Expectations too high at the workplace?

As we have been discussing suicides among children, it’s also important to pay attention suicides among adults. We may all be aware that a failed relationship is a prominent cause for a suicide, but have we wondered what the other causes are? According to a recent survey, 50% of the people who seek help online are suffering from work-related stress or depression.

Work is worship; agreed! But it could also lead us to the gates of hell if not dealt with appropriately. Pressure at workplaces, the will to keep growing and the fear of not being able to do so are causing individuals to reach a breakdown or in worse cases, succumb to depression! Not able to find happiness leads to absenteeism which in turn leads to fear of losing a job. The ordeal of having to go to a workplace you are not fond of can be quite traumatizing in the long run. Rising expectations by bosses and employees too, are causing employees to go into depression.

Psychologists say that all of the above could be handled by ensuring a work-life balance. It may sound clichéd, but it sure still holds good as one of the best ways of ensuring a fulfilling life. The minute work starts to lead in the race, life is left behind. Literally. Laws may need to be altered at workplaces but helping employees stay happy and content is not only beneficial for the employees, but to the company as well. Productivity of employees solely depends on their well-being.

If school is second home for children, an office is one for adults. A major part of the day is spent here and any stress experienced here will subsequently show up in all other spheres of life.

What’s more worrying is that interpersonal relations at home too take a hit. And any demanding job will not be able to give a person the time to sort things out. And the cycle of stress just continues.

Hence, isn’t it better to manage time and attention effectively before we reach that stage? Dedicating time to what’s important and urgent at the moment can help prioritize things. Keeping work stress away from home and vice versa consequently improves things at both places! Being mindful about how much time work is taking away from you in a day and to judge whether it’s worth it, is the key here!

Some are lucky to have dream jobs, some aren’t. But all are capable of being happy in their workplaces with just a little attention and mindfulness. So the choice is ALWAYS yours!

This blog is based on the article –

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com//Article.aspx?eid=31806&articlexml=WORLD-MENTAL-HEALTH-DAY-Unmet-expectations-can-cause-10102017004022

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Rubber duckies to Blue whales!

For a change that drastic, something drastic must have happened right? Probably not! With parents terrified about suicides amongst children, each one is striving hard to dig out every possible reason that is pushing a child to take such an extreme step. Earlier there were reasons (if one may call it that) to end a life; however invalid it may have seemed to others. Heartbreaks, failures at school, poverty… etc. But today, parents who say they have given “everything” to their kids too end up losing their children. While looking for something huge and noticeable as a cause to such behaviour, what has emerged as a winner from research is a very basic concept – poor communication between parents and children.

As shocking as it may seem, it most certainly is that essential too. After having provided your kids with “everything”, maybe it’s time to just make sure that you too are there for them; in every possible way. Constant critiquing, unrealistic expectations, academic pressure etc could be underlying causes of one wanting to end their life. As quoted by a child who attempted suicide 17 times, the aim was not to end a life; but to end the pain.

It’s important to comprehend that “pain” is a relative term and however irrelevant it may appear to be to us; it is valid for a child. To validate his feelings and understand his pain is crucial. And when that doesn’t happen he looks for other options, sometimes, suicide!

With World Mental Health day being celebrated three days ago, the hope is that people take a step forward and acknowledge mental health issues in children too. Acknowledgment is only the first step to solving it. If parents identify an issue and vow to resolve it by asking for help, they are perhaps preventing a tragedy that was waiting to happen!

So, to all parents out there, you may feel you are doing everything right, and of course, one is never dubious about the intentions of a parent; but never forget communication is a two-way street and it should seem right from both ends for it be ‘effective’.

So even if you feel everything is “fine”, it’s better to look at communication from another angle; hence making sure everything always remains fine. Parents are ready to go any length to protect their kids from the big bad blue whale and when it could be doing something as basic as improving communication, why not start now?

