facebook

This competitive season, give your child competitive advantage by taking care of their mind wellness

Its time for your kids must be preparing for various competitive exams. Performance in these competitive exams is important as they are the game-changers and decide the career path.

Read More

Every child practices, prepares and do all needed to excel. However, on the day of exam, their ability to manage their stress and perform is the major deciding factor.

Whilst few manage to perform under stress and become high achievers that grab the headlines, for many its still a challenging uptask.

Here are few factors that may impact your kids performance during preparation
  • Comparing with others, who does better than them, and believing that they are inferior, and not good enough.
  • Lack of structure to study time/habits.
  • Fear of failure in the exam
  • Burnout - Trying to do too much without recognize when it is time to work, and when it is time to rest.
  • Stress - Not knowing how to handle stress and perform under pressure.
  • Lack of interest in subject(s) to read or practice.
  • Sleeping less or more during the exams.
  • Skipping nutritious meals or eating junk food.
  • Not having good study rituals.
  • Procrastination
Here are the factors that impact their performance on the day of exam
  • Having negative thoughts while in exam often around failure.
  • Physical sensations like palpitations, dizziness, dry mouth, stomach upset.
  • Getting nervous after seeing the paper
  • Going blank while answering.
  • Having difficulty recalling information.
  • Not knowing how to handle stress
  • Feeling anxious as the exam progresses.
  • Unable to concentrate while in exam.
  • Having wandering thoughts during exam.
Do you want to your child
  • Overcome fear of failure and aspire for more?
  • Know best techniques for performance under pressure?
  • Improve confidence in owns abilities?
  • Remain calm and relaxed?
  • Increase concentration and alertness?
  • Take tests and exams with more confidence?
  • Retain more information in less time?
  • Eliminate test-taking anxiety?
  • Improve test scores naturally?
  • Let go of unnecessary distractions?
  • Develop effective study rituals?
  • Improve ability to recall information?
  • Stop second-guessing answers?
  • Stop being obsessed with the clock?
  • Perform well in exams they have failed in the past?
  • Stay focused, so you can benefit from your studying?
  • Manage your stress at the time of exam and focus better

Knowing the right techniques which can work for them to relax and focus during preparation can help them with techniques to relax and focus while taking exam. Happy being app provides 50+ techniques to relax and relieve in less than 5 mins. As your child uses the app, he/she will be equipped with different mind techniques that can be used to relax and perform well in exam.

15 mins of champion mind workouts for positivity everyday can help your kid be confident, overcome fear of exam and be able to perform under pressure.

Gift your child Happy being app during these uncertain times and help them perform best of their abilities.

Beat exam stress and boost your performance

When you have to perform well, to work under pressure, on something that will affect your future – your mental strength, confidence and concentration matters a lot.

Read More

Whether you are an elementary school, junior high school, high school, college student, a professional career person taking continuing education or taking an exam to enter into a new career or appearing for a competitive exam, test anxiety, lack of confidence and poor concentration affects a large portion of the population.

The pressure will be relatively high especially for those students, if their whole life depends on result of the competitive exam they are to appear. One exam will almost decide the fate of the students life. Parents and children who are preparing are under huge pressure to perform.

Everyone practices, prepares and do all needed to excel. However, on the day of exam, their ability to manage their stress and perform is the major deciding factor.

A tiny amount of anxiety isn’t bad – its actually helpful to be up when preparing for and taking a test to understand your stress levels. If they are too high, it may hurt your test preparation and performance during exams.

Below techniques can help you overcome test anxiety and boost your performance. Try any of the below techniques

  1. Cause: When you are feeling anxious, You body show signs.
  2. Tip: Teach your body to relax and release the tension by practicing tension release excercises.

    When you start feeling anxious, take couple of long, deep breaths and exhale slowly. While doing this, you may want to close your eyes and bring your focus of attention onto the breath and breathing.

    When you feel your body tense up, focus on particular group of muscles (eg: shoulder hands etc) and first contract them for about 10 secs and then let them relax. Concentrate on the difference in the feelings and repeat the exercise, trying to get the muscles tense and relax more each time.

    You may also want to practice mindful meditation. Start by observing the breath and focus your attention on your breath. When your mind wanders, gently bring back your attention onto breathing. Practicing mindfulness helps in accepting the thoughts with a non-judgemental view.

    Daily practicing for 10 to 15 mins will make you proficient in these techniques . You will be able to use them during the test, when ever you feel anxiety creeping up on you.

  3. Cause: You have negative thoughts and you cant get over it.
  4. Tip:Challenge your negative thoughts with a empowering thought and take actions according to the new empowering thought.

    Your negative thoughts can throw you off your study schedule and then can also distract you or make you freeze up during test.

Do you find yourself troubled with thoughts like these?

  1. I am dumb
  2. I have failed multiple times, no matter what this time also, I am going to fail
  3. I am not good at tests
  4. If I don’t get good score, I am finish
  5. I must be best at everything
  6. I must always do the right thing
  7. I don’t get good marks, I am not loved

The time to deal with such unhelpful thoughts is NOW. One way to recognise if a thought is unhelpful or helpful is when they are extreme (I must do good at everything) or in all or nothing terms. Make a note of all your unhelpful thoughts in a coloumn and for each one, identify the evidence to support these thoughts, identify the evidence that does not support these thoughts, Identify a balanced thought about the situation and observe the mood now. Think about the balanced thought and take actions in accordance with it. Eventually, the unhelpful thought fades away from your mind.

Example:

If I Don’t get good score, I am finish - Unhelpful thought as it falls under “In all or nothing”

Evidence for supporting this thought:

I will not get seat in the premier college.

My parents always dreamt of me being in a premier college and I will disappoint them.

I will be considered as failure infront of my friend’s eyes.

Evidence for not supporting this thought:

Not everyone who are successful are from a premier college.My parents dreams are to realised by them.

When my friend failed, we encouraged and motivated him as success and failures are part of life.

I have other options to choose and I can make a living and lead a good life, with or without ace marks.

Balanced thought:I am going to give my best while I prepare and write the test. I will look out for other options that makes me equally successful.

Challenging your negative thoughts repeatedly will help you push your limits positively. One of the most common negative thinking that you may miss to realise as negative is perfectionism. Understand perfect is overrated.

If you see yourself repeatedly procrastinating, it means you have not set realistic goals and waiting till last moment to give yourself an excuse for not doing well.

If you are getting too bored while preparing, it also means you have not set realistic goals. You are so worried to take risks that you are playing in the most comfort zone that the challenge is not stimulating enough for you.

Cause: Anxiety soars high due to lack of sleep or proper diet.

Tip: Take care of your body and mind.

Eat well and exercise. Don’t skip meals or exercise schedule to study for the test.

Lack of sleep can contribute to memory loss and lack of concentration.Ensure you get plenty of sleep throughout your study schedule and especially the night before taking the test.

Continue to socialise with your friends and family.

Cause: Examination halls and the uncertain events around, adds to your anxiety.

Tip: Ignore the distractions and stay focussed.

Reach the exam center not too early or late. Just sufficient enough to settle down comfortably. Also, take traffic or any other probable congestion to calculate the time to start to exam hall.

Take the seat given to you or choose a place where there is plenty of air and ventilation. Have a comfortable clothing.

Ignore the distractions around. Don’t chat with anyone around neither discuss any new or old topic. By now you know all that you should know about the test.

Have identify the quick relaxation techniques that best works for you to keep your mind calm, focus and relaxed. This is the best state of mind for best performance.

Cause: De-motivated due to fear of failure.

Tip: Imagine yourself achieving your goal.

Failures or monotonous schedules drain energy to put more effort. To help you achieve your goals, imagine yourself and how things will be once you have achieved your goal. Do it more imagining the steps, actions taken and positive outcomes to help with motivation.

On the day of exam:

Cause: Catch early signs of anxiety.

Tip: Breathing or relaxation exercise

Catch the early physical signs of nausea, cramps, faintness, sweating, headache, dry mouth, increased breathing rate, fast heart beat or tense muscles. Catch the early mental signs of difficulty in concentrating, racing thoughts or negative thoughts.

Practice the tension release breathing exercise that works best for you. They can help you overcome all these signs effectively and help you bring focus, calm and concentration.

Chewing a gum, Squeeze a stress ball, dabbing some lemon oil (essential oil) in your inner wrists and inhaling can instantly calm your nerves.

Cause: Your mind goes blank or it wanders.

Tip: Stay focussed.

Many people get so nervous when they first open their exam questionnaire that their minds go blank or start to race with unrelated thoughts.

To avoid this, keep handy any of the tension release exercise that works best for you and try calm your nerves first. Don’t be in hurry to answer the first question. Go through the questions one by one if given in a booklet, come up with plan on which to answer first and start with any question you feel comfortable with. Also, remember that you can skip difficult questions and return to them later.

Remember, you are not expected to answer all questions correctly. So mentally prepare to encounter few questions for which you don’t know the answer. If you go blank, again use any breathing or mindful exercise that works best for you to calm your nerves and continue with your responses.

For multiple choice questions, your score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly, Therefore, skipped answers will not count against you. For few exams, even wrong answers don’t count. Just be sure of the rules. Work as fast as you can without sacrificing the accuracy. Don’t spend too much time puzzling over a question that seems too difficult for you. Answer the easier question first, then return to the harder ones. Based on the rules, try answer as many questions as possible.

Happy being app helps you enhances your confidence and positive attitude towards exams.

