Do I really need a counsellor?

So when does one approach a counsellor? When one is facing a problem with relationships, when one is stressed out or when one is depressed? Yes! That’s when you must approach a counsellor but that’s not the ONLY reason why you should approach a counsellor. Counselling is an exercise that frees your mind and liberates the soul. It helps you connect with yourself, leads you to a better understanding of yourself, of who you are, which in turn helps you make right choices in life. Most of the time who we think we are is actually what someone else has told us to be. Best person who can help through this process is a counselor.

Let’s look at various reasons why counselling should be a necessity, and not just the last resort.

  • Let it go – We all deal with our own amount of frustration. And we can’t always talk to friends/family. So what happens to all that frustration? It builds up within us; threatening to blow up one fine day. Why wait for that? It’s important to let it all go. And a counsellor is the right person to help you do so. A counsellor is someone who’ll listen unconditionally and help you release the tension. If you were given a chance to just discard all the frustration from your mind, vent it all out and walk away feeling lighter, would you take it? That’s what a counsellor helps you do.
  • Dealing with problems – Problems come and go, but the way you deal with it will change when you have a counsellor guiding you. It helps you realize that when external factors are out f control, it’s time to learn to manage your own emotions. Everything that irritates us about others can lead to a better understanding of ourselves. So while coping with external issues, you are subsequently connecting with your inner-self.
  • Underlying problems – You may think all is well, but subconsciously there might be a lot you are dealing with. There might be baggage you are carrying from childhood or past relationships and which might unknowingly be stressing you out. Unexplained body issues like headaches, cramps and pain could all be caused by unidentified stress. That’s your body’s way of sending signals that you need help. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak; it’s the first step to making you a stronger person; a person who is taking responsibility of his own life.
  • Prevention is better than cure – With stressful, busy lives, we are hardly able to dedicate time to ourselves. With each passing day, the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression is rising steadily. The long term effects of these are well-known and we all would like to stay far from it. So if we just started taking care of ourselves from this very moment. If we realized by simply “talking” to a counsellor, we might discover a better self, get valuable perspectives to situations, it would keep stress away and ward off illnesses caused by stress (and let’s not forget there are quite a few in that list).

The penultimate line is, counselling is not only for someone who is having issues, it’s for everyone who wants to go through a process of self-discovery and self empowerment. Finally, it’s what everyone must experience once in their lifetime.


Why we still need a women’s day?

And yet another Women’s day passed with the usual posts on social media, pink runs organized in cities and women’s day offers at malls and at restaurants. Of course, with that people assume women are happy and for another year they will remain “quiet”. And that’s the reason we still need women’s day; and not just once a year, through the year. Some men of course feel threatened with the concept, and surprisingly some of the women too aren’t happy about it. They feel that the very fact we have a dedicated day for women proves women aren’t equal to men.

Women are equal, but women aren’t treated equal. One part of the changing society might actually feel liberated and believe that times have changed, but sadly, most women across the globe wouldn’t agree.

In a recent interview Meghan Markle quoted that people keep saying – we are helping women find their voices. She is completely against the statement because she believes women have voices, they just need to feel empowered enough to use them, and people need to be encouraged to listen.

In no way has our country, or for that matter, other countries too, reached a place where we can safely say things are changing for women. Women are sexually harassed and assaulted. Women are discriminated against in the workplace. Women are excluded from political decision-making. Even women who “have it all” can’t seem to get it right. Working mothers are reprimanded for not being present enough for their children or at work.

From celebrities to the crowds, women just can’t seem to strike the right chord. From a woman’s outfit to her maternal duties, everything is being commented on. Have we really moved ahead? It’s like women were given freedom but with a leash which will pull them back if they “overuse” it.

Of course, if we move to another section of women that doesn’t even have access to basic sanitation; we realize it may be decades before gender becomes only a biological term.

Workplaces celebrate women’s day with pink balloons and roses with a theme for the women on 8th March and rest of the year women fight against harassment in the office. Husbands take wives out for a meal on Women’s day and then next morning she is expected to wake up at 5 am, begin her “chores” in the kitchen and look after her in-laws.

These are simple instances, but the implications of the transformation through the year are huge!

Do all women feel this way? No. If you are one of those lucky women, then you must thank your stars. Because from women not being “allowed” to drive in Saudi Arabia, to women not being “allowed” to work in India, there is a lot that still needs to change. The fact that women need to be “allowed” to do things is what needs to be looked into.

On that note, it’s also important to understand that feminism aims at gender equality.  This is not a war against the men. It’s a war against inequality. The rise of women does not mean the fall of men! Pro-women does not mean anti-men. Pro-women is anti-abuse, anti-discrimination and anti-inequality.

The day we feel women’s day is just another day and all days seem like women’s day as much as men’s day, that day we’ll know we have truly achieved equality.

This blog is based on the article –

Exam Stress

Here we are again, at the familiar yearly crossroad. One with us and our children, and one with stress. We meet yet again. For quite a few of us, it’s not just exam time, but “board” exam time. And how that one word can double the anxiety has always been a mystery. While exam stress in inevitable, it’s important to try and keep it at a bare minimum. Not only will that ensure a happy mood at home, it would actually help students perform better. An anxious mind can never perform as well as a calm one.

 So what do we do to monitor stress levels? Do we ask them to study lesser? Do we ask them to study more so they are better prepared? Maybe the solution isn’t anything to do with studying. Moreover, most of the “studying” bit is completed by now. It’s crucial to look into other aspects now.

 Let’s begin with adequate rest and eating. This is a stressful time for most students and the stress could take a toll on their health. It’s better to prevent that from happening by ensuring children eat all meals well and get a goodnight’s sleep. As basic as it may sound, it’s probably the key to a fresh mind that’s more likely to remember all that’s learnt .If the study hours are fixed, make sure there is little time left for leisure too. One little break can help cut off monotony and help children keep away frustration.

 Maintaining a happy, cheerful environment at home is absolutely essential at a time like this. Books give children enough and more negativity during exams and a positive atmosphere at home can help balance the mood for them.

 Furthermore, it’s advisable to have a chat with your children before the exams begin to assure them that exams are important, but it’s certainly not the end of the world. While saying that to them is important, it’s more important that you believe in that too. Communicate the importance of studying and being successful; but at the same time, establish trust that they will be loved and respected regardless of their results.

This could help in maintaining exam stress as just regular exam stress, without it transforming into fear and anxiety.

 Encourage meditation of any form for few minutes in the day. You could also practice meditation with them to keep them motivated and it could act as your time spent with them during a stressful phase.

 During exams, it’s only fair to restrain from comparing your child with other children or from talking about expectations form these exams. The fact remains that most of the studying has been done and such talks could only intimidate the children, thereby making them anxious again.

 Having said that, of course revision is crucial and children must be encouraged to do so. Analyzing past papers, revising all topics and making to-do lists in a day could help them organize their studying. Organized studying usually leads to organized thoughts; hence helping them stays calm.

 Lastly, we all must remember that exams come and go every year, millions of people across the world write them, we have all written them; it’s a routine process that of course should be given importance, but only to a certain extent. Majority of the exam stress is caused by the hype around the topic, not as much by the studying.

 How you react to exams and exam related stress is exactly what will reflect from your child. So, before trying to correct their actions and help them, let’s ensure we aren’t giving the wrong signals.

Here’s to another year of the dreaded exams with the hope that with each passing year, the anxiety levels are only decreasing.