This blog is based on the article –

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31820&articlexml=PARENTRY-Rubber-duckies-to-Blue-Whale-what-happened-10102017023012

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Stress VS Burnout?

Don’t feel like going to work? Don’t feel like sitting at your desk all day? Eager to quit or change jobs? Now, most of us have felt all of the above and may have categorized it as work-related stress and pushed it away. But, is it just stress? Or is it a burnout?

 It’s important to identify the distinction in order to take the right path thereafter. Stress is commonly associated with certain situations, events or people. And a change in any of the above immediately brings down stress levels. Stress is relatively short-term and one usually feels overwhelmed with the amount of work. And once a certain project is completed, or an important event takes place, stress automatically reduces, hence reassuring us that we can get back to our usual work mode.

However, on the other hand, a burnout is long-term. More than feeling worried about a certain assignment, a sense of belongingness is lost. The whole workplace seems strange and feelings towards employees change too. There is a sudden disconnect with the job and the people associated with it, perhaps with the boss himself.

 There has been no one reason that has caused people to experience a burnout in the past but reasons like having unclear goals and expectations, no support from the boss, monotonous work schedule or low-stimulation work have contributed to the same.

 A burnout could create consequences at work as well as at home. A person who is dissatisfied with his work and the results carry a sense of insecurity and dissatisfaction back home, hence, risking stability of other relationships too.

With increasing levels of stress and with money being a prime factor for choosing jobs, more and more people are leaning towards a burnout very early in their career.

 Contrary to the common mentality, a burnout can actually be avoided. Monitoring one’s job carefully and working with a purpose are key factors in keeping a burnout away. To have a goal apart from the monthly pay-check helps in keeping the mind challenged at work. Taking control of the job and ensuring that the boss is helping you grow keeps an employee motivated. However difficult it may seem, the task of staying happy at the workplace has to be performed by the employee and one shouldn’t wait for the boss to carry out the same. Exercising regularly and keep stress levels low indirectly play a significant role in ensuring a happy professional life. And if one is happy at work, a burnout is a rarity.

And if after trying to do so, you are still unable to find peace, don’t hesitate to talk to a counsellor and find the right path for your career that’ll consequently decide your path to happiness!

 For counselling, contact Prerana Academy at…. 99800-72005/90084-22688

 The above blog is based on the following article –

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/avoiding-burnout.htm

Kids feeling Entitled

Remember the time when we were at school? Apart from our usual “I don’t want to study” or “I want a holiday” issues, it was a pretty easy time. We were told what we had to do, we did it, learnt few things in the process, had real friends, lost a few ; all in all, truly living each day of our childhood the way it was meant to be lived. And here we are, decades later, watching our children in school with half the amount of patience and double the number of issues. Victoria Prooday, an occupational therapist with years of experience working with children, parents, and teachers, acknowledges the fact that children are getting harder to deal with at school. A feeling of entitlement looms over classrooms giving teachers a hard time. A decline in kids’ social, emotional and academic functioning too can be observed!

What went wrong? Why are things so different? Fortunately or unfortunately, there isn’t just one answer. Many factors contribute to this kind of behaviour.

Again, like many other behavioral problems today, the roots of this issue too lie in technology! Often, parents are seen using technology as a free baby-sitting service, which according to Prooday, isn’t free at all. One will be paying heavily for it, sooner or later. A child needs adequate exposure to human voices and interaction to be able to communicate effectively. And most importantly, a child requires parental emotional availability! At all times!

Next in line comes “instant gratification”. The millennial kids would be familiar with the concept of “parental glare”; that one looks that would make us jump up and do anything in the world. We were made to wait patiently for the good things and perhaps we valued it more thanks to that. Good or bad at that time, as adults, most of us believe that it was appropriate to have been delayed gratification at a young age; something that today’s children are completely unaware of. Almost as soon as their wants transform into demands, they have been fulfilled!

