Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#Old Age Blues--How to Cure Them

When Yaksha asked Yudhishtra what was the biggest wonder of the world,the latter replied "We all see a number of people dying every day,yet we believe that we shall not die."

Certainly this is a big wonder.Though thousands of years old,this exchange is very true even today.Why do we bury our heads in sand and refuse to consider this possibility?In fact we do not even like to think about old age because it is a harbinger of death.This precludes us from reorganizing our lifestyles in order to live through our old age with minimum stress and maximum comfort.

Maintaining ties with those who love us and making provisions for old age,I think, most of us do.But very few are mentally prepared for the numerous problems which old age brings in it's wake.When life is at it's high tide we do not for a moment,consider that it will dip one day;and when it does,we have problems adjusting.Very few can face this turning point with equanimity.

A raving beauty can no longer ignore her wrinkles,a CEO retires and does not know how to kill time,a robust man is beset with diabetes or cardiac problems,a mother looks at her empty nest through bleary eyes,friends and contemporaries pass away one by one,and worst of all--a couple is suddenly reduced to one lonely individual.

Along with advancing age come,aches and pains,infirmities,poor memory and other age related diseases.One does not know when and where all this will end.No doubt it is not easy to keep cool in the face of so many debilitating changes but since these changes are not reversible a way has to be found to adjust according to them.

The first thing to do is to accept that these changes are here to stay,that you are no longer the person you were at age fifty.Once you have accepted this truth there will be less turbulence in your emotions.Acceptance facilitates adaptation and adaptation gives peace.

When you find yourself on the wrong side of seventy (or sixty?) restructure your daily schedule keeping your needs and limitations in view.The first requirement is to maintain your health and stamina with exercise,rest and good food.Take the medicines which are necessary but avoid going overboard because medicines will not make you younger and they can have ill effects too.The same goes for medical checkups.

Old age gives rise to many infirmities.If your legs are wobbly,you are afraid of falling down,walk with a friend or take a stick in your hand.Adjust your morning regime according to your changed sleeping habits.

Eating habits also need to be altered in tandem with what is prohibited for you and what does not suit your digestive system.

If time hangs heavily on your hands try to find a new occupation for yourself.Join an activity group which tallies with your interests.It could be anything from yoga,meditation,spiritual meetings,social work,residents'welfare associations,cards or a morning walkers group.

It feels good to connect with others.You feel a part of the world around you and not an isolated person left alone to die.Studies show that working and interacting with others stimulates the mind and improves cognitive abilities.It also keeps loneliness at bay.

Keep in touch with your friend circle even if you have to force yourself to go out and visit a friend or simply pick up a phone.You can discuss common problems,exchange health tips and even share your fears and worries.Pleasantries exchanged once,lay ground for pleasant recollections later on.

Whether you live alone or in an old age home or with your children,it is best to keep up the amount of activity you are capable of.If you live with your children they will be grateful if you can do small errands like picking up groceries from the market,helping your grandchildren with their studies or supervising the servants while they go about their work.

The so called golden years are not really golden for many.Health problems,loneliness,poverty,inability to move about,or callous family members;all these factors are enough to cause pain and frustration. Dissatisfaction with such a life and worries about the future tend to result in excessive rumination and it is easy to sink into depression or anxiety.Do not hesitate to seek professional help if the problem continues to disturb your daily life continuously for more than two weeks.

Old age can cause many emotional problems.Self esteem is the worst casualty.The body becomes weak and unattractive,cognition becomes slow and accolades too peter down.Under the circumstances you need your own support more than ever.

Whenever you are faced with a difficult task which makes you feel inadequate,think of the challenges you have met and the problems you have solved.These are days for mellowing down,but underneath you are the same vibrant person who has many achievements to his credit.

Do not compare yourself with those you see gadding about managing their affairs.You were equally active and efficient at their age.Such comparisons are not fair.The very fact that you are at this moment,reading this post ,means that you are literate and also computer-savvy.And you can still read.Make the most of the abilities you have.Do not underestimate yourself.

Old age should not mean the cessation of all initiatives and responsibilities.Show love and affection to your family members,ask after their welfare and extend whatever help you are capable of giving.Do not presume that all the giving and caring has to come from their side only,be proactive.This will not only keep you healthy and happy;but also well connected and appreciated.

Those who do not have anyone close whom they can tap for help can contact Helpageindia.It is doing excellent work.

