Lessons from the seven habits of highly effective people

The book released in 1987 since then its been one of the best sellers in Personal Development. The book helped transform people around the world in terms of their life and work.



All of us want to reach our destination and achieve our goals. As the title suggests why wouldn’t one want to learn the habits of effective people. Since we all want to achieve the goals one way to success would be to take note of habits that would help you through the journey.So putting more in terms of productivity and efficiency will help us reach there.



But hands down the book does end up teaching you a lot more than the seven habits. Called the treasure trove of productivity and the wisdom that helps you reach achievement if you still haven’t found the treasure box, its just right there waiting for you to open the chest.



There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.
– Stephen Covey



Covey’s belief is that the way we see the entire world is through our perception. SO if we want to bring about a change in any situation we would first need to bring in the change in us. And when we say the change in us it would also mean the change in the way we perceive things.



Long long ago the success foundation was laid on character ethic which would be courage , justice, patience, integrity, modesty. But as time passed around in 1920s success moved to personality ethic which included public image, behavior and attitude.


Now all people want is faster solutions and way up the ladder. The moment they see someone or team or an organization succeed they jump with questions on how to and gaining knowledge on the techniques. But these short term solutions will not address the underlying solution but will manage to help you achieve success in short time.




Covey writes,”The way we see the problem is the problem,” We as humans must undergo what is called the paradigm shifts to go deep and change the fundamentals rather than just go about on changing the behavior and attitude on the outside just to achieve.


Now that is where Covey comes up with the seven habits that can help you out.


Habits 1,2,3 help to move from dependence to independent.Self-mastery
Habits 4,5,6 help move from independence to interdependence that’s where you focus on teamwork, collaborating and communicating.
Habit 7 helps on continuous growth and improvement and embodies the other habits.


Habit 1 Be proactive


Our ability to examine the character and decide how to view the self in situations and control our effectiveness is what makes us stand apart from the other beings. So to be effective one needs to be proactive.


Reactive people believe world is happening to them. They feel victimized and lose control. They think the problem is out which rightly points out that their thought is the actual problem.


However on the other hand the proactive people understand they responsibility which drills down to how you would respond to the situation.



Challenge yourself to test the principle of proactivity by doing the following:
1. Start replacing reactive language with proactive language.
Reactive = “He makes me so mad.”
Proactive = “I control my own feelings.”
2. Convert reactive tasks into proactive ones.



HAbit 2
Begin with the end in mind



Picture your destination in mind.Use your imaginative power to visualize what you want to see yourself become and use the conscience to plan what values will guide you.



We find it easy to make ourselves busy. Let it be working hard to achieve promotion, high pay. We don’t pause to evaluate if this is what we really want that keeps us busy.



So habit 2 will make sure we start with the end in mind so that we know the steps we take are in the right path leading to the clear destination.


Habit 3 Put First Things First



Effective management means we put first things first. The discipline that helps you prioritize what is more important than what is more urgent is what matters. Habit three helps you to go after the goals set by habit two and execute them on order of priority and moment basis.



So in a disciplined manner to stay focused on the journey we need to have the willpower do something when you actually don’t want to. We need to act according to the values rather than giving in to desires.





“Think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things.” -Stephen Covey



Habit 4 Think Win win


For effective interdependent relationship we must be sure to create win-win relationship which mutually benefit and satisfy the participants.


Covey explains that there are six paradigms of human interaction:
1. Win-Win: A situation where both people win wherein the solution and argument is beneficial and satisfactory.
2. Win-Lose: This is prone to use position,power and personality to get things done. Rather its  “If I win, you lose.”
3. Lose-Win:These people are quick to please and gain strength from popularity or acceptance something like “I lose, you win.”
4. Lose-Lose: This would be a combination of two people who are win -lose where they’re both ego invested, stubborn and end up losing. 
5. Win: These people get what they wish for and do not necessarily want the other to lose which would mean irrelevant to them.
6. Win-Win or No Deal: If you can’t reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial, there is no deal.


The safe and best option is to create a win-win situation. In win-lose and lose-win one person gets what they want, but thats only for the moment and will definitely make an impact in the relationship moving forward.
As a backup it is important we use win-win or no deal. The no deal leaves your mind free cause you needn’t manipulate people or make changes in your agenda.





“To go for Win-Win, you not only have to be nice, you have to be courageous.” -Stephen Covey



Habit 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood


Much before offering advice or suggestions or to interact with the other person we must understand them in a deep manner and their perceptions through the way of empathic listening.
Seeking to understand and to be understood first requires learning to listen.
We all know the below split up suggested by communication experts.



10% of our communication is represented by our words
30% is represented by our sounds
60% is represented by our body language




The second part of Habit 5 is ” … then to be understood.” This is equally critical in achieving Win-Win solutions.


Habit 6. Synergize


We have an opportunity to create a synergy by not only understanding but also valuing the differences in the other perspective.Through being open and creative we would be able to uncover new possibilities by the synergy created.