The guided meditations and activities will help lower test anxiety, enhance concentration, memory recall and boost motivation to achieve your goals, specially designed by brain experts to help you have all the tools needed for your success.

What makes someone a good performer?

Have you ever wondered what makes someone a good performer? Or a good leader? Or a good parent? Or a good home-maker? Why do some people accomplish their goals while others fail?

Read More

What makes the difference?

Usually we answer these questions by talking about the talent of top performers. He must be the smartest scientist in the lab. She's faster than everyone else on the team. He is a brilliant business strategist.

We think, you all know there is more to the story than that.

In fact, when you start looking into it, your talent and your intelligence don't play nearly as big of a role as you might think. The research studies say that intelligence only accounts for 30% of your achievement - and that's at the extreme upper end.

What makes a bigger impact than talent or intelligence? Mental toughness.

Research is starting to reveal that your mental toughness - or "grit" as they call it - plays a more important role than anything else for achieving your goals in health, business, and life. You can't do much about the genes you were born with, but you can do a lot to develop mental toughness.

What is Mental toughness?

Mental Toughness is a personality trait which describes mindset. It examines what is in the mind of the individual to explain the way why they behave the way they do. So there is an obvious link between mindset and behaviour.

Mentally Tough people deliver more, work more purposefully, show greater commitment to purpose and are more competitive. This translates into better output, delivery on time and on target and better attendance.

Mentally Tough people show better stress management, better attendance, are less likely to develop mental health issues, sleep better and are less prone to bullying. They can take stress in their stride.

Mental Tough people are more positive, have more “can do”, respond positively to change and adversity, show better attendance, more likely contribute to a positive culture and accept responsibility and to volunteer for new opportunities and activities.

Mentally Tough people are more ambitious and prepared to manage more risk.

Enroll into nSmiles Mental toughness and stress reduction program For being mentally tough for an individual or an organisation is immensely important, especially in times of great change.

Leaders, aspiring leaders and those working in stressful, unforgiving occupations or in situations of uncertainty or dynamic change need to be mentally tough.

Why Mental Toughness is everything?

The key to mental toughness is applying consistently the traits of self motivation, positive attitude, emotional self control, calmness under fire, and being energetic and ready for action. Consistency is important

Read More

The key to mental toughness is applying consistently the traits of self motivation, positive attitude, emotional self control, calmness under fire, and being energetic and ready for action. Consistency is important. Through applying these traits day in and day out, you will be able to reach new heights in whatever endeavors you seek whether it be at decision making, at top management, at entrepreneurship, at sales, relationships or playing a musical instrument, coding a computer application or writing a novel.

Self Motivation

While some pursuits are to be done alone and other pursuits are done in conjunction with others, life is pretty much played alone. Your motivation must come from within. The intensity of your motivation is determined by how badly you want to perform well.

Motivation can be strengthened many ways. Think back to a failure. That feeling can provide the motivation to keep going, keep practicing. A time of victory can also provide the motivation to reclaim that winning feeling. Use time as a motivator. While others relax you can be gaining on them increasing your skills.

Positive, Realistic Attitude

You are not going to be able to do everything. In Special Forces we always looked for what someone was good at and focused on that. By focusing on strengths, you gain confidence and inspiration from them. You can create your own positive attitude. Focus on what your natural strengths are.

Emotional Self Control

People who are not in control of their emotions get upset when the something doesn't go as expected. They alienate spouses, co-workers, teammates by petty, childish behaviour. Mentally tough people have tough skins and don't let outside circumstances affect them. There will be many times whether in a game or in life that things happen outside your control. A mentally tough person keeps their emotions in check and keeps on with the game plan they had in mind from the beginning.

Calm Under Fire

Anything worth going for is going to be high pressure one time or another. Mentally tough people are at their best under pressure. Calmness under fire isn't something you just switch on. The key here is to seek out pressure situations working up from low pressure to medium pressure to high pressure situations. Perform in front of stronger and stronger groups. Seek out better and better opportunities, decisions to work upon. What seemed like high pressure before will become the new normal for you.

Energetic and Ready For Action

Mentally tough people get themselves fire up and ready to go for the battle, performance, game or whatever it may be. You might have worked 12 hours before two other days or tried to solve a problem numerous number of times or tried achieving something important to you, you will not give up till you feel you succeeded. The pride you get from doing your best in less than optimal circumstances makes it that much easier to succeed in all circumstances. While you relentlessly work towards achieving your goals, you may not give your best ever, but it would be the best you can possibly give. When conditions are better or when you think things are under control, you will deliver best.

The great thing about mental toughness is that you are not born with it. You don’t have to learn it at a young age. Mental toughness comes simply from the decision to consistently apply the traits we just mentioned above.

Enroll into nSmiles Mental toughness and stress reduction program and and reach new levels of your work, relationships, and success that you never thought possible.

Outstanding performer prowess, superior intellect, musical talent will take someone so far. Without mental toughness they will not reach their full potential.

What you must know about your stress?

A certain amount of stress in our lives is actually essential to being sufficiently stimulated to meet the challenges of everyday life, but when stress is constant and acute, it can have dangerous consequences.

Read More

Everyone encounters stress every day.

A certain amount of stress in our lives is actually essential to being sufficiently stimulated to meet the challenges of everyday life, but when stress is constant and acute, it can have dangerous consequences.

Since stress is both natural and unavoidable, it is necessary to understand it and to learn how to deal with it, particularly how to reduce it.

Reasons for being stressed may be quite positive and negative.

Negative reasons like stress due to distress, conflicts and conditions at home, health, work related, in schools, due to studies and expectations, preparing for competitive exams or applying for jobs, relationships, being a care-giver to someone physically or mentally ill in your family, not able to conceive or anything you have a challenge adapting yourself with.

Positive reasons of being stressed may be like newly married, being pregnant or mother of new baby, a promotion at work, moving to new place, getting admission in a college, new job or anything you feel extremely overwhelmed or facing difficulty adapting to the changes.

Although different individuals may have different levels of tolerance to stress, chronic stress will eventually wear down even the strongest of people. Prolonged stress can cause biochemical imbalances that weaken the immune system and invite serious illness. Overall, stress that persists is known to interfere with digestion and, more seriously, alter brain chemistry, create hormonal imbalances, increase heart rate, raise blood pressure, and negatively affect both metabolic and immune function. It is also important to recognise that although stress itself is not a disease, it can worsen any number of already serious physical conditions.

Many physicians feel that chronic stress can so overtax an individual's physical resources and ways of coping that cancer, stroke, and heart disease can occur.

While long-term stress can seriously affect one's quality of life and lead to major, sometimes fatal, diseases, prolonged stress also results in the everyday miseries of headache and allergy, digestive disorders and fatigue, irritable bladder and impotence, insomnia,anxiety, depression, and simple aches frequent colds and pains.

At nSmiles (www.nSmiles.com), we help clients with the power to manage stress with evidence based mechanisms using techniques from CBT and mindfulness.

Expecting your bundle of joy? Must know about stress during pregnancy

Every child born is special. The goal of every parent is to raise their child the best they can. Part of upbringing should include the strategies that will fully develop the brain cells.

Read More

The structure of brain begins at conception. From that point on, its constantly changing, usually in an expectable process and at the time of birth, every child is born with 100 billion brain cells. Stress during pregnancy impacts cell functioning. Improper interconnections of brain cells cause imbalances in development of the baby.

Bonding with baby during prenatal period develops a sense of trust, unconditional love, acceptance and safety which builds self-esteem, confidence from the moment of birth.

There is no questioning how strong the connection is of the mother and child during pregnancy. They can sense each other’s emotions. There fore it makes a huge difference if the conception was wanted or not. The development of the baby begins with a feeling of love or a lack of unconditional love. It is important that the mother has a calm, stable, healthy pregnancy supported by friends and family to provide an emotional well-being for the baby.

The first tri-mester brings with it a 20% chance of mis-carriage. The fear of loss of your fetus and cessation of pregnancy may also intensify if you or someone you know has experiences miscarriage. This potential fear can become more unnerving if you had trouble of becoming pregnant in the past or actively undergoing fertility treatment to help facilitate pregnancy.

Predisposition of life stress should be strongly taken into consideration. Mothers stress during pregnancy can cause problems both acutely and down the road development for the baby. It can cause low birth weight or pre-mature birth as well are prone to diseases like asthma, various allergies.

Women's psychological functioning during pregnancy, their anxiety levels, stress, personality ultimately affects the temperament ( easy going or difficult to handle baby) of their babies.

Second trimester can be most overwhelming time as the fetus starts to move and give the mother an active indictor that their baby is growing, developing and the realisation of parenthood becoming more real. There are many body changes that occur to the female body. With the increasing dependency on your partner and the concern of whether you partner is still attracted to you or not may cause stress, tension and anxiety which again may impact the baby development. Studies show higher the amount of stress of mother, post-birth emotional and mental problems have a high degree of association.

For mothers encountering pregnancy for first time, third trimester may be a lot of apprehensions in reference to the length and duration of labour. More for those who have had struggles to get pregnant or if the couple underwent fertility treatment. Due to high levels of uncertainty and lack of experience and confidence, to be moms have to be constantly assured and supported by partners, especially as their character changes with the progression of pregnancy. Towards the end of pregnancy and unknown labour nears, there may be rushes of feelings of inadequacy.