Image courtesy google.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

10 Ways of Sprucing up Your Personality

Have you ever met someone whose awesome personality left you wishing,you too,were equally impressive and outstanding?A dissatisfaction with our personality is not a rare feeling.In fact many of us would like to have a little more charisma,a little more appeal and a lot more influence.If you too,belong to this category then read on;this post is for you.Here are some suggestions on how you can wow all those who come you across.
Brush up the externals
The most obvious way of sprucing up your personality of course is,to take a critical look at your appearance and improve those aspects which need correction.I have covered the various aspects of a perfect personality in this post therefore I will not repeat it here. 
Stock up on your confidence
All impressive persons ooze confidence.Be like them.Look people in the eye,have an erect posture and don't shirk from meeting people or attending gatherings or taking initiatives.Don't disclose your weaknesses and do not pass self deprecatory comments.If you want help for improving your confidence level,look up this post.
Build up your enthusiasm quotient
Think of a lackluster personality and what comes to your mind?A limpid,passive person.If you want to impress others you will have to cultivate enthusiasm--a zest for life.Take an active interest in the goings on around you and participate--this is what catches everybody's eyes.
Keep an open mind
Nobody likes constricted,biased mindsets.What impresses most is an open mind free from prejudices and willing to consider new ideas.Opposing views and even criticism do not raise the hackles of a distinguished personality.You can learn a lot from them.
Master the art of conversation
How do you connect with others?With your words,in addition to your behavior of course!A person who knows what to say to whom,and when;stands head and shoulders above all others.If you can connect as easily with an infant ,as with an octogenarian,know how to cheer up a sick individual,or encourage someone struggling against hardships;it is a good start.Take a genuine interest in the person in front of you and pick up the topics which are likely to enthuse him. 
But in order to build up an effective dialogue you should also keep abreast of the times and know the latest developments which could impact the average person. 
By the way,it is equally important to be a good listener.Nobody likes those who go jabbering on and on,showing off their knowledge.
Learn to appreciate
I am sure like me,you too,remember fondly all those who appreciated you.Appreciation is an art which does not come easily to all but it is essential to learn this technique if you want to leave a mark.Whenever you like a quality in someone make sure that you say it out aloud.But desist from flattery or false ingratiation.
Be helpful
Those who helped us when we needed it linger on in our memories.This help need not be financial or in any other concrete form.Offering emotional support,empathizing with someone in distress too,is very significant.It will raise your esteem in others' eyes.
Develop leadership qualities
If you do not have this expertise observe the leaders you admire and try to inculcate the qualities which have attracted you towards them.Skills like making strategies,planning action,inspiring people,solving problems and working as part of a team will prove very useful whether you employ them in professional,social or family settings.
Give respect to others
No matter how well placed,intelligent and powerful you are,if you do not respect others no one will look kindly at you.Give to others the same consideration and regard,you expect for yourself;irrespective of their social status.
Respect the law
Follow the laws,rules and regulations of the place where you live and work.Accept  the social mores and try to abide by them.This will generate a lot of respect and recognition for you.

An impressive personality is not merely a tool for gaining respect and recognition.It is a magic formula which will bring about lots of positive changes in your life.You will win plenty of friends and well wishers.New growth opportunities will open up for you.Your relationships will blossom like never before.The good vibes emanating from others will fill your heart with joy and contentment.

Start now !

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

#Smile your way to Good Health :)

Today I sat wondering what pulls me towards a stranger,and the answer was not long in coming--a smile!Definitely!It makes for instant connectivity.The only condition is that it should be friendly and not sarcastic.

We have often heard that smiling and laughing promotes health and happiness but before writing this piece I wanted to find out if there were any scientific reasons behind this belief.And lo,was I surprised?Here are some facts for you :---
  • Smiling reduces stress and anxiety.The movement of facial muscles sends a message to brain which releases larger amounts of endorphins,dopamine and serotonin--all feel good chemicals which make us happy.In this way it uplifts our mood.
  • These endorphins also subdue pain.
  • Smiling curtails the release of cortisol which causes anxiety.
  • It boosts immunity by increasing the production of white blood cells.
  • It lowers the blood pressure and heart rate.
  • It is contagious.Seeing a person smile activates an area of brain which controls facial muscles and that person smiles in response.In this way it fosters all round well-being.
  • Even fake smiles or laughter produce these benefits.

Have you noticed a smile makes even an ordinary face look beautiful?And raving beauties too,look better when they smile rather than when their expression is neutral. 

A smile can open the gates to new friendships.Your smile conveys to the viewer that you like that person and are happy to see him.This automatically conditions him favorably towards you.His returning smile means that he too likes you and wants to be friends with you.

Smile more often if you are lonely.Some will return your smile and some won't.Approximately 50% return a smile.Even if someone does not do the expected,it does not mean he does not like you.It merely indicates that he has other issues on his mind.But the smiles which come bouncing back to you will definitely make you feel more a part of your milieu.

A smile is a valuable asset when you go to a party or meeting where you do not know anyone.Just smile when you enter the venue.Someone or the other will take it up from there and you will no longer feel like a fish out of water.

A person bowed down with worry forgets to smile and feels isolated.When you smile at such a person he is forced to come out of his shell.Your smile assures him that someone at least,cares for him and is willing to hold his hand.This small gesture of yours can pull him out of his misery.

A smile conveys many messages.It announces to the world that you are easygoing and not cantankerous;approachable,and not haughty;confident and not timorous.

A smile can also rescue you from an uncomfortable situation or nip an ugly scene in the bud.Imagine a scene where someone is ranting at you.Perhaps you annoyed him in some way or he is merely in a foul temper.Give him a smile and things will soon be back to normal.

As adults we get embroiled in daily tussles and forget to smile--an act we had mastered without being taught as infants.But making deliberate,conscious efforts to do this will give us profuse returns--in terms of health,happiness,popularity and career advancement too.

But a caution is sorely needed here--do not smile your way into a dangerous situation.There are plenty of crooks in this world.Take care that you do not smile at the wrong persons or allow yourself to be misled by a false smile.

Did I obliterate all that i have written above?No,just be cautious.