The combination of the rest of the habits actually prepares you for habit 6.


There are 4 dimensions of nature that needs to be exercised and balanced on a regular basis.


PHYSICAL: Exercising the body to increase capacity to work and adapt. Eat well, exercise ,rest and relax. Focusing on this dimension helps develop muscles of being proactive.


SPIRITUAL: Reinforcing commitment to our value and to provide leadership to the life is the goal of spiritual dimension renewal. Meditation on a daily basis, immersing in music or literature, communicating with nature are ways to practice this renewal. This helps to practice habit 2 where we revise and commit ourselves to values on a continued basis so we begin with the end in mind.


Mental Dimension: Expanding mind is goal of renewing mental dimension.Reading a good book, recording the experiences in journal and watch programs which enrich mind and life.
This helps in practicing habit 3 to maximize the use of resource and time by effectively managing ourselves.


Social/Emotional Dimension:  Social or emotional dimension renewal is to have the goal of developing meaningful relationships. Deeply understanding people, making contributions which help in improving other lives, practice and maintain abundance mentality and help others find success helps renew this dimension.


Social and emotional dimension renewal helps to make us practice 4,5,6 and by recognizing existence of win-win solutions, understanding others and finding new alternatives through synergy.



Opening new possibilities and alternatives is possible through synergy.As a group you can collectively shunt the old scripts and write new ones.


For example, if you plant two plants close together, their roots will co-mingle and improve the quality of the soil, so that both plants will grow better than they would on their own.


Valuing the differences in terms of mental, psychological and emotional differences is the real essence of synergy.




Habit 7. Sharpen the Saw


Devoting time to renew ourselves physically, spiritually,mentally and socially will make us effective. Continuous renewal will increase the ability to practice habits on increase that is synergistic.


Taking the time for renewal and sharpening the saw is what habit 7 is focused on. It surrounds the other habits by making sure each of the one is possible by enhancing ourselves which is the greatest asset.




The real beauty of the 7 Habits is that improvement in one habit synergistically increases our ability to improve the rest.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from As a man thinketh

I’m still dumbstruck that books published long long ago still hold good when it comes to giving us life lessons. Published in a period where there was not much importance to trends and fads these books convey the lessons of leading life in a fulfilling manner.

As a man thinketh was published in 1902 by James Allen. Self-help books are usually deemed very long but on the contrary this book gives you the lessons in almost an hour.

Known as one of the self-help classics the books is centred predominantly on the theme that harnessing the power of thoughts helps you to master life. Did you know that James Allen was a pioneer in the self-help movement?

You become what you think

The person who you are now, us because of the thoughts that you previously had or having now. If you’d want to incorporate a change start changing the thoughts .

The hidden seeds of thoughts give rise to all actions of a person.

Good thoughts and results can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.

Divine perfection is achieved with choosing and applying good thoughts. But on the other side, choosing and applying wrong thoughts can make him stoop below the level of beast.

If it is time to weed out bad thoughts it is today. Choose this day to not accept the negative thoughts and fight back. To take control of life, take control of your mind.

Mind is like a garden

The mind is a garden thay can be cultivated in a wise manner or if let loose can grow wild. It is upto you to sow the seeds of beautiful flowers, if not you will see useless weeds.

Think of you as the gardener who pulls out unnecessary weeds and chooses the right seed to sow, nurture and yield beautiful flowers. Choosing to showcase your mind with beautiful flowers or useless weeds depends upon your thoughts.

Life is beautiful when you make the right choices if not the mind is consumed by useless weeds.

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild.”

The beautiful thoughts can be a skill, or a life changing decision so start making the right choices.

Thoughts can not only mentally affect you, it can physically too

Your thoughts which include the how and what can influence not only your mental health but also the body physically.

Being healthy is not only about the body, it also includes the mind. So people who constantly fear of contracting diseases are often the ones who suffer.

The body is the mind’s servant so it choses to obey the signals it receives.

Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts.

The way of thinking also affects the way people age. People in nineties are bright and always smiling but whereas the one’s in mid thirty to forties are still seen with inharmonious contours.

Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body, and lays it open to the, entrance of disease.

What you think can have an impact on your sleep cycle, heart rate and chronic illness. You can think your way to wrinkly skin. Whereas happy and cheerful thoughts can make you beam with youthfulness.

You being shaped doesn’t rely on your circumstances

Just because you’re from a different background or an environment that is unsupportive doesn’t mean that you cannot get what you want. The outer world of circumstances shapes your inner world of thoughts so your circumstances don’t stand the chance to decide what you cannot achieve.

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they, therefore, remain bound

You are free to choose the way to respond to any circumstance. And do you know what’s the best way? To focus the area where you have control. You win life if you choose to focus on areas which have your control and ways to improvise.

Thoughts and actions go hand in hand

Most self-help preachers say that you can achieve if you believe in something. Known as the law of attraction.