Furthermore, parents today are dictated by children. Statements like “oh he doesn’t eat vegetables” or “oh she hates sports”, are not only ensuring that you are letting them rule you, but also reaffirms their faith in the same, thereby ruling out the option of them ever  trying it in the future.

To add on, the ideology of always wanting children to “have fun” leads them to expect a certain fun pattern everywhere, maybe even in school. They need to be taught to work at home, even if it means doing a few chores around the house. Moreover, playing with friends or learning a sport could teach them more than just team spirit and togetherness. Increased social interaction only means decreased online interaction!

To change the way our kids see the world, it’s time we change our way of dealing with them! Leave technology behind and let’s get back to our retro style of parenting! It’s time we look up to our parents and see how they did it so our children could enjoy their childhood they way we did!

This blog is based on the article –

http://deeprootsathome.com/kids-bored-entitled/

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What is mindfulness?

The dictionary defines it as the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment; basically experiencing each moment as we live it. Seems simple, right? But if we get down to its depth, it’s shocking to know that very few of us today practise the same.

Think about the last time you sipped your coffee, savouring each sip, enjoying the rich coffee flavour. What you might be able to recollect is your coffee mug touching your lips and being put down on the table, every few seconds, while your eyes are glued to your mobile phone, or laptop, browsing through people’s profiles and keenly judging their lives. If only we took as much interest in our own lives and paid attention to every single activity we go through in our daily lives, life would be so much more meaningful.

Be it a simple activity like eating or drinking or an activity like walking on the treadmill or exercising; how much of our attention is dedicated to the activity rather than to the peripherals?

Now one might wonder, if everything is happening well, why worry about enjoying that taste of coffee, why should I feel every step of the walk, why should I live each moment and be aware of it? Well, the answer lies in the many advantages of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps one keep stress away, feel calm and stay focussed at all times. The art of focussing on each activity being performed helps in making a person more aware at various levels. It could easily be considered as an intense form of meditation.

This wasn’t taught to us when we were kids, perhaps because we already knew how to be mindful. That privilege of enjoying every moment was snatched away from us the minute we included gadgets and other worldly pleasures in our lives. And hence it’s important to realise that the next generation needs to be taught mindfulness. There are simple yet effective ways of doing so.

First of all, we need to practise it to preach it. It’s essential to know that children imitate adults in every little way and us being able to live every moment might unknowingly be passing on a strong message to them. However, initially, one could also set a particular rhythm to an activity which could be practised everyday at a certain time. This inculcates discipline along with mindfulness. Simple activities to begin with could help cultivate the habit. Nevertheless it’s important to teach them that mindfulness is not only about meditation or prayers. Experiencing each action that is done during the day is the most effective from of mindfulness.

Simple tips and practices at a young age could play an important role in imbibing the concept of mindfulness in children which might stay with them for years to come.

The above blog is based on the following article –

http://www.indianmomsconnect.com/2017/06/29/6-ways-to-develop-mindfulness-in-kids/

The importance of failure

“Failures are the stepping stones to success” Certainly. But this is an idea that is promoted only as one becomes an adult. However, as a child, all one is taught to believe in is – “try, try, try; till you succeed”.

 Why isn’t failure considered important during childhood? Why are children inclined towards the thought that failure makes them bad children in the eyes of their parents? As one faces challenges at work, at home or in life, words of encouragement are often spoken in favour of failure and how certain failures are only helping us climb towards the peak of success. But how often have we seen parents deal with children’s failures in a similar manner?

 It’s essential to teach children the concept of failure, help them deal with and overcome the same, in order to eliminate the fear of failure in life. If dealt with appropriately at the right age, children grow up to be bold and courageous, attempting every task in every field with decreased fear of not succeeding. And isn’t that more important? To try and not succeed than to not try at all?

 The goal is to ensure that each activity or task given at school is being enjoyed and a lot is being learnt from it. And in most cases, success does follow if one takes up a challenge passionately. If not, it’s the parents’ duty to help the child talk about the failure and relive and focus on the experience than the outcome.