The majority of mothers aim to provide a healthy environment for their unborn baby with healthy choices such as consumption or proper food nutrients, avoidance of medications, smoking and alcohol to ensure the most optimal environment for physical and emotional well-being.

However, most of the times, the stressors are beyond the mother’s degree of control as in the case of a troubled marriage, financial woes, stress from in-laws, Stress related to work, taking care of a toddler, chronic anxiety associated with physical danger or emotional abuse during the duration of pregnancy.

nSmiles (www.nSmiles.com) healthy thinking program advocates the importance of taking care of emotions or repressed emotions along with helping mothers to be, equip with stress management techniques that are tailor made to their condition, using evidence based techniques to lower stress levels, boosting the immune system and provide heightened positive emotions to be able to deliver the child that's Emotionally and physically healthy, who has the ability to meet their fullest potential.

Contact us for a free expert consultation at +91 78478 69369 or help@nSmiles.com

Demystifying depression

Many of us live dulled lives, somewhat robotic in nature and devoid of deeper meaning and purpose. Our lives, often become vision less and passionless.

Read More

Is depression normal?

Many of us live dulled lives, somewhat robotic in nature and devoid of deeper meaning and purpose. Our lives, often become visionless and passionless. We live in an intensely competitive culture that rewards achievement and success. Our identity and esteem become reflections of these external markers of achievement. Our pursuit of happiness and well-being become terribly misdirected.

The demands of our intensely and neurotically driven culture strain our emotional and psychological balance well beyond its comfortable balance. The cultural paradigm in which we live leaves us disconnected, disenchanted and isolated. When this occurs, we tend to honour and seek material acquisitions at the cost of devoting ourselves to intimate and loving relationships—with others and ourselves.

People that thrive in loving relationships don't typically feel depressed. Depression is symptomatic of feeling isolated and cut off. In our drive to live the good life, we typically isolate ourselves from relationships that might nourish us. Intimate and loving relations have become somewhat insignificant and have lost value in our very hurried lives. Our frenetic pace of life sees one day blur into another, until life begins to lose its meaning. We don't have time to nurture our loved ones or ourselves, and we lose our vision of a well-spent life. In fact, the problem is that we don't know how to live well.

Much of what we call depression is a typical life struggle around loss, fear , grave situational issues trying to fit into the world that is filled with violence, social inequities, oppression, loss, and social isolation. As the world has become more complex our extended families have become fragmented, sleep cycles are disrupted, and we are faced with an overwhelming need to protect our identity and win the race, prove self-worth having little time to nurture what's important, getting effected by the disappointments and failures of every day life, paving a path to depressive symptoms.

Some level of melancholy is common, and humans are equipped with creativity and survival instincts but when depression becomes severe to the point that a person is unable to get out of bed or concentrate, it is hard to say that depression is normal.

How do I know if i'm depressed?

Behavioural health problems are not as clear-cut as biological diseases like a clogged artery or a broken bone. Diagnostic criteria change through the decades.

Read More

Behavioural health problems are not as clear-cut as biological diseases like a clogged artery or a broken bone. Diagnostic criteria change through the decades and are based on research and consensus of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health researchers and practitioners.

The diagnoses are listed in a publication called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is now in its fourth edition:

American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (1994, 2000). Washington, D.C.: Author.

Commonly called the DSM-IV, the manual provides the following criteria for diagnosing depression, considering that five or more of the symptoms have been present during a consecutive 2-week period: (DSM-IV-TR, pp. 356).

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much nearly every day.
  • Noticeably physically agitated or slowed down, as observed by others nearly every day.
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to concentrate or make decisions nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
How does nSmiles help?

If you believe that you are experiencing these symptoms or if others have told you that they observe these patterns, you might consider seeking an evaluation from nSmiles.club

Keep in mind, however, that you have options regarding treatment. nSmiles experts provide non-medicinal therapeutic interventions post diagnosis for depressions like cognitive-behavioural therapy, behavioural activation therapy or interpersonal psychotherapy . For someone who’s already on medication, we help them with therapy to support for faster recovery.

Tagged anxiety, depression, emotional health, mental health, mental illness, nsmiles, stress, therapyleave a comment.

Has pushing mental illness under the carpet costed us too much?

According to WHO, "70% Indians are bearing the healthcare expenses paid out-of-pocket income on medicines and health care services by patients.

Read More

Indirect costs are more than direct costs with regards to mental illness. The costs of care (like medication, clinic visits (fees), hospitalization, diagnostic services, residential care, community services, rehabilitation and non-medical costs like transportation for treatment and care) are direct costs. These are the value of resources used in the treatment of disease.

Indirect costs are value of resources lost as a result of illness. Indirect costs include costs due to reduced supply of labour (unemployment), reduced educational attainment, expenses for social supports, costs associated with consequences like chronic disability, homelessness, crime, suicide, homicide, caregiver burden, value of family caregiver’s time, medical complications of mental illnesses, early mortality, substance use and other unquantifiable costs like emotional burden on family etc.

Resources lost (indirect/invisible costs)

Loss of productivity due to morbidity and mortality: Illness would mean decreased activity and performance or being absent from work. In addition to loss of productivity due to absenteeism (100% loss), there are additional losses at work place like “presenteeism”, low stress and frustration tolerance, sleeplessness, poor concentration, poor communication skills at work make them dangerous to themselves and others.

Not only the person with illness but also the care-givers lose their time (are off work). For individuals this would mean loss of wages and for the society at large loss of productivity. Patients and family members may resort to substance use compounding the malaise. Unemployment/ loss of job by itself is a risk factor for mental illness.

Costs that cannot be measured in terms of dollars and DALYs

(The disability-adjusted life year ):

Violence and crime-related costs: Severe mental illnesses are known to be associated with violence and crime in the form of homicide, suicide (self-inflicted violence), sexual offences, violence against family members, at work place, elderly and child abuse.

Emotional burden: In addition to the suffering due to symptoms of the illness and side-effects of prolonged treatment, the patients and their relatives undergo enormous emotional strain due to social isolation, stigma, disability, residual symptoms, broken families, poverty, poor quality of life, failures in many aspects of life and sometimes even resort to suicide. The emotional burden in these patients and their relatives cannot be measured in monitory terms.

MEBs (Mental, emotional and behavioural disorders) increase morbidity and mortality: Physical and mental health is interdependent. Depression per se is a risk factor for cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and cancer.

Mental disorders and medical illnesses-the link is bidirectional: Mental illnesses (like depression, anxiety and substance abuse) occur more commonly in people with physical illnesses and vice-versa. Suicide rates are higher in people with physical disorders. Almost all major and chronic medical illnesses like hypertension, myocardial infarction, epilepsy, stroke, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, are associated with higher prevalence (3to4times) of comorbid major depression relative to general population.

Mental illness itself may present as physical complaints: This is more so in the Indian context where culture permits more for the expression of physical symptoms. Symptoms like tiredness, sleep problems, fatigue, vaginal discharge, chronic low-back ache, sexual complaints (dhat syndrome), are more commonly seen in patients with common mental disorders (e.g. anxiety and depression).

The burden of substance abuse: Financial, social, family, and health related problems, accident proneness, high risk behaviour, intimate partner violence, homicidal, suicidal risk and problems to criminal justice system are all well known. Hazardous and harmful drinking patterns like binge drinking, drinking to intoxication are on the rise in India.

Childhood mental health problems: Good mental health is essential for all children to thrive and grow to their full potential.

The overall costs at baseline for treating common mental disorders is Rupees 700 per month in India while the indirect costs were significantly higher than the direct costs and the costs decreased with intervention.

What can be done to reduce the costs:

Investing in nurturing of mental health, early diagnosing and building resilience are the key contributors to reduce the risk of any mental health illnesses.

Additionally, It has been proven that, by participating in treatment, 80% to 90% of people with these disorders can recover and begin functioning better in their daily activities and in their relationships with others.

So why don't more people seek treatment?

The most obvious explanation is stigma.

The Stigma of Mental Illness

As a society, how do we view mental illness?

Often with disdain, discomfort, or fear. Often we ridicule those who suffer from various mental health disorders. That’s the stigma of mental illness, the negative attitude that many people share.

Our culture promulgates negative views of mental illness. We hear terms like "shame" "fear" "mad" "isolation" "crazy" "insane" "guilt" and "psycho" in conjunction with mental health.

How does nSmiles help?

Early symptoms of a mental disorder emerge a few years before the full diagnostic criteria are met. nSmiles Self Evaluation tool administers the very early signs of disorders online, in complete privacy and provide interventions using non-medicinal treatments like therapy, life-style modifications and mindfulness.

Stressed or depressed?

Its quite common to all of us to use words like "Its so depressing" when some one if feeling low because of an incidents or event and ask "Are you depressed" when we see our friends gloomy.

Read More

What causes depression and how does it actually feel to be depressed

There are several differing views on the cause of depression. The bio-psycho-social view considers hereditary, individual behavior patterns and environmental variables as causes for a person becoming depressed rather than any of these in isolation as potential causal factors. In other words the entire context of a person’s life is taken into account rather than focusing on one specific area such as biology or environment.

From a behavioural perspective, the feelings one experiences following losses, disappointments, daily difficulties with money, family, or jobs, and so on are natural feelings. People vary in their levels of tolerance for negative feelings, and their sensitivity to them. When life is unrewarding or when one has to work extremely hard for very little reward, the result can be feeling sad, losing interest in activities, and decreased energy.