However, James on the other hand says that the thoughts on your mind will only be the starting point. If the thoughts are not supported by right actions, you can never achieve what you wished for.

Stepping out, taking action and achieving what you want gets you to your dream. Just sitting and waiting for it to come to you will do no good.

Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.
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This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from Ikigai

Does this word ring a bell? Yes its also one of the most popular google search terms.

Ikigai pronounced as ee-key-guy is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth.”

When you combine both terms it means that which gives worth to your life or meaning to your life or the purpose of your life.

There is a similar French term that goes as ‘raison d’etre’ or the ‘reason for being’. Though the concept has been there for years, it is after the release of the book it garnered worldwide audience.



The concept ‘Ikigai’ evolved from the basic health and wellness principles of the Japanese traditional medicine. The basic principle of which is that the physical well-being is predominantly dependent on the mental-emotional health and sense of purpose in life.

The devotion or activities that one enjoys brings in a sense of well-being and fulfillment which is called ‘Ikigai’. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy stresses on pursuing or taking up activities that give enjoyment, a sense of mastery that helps in alleviating the disorder of depression. It is known that Ikigai resonates the same.



The Ikigai diagram well illustrates the concept as a purpose in life that has both personal and social dimensions. It has spheres which overlap the below which make it easier to understand and implement the concept in daily life.

  • What you love
  • What you are good at
  • What the world needs
  • What you can get paid for


 
Here I list down my takeaways from the book



Finding the Ikigai



Ikigai is the reason to jump out from bed every morning for the Japanese. As straight forward as it is, it is the very reason that you wake up for the new day ahead. Finding it out and finding the right one can make a lot of difference. Waking up with positive thoughts will definitely guarantee a good day. The people at Okinawa have their backyard gardens, community gatherings and little walk that they look forward to during each day. The reason you wake up needn’t be to change the world at one go.



Right amount of sleep



There are certain factors that help you age comparatively slower than normal. Sleep is one of the most important factors. As we age the functionalities of our body slow and complications pop up, it is inevitable. To slow the process down we take steps to reduce stress and eat healthy meals but not to forget the scientifically proven tool for anti-ageing is sleep itself. Melatonin that secrets when we sleep is one of the most powerful anti oxidant that has various benefits. Slowing down the risk factor for Alzheimer, prevention of cancer, osteoporosis, heart problems and improving immunity are some to name a few. So the secret to longevity is within us.



Wabi sabi



Love for the imperfect or wabi sabi as they call it can be explained with a classic example in the Japanese culture the level of attention given to making tea rather I’d put it as the art of making tea.

Handling with slowness and precision makes tea making a beautiful craft. Taking it at a slow pace and with complete focus on the task is the principle here. This can be applied to any task you do or you see someone to do.

Constant search for beauty in imperfection and the willingness to accept the life’s natural cycle is wabi-sabi. We as people and the life in itself is imperfect, incomplete and not permanent.




Never Retire



Find that something that never makes you to retire. Something that wants you to be kept living has to found. Ensure that your brain and your body is active.

“Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.”



Live in the present or Ichi-go ichi-e



Most of us are too engrossed thinking about the past or worried about the future. We need to slow down the pace and learn to enjoy the present. The present has the moments that matter and they need to be enjoyed.



We discover the meaning of life and we do not create it.



Work really hard but let that be your Ikigai. Hardworking doesn’t mean you have to be too serious and stressed. The effort that you put in has to matter and not the result. So enjoy the process.


80% rule or hara hachi bu



Easiest and the effective rule . As you are eating when you feel almost full, stop eating. So when you are two-thirds full . Eating this way limits the calorie intake thereby leading to less IGF-1 in body as it plays a huge role in ageing. If you are wondering what IGF-1 is its insulin like growth factor 1.

Click here to purchase your copy. https://amzn.to/3AEPap2

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from Atomic habits

As per Wikipedia, a habit is a routine behavior that is repeated on a regular basis. It also tends to happen subconsciously.

Habits are actions we do on a daily basis. In a nutshell our entire life is the total addition of all the habits we have.

Our success, happiness, being in shape it all dives down to our habits. So what we repeatedly do actually becomes the person we are, the personality we portray and the things we believe in.

Atomic habits is one book that made me introspect my habits or what I do on a daily basis. A deeper analysis of what I do on a daily basis made me think if it has to be continued or this can be stopped.

Here are my takeaways from this wonderful book.

Recognizing habits

A deeper introspection of the habits that we do on a daily basis will reveal what we are. Almost our entire day is a complete timetable of our habits. We don’t think of this because we do this autonomously. Revisiting the habits and classifying them into good, bad and something in between will help you decide if you should continue doing it. When you don’t do this you continue doing things on a routine which you actually shouldn’t.

Habit cycle

Did you know that habits have a cycle? Yes something like a life cycle we say for a material or a living thing. What we do on a routine basis in terms of behavior is a habit. But when you break it down you get to know the elements.

