system and glands are stimulated and regulated.
6.Since you focus entirely on your breathe, your mind gets rid of unnecessary thoughts, hence helps in concentrating. Therefore, a useful tool during the examination.
7. This breathing technique helps to treat diseases related to the nervous system, endocrine system and mental health.