When one feels low energy, fatigued or has no interest in activities it is understandable that a person may cope by sleeping longer hours, staying at home more often than usual, or isolating from friends and loved ones.

The life events or the behaviours that follow may have an impact on biochemical changes in the body, the decrease in activity will prompt less activity, and a person may begin to feel hopeless and focus on all that is wrong in his or her life. This has been referred to as the vicious cycle or downward cycle of depression.

So is depression an illness that will get worse if not treated?

However, there is little data to support a purely biological perspective on depression. This does not mean that depression is the same as sadness, or that it is not serious. Many people that experience depression suffer tremendously and need not suffer without help.

Depression is best seen as a syndrome, or a compilation of behavioural patterns. Certainly some people are predisposed to depression by family history and so on. Having depressed parents or grandparents not only transfers genetic material, but also models of coping with life that become a part of a person's repertoire.

Statistically, depression in many people lasts for six months or less and remits on its own, even without treatment. For others depression can last for years and become chronic.

It is true that a person that has had one major depressive episode is more likely to have a second, and after a second the odds of a third increase. Roughly 60% of people that have been depressed once will be depressed again. Some consider this as partial evidence that there is a medical illness occurring. However, one would never have to conclude that depression is a disease that will repeat if untreated through medicine!

Rather, it may also be the case that certain patterns of behaviour and thinking occur that become habitual, and because people do not consist of separate minds and bodies, but of a physical body including a brain and central nervous system, changes may also occur in the brain that interact with these behavioural patterns.

Once a person has experienced a certain way of coping with life, even if it feels bad, it may become engrained as a method for coping.

Treatments for depression can help, and provide structure and support to allow an individual to recover more quickly.

What is wrong with considering depression a medical illness?

Modern psychiatry has discovered many helpful medications that alleviate suffering for many people who experience variety of problems.

At the same time, psychological and behavioural research has also validated psychotherapeutic and behavioural therapy methodologies that relieve suffering.

The idea that depression is a "medical illness" suggests that it requires a medical cure. This is more than a question of semantics. From a psychological perspective there is much that a person can do, often with the help of a professional, to cope with and treat depression besides taking medication.

The medicine a psychiatrist prescribes for treating depression is called a psychotropic medicine that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, or consciousness. However, these kind of medicines, does not work for everyone, and some people do not tolerate the side effects of medication.

Depression can be considered a behavioural disorder that often requires treatment by a mental health professional. However, there are treatment options, including antidepressant medication, cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), and behavioural activation therapy (BA), that have all been studied and supported by randomised clinical trials.

The problem with thinking of depression as an illness is that it implies that the depressed person is helplessly in the grasp of something completely uncontrollable. This is not the case, and one should have hope that changes in activity, life situations, long-held beliefs about self and world can all help to alleviate the suffering involved in depression.

How does nSmiles help those depressed?

nSmiles self evaluation tool helps in identifying the psycho-social conditions that’s causing depression. Later our therapists can provide non-medicinal therapeutic interventions, like CBT and mindfulness techniques that can help the individual to turn self-defeating thoughts around and build the resilience to live a happy life.

Author is founder and CEO of nSmiles (I) Pvt. Ltd.,

Seeing a therapist? Therapy need not become center of your life, you too can have a fuller life

Counselling and Therapy can be an effective treatment for mental and emotional problems.

Read More

How do you know if therapy is working for you is

  • when you notice to see positive changes in your life.
  • if your overall mood seems to be improving.
  • you may feel more connected to family and friends.
  • A crisis that might have overwhelmed you in the past started to seem manageable.

However, your therapy or counselling may not be effective if

  • you are not comfortable sharing your intimate things with your therapist.
  • If he/she has nothing to say to you that's helpful or comforting.
  • If your therapist provides no explanation of how will you know your therapy is complete.
  • Advices you on doing things you are not comfortable with.
  • If you are not seeing any improvements in your life.

This may result in either discontinuing your therapy or have no motivation towards practicing what you learned during therapy in real life that might delay the changes you want to have in your life.

nSmiles evaluation tool helps first diagnose if you have a problem (if any) and provide you with details on your condition like if you still need to seek help or therapy, what is the problem you are troubled by, the possible treatment details, the possible ways you can measure to see for yourself if therapy is effective and approximate timelines for your recovery.

Later, we help you choose a therapist that's right for you who can help you learn new coping skills to manage your impulses or compulsions or emotional problems through our set of trained and skilled therapists online.

"This is to record my deepest gratitude to nSmiles team, for the interaction you had with my daughter and for the suggestions, tips you have given her and for the exercises you have taught her to overcome her stress. She is lot more cheerful and self dependent now." – Parent of a therapy seeker.

Students - wondering why you procrastinate?

You're rushing from one end of campus to the other, trying to make your next class on time. Since your classes are scheduled back-to-back, you haven't had time to eat. It's three o'clock and you're extremely hungry.

Read More

Did you tense up just reading that? Chances are, you have facing similar hectic experiences as a student. You might feel lost, overwhelmed, frozen, or unable to cope when confronted with so many tasks. Busy schedules crammed with work, study, extracurricular activities and love/heart breaks can take a toll on your physical and mental health, especially if you're not eating or sleeping properly. If untreated, these stressors can compound over time, leading to even greater levels of stress.

Stress can be a good thing when it acts as a motivator, helping you to accomplish your goals. But, can be detrimental if you are not able to cope with it resulting in muscle tensions, headaches, guilt, fatigue, helplessness, unhappiness, loneliness, turning to alcohol or drugs or binge eating, memory loss, loss of concentration, developing negative outlook towards life, fear, guilt, depression, anxiety and suicide.

"This is to record my deepest gratitude to nSmiles team, for the interaction you had with my daughter and for the suggestions, tips you have given her and for the exercises you have taught her to overcome her stress. She is lot more cheerful and self dependent now." - Parent of a therapy seeker.

So how can you help yourself in managing your stress?

  1. Rightly evaluate your existing stress - Personal factors pertaining to the role performance in the family, self-development, health aspects, financial aspects, pertaining to the adjustments in the family, College/School, achievement and well being.
  2. Your coping mechanism - Identify your current stress coping ways.
  3. Personality - A Online personality test to identify your core personality traits.

Here is an online self assessment that you can take in complete privacy and get a 30 mins free call with our expert:

  1. Get deeper insights about your personality.
  2. Learn new stress management skills or modify your existing stress management skills to help you cope better, though.
  3. Plan your wellness planner to achieve your personal goals and learn what traits you have in you and soft skills you need to develop.
  4. Get clarity if you need to meet psychologist or counsellor.
  5. Further diagnosis (100% accurate) if needed by identifying the mental health problem along with the recovery time line needed providing clarity on what should be the treatment needs.
  6. Free self-help tools to support and manage your stress better.
  7. Life-style modification recommendations if needed.

Start your first-step towards achieving the results you want in your life.

Give your child the best and healthy start in life

Pregnancy is a time of many changes. Your body, your emotions and the life of your family are changing. You may welcome these changes, but they can add new stresses to your life.

Read More

Feeling stressed is common during pregnancy. But too much stress can make you uncomfortable. Stress can make you have trouble sleeping, have headaches, lose your appetite or overeat.

High levels of stress that continue for a long time may cause health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease. When you’re pregnant, this type of stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birth weight baby (weighing less than 2.4 Kg). Babies born too soon or too small are at increased risk for health problems.

What causes stress during pregnancy

The causes of stress are different for every woman, but here are some common causes during pregnancy:

  • You may be dealing with the discomforts of pregnancy, like nausea, constipation, being tired or having a
  • Your hormones are changing, which can cause your mood to change. Mood swings can make it harder to handle stress.
  • You may be worried about what to expect during labour and birth or how to take care of your baby.
  • If you work, you may have to manage job responsibilities and prepare your employer for time away from your job.
  • Life is busy and it sometimes takes unexpected turns. That doesn't stop just because you're pregnant.

What types of stress can cuause pregnancy problems?

Stress is not all bad. When you handle it right, a little stress can help you take on new challenges. Regular stress during pregnancy, such as work deadlines and sitting in traffic, probably don't add to pregnancy problems.

However, serious types of stress during pregnancy may increase your chances of certain problems, like premature birth. Most women who have serious stress during pregnancy can have healthy babies. But be careful if you experience serious kinds of stress, like:

  • Negative life events.These are things like divorce, serious illness or death in the family, or losing a job or home.
  • Catastrophic events.These are things like earthquakes, hurricanes or terrorist attacks.
  • Long-lasting stress.This type of stress can be caused by having financial problems, being abused, having serious health problems or being depressed or family problems. Depression is medical condition where strong feelings of sadness last for long periods of time and prevent a person from leading a normal life.
  • Pregnancy-related stress.Some women may feel serious stress about pregnancy. They may be worried about miscarriage, the health of their baby or about how they’ll cope with labour and birth or becoming a parent.
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is when you have problems after seeing or experiencing a terrible event, such as rape, abuse, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack or the death of a loved one. People with PTSD may have:
  • Serious anxiety.
  • Flashbacks of the event.
  • Nightmares.
  • Physical responses (like a racing heartbeat or sweating) when reminded of the event.

Women who have PTSD may be more likely than women without it to have a premature or low birth weight baby. They also are more likely than other women to have risky health behaviours, such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking street drugs. Doing these things can increase the chances of having pregnancy problems.

How does stress cause pregnancy problems?