  • Cue
  • Craving
  • Response
  • Reward

This is the habit loop. A simple exercise would be to sit down and break your habit and put them in the above loop. Understand what is the cue that made you start this habit, what is the craving that the cue gives you, what is the response you give to the craving and what reward you get after the response from you.

Good and bad habits

Managing your habits by identifying them as good or bad is one of the most important steps. There is a process to create a good habit and the inversion of which helps to break a bad habit. The book gives a working framework of how this can be done in a simplified way.

Laws of behavior change by James Clear hells you foster good habits and transform bad habits to good.

  • Make it obvious.
  • Make it attractive.
  • Make it easy
  • Make it satisfying

Following this law makes your introspection very easy. For a good habit make sure your response is in a rewarding way. In the same way to break a bad habit do the inverse.

  • Make it invisible.
  • Make it unattractive.
  • Make it difficult.
  • Make it unsatisfying.

Doesn’t all this make so much sense? Making your bad habit unattractive and difficult should make sure you stop doing it.

Starting small

You need not make a dramatic shift to make a change. As the book suggests, taking a small step as much as 1%, makes an effective progress. Starting on small and Incrementing the effort on a day to day basis can help in achieving the goal. So if you do 1% better each day for over a year, you’d be 37 times better when the period completes. Don’t you agree that’s quite a remarkable improvement. Since we are the result of our habits, if we keep them small, we get what we repeat and in the long run ne much better at it. .

Not missing twice

If we miss it once in a while that should count to be fine but never to miss twice. Realising that you missed goal or didn’t do something that was set up as a good habit, do it better when you do it at next time. .

I want it and it means now

We all love rewards and especially when we get it in no time. Most people don’t like to wait for long term rewards. So choose habits that help you feel instantly happy. We need to go on a diet for a longer period to reap the reward but a tiny chocolate instantly uplifts you. So get a cookbook that helps making tasty healthy choices. Save money you kept for alcohol in case you want to quit into the vacation funding.

Triggering

The brain is lazy and absolutely loves to do what makes it more comfortable. So it is upto us to make it use the strategy for the good habits.

Say we want to learn a language or an instrument keep the book or the instrument at a place where it’s easily reachable, than putting it away from your view. Best place would be to put besides the remote or phone.

Carrot stick approach

As already mentioned we love getting rewarded. The brain reacts favourably when we await a reward. The brain releases dopamine when we do something that gives a pleasant feeling. So in expecting this the brain triggers the action. So think of the reward next time you include a new good habit.

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This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Bakez by Daizy.

How to boost happiness

“SUCCESS IS NOT THE KEY TO HAPPINESS,
HAPPINESS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS”
— Albert Schweitzer

We have all crossed the baby phase where all we did was eat and sleep. We had nothing to worry about. We were well taken care off and our every need was met without any strain. We made people happy just by our presence. Being happy and carefree was how we spent life.

But as we grew up reality hit us hard and we understand what life is , how complicated it is. We face challenges to help us grow. We were also thought that if we don’t win them we might be overtaken. So to not be left-behind we were forced to push ourselves hard to keep up with others.

We realized that happiness is not just eating and sleeping for us like how it used to be in the past. Welcome to adulthood.

Life is not complicated unless we put it that way. The carefree happiness of childhood slowly vanishes as we get to know reality and understand feelings lie being cheated or cunning, betrayal. We also fail to understand happiness is within us and our personal trait.

To come out of worst conditions in life stronger and powerful our mind must be trained in a way that no matter what conditions we are put in, it cannot obstruct happiness and inner peace.

Practicing habits can help increasing happiness and make you calm from within. You will not only notice difference in you, but also radiate the vibes to others so people would look forward to having your company. Doesn’t that sound reassuring?

How to boost happiness?

START YOUR DAY ON A HAPPY NOTE

The start to your day has a lot about how your day goes on. A smile and a rough plan on what to accomplish is a great start that gives you the needed motivation to get up. A dull morning isn’t productive so you need to keep a check on your sleep routine.

Less sleep isn’t good for your mind. Taking a nature walk or exercising is a great way to start and keeps you up throughout the day.

BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE

When you look around you will notice that a lot of people or even you might spend a lot of time comparing yourself to others. This will only plant negative thoughts and lead to disappointment.

Focusing on what you have and utilizing them is a great habit. Learn from people and take inspiration but don’t compare. Focusing on the self will give more time for you to grow and understand yourself better. Try to be a better person than yesterday which is the only competition for you.

FOCUS ON THE INTERNAL

Internal well-being is very much important. We spend a lot of time to make ourselves look better in front of others. A happy mind and a beautiful soul will definitely radiate a good personality.
Overthinking, procrastination, stress and laziness could be some of the things you need to work on. Learn how to deal with them, shoo them away from the path of happiness.

MUSIC THERAPY

Good and soothing music helps in alleviating sadness and stressful moments.It helps release tension and makes brain release happy hormones which will make the mood light and happy.

Compile a list of songs or music types that would lift your spirits up.