 

Furthermore, isn’t it essential at some level for a person to fail? Because, from failure is where we receive a better understanding of ourselves. A failure in your child’s life and the way you handle it could take you one step closer to successful and effective parenting.

 This blog is based on the following article –

 http://parentedge.in/the-importance-of-failure-in-the-growing-years/

 

Childhood bullying and its impact on adulthood

The effects of childhood bullying could last for longer than you think. Research has shown that children who have been bullied could experience low self-esteem, anxiety and depression as adults. Bullying in some cases is unavoidable and parents might not be able to prevent it but the key to overcoming its side effects is helping the child deal with it post an incident. Usually children are reluctant to talk about such incidents with their parents or friends with the fear of being judged or being called a “sissy”. However, bullying never ends with the act. It could haunt a child life-long.  And carrying forward baggage like that might be harmful at various levels.

 

Furthermore, if you thought bullying was restricted to children, it’s time to dig deeper! Adults too face different kinds of bullying and what is termed as “ostracism” could instill fear and insecurity in adults too. From verbal bullying to online bullying, bullying could take various forms, but all leading to catastrophic consequences (including personality disorders), if not dealt with sensibly and sensitively.

Children may not have the courage to express their problems explicitly, but adults must find the courage to do so! Identifying the different forms of bullying is essential in the case of adults. Even something as common as someone forcing their decisions or ideas on you at a workplace, is a form of bullying. Standing up for yourself at a time like that is imperative!

One might wonder, what causes people to turn into bullies. Surprisingly, bullies themselves are often suffering from personality disorders or depression urging them to take respite by performing acts of bullying. Some may also have poor relationships with their families or might be facing difficulties in their academic work, leading them to believe that the only way of displaying strength or power lies in bullying.

With a profound increase in the number of suicides amongst children, bullying must be looked into from all angles. Acknowledging that your child is being bullied is only the beginning; followed by being there for your child and lending an ear when required. Effective parenting can help children overcome the impact of bullying and grow up to be secure, happy individuals.

This blog was based on the article – Bullying ke side-effects in Bangalore Mirror paper on 25th July 2017-http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com//Article.aspx?eid=31820&articlexml=Bullying-ke-side-effects-25072017020006

 

For more such blogs or information regarding parenting workshops, log on to www.preranaacademy.com

 

 

Helicopter Parenting

Parenting is a very well-known but unconquered territory, or so many may believe! Very few parents are seen mastering the art of parenting without being dubious at every stage of bringing up their children. Research comes and goes, sometimes helping and sometimes confusing parents! And a popular trend in our country seems to be “helicopter parenting”. The term signifies over-indulgence of parents in their child’s work and decisions, even if the children are almost adults.  Hovering over children, monitoring their studies, school work and other activities, could provide a lot of relief to parents and could prove to be as much of a burden to the children.

But what that burden could do to the children in the long run is what is worrying.

The good intentions of parents could infact transition into fear and lack of confidence in children, with long term effects like depression and in some cases, self-harm. Research has also shown us that parents who help children develop age-appropriate autonomy are actually making a path for independent adults who are also known to be more stable when it comes to jobs and marriages. Interventions by parents in children’s lives could seem harmless at an age where the parent still feels the need to control their kids. However, the damage caused could reflect much later in life and with higher intensity.

Understanding the distinction between aiding the child in making decisions and making the decision for them might seem obvious, but in many cases, isn’t. Parents feel that the children need them, and are incapable of making the right decisions. The roots of the belief could be well rested in our culture and the system that has led many of our ancestors to believe that the “parents know better’. Be it in choosing a career or bride for their children, the parents are believed to be more ideal selectors, than the children themselves.

Few parents now, are seen providing a healthy environment for children to make decisions, mistakes and learn from the same. The courage to do so, could in fact make your children more courageous and well-equipped to handle bigger issues in life.