Stress-related hormones may play a role in causing certain pregnancy complications. Serious or long-lasting stress may affect your immune system, which protects you from infection. This can increase the chances of getting an infection of the uterus. This type of infection can cause premature birth.

Stress also may affect how you respond to certain situations. Some women deal with stress by smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking street drugs, which can lead to pregnancy problems.

Can high levels of stress in pregnancy hurt your baby later in life?

Stress experienced by a woman during pregnancy may affect her unborn baby as early as 17 weeks after conception, with potentially harmful effects on brain and development, according to new research. Additionally, certain studies show that high levels of stress in pregnancy may cause certain problems during childhood, like having trouble paying attention or being afraid or having low metabolism or some kind of neurodevelopmental and behaviour problems like autism.

How can you reduce stress during pregnancy?

"The first step of reducing or handling the stress is recognising, understanding and accepting that you need to work on it."

nSmiles Self-evaluation tool designed for pregnancy care, help you identify your stressors that's causing stress and help you with ideas and self-help practical tools that help reduce your stress quickly.

If you are planning for baby or you or your wife have just conceived or if you are an expectant parent, make use of this first of its kind solution to give the best and healthy start to your child.

Do you know your anatomy of stress?

In today's life style, Every one knows what Stress is, however, no one really knows it. Stress is difficult to define because it is so different for each of us.

Read More

Source: Do you know your Anatomy of Stress?

Do you know anatomy of your stress?

In today's life style, Every one knows what Stress is, however, no one really knows it.

Stress is difficult to define because it is so different for each of us. A good example is afforded by observing riders on a steep roller coaster ride. Some are hunched down in the back seats, eyes shut, jaws clenched and white knuckled with an iron grip on the retaining bar. They can't wait for the ride to end so they can get back to the ground and scamper away. But up front are the wide-eyed thrill seekers, yelling and relishing each steep plunge who race to get on the very next ride. And in between you may find a few with an air of nonchalance that borders on boredom. So, was the roller coaster ride stressful?

The roller coaster analogy is useful in explaining why the same stressor can differ so much for each of us. What distinguished the passengers in the back from those up front was the sense of control they had over the event. While neither group had any more or less control their perceptions and expectations were quite different.

Many times we create our own stress because of faulty perceptions. Good news is that you can change your perceptions. You can teach yourself to move from the back of the roller coaster to the front, and enjoy the ride.

Research confirms that the sense of having little or no control is al ways distressful – and that’s what stress is all about.

However there are four major causes to have stress in one's life.

Novelty: You must learn a new skill at work or home from scratch and it completely changes your work or living habits. Or you are expecting your first child.

Unpredictability: You have a busy week ahead and you learn that your child Nani at Day care is about to quit the job but you have no clue when. Or you have someone visiting you at home and they come up with new demands every day while you have a challenging day at work.

Threat to the ego: A new employee keeps asking you why you do things a certain way as if doubting your methods. Or you are meeting your child's teacher who asks you how much time you spend helping your child with homework.

Sense of Control: You are in a hurry to get to an important meeting and you get a call from your child's school to pick your child as he's not keeping well. Or your parents are going through a series of illness that leaves you powerless to help ease his/her suffering.

Novelty, unpredictability, threat to the ego, and a poor sense of control reliably elicit a stress response and the release of stress hormones. We do not develop stress-related problems like depression or heart disease by being exposed to stressors alone. It is our body's response to these psychological stressors - the release of stress hormones - that can lead to poor health outcomes.

Acute stress is a normal part of everyday life and helps our stress response system stay on the ball. Problems arise when we are repeatedly exposed to the same stressor or many different stressors for an extended period of time. When this happens, we can fall prey to the effects of chronic stress.

How do we know if we are going through chronic stress or how well are we managing the demand of life?

A simple but powerful way is to develop Self Awareness. Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment. We might quickly assume that we are self aware, but it is helpful to have a relative scale for awareness. Having awareness creates the opportunity to make changes in behavior and beliefs.

nSmiles Self-Evaluation tool helps bring self-awareness by identifying the causes of your stress, your current coping mechanisms and effects of stress on your personality, health and relationships. Later, our team of experts can closely work with you help manage your stressors and achieve your goals.

10 must do's for better mental health that can change your life

Many people in India think that only people with mental illnesses have to pay attention to their mental health. But the truth is that your emotions, thoughts and attitudes affect your energy, productivity and overall health.

Read More

Your mental health can affect many areas of your life:

  • Work, school, or home life.
  • Relationships with others.
  • Sleep.
  • Appetite.
  • Energy levels.
  • Ability to think clearly or make decisions.
  • Physical health.
  • Life satisfaction and more…

Many of these changes can make it harder to enjoy a balanced and rewarding life. Everyone can benefit from learning how to enhance and protect their mental health—whether or not they’ve experienced mental illness.Just as you brush your teeth or get a flu shot, you can take steps to promote your mental health after knowing the current health status.

  1. Build confidence - identify your abilities and weaknesses together, accept them, build on them and do the best you can with what you have.
  2. Accept compliments - many of us have difficulty accepting kindness from others but we all need to remember the positive in our lives when times get tough.
  3. Make time for family and friends - these relationships need to be nurtured; if taken for granted they will dwindle and not be there to share life's joys and sorrows.
  4. Give and accept support - friends and family relationships thrive when they are "put to the test." Just as you seek help when you are having a tough time, a friend or family member might come to you in their time of need.
  5. Create a meaningful budget - financial problems are big causes of stress, especially in today's economy. Over-spending on our "wants" instead of our "needs" can compound money worries. Writing down where you money is going helps you keep a closer eye on your finances.
  6. Volunteer - being involved in community gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction that paid work cannot. Find a local organization where you life skills can be put to good use.
  7. Manage stress - we all have stressors in our lives but learning how to deal with them when they threaten to overwhelm us will help to maintain our mental health.
  8. Find strength in numbers - sharing a problem with others who have had similar experiences may help you find a solution and will make you feel less isolated. Even talking about situation with people who have not experienced what you are going through is a good way to gain outside perspective.
  9. Identify and deal with moods - we all need to find safe and constructive ways to express our feelings of anger, sadness, joy and fear. Channeling your emotions creatively is a wonderful way to work off excess feelings. Writing (keeping a journal), painting, dancing, making crafts, etc. are all good ways to help deal with emotions.
  10. Learn to be at peace with yourself - get to know who you are, what makes you really happy and learn to balance what you can and cannot change about yourself.

Do you make any of these mistakes in managing stress?

Many mental health problems begin when physical stress or emotional stress triggers chemical changes in your brain. The goal of treatment and prevention is to reduce stress.

Read More

Coping skills are methods a person uses to deal with stressful situations. Obtaining and maintaining good coping skills does take practice. However utilizing these skills becomes easier over time.

Some good coping skills include:

  • Meditation and Relaxation Techniques: Practising deep breathing techniques, the relaxation response, or progressive muscle relaxation are ways to help reduce stress and induce relaxation.
  • Time to Yourself: It is important to set aside time everyday to allow yourself to relax and escape the stress of life. Give yourself a private, mini vacation from everything going on around you.
  • Physical Activity: Moving around and getting the heart rate up causes the body to release endorphins (the body's feel good hormones). Exercising provides some stress relief.
  • Reading: Escape from reality completely by reading. Reading can help you to de-stress by taking your mind off everyday life.
  • Friendship: Having friends who are willing to listen and support one through good and bad times is essential.
  • Humor: Adding humor to a stressful situation can help to lighten the mood.
  • Hobbies: Having creative outlets such as listening to music, drawing or gardening are great ways to relax and relieve everyday stress.
  • Spirituality: Actively believing in a higher power or divine being can have many health benefits. In recent studies, it has been found that people who pray have better mental health than those who do not.
  • Pets: Taking care of a pet helps distract the mind from stressful thoughts. Studies Show that pets are a calming influence in people's lives.
  • Sleeping: The human body needs a chance to rest and repair itself after a long and stressful day. Sleeping gives the body this chance so that it is ready to perform another day.
  • Nutrition: Eating foods that are good for you not only improve your physical health, but they play a major role in your mental health. When your body gets the proper nutrients, it is better able to function in every capacity.

There are also negative coping skills which can hinder progress in dealing more positively with stress. Actions that are harmful to both mental and physical health include:

  • Drugs.
  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Self-mutilation.
  • Ignoring or storing hurt feelings.
  • Sedatives.
  • Stimulants.
  • Excessive working.
  • Avoiding problems.
  • Denial.

These actions offer only temporary relief, if any, from stress. Ignoring or covering up how you feel does not solve the problem and the next time the situation arises, you will still have no way of dealing with it.

The next time you find yourself faced with a difficult or stressful circumstance, remember to practice your new coping skills. These skills lead to good mental health and happier you.

Looking after someone? An expert shares what you must know

Caring for someone can be very difficult and over a period of time if not provided with enough support system around, can turn your family into a dysfunctional one.

Read More

Caring for someone can be very difficult and over a period of time if not provided with enough support system around, can turn your family into a dysfunctional one.

A dysfunctional family is one in which members suffer from fear, anger, pain, or shame that is ignored or denied. Underlying problems may include any of the following:

  • An addiction by a family member to drugs, alcohol, relationships, work, food, sex, or gambling.
  • The existence of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
  • The presence of a family member suffering from a chronic mental or physical illness.