HAPPY PLACE

Change in environment can make you feel cheerful and give you a breath of fresh air. It does not necessarily need to be a physical place. Surrounding yourself with people who understand you and make you feel happy would also work.

Staying connected with happy people will unload stress and make you feel lighter. Keeping unwanted stress at bay is one of the key areas to focus on.

COUNTING BLESSINGS

Whatever hard time you may go through be thankful for what you have. Nothing other than the sense of gratitude will make you stay grounded and content from within.

Being thankful for what we have with us will make us feel happy and cheerful.

LISTENING TO BODY

At times in order to achieve our goals we tend to overwork the body beyond its capacity. Post the threshold the body starts sending out signals that it needs rest. Be on the lookout for these signals ignoring which will lead to stress, lethargy and anxiety.

Have you noticed some people being frustrated all the time. They probably don’t rest their bodies and overwork the capacity. Create a work-life balance which will keep a check on your happiness too.

REMOVE DISTRACTIONS

Check around you and if you find something pessimistic or negative stay away from it and cut it off immediately. Things and people who promote negativity are not worth your energy being spent.

The roller coaster life has its ups and down. That adrenaline rush can make you happy while going up and sad when you suddenly fall down. Prepare you mind to handle them both.

You needn’t follow them all. But trust me making at least two changes from above will surely make a difference in your way of life.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of Blogchatters half marathon.

How to stay happy

“THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE IS TO BE HAPPY”.
~Dalai Lama

Everyone agrees in unison to the above thought but a question that lingers in their mind is how to be happy always?

Happiness means different things for different people. For me it would be a good night’s sleep and for you it could be something different. There could be some similarity in things that would make us happy but on rare occasions it can be a probability that same things could make people happier.

We juggle a lot in life. Career, family, education but in the end we always want to feel good by being happy. Happiness can’t be bought by exchanging money in supermarket nor is instantaneous if we switch on a button. I hope somebody invents with that innovative thought, so that many people who are in search of happiness would benefit.

But do we realize that we always look out for something or someone to make us happy. So just like it is a known fact our happiness depends on external factors. We fail to recognize and we are definitely missing out on something that is so very near but not seen or felt. Any guesses?

Start believing that happiness exists within us, our thoughts,beliefs then your goal of becoming happy is easily reachable.So a pleasant feeling in your subconscious mind is dependent on the choice of thoughts that makes you happy.

It is all interconnected. Thoughts, emotions and state of mind. If confidence, focusing interest, anger or fearing is an individual trait don’t forget to include happiness among them.

If you can work on making yourself a confident person or to focus attention keeping yourself happy by inculcation of position thoughts and beliefs shouldn’t be difficult.

There are a lot of of ways that help in understanding how to stay happy .

Here are ways you can keep yourself happy.

ENJOY THE PRESENT

Most people either brood over the past or think too much ahead about future that they fail to enjoy what is happening at present. In short they fail to live in the present. Make sure you cherish what is happening right now so that doesn’t add up to your thinking bucket of past. Most important secret of happiness is to live in the present.

REMOVE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

Unhappiness is due to negative thoughts which make your mind scattered. As a result your mind focuses only on picking negative vibes. Channelizing your thoughts on the right path is the best solution. Observe negative beliefs or thoughts, remind that you deserve only happiness and do this constantly. Replace the negatives with positive thoughts. Whatever you focus grows so let that be positive always.

PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Honest and sincere expression of gratitude is the birthplace of happiness. Be thankful to who you are and what you see around you. Have the feeling of content and be grateful for what you have. Did you know that you attract positive vibes when you express gratitude?

DON’T CONTROL OTHERS

The most important thing for happiness is that to understand and accept that you have no control over other person’s action or thoughts. You are going to remain unhappy if you decide that you could change people if you control them.

SELF-AWARENESS

Identify what you are good at. Your strengths, abilities are what you should be aware of and that would make you happy. List them out and start focusing on them. Channelize your thoughts on those positive beliefs. Tap out the huge potential that lies inside you.

GRACEFULLY ACCEPT CHALLENGES

Who doesn’t have challenges. Life could be partial but definitely everyone has challenges at some point in life. Challenges are only to test your inner potential. Unless we face challenges we are not aware of what we are capable of. Overcoming challenges makes you stronger.

SLEEP AND WORKOUT

Ample and adequate sleep is necessary for peace of mind. The body and mind are connected and if you do not give enough rest to the body, you are putting yourself under stress, confused mind and unhappiness creeps in.

Exercise or workout on the other hand helps in release of hormones that help in physical and mental well-being. Practicing breathing exercises increases oxygen flow and makes you feel fresh and energetic.

HELPING OTHERS

Learn to be a giver in life. Helping others definitely gives a sense of satisfaction followed by happiness.

Money , vacation,property give you temporary happiness. Only if you are happy within you can enjoy them. You should focus on your long term thoughts by setting priorities in life and take control of your thoughts and live a deserving life.