Helicopter parenting might be a trend now, but as hoped by pysochologists, the trend must change soon to make way for an independent generation.

The blog is based on the following article –

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/between-the-lines/helicopter-parenting-is-trending-in-india-heres-why/articleshow/56643913.cms

 

The Emotional Flu!

It’s not just diseases that are contagious, emotions too, are! And this contagion could cause more damage than a regular flu!

Psychotherapist, Lee Kravetz, observed how emotions of one affect and influence people around him/her and gradually lead to action. The Silicon Valley teen suicides gave him an insight to what he called “Strange Contagion”. What began with one child throwing himself on the tracks continued with another girl following suit and subsequently 9 inexplicable suicides!

And when his journey of unravelling the mystery commenced, his findings from various sources taught him that emotions are contagious! We exhibit different behaviours by subconsciously picking up hints from the society around us. Furthermore, he learnt that words and symbols in the environment are continuously programming us with inputs of thoughts and emotions.

The analysis that came post his findings was clear; the students of the school were subjected to high pressure and worked under high levels of stress which projected feelings of frustration, inferiority and insecurity, leading to their unfortunate end.

This makes us question everything around us, around our children, friends and family. Not only does it put us at the risk of being infected by other people’s emotions and negativity, but also compels us to think about that the contagion we might be causing too.

Lee Kravtez believes that mindfulness of one’s own emotions is the first step to reducing social contagion. Mindfulness in all activities could help us identify these negative emotions in ourselves and in others; hence, enabling ourselves to help or to get help before something drastic happens.

Personal efforts and society driven efforts together could help treat social contagion. A healthy emotional environment is as essential (if not more) as a healthy physical environment, to live a happy, healthy life!

The above blog is based on the following article –

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-personal-renaissance/201707/have-you-been-infected-other-peoples-emotions

THE ENERGY VAMPIRES – Don’t let them suck the energy out of you!

Have there been instances when you feel so tired and enfeebled; and wonder why? Random thoughts and issues pulling you down, and you aren’t left with enough energy to deal with day-to-day duties? Maybe it’s time you identify these vampires that are sucking the energy out of you!

Psychologists have identified some that are common to everyone, except, the extent to which it affects people may differ.

 The first place seems to be taken by the “oh so familiar” thought – the pursuit of issues that one can’t control. We are often caught trying to change or mend things that really aren’t in our control. And the helplessness of not being able to do so and the agonizing pressure to get that done is subconsciously bringing down our energy level through the day. It’s almost like worrying about why the earth is round or why the sky can’t be red in colour. Understanding that further investment in such an issue could only cause us to feel weaker is essential at that point.

 Next comes the “be perfect” drive. The compelling need to be correct or perfect in all that we say or do could unknowingly be stressing us out! The key to get past this is to identify when it’s important to prove that we are right and when we should just let go. Or similarly, when it’s ok not being perfect too!

 What follows in the list of vampires, is incontestably, the much expected, but equally unwanted guest – Unrequited love or friendship. The piercing pain in one’s heart when one thinks about that one person we chase despite receiving only neglect or denial in return. Sometimes, giving up a relationship like that may bring in a welcome feeling of freedom and relief. And the energy saved there can be used in relationships where the benefit is equal. The presence of people, who love us, appreciate us and listen to us, not only prevents an energy drain but also brings in a flood of fresh energy.

And then we have the undeniable factor – physical health. If one isn’t eating or sleeping well, it is bound to show in expected and unexpected ways. As they say, mental and physical health go hand in hand, and to remain positive and healthy, one needs to be dedicated towards nutrition and fitness.

 Having spotted the devils in disguise, it’s time we unmask each one of them and push them away to make way for good energy and happiness!!

 The Blog is based on the following article –

 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/handy-hints-humans/201707/the-energy-vampires-stop-you-thriving