Dysfunctional families do not acknowledge that problems exist. They don’t talk about them or confront them. As a result, family members learn to repress emotions and disregard their own needs. They become “survivors.” They develop behaviors that help them deny, ignore, or avoid difficult emotions. They detach themselves. They don’t talk. They don’t touch. They don’t confront. They don’t feel. They don’t trust. The identity and emotional development of the members of a dysfunctional family are often inhibited Attention and energy focus on the family member who is ill or addicted. The co-dependent person typically sacrifices his or her needs to take care of a person who is sick. When co-dependents place other people’s health, welfare and safety before their own, they can lose contact with their own needs, desires, and sense of self.

How Do Co-dependent People Behave?

Co-dependents have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better. They find it hard to “be themselves.” Some try to feel better through alcohol, drugs or nicotine - and become addicted. Others may develop compulsive behaviors like workaholism, gambling, or indiscriminate sexual activity. They have good intentions. They try to take care of a person who is experiencing difficulty, but the caretaking becomes compulsive and defeating. Co-dependents often take on a martyr’s role and become “benefactors” to an individual in need. A wife may cover for her alcoholic husband; a mother may make excuses for a truant child; or a father may “pull some strings” to keep his child from suffering the consequences of delinquent behavior.

The problem is that these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual to continue on a destructive course and to become even more dependent on the unhealthy care taking of the “benefactor.” As this reliance increases, the co-dependent develops a sense of reward and satisfaction from “being needed.” When the care taking becomes compulsive, the co-dependent feels choiceless and helpless in the relationship, but is unable to break away from the cycle of behavior that causes it. Co-dependents view themselves as victims and are attracted to that same weakness in the love and friendship relationships.

Characteristics of Co-dependent People Are:

  • An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others.
  • A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue.
  • A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time.
  • A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts.
  • An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonment.
  • An extreme need for approval and recognition.
  • A sense of guilt when asserting themselves.
  • A compelling need to control others.
  • Lack of trust in self and/or others.
  • Fear of being abandoned or alone.
  • Difficulty identifying feelings.
  • Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change.
  • Problems with intimacy/boundaries.
  • Chronic anger.
  • Lying/dishonesty.
  • Poor communications.
  • Difficulty making decisions.

4 basic dimensions of mental health and well-being

Mental health is determined by our overall patterns of thoughts, emotions, behaviours and body reactions. Each of the four mental health dimensions can influence all of the others.

Read More

Each of the four mental health dimensions can influence all of the others. Here’s an example:

  • Thoughts:
  • I did a good job
  • I hate being stuck in traffic
  • Body reactions:
  • My muscles feels relaxed
  • My heart is racing
  • Behaviours:
  • rewarded myself with a movie
  • I pound my fists
  • Emotions:
  • I feel happy
  • I feel angry

Thoghts:

The way you think about something has a big impact on your mental health. Changes in your thoughts often go along with changes in your mental health. When you feel well, it’s easier to see positive aspects. When you aren’t well, it’s easy to get stuck on negative things and ignore positive things.

Examples of positive thoughts:

  • I know I can get through these rough times.
  • I feel excited about life!.
  • know my friends really care about me.
  • I feel good about the way my life is going these days.
  • I have some really cool talents and interests.
  • I want to do something that makes a positive difference.
  • I’m a good person even though I have some flaws.
  • Good things are going to happen to me.

Examples of negative thoughts

  • It feels like something really bad is going to happen.
  • Nothing good ever seems to happen to me.
  • I’m never going to get through this.
  • My flaws are too big to overcome.
  • I feel like I’m losing my mind.
  • I’m ugly and stupid.
  • They think I’m a loser.
  • Life sucks!

Body Reactions:

Body reactions are changes in your body functions such as heart rate, breathing, digestion, brain chemicals, hormones and more. Changes in your body reactions often go along with changes in your mental health.

Examples of body reactions

  • Chest pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Muscle tension, muscle aches or headaches.
  • Sexual problems, such as low sex drive.
  • Aggravation of an existing health problem. (e.g., acne, digestive disorders, migraines, chronic pain)
  • Upset stomach or nausea.
  • Lack of appetite or increased appetite.
  • Racing or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Feeling that you’re seperated from things around you.
  • Urge to urinate or frequent urination.
  • Sweating, hot flushes or cold chills.
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed.
  • Upset bowel or diarrhea.

Behaviours:

Behaviours are the helpful or harmful things you do. Other people can usually see your behaviours. Changes in behaviour often go along with changes in mental health.

Examples of Behaviours:

  • Exercise
  • Avoiding the things that upset you.
  • Engaging in hobbies or leisure activities.
  • Isolating yourself and pulling away from friends and family.
  • Doing things that distract you from your problems, like watching TV or working late.
  • Working on a solution to a problem one step at a time.
  • Crying often.
  • Overeating, not eating enough or purging food(such as vomiting, over-exercising).
  • Lashing out at other people (verbally or physically).
  • Excessive dependency or clinging to loved ones.
  • Reaching out to a friend or family member for support and understanding.
  • Practicing your spiritual activities.
  • Using alcohol or drugs to make the bad feelings go away.
  • Doing something relaxing, like taking a bath or practicing yoga.

Emotions:

Emotions are the way you feel. They can be pleasant or unpleasant. Changes in emotions often go along with changes in mental health.

Examples of pleasant emotions

  • Happiness or joy.
  • Contentment.
  • Sense of calm.
  • Excitement.
  • Feeling love or affection.
  • Feeling cheerful.

Examples of unpleasant emotions

  • Irritability or anger.
  • Frustration.
  • Anxiety or fear.
  • Sadness or feeling down.
  • Feeling empty or numb.
  • Hopelessness.

Going through Tough times?

Making a decision to see a Counsellor or psychologist or other mental health practitioner can be a difficult one. Acknowledging that you have a problem.

Read More

Many people feel uncomfortable about the prospect of talking about things that are distressing or even embarrassing to a complete stranger.

On the other hand, people often find it much easier to tell their problems to someone they do not know and who has no expectations of them.

Talking to friends and loved ones can be very supportive but sometimes it is difficult for people we know well to be objective and honest because of their feelings for us and of their roles in our lives. Further, our family and friends cannot recognize the type or seriousness of a psychological problem nor the best way to help us cope with it.

Who Do I See?

Once you have made the decision to seek external professional help, you need to decide whom to choose.Understanding Who's a counsellor and what does he do, Who's an Psychologist and what does he do, who's a Psychiatrist and what does he do, helps in seeking right kind of external help that would bring positive difference in your life. Further read our related articles to know more about each of these professional help givers.

All you should Know about Counselling and a Counselor

Counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.

Read More

How counselling can help?

Counselling aims to help you deal with and overcome issues that are causing emotional pain or making you feel uncomfortable. It can provide a safe and regular space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counsellor is there to support you and respect your views. They won't usually give advice, but will help you find your own insights into and understanding of your problems. A counsellor is trained to listen with empathy (by putting themselves in your shoes). They can help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings you have. Sometimes the term "counselling" is used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counselling is also a type of therapy in its own right.

What is counselling used for?

Talking therapies such as counselling can be used to help with many different mental health conditions, including:

  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD).
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Long-term illnesses.
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.
  • Drug misuse.

Counselling can help you:

  • Cope with a bereavement or relationship breakdown.
  • Cope with redundancy or work-related stress.
  • Explore issues such as sexual identity.
  • Deal with issues preventing you achieving your ambitions.
  • Deal with feelings of depression or sadness, and have a more positive outlook on life.
  • Understand yourself and your problems better.
  • Feel more confident.
  • Develop a better understanding of other people's points of view.

Counselling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better. In most cases, it takes a number of sessions before the counselling starts to make a difference, and a regular commitment is required to make the best use of the therapy.

What to expect from counselling?

During your counselling sessions, you'll be encouraged to express your feelings and emotions. By discussing your concerns with you, the counsellor can help you gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes, as well as identifying ways of finding your own solutions to problems. It can be a great relief to share your worries and fears with someone who acknowledges your feelings and is able to help you reach a positive solution. Counselling can take place:

  • Face to face.
  • Individually or in a group.
  • Over the phone.
  • By email.
  • Online over video based tools like skype.

You may be offered counselling as a single session, as a short course of sessions over a few weeks or months, or as a longer course that lasts for several months or years.

Call or text to nSmiles Number +91-78478 69369 if you are looking to seek external help or any kind of assistance to reach out..

Persona of good counsellor:

A good counsellor will focus on you and listen without judging or criticising you. They may help you find out about how you could deal with your problems, but they shouldn't tell you what to do.

For counselling to be effective, you need to build a trusting and safe relationship with your counsellor. If you feel that you and your counsellor aren't getting on, or that you're not getting the most out of your sessions, you should discuss this with them, or you can look for another counsellor.

Who provides counselling?

As counselling involves talking about sensitive issues and revealing personal thoughts and feelings, your counsellor should be experienced and professionally qualified. Different healthcare professionals may be trained in counselling or qualified to provide psychological therapies.

These include:

  • Counsellors – Trained to provide counselling to help you cope better with your life and any issues you have
  • Clinical and counselling psychologists – Healthcare professionals who specialise in assessing and treating mental health conditions using evidence-based psychological therapies
  • Psychiatrists – Qualified medical doctors who've received further training in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions
  • Psychotherapists – Similar to counsellors, but they've usually received more extensive training; they're also often qualified applied psychologists or psychiatrists
  • Cognitive behavioural psychotherapists – May come from a variety of professional backgrounds and have received training in cognitive behaviour therapy.