Our thoughts, emotions and mindfulness will land you a happy life. So it is never late for you to start building habits that will guarantee a happy and fulfilling life.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of Blogchatters half marathon.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.

Water mistakes to avoid

Water forms about 60% of our body. Not getting enough of it leads to dehydration. We have all been learning from lower grades that our body requires about 8 glasses of water daily.

The moment the body is dehydrated it sends out signals in the form of symptoms like lethargy and
fatigue.

Drinking adequate water is need for optimum body functions and metabolic processes to take place the right way.
It is not just about reaching the target of drinking adequate water that we need for our body, it is also about drinking it in the right way.

Did you know that drinking water the wrong way or at wrong time has bad effects.

Here are the mistakes that you must avoid while drinking water.

Drinking water while standing.
Many of us have the habit of just picking a bottle drinking water from it and moving on. We do not sit when we drink water. Is this good? No. Drinking water when you stand directly sends it to the tummy. The nutrients of the water are not absorbed and doesn’t reach the organs it should. So the next time you pick up the bottle make sure to sit down and drink.

Drinking during exercise
Many people tend to sip water in between their workouts. Though this might be to quench the thirst, it might not be enough that is needed for loading your body before the workout. This will definitely cause headache. So it is always advisable to consume water before working out.

Drinking water before and after a meal
You shouldn’t be drinking water just right before your meal. The water might actually fill up the tummy and spoil your appetite. Do not drink water right after your meal as it may intervene the process of digestion and even lead to vomiting.

Substitutes of water being caffeine and tannic acid
The amount of water that is required by the body cannot be compensated by the amount of coffee or tea that you consume. Though it might be black coffee or green tea eliminating milk, it has to be water and water only.

Drinking very little water
Drinking very little water leads to dehydration. The body might feel deficit with the amount of water that has been consumed to carry out regular body functions and metabolic processes.

Drinking water by gulping
Many people gulp down water at one go. This rushes the water to sediment the impurities in the kidney and bladder. Therefore it is always advised to drink water in small sips.

Drinking too much

Drinking too much of water has no health benefits but leads to water intoxication. It can lead to low sodium levels, and swelling in the brain causing coma and seizures.

Right way to drink water


Drinking water on empty stomach

Drinking water on empty stomach helps in flushing out toxins, relieve constipation and alleviate issues in digestion. It keeps you hydrated throughout the day. Drinking infused water of various herbs or seeds has greater benefits.

Drinking water after working out

Drinking water after working out helps in restoring the electrolyte loss and helps in coping the water shortage post working out.

Drinking water half an hour before and after the meal
This will help in not intervening with your appetite, reaching your target for water levels and helps in relieving constipation. It also helps in avoiding you to overeating. This is different if you have water right before the meal, because that will spoil the appetite and make you avoid or eat less of nutrient rich food.

When having a headache
Headaches can be a sign of dehydration. It can also trigger migraines, so in take of water helps to decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines.

Before bath time

Drinking a glass of water before taking a bath helps in lowering your blood pressure.

Before bed time

Drink about half a glass or water before your good night’s sleep to replenish fluid loss that could occur during the sleep. You can also have a glass of water beside your bed to prevent dry mouth. This is common to people who are on medication.

Drinking water at room temperature
Cold water disrupts the digestion process. It decreases blood supply to organs leading to constipation. Room temperature water can help in digestion and metabolism in turn resulting in weight loss. Room temperature water also helps in reducing symptoms of bloating. Warm water helps in controlling the cholesterol levels in body and flush out toxins from arteries making it clean.

Drink when thirsty
The body sends signals when it needs water. So make sure you are aware of the thirst cues it sends so that you reciprocate by drinking water at the right time.

Noticing cues which signal dehydration
Dry chapped lips and dark yellow urine are signs of dehydration. So make sure you take these cues into consideration and start consuming enough water.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of Blogchatters half marathon.

Reasons to include fenugreek in diet

Fenugreek or methi is an ingredient commonly found in the Indian household. Found to taste bitter these tiny golden seeds are a storehouse of various benefits.

Fenugreek finds its way into alternate and Chinese medicine for a longer period of time. Because of it’s property to help in thickening, it is also used in gravies though it adds a bitter taste.

Fenugreek also finds itself in the list of ingredients in making soap and shampoo.

The leaves from methi are rich in fibre and used to make numerous dishes to add flavour. Did you know its so very easy to grow fenugreek even in your balcony/kitchen garden?

REASONS TO INCLUDE FENUGREEK

Because of the soluble fibers present in it, fenugreek helps in lowering LDL, reducing blood sugar levels and weight loss. It also helps in fighting against colon cancer and also treat acid re flux and heart burns.

Fenugreek herbal tea helps boost breastmilk production. Hence a lot of new mothers instead of taking over the counter medicines to boost milk supply could resort to home remedies like these to help in boosting their breastmilk production.

Fenugreek when consumed regularly by men helps in boosting testosterone and therefore as a beneficial effect show increased libido.

