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.

Click here to purchase your copy.

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.

Lessons from how to win friends and influence people

Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer who was also the developer for several courses on self-improvement skills and interpersonal skills. He was the author of “ How to win friends and influence people” one of the best selling self-help books till date.

Over a 100 years Dale Carnegie has been helping about 9 million + graduates and helping them out to lead business, career and life through his courses. Though the book, “ How to win friends and influence people” was published in 1936 the principles mentioned hold good and are still deemed the best in improving the self. And the reason being that Dale did not put them out based on trends or fad and they still serve to be the building blocks of social intelligence.
Though the language and references( Abraham Lincoln) that the book contains might seem to be dated, the book was of great help during the Great Depression and one of the books picked up by Warren Buffet.

The book is based on principles that help makes one a successful person in all aspects of life. Becoming a financial success requires 15% of professional knowledge and 85% of the ability to express the ideas, to be a leader and to arouse enthusiasm among others.

The book definitely shows you the sure shot way to not only attain success but also build and establish a career.

Let me take you through the lessons from the book .

Praise others’ achievements

We need to be genuine when we praise people. It has to be lavish is what he exactly says, but at the same time be true. He puts it as,

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement,” We all crave to be recognized and appreciated. We also would do almost anything to get that. At the same time, it shouldn’t be something that was said to flatter and be put out showing insincerity.

Be empathetic

“The only way on how to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it”. He also explains by quoting Henry Ford,“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Looking at a situation from an other person’s perspective sure does help in most situations to frame our actions.

Avoid criticizing, condemning, or complaining.


“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do,” Carnegie writes. “But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

Being a leader, one should acknowledge the subordinate who doesn’t meet expectations or a competitor whose approach is inferior compared to them. But thus should be done in a way which would acknowledge what is working and encourages improvement

Acknowledging own mistakes

When being a best leader, one should not lionize themselves, to make it appear that they are not flawless.

“Admitting one’s own mistakes — even when one hasn’t corrected them — can help convince somebody to change his behavior,” Carnegie wrote. How true is this? Have you tried this out?

Acknowledging when a mistake is made and admitting to have committed it, is a great step and requires a lot of courage to do so.

Respect others’ dignity

When a leader demotes and employee or lets the employee go away, he/she needs to recognize the person with dignity and not use the opportunity to humiliate them. To be practical, the leader has to remain on good terms with the person who didn’t work out, because there is a future possibility that they might have to cross paths or even have the chance to work together again.

Know the value of charm

Steel magnate Charles Schwab claimed his smile was worth a million bucks — literally. For a man like him, the charm he holds and his capability to make people like him was one of the factors he remained successful. His smile was definitely captivating. So the charm is one of the factors that makes you and the people around you cheerful.

Encourage people to talk about themselves

People tend to relax in tense situations when they talk about things they know and which includes themselves. And when you listen to someone when they speak that would be the greatest compliment you could offer them.

Know when to use suggestions instead of direct orders

Leaders instead of barking orders to employees who instead lead them with suggestions tend to see more success. A classic example would be Owen D. Young , an Industrialist. Helping employees do things by themselves instead of directing them with orders helps them learn from their mistakes.

Be friendly, no matter how angry the other person may be


We are humans and we tend to handle aggression with aggression but instead if the high road is taken by maintaining composure when you make efforts to try and persuade the other person by appreciating their perspective, the result sure is surprising when you know what you just accomplished.

With you being cool and collected the other person sure would be embarrassed themselves.

Reach common ground as soon as possible

Stressing out the opinion or emphasizing things you agree and keep doing it which would put out the message that both of you want or strive for the same ending bu the only difference being in the method that is being implemented and not the purpose.
Carnegie says,”Begin by emphasizing — and keep on emphasizing — the things on which you agree,”

Get others to think your conclusion is their own.


Most persuasive people are the ones who would understand the power of suggestion over demands . This helps to win situations and emphasizes the fact that you cannot force a person to believe something.

He also says that when planting a seed and it blossoms , curb the urge to take credit for it.

Don’t try “winning” an argument

You achieve nothing when you tear apart an argument with another person. Carnegie cites by quoting an old saying, “A man convinced against his will/Is of the same opinion still.” When we need to persuade someone, make sure to avoid argument in the first place.

Click here to purchase your copy.

This post is part of blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from Tuesdays with Morrie



I was really not a fan of non-fiction and especially self-help. Gone are the days where people browsed online to improvise their life skills, self-esteem and then came the era of youtube videos. We had a lot of self-help experts pitching in and making videos to help people learn from home.



But however the joy of learning to mould yourself from reading a book. The life lessons that the book imparts on you is sure to leave a lasting impact. Though we do see a lot of things in daily life some memories of events or facts from the books we read linger fresh in our minds no matter the time that passes.



One such book that was gifted to me and really made me think of life in a while new perspective is Mitch Albom’s “ Tuesdays with Morrie”.


The Author’s favourite teacher Morries Schwartz is in his death bed counting his days as he suffers from a chronic disease. The Author meets up with Morrie every Tuesday and the book gives you the events or life lessons that Morrie imparts to Mitch.


People’s perception of their life and the life around them changes when they come to know that they are dying. It is a sequential turn that they take in their journey of life that makes them realize what is important and what is not.



Morrie from his death bed helps Mitch unfold answers to a lot of complex life problems. His slow demise makes Mitch give a deep thought and understands how to deal with life and the complex situations it puts us in.


As Morrie says to Mitch,

 “Study me in my slow and patient demise. Watch what happens to me. Learn with me..” 

But Mitch puts it this way,



“Morrie would walk that final bridge between life and death, and narrate the trip.”