All you should Know about a Psychologist

A psychologist studies how we think, feel and behave from a scientific viewpoint and applies this knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behaviour.

Read More

Where Do Psychologists Work?

Some psychologists work primarily as researchers and faculty at universities and at governmental and non-governmental organizations. Others work primarily as practitioners in hospitals, schools, clinics, correctional facilities, employee assistance programs and private offices. Many psychologists are active in both research and practice.

What Do Psychologists Do?

Psychologists engage in research, practice and teaching across a wide range of topics having to do with how people think, feel and behave. Their work can involve individuals, groups, families and as well as larger organizations in government and industry. Some psychologists focus their research on animals rather than people.

Here are some of the kinds of topics towards which psychologists focus their research and practice:

  • Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobias, etc.
  • Neurological, genetic, psychological and social determinants of behaviour.
  • Brain injury, degenerative brain diseases.
  • The perception and management of pain.
  • Psychological factors and problems associated with physical conditions and disease (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, stroke).
  • Psychological factors and management of terminal illnesses.
  • Cognitive functions such as learning, memory, problem solving, intellectual ability and performance.
  • Developmental and behavioural abilities and problems across the lifespan.
  • Criminal behaviour, crime prevention, services for victims and perpetrators of criminal activity.
  • Addictions and substance use and abuse (e.g. smoking, alcohol).
  • Stress, anger and other aspects of lifestyle management.
  • Court consultations addressing the impact and role of psychological and cognitive factors in accidents and injury, parental capacity, and competence to manage one’s personal affairs.
  • The application of psychological factors and issues to work such as motivation, leadership, productivity, marketing, healthy workplaces, ergonomics.
  • Marital and family relationships and problems.
  • Psychological factors necessary to maintaining wellness and preventing disease.
  • Social and cultural behaviour and attitudes, the relationship between the individual and the many groups of which he or she is part (e.g. work, family, society).
  • The role and impact of psychological factors on performance at work, recreation and sport.

Mental health wellness inspires positive living all around us, please share this blog to grow awareness.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A psychologist holds a master’s and/or doctoral degree in psychology that involves from 6 to 10 years of university study of how people think, feel and behave.

Read More

Although psychologists are licensed generally and not in specific specialty areas, they are required to declare their areas of competency to the regulatory body and required to practice within the bounds of their competence. It is important that, for example, a psychologist practicing neuropsychology (assessing and treating problems in thinking or brain function that might occur after an accident or stroke for example) has been trained in the area of neuropsychology.

A psychologist working with children should have been trained in the area of child psychology and so on. Typically, the psychologist will have received this training while in graduate school where he or she will have chosen the courses and training experiences to prepare for working within a particular specialty area. Sometimes, psychologists pursue specialized training after graduation by completing a post-doctoral fellowship for example.

A practicing psychologist is trained to assess and diagnose problems in thinking, feeling and behaviour as well to help people overcome or manage these problems. A psychologist is uniquely trained to use psychological tests to help with assessment and diagnosis. Psychologists help people to overcome or manage their problems using a variety of treatments or psychotherapies.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who go on to specialize in mental health and mental disorders. Psychiatrists often use medication to help their clients manage their mental disorders and there are some disorders for which medications are very necessary (schizophrenia and some depressions for examples). Some psychiatrists also do psychotherapy much like psychologists do.

Mental health wellness inspires positive living all around us, please share this blog to grow awareness.

Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness

Human life is uncertain. You are bound to face innumerable challenges on an ongoing basis. Challenges faced from any area of your life like Relationships, Parenting, Finances, Work, Sexuality etc.

Read More

Usually, if there is a problem in almost any other area of life, you seek help because it does not show case you as weak in society. You may ask your friends, family, relatives, neighbours, colleagues or Professors. However, when it comes to Seeking help or reaching out to professionals related to emotional difficulties, often you keep saying I have to cope with it, its my fate or destiny, time solves many problems, Its God who gave me the problem and he will also be the one to resolve it or I need to endure it till it eventually fades away or may be sometimes you get so absorbed in it that you don't even realise that you should seek external help. In one word, you want to keep it to your self without reaching out to any and keeping a brave facade in front of society.

However, Reaching out for help is not a sign of Weakness. Its a sign of strength.

Asking for help means you are taking responsibility of your problem. You want to find ways, get information, be given right direction or do something now or act on it to bring positive difference than blaming or cursing circumstances, people, God and everyone around you for the things happening with your or waiting for the problem to get solved on its own.

Seeking Help means you are tending to yourself first. You are educated to comfort others first. Other’s priorities, others wishes, others wants even if its not what you like or want. Some times to make Life work, You unintentionally do things which you necessarily don't want to, give up things close to you, do things which you don't appreciate. The truth is Its Ok to be selfish about yourself. Your wants,your needs,your likes and your priorities. You are worthy to look for your happiness first.

Seeking help means courage to speak about the problem you are facing. Courage to voice, courage to remember the pain, courage to go through haunting memories, courage to show your vulnerable self, courage to accept that things are bad, courage to face society, courage to redeem, courage to explore new possibilities, courage to take different path, courage to mend ways or courage to Let Go.

Seeking help means that there is some level of realisation and acceptance that something is seriously not going right. You are ready to go beyond looking good to the outside world and are willing to put the efforts in making things right for yourself. Remember, You come first in your priority list and you have every right to be happy from within.

Seeking help means you are ready to grow beyond your defence mechanism. Few of popular defence traits you observe are being silent, being busy, being dominant, escapism, being funny, being ignorant, being dumb or being egoistic. You can explore what is yours in the process and heal yourself.

Seeking help means you are ready to break your self made wall of isolation. You reach out, share, shout out, cry and forgive the people responsible for the pain according to you in the process . You are willing to heal yourself from the trauma with your inner wisdom and come out of your self doubts on your abilities with the help of your therapist.

Reaching out to professionals will enable you to have a channel to express and re-prioritise. Many a times, being in the same circumstance or situation for long influences the thought process and you tend to endure everything happening to you.

Reaching out and Voicing your thoughts will empty the clutter in mind. Will enable you to pour your heart out, think fresh, what do you want to do and how do you think you should. Once the action plan is clear, working towards it along with your therapist will bring the lost hope, confidence and faith that things can get better.

Sharing it with human behaviour experts will give a chance to peak into others who also have been there at the same situation of yours and how they came out of it. Re-instill hope that it can change for you too if you start working on it. Not seeking help could mean that the problem deepens or worsens and even if it goes away it may come back again at a later date. Seeking help increases your chances of preventing this from happening. When you reach our for help, it means you are not alone. You are having a support system who will work along with you. It gives immense strength knowing theres someone working for your happiness which motivates you to take action.

Things look so difficult and huge when you try solve all by yourself. Sometimes, you dont even know whether your approach is the right one or something else can be done. Having a sounding board to express helps in internalising the thought process and take steps for good. Reaching out to others who are trained in human behaviour like therapists, counsellors, psychologists will enable you to access their knowledge and help in getting a perspective which is balanced. Enables you to share your problem without being judged, ridiculed or being afraid of your confidentiality. The focus is all about you and your problem at hand than anything else.

Once you start sharing whats happening to you, your struggles, your pain, your failures it will give you a chance to give words to your emotions or thoughts. Its easy to cross check What is actually happening, what is it you are assuming and what are you believing around it.You also realise your point of view, others point of view and start adapting new point of views that can bring positive impact. When things are not that great, being helpless is the worst situation you can be with. There are lots of people who are ready to extend their hand, give a shoulder to lean or a ear to listen out. All it takes is that One Bold Step towards reaching out to them. Gather the strength, reach out for help as its a sign of Strength, not weakness. Because, You are Worth of every ounce of happiness in this world.

Give yourself a priceless gift

Each one of you wanted to be treated with respect, valued and accepted, loved and cherished. You want someone to make you feel that you are making important contributions in people's.

Read More

Acknowledgement starts with Self.

When is the last time you pat your back or acknowledged for your failures of success in life. When is the last time you appreciated yourself, for what you are and what you are not? Not the selfish or egoistic act but taking time really to stop and introspect about you - your health, hobby,relations, learnings, failures, goals, expectations,mistakes etc etc. I will not be surprised if you say i haven't achieved much to seek appreciation or to appreciate thyself. Its because people often forget or under appreciate the minor things they do successfully everyday or the things they complete or meet. Yet, they recall in detail all the times they have failed or made mistakes or felt unworthy because of the strong emotional responses attached to it.

You will remember the things like being able to loss 10kg weight or making up for a dream role or working towards achieving a goal.,See if you can remember subtle successes like having conversations with your mom where you feel connected or having made your kid happy or being on time to a party or able to tick the to-dos or intimate conversations you had the previous nite. On a contrary, it’s very difficult to remember the time you did small job right or put right salt in a dish or found the algorithm to solve a problem. Cause, you feel these are trivial and small. Research says it is very important to acknowledge those small events in life that seem less important but plays a very important role in life, making you more whole, happy and accomplished that it gives enough boost to achieve the bigger and more satisfying moments in life.

And to top, People ruminate about events that induce strong negative emotions five times as long as they do about events that induce strong positive ones. Hence, it is no wonder that people tend to recall negative experiences more readily than positive ones.Since 90% of thoughts if not trained otherwise are negative, it’s natural that small successes in life gets unacknowledged. Hence it’s always very important to constantly feed the subconscious brain with the achievements how insignificant it might seem, to positively influence thoughts and thus emotions.