Fenugreek helps in lowering blood sugar levels. Fenugreek plays a major role in improvising insulin levels and the high fibre content helps in maintaining the sugar levels.

Appetite control and weight loss- Fenugreek helps in appetite control aiding less intake of fat and overall reduction in appetite. Hence consumption of fenugreek on regular basis aids weight loss.

Fenugreek helps in reduction of frequent heart burn symptoms thereby reducing the intake of antacid medication. It strengthens the digestive tract and helps keep a check on gastritis and bloating.

Fenugreek since it is rich in fibre and also amounts of antioxidants helps in flushing out harmful toxins from the body.

Fenugreek is a great addition for intake for people whose body is dominated by kapha. The seeds helps in generating heat in the body, because these people are weakly immune and mostly prone to flu, cold and cough. The heat generation helps in immunity boosting.

Fenugreek leaves are great for skin health. The rich amounts of antioxidants and vitamins helps in tackling skin problems.

Fenugreek helps in reduction of hair fall and boost hair growth. It can be taken in powder form mixed with buttermilk to reap this benefit. You can also apply soaked fenugreek paste or fenugreek infused coconut oil on your hair to tackle hair fall and boost hair growth.

Fenugreek helps in treatment of fever and sore throat when consumed in combination with lemon and honey.

Fenugreek helps in treating uterine problems like menstrual cramps, period pains and hot flushes. Fenugreek water helps in easing the pain during the time of menstruation.

It is said that fenugreek empowers the mammary glands and hence encourages development of breast tissues. This helps in increase breast size.

Fenugreek helps in destroying free radicals in body and fights against skin problems like dark circles, wrinkles and age spots.

Fenugreek seeds benefit pregnant women by stimulating the labour and uterine contractions, they are also said to decrease in pain. However if taken in excess it leads to miscarriage and preterm labour.

The compound galactomannan present in fenugreek helps in tackling cardiovascular diseases.

HOW TO INCLUDE FENUGREEK?

  • Fenugreek can be soaked overnight and seeds can be consumed in empty stomach in the morning.
  • Fenugreek can be soaked overnight and the infused water can be consumed on empty stomach.
  • Fenugreek herbal tea can be consumed by adding two teaspoons of fenugreek to a glass of water. Boil and reduce to half and consumed.
  • Fenugreek can be roasted and made into powder. This can be taken with buttermilk, water or even added in curries or gravies.
  • Fenugreek can be sprouted and made into sabzi.
  • Fenugreek leaves can be included in diet to make rotis, dal or gravies.

FENUGREEK FOR HAIR

OIL : Roast about 3 teaspoons of fenugreek . Mix in about 100 ml of coconut oil. Let it infuse for a week and it can be used for hot oil massages for the hair.

MASK: Fenugreek can be soaked overnight , ground with water or curd and applied as a hair mask. Wait it out for about 30 minutes and shower with regular shampoo and conditioner.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of blogchatters half marathon.

All about Simple nail care

As much as we do the skincare and hair care, when it comes to hands and nails , they always take the back seat.
Most people opt for manicures or pedicures only at the salon. Not sure if it because of the lack of time, or not willing to invest in the products. I do not comment on it, but getting it done is what matters.


Life came to a standstill with the pandemic, salons closing and a major setback for people because their now at their own risks for hair cut, spas, pedicure and manicure. With that said, taking care of yourself in terms of skin, hair and nails isn’t a big deal if you are willing to spend some time for it.

When it comes to nail care, we commonly find two sets of people. People who can do manicure with closed eyes and people who do not know the difference between the cuticle and the half-moons. No matter whichever category you belong to, here are tips that make nail care easy.

DO NOT BITE NAILS
Though most people do it out of stress or being tensed, biting nails just as we learnt in primary school isn’t a great habit. We are either directly feeding on the germs from the nails and spoiling the nails which already had a good manicure. In short to avoid it, you could maybe cut it out immediately once it grows big, have a peer signal you when you are about to bite. Nails do not taste great anyway.

MOISTURISE

Dish washing, sanitizing, using hand washes frequently wipe of the natural oils from nails. It makes the nails brittle, crack and split. The best way to moisture is to use baby cream or vaseline. Just massage the nails until the cream is absorbed.

LENGTH RECONSIDERATION

Nails that chip along edges or are stripping of at the tips need to be reconsidered for length. If you are someone who does daily chores like dish washing , peeling I hate to break it, it is difficult to manage with long nails. You could maybe reconsider the length to a level just above the finger that can be manageable.

NO CUTICLE REMOVAL

Cuticles signify the nail health, so do not break the barrier, It can easily lead to inflammation. Cuticles protect your nails from infection and removing them can cause nail infection for a longer duration. You can invest in a cuticle oil to take care of your nails.

WEAR GLOVES

In case you use harsh soaps for cleaning, be it the house or vessels, make sure you wear gloves when you touch the detergent. Harsh chemicals might prove bad for nail health. Also make sure to wear gloves so that your nails do not chip when your either cleaning or gardening.

EAT WELL

A well balanced diet is very much necessary for overall body maintenance including your nails. A healthy diet can guarantee you healthy nails which are supple. Vegetables, whole grains, seeds, legumes and nuts when included in diet regularly help in producing nutrient rich blood which help in boosting mail health.

DO NAIL FILING IN ONE DIRECTION

People naturally tend to file nails in back and forth motion. What actually needs to be done is doing it in a one direction motion. Doing it in back and forth makes the edges rough.

DO NOT PEEL GEL NAILS
When you want to remove gel nail polish from nails, do not peel them off. They will strip the nail off and also the natural oils. They might even lead to brittle nails. Make sure you soak them with acetone and a cotton ball to remove the polish.

LEAVE THEM POLISH FREE

Once a while leave the nails polish free cause they need their breathing space. If nails turn yellow or are being very brittle, the nails signal you to give them some polish free time.
So go polish free for about a week or two, give the nails a good massage. Once they turn healthy you can resume to applying nail polishes.

SIMPLE NAIL CARE ROUTINE

  • Remove nail polish with remover.
  • File the nails.
  • Push the cuticles back
  • Cleanse the nails.Wash the hands thoroughly. Pat dry. Use acetone to remove any moisture.
  • Apply base coat.
  • Apply two coats of nail polish.
  • Clean the area around nails
  • Apply the top coat.
  • Apply hand cream

I hope the above tips and routine might make it easier to manage nails in our busy lives.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is a part of Blogchatter ‘Half Marathon.’ 

5 must have indoor plants

Well it is said that you can name yourself an adult when you have a bar cart, book shelf and nowadays people include an indoor plant. But I’d say to have a green thumb you needn’t be an adult. The age as a number isn’t a deciding factor here.


Where to start is the first step and probably most people get stuck here. This is where brands pitched in with starter kits or list of plants that you could choose to start having at home. Before that we must decide what part of the house would look much better with all the greenery.


The next thing that needs to be considered is the climate. And the windows in our house that would let in light. So the amount of light that would be coming in and the climate we’re located in play a major role in deciding what we get home.


Interacting with indoor plants in a way helps in reducing psychological and physiological stress. They help bring in a positive impact on mental health. Calming anxiety , helping in realigning your focus and making you more productive are much more benefits of having indoor plants.

And if you are in an apartment this is a great way to bring the outdoors home.

So here are reasons for you to join the bandwagon of having indoor plants at home.

Help in purifying air– House plants helps in purifying harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia and pollen. They could cause headache, allergies, fatigue and sickness. These plants help improve air quality and make the air cleaner for better health.

Stress reduction– Besides the making the air cleaner the psychological benefit of helping in reducing stress is another important advantage of having indoor plants. The plants help in reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and also helping in spreading positive vibes.
Great for styling vignettes- They’re a great fit for the shelves. They help in adding break ups along the hard lines of continuous range of books and stuff.


Help in sharpening your attention– When you work alongside with live plants on your desk, you could notice a difference in your level of attention. On contrast plastic plants do not provide you the same benefits.


Increase recovery rate- The recovery rate from an illness, surgery or an injury is faster when you look at plants or flowers since it is therapeutic when you take a glance.
Help in adding colour- Plants help in adding colour. They help in adding much more texture and colour.

5 plants with easy maintenance

Money plant or devil’s ivy – The plant can withstand extreme climate conditions and requires minimal maintenance. It is one of the most common plants which can grow on fences and in pots. It helps absorb volatile organic compounds and helps keeping air cleaner. If you are a believer of vaastu, the plant is said to bring in material abundance.


Snake plant -It has sturdy and pointy leaves which are long and helps in keeping air pure by absorbing almost 100 different air toxins like oxide, chloroform and alcohols. The plant releases oxygen during the night hour in comparison with other succulents thereby making it a perfect plant for the bedrooms.


Aloe vera– Another common plant in most households known for its numerous benefits in terms of health and skincare. It exudes positivism and hence is great for the living and bedrooms. An ingredient that finds its place in many home remedies, cause of its goodness to skin and hair.


Bamboo palm– The plant has an affinity to benzene, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. It grows quick and helps in eliminating toxins. Also known as butterfly or areca palm and also grows in dry weather conditions. It helps in purifying the air making it a great indoor plant.


Peace lily– Very commonly found across the subcontinent. It is not only visually eye-catching but also great in absorbing toxins emanating from the electronics indoor. It is known for its adaptability to extreme and sudden weather changes. Its also intelligent to let you know to water it when the leaves droop. Great when it is placed in areas prone to dampness say your bathroom.

The list curated above is specific to Indian maintenance and keeping in mind the sub continents climatic conditions.

So plants can only thrive with people who have green thumb is logical to olden days. Some of these plants require low or even zero maintenance. Though some may not help you with keeping the air clean, but are a great addition to decor and no compromise on the psychological benefits.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’