5 simple and Effective ways to Acknowledge Self:

  1. Cultivate the habit of Gratitude Journaling: Will help you consciously put efforts in acknowledging the best things happened on that day and feel thankful about it. Research says practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by around 25%. When you pat yourself on the back and give yourself credit for your hard work, you are likely to feel more motivated and inspired to keep working. Acknowledgment of the work you do today increases the odds that you will look forward to feeling good for the future work you complete and be more present to your own capacity to get dissertation work done.

  2. Celebrate your failures: Keep a note of things you could have done better or you think have failed terribly. We feel upset, disappointed, and sometimes even angry. The problem with this reaction to failure is that it shuts us down and makes us not want to try anymore, and that’s what leads to true failure: a lack of further attempts. On the other hand, if we can learn to celebrate our failures as steps toward eventual success, we will continue to put in effort, keep trying, and eventually achieve the results we want.

  3. Be Generous: Whenever there comes a chance to acknowledge, choose to acknowledge yourself or others around, you think are responsible. Remember, no job however small doesn't gets accomplished without you acting on it. Acknowledge your contribution in making it happen. However, trivial it might seem to.

  4. Make it Fun: You can write down all the tasks you feel are important on coloured slips. Every time you finish your task, at end of the day, put the completed task slip in a transparent bottle and keep the bottle t near your workbench . Very soon, your bottle will be filled with coloured slips that stands as a testimony of tasks you have completed no matter what and adds to your feel good factor to enhance your happiness and confidence factor.
  5. Write your "I Love this in Me" list: This is a fun yet powerful tool to discover your Inner Self. Write down all the good qualities that are not physical. Something like, i am Honest, Generous, Patient etc or I like Pets and i love that about myself, I love to play with Kids, I like to spend time in rain etc. I don't like that i am under-confident, Weak in Communication or don't know to be diplomatic etc. Process of writing out your strengths and weakness gives you a tangible evidence of your inner qualities that you otherwise might not be aware of. When you see all these about yourself written in black and blue, you will give your self esteem a big boost.

Remember, when you Discover , Improve and Acknowledge your Inner Self, your physical beauty enhances. The motivation to complete the tasks quadruples and you start to see your failures objectively. When you keep looking for things to Acknowledge and feel grateful about, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things you previously ignored or took for granted. You will be able to forgive yourself or others effortlessly for the failures or mistakes. This will intern help in diminishing stress and feelings of negativity. Practice acknowledging yourself and others around you. Find means and ways to acknowledge in each situation and every circumstance and thus Gift yourself The Priceless Gift of Dignity and Self worth.

This single word answer can create wonders into your relationship

By reading the heading, if you wonder what is this Emotional Intimacy all about, let me assure you, you are at the right place. Seldom do we care about Intimacy at emotional level.

Read More

What's Emotional Intimacy? “Emotional Intimacy is sense of comfort, closeness and trust on another person that two people can disclose their personal feelings, thoughts, emotions and not be dismissed or judged harshly. In a way its sharing ones deepest selves with high level of openness and transparency. This involves at times being vulnerable.” Emotional intimacy can be shared with not just your partner in life, but with friends, family, colleagues, even pets.

The emotional intimacy process is like peeling back the skin of an onion one layer at a time. So it can start with conversations exploring each other's feelings that become progressively personal over time and respects each other’s comfort level. It gets intensely personal, intimate and scary. But that is love. Experiencing the intense pleasure and pain of some one we love and to feel the sense of togetherness. There are great moments and also tough moments that come along within a relationship. Sharing the great moments will give sense of accomplishment, worthiness and happiness of being acknowledged. However, Emotional intimacy can be experienced only if the person with whom we share accomplishments feels excited about the success or feels happy than judging or dismissing. The toughest part is dealing with the tough moments when we can trust a person, to be open to convey our concerns.

Tips to nurture Emotional Intimacy:

  1. What is it that stopping you from connecting with someone at emotional level. Introspect if you are intentionally putting everyone at arm’s length without your knowledge. Give a thought if it’s due to your past relations. You might have been let down or felt untrustworthy. Explore the reason that make you reluctant to connect with anyone. Identify the reason as close to you could get and start changing it with the wisdom you possess now.

  2. Take a step towards Understanding and give active listening when you sense someone is sharing their concern. Similarly, make a effort to share information about yourself. Tell, what you are going through, how you are feeling and whats making your day difficult.

  3. Don’t Judge or pass rude comments just because the other person is in distress and you want to make them feel better. Don't dive into preaching and giving instant solutions. Be empathic and compassionate.

  4. Understand that someone is trying to share their worst mistakes or fears or most embarrassing moments or their feelings of inadequacy, their dark shadow side or their hopes or aspirations or their difficulties. Respect their sentiments and keep the conversations private to yourself. This is one of the most important factor to build trust.

  5. If you think, you are too reluctant to disclose anything of yourself to others and its deep rooted, identify a person with whom you are wanting to get connected, and convince yourself on how sharing with this individual is safe and consciously train your sub conscious mind.

Secret to a happy marriage is simple

Emotionally Intimacy in a marriage will bring sense of oneness with your partner. It might be that you want to share a tough moment with your partner.

Read More

Top 7 Emotional Intimacy Skills to be built within couple:

  1. Identify your own emotional need which may include: the need to be seen, heard, encouraged, considered, included, nurtured, understood, accepted, engaged, touched, held, desired, forgiven, collaboratively joined in problem solving and decision making and the recipient of affection.

  2. The ability to talk about the above emotional needs and get them met in and out of our primary relationship.

  3. Addressing breakdowns in a relationship where someone feels hurt and/or angry by identifying the problem as someone's unmet need and the person with the problem being the one with the unmet need.

  4. Identifying the nature of the unmet need, the means by which the need might be met and planning to talk along the way about how effectively the need is being met.

  5. The ability to have honest conversations about fear. There are two fears which are a part of any committed relationship: the fear of losing ourselves to the preferences, values and beliefs of our partners and the fear of losing our partners either to some endeavour or to someone else.

  6. Considering that your life partner is the most important person in your life,Increase the time you spend together as a couple.Intimacy can't be created without spending time talking not just about the events of the day, but also how you feel about the events of the day.

  7. Deal with conflict swiftly. Don't resort to the silent treatment or snide remarks. Learn to "fight fair" by getting the issue out on the table and dealing with it with respect. This will grow trust and deepen intimacy

In a survey, when asked woman for the most likely reason to end a relationship, 38 per cent listed emotional support as a deal-breaker. Two per cent cited sex in women. According to Relate, the relationship charity, men rate their sex life as a much higher priority in a relationship than women do. Let me hence talk about dealing with emotional intimacy of wife as a gateway for satisfying sex lives of husband to make relationships between couple work.

Meeting your wife’s Emotional Intimacy: Understand Her Are you judgemental about your wife? Do you by your actions or words make her feel ashamed or silly or her being defensive? If you are not tender consistently and appreciative, she will it find it difficult to trust you completely. For a woman, intimacy must be genuine and constant, and believe me, she knows if you just turn on the charm when you want her in the bedroom.

Give her Attention and Affection: A loving husband cares for and nurtures the real woman inside his wife. Be specific. Point out positive changes she has made her life. Stop and take a good look at what she's doing in her world. But do more than notice; say that out loud. Your wife also needs your closeness, your nonsexual touch that communicates genuine carrying and reminds her that she is loved for more than just her body. Your gentle touch communicates to her: "I'm here. You're not alone. I enjoy you. I'll take care of you.”

Build Rapport with her Women are wired for "rapport talk." Details are important to women. They don't want the abridged version; they want the whole nine yards. As woman talk, they discover who they are and why they think the way they do. They process as they discuss. They resolve issues as they converse. They "talk it through." Somehow their hearing, speech, and thoughts are all interrelated, and they need to have all three working at once to express themselves fully.

Resist the urge to "solve it" Whatever "it" is. Your wife needs you to acknowledge her feelings; she needs to know that what she is saying is registering with you. Even if you don't agree with her, your acknowledgement of her emotions lets her know that you aren't dismissing them by overlooking them and rushing to suggest a solution. Recognise her strong emotions as exclamation marks. When she is upset, angry, or frustrated, realise that these emotions are her way of letting you know how very much this matters to her. Attention to the smallest details shows your wife you are thinking of her and that she is the most important person in your world.

And lastly, If you have conflict in your marriage, work through it. Talk to your wife. Forget if you need to. Confess if you need to. Let go of your resentments. Harbouring resentments may offer an immediate sense of gratification or power, but resentments fester until they control you. The way to restore harmony in your marriage is to remove resentments, not relive them. No marriage is capable of recovering from disappointments and moving on to maturity unless both husband and wife let go of bitterness. You can't trust and love your wife while you were either secretly were openly resentful of her. Emotional intimacy is a profound mystery, which will not be penetrated. It is a daring undertaking, calling for an earnest commitment to continue learning about who we are and what our relationships are asking for. And most of all, living with a softness that allows us to forgive ourselves and those we love, as we fumble with the large energies flowing through emotional intimacy, such as passion, love, loyalty, betrayal, fear, anger, trust and distrust, commitment and disillusionment. Once you feel warmth, companionship, understanding, togetherness, not judging and not being judged, the sense of connectedness will bring forth two of you as one. Emotional intimacy is being able to communicate your feelings to show how much you care.