Here are my takeaways and the lessons that I learnt from the book.



1. Questions for self-reflection. Because living a life that is fulfilling deserves answers to these questions.


Have you found someone to share your heart with?
Are you giving to your community?
Are you at peace with yourself?
Are you trying to be as human as you can be?

We may or may not have come across these questions but if we do have the answers we know we’re on the right path.


2.“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own.”


Morrie explains how the culture is flawed and how should we create one if we do not fit into what exists currently.


3.“Life is a series of pulls back & forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.” 

The above quote explains how Morrie puts the topic of tension of opposites. The confusion of age that brings in what is expected of us to what we actually want. The quote clearly makes you think that we humans suffer consequences of our self-created problems. We put ourselves into complicated situations.



4.“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’ve been chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning in your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
Preserving humanity is the greatest cause to which we must devote ourselves when we need happiness and satisfaction.



5.“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and how to let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love. We think, if we let it in, we’ll become too weak.  But, a wise man named Lenin said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”

The universe exists and survives on love. The very basis of humanity is love and so,
the most important lesson that we learn is how to give out love and how to let it inside?

6.
“Why are we embarrassed by silence? What comfort do we find in all the noise?”  We quite often avoid or are embarrassed by silence failing to realize that silence, solitude and loneliness are the gift to mankind.


7.
“Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back”

In a nutshell trust and faith should come from within. If we want others to have trust in us, we should also have the same in them. This will not make you feel envious.

8.

Everyone knows they are going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.”
Living is fear of death will never be the answer, when we fail to accept that death is a part of our life and is inevitable. Learning to take time of things that matter and living life to the fullest is the key that will help you in accepting the fact.

Morrie suggests doing what Buddhists do, which is: “Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, ‘Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?’”

Click here to purchase your copy.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Ways to teach nature conservation to kids

Nature is a vast subject to talk about. Who doesn’t love nature? Age is no bar to talk or to experience the magic of what nature holds to show us.

Kids are no exception. In fact, they show interest in involving themselves close to nature. Quite often this is restricted keeping in mind the safety and hygiene. But why not? How else would they learn to experience or cherish nature’s gift.

But as years pass by and the way the earth is dealing with global warming, it is certainly alarming that would future generations have something left to enjoy. Carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions though have been brought to significant reduction through awareness in various media channels, the damage that was done before cannot be reversed and we would have to deal with it.

So when we introduce kids to nature or bring in the concept of nature play, it is also our duty to let them know about nature conservation.

This being the month having the world nature conservation day, it is one of the best times to start teaching about nature to kids if you still haven’t begun.

Nature conservation day is celebrated to stress the importance of preserving natural resources and to spread awareness about the conservation of nature. Working towards building a sustainable environment is very much essential to ensure the well-being of the future generations.

There are a lot of ways to teach about nature conservation. When you do it with activities it makes the learning even more interesting.Here’s where to begin with.

Exploring the garden

A walk in your backyard or in the garden definitely fascinates kids. The insects, crawling beings, plants definitely increases their curiosity. Have you noticed this behavior in your toddler ? It is also a form of learning. You can take this opportunity to explain about the various types of insects in the backyard or garden and their way of life.

If your child is old enough, you could even play a game identifying them and make note of it as a record.

DIY bird feeder

With online shopping we end up with a lot of cardboard boxes. Making a bird feeder with them, by simply giving it a makeover is a great activity to engage toddlers. They could make the cuts for opening, and paint it with bright colours go attract birds. Filling the feeder with grains using spoon also is a good activity that would improve their motor skills.

Growing plants and making composts

Children love go watch things that bring out magical changes. Say the development of plant from seed. Try growing Microgreens in your balcony or kitchen garden. They’re easy to start with. Click here to know more about Microgreens.

Using chemical fertilizers to boost yield definitely will harm mother earth and will have adverse effects for future generations. Click here to know what are the harmful effects and how can you help in lessening the damage.

Making your own compost is a great alternative to harmful chemical fertilizers. All you need is a pot, soil and some peels from kitchen. The process is very simple and is a great activity that makes kids environmentally responsible human beings. Teach them about growing plants using own compost, I’m sure they will never say no.

DIY planters

So when I say teaching them to grow plants, did you also realize we already have the planters at home too. I’m sure most of us use coconut in cooking. The shells make great planters making it a more sustainable option and also an additional home decor.

Use old tyres or coconut shells. Involve the kids in painting and tying the strings to hand. You now have an activity for quiet play.

Nature walk

If you have a safe trail or a place to hike, you could take them out on a nature walk. That is all the more beneficial to make them apply what you taught them at home.

The different terrains, climatic changes, availability of resources and life during the change of place is definitely a much needed lesson for them in life.

Tips to teach them conservation

  • Be a role model. A picture is worth a thousand words. They see you doing it, they model it too. So make sure you first incorporate conservation, before teaching them.
  • Introducing concept of reduce, reuse and recycle. Start from home and you can see them applying it outside.
  • Turning off water while brushing and bathing. Children must understand that water isn’t available always and needs to be saved.
  • Involving them in making garden compost.
  • Using their help to segregate trash as in which and which is not recyclable.
  • Turning off lights while leaving the room.
  • Giveaway toys, clothes and resources that are not in use.
  • Involving them in beach clean up if they are old enough.
  • Teaching them to respect nature alongside if they’re being taught to respect human beings.

Teach children to have a bold and a beautiful environment. Help them to make choice to live, play and work in a way that doesn’t harm nature.

‘This post is part of #CauseAChatter with Blogchatter’.

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.

Why jigsaw puzzles for kids and adults?

Puzzles are generally great for a time pass or as a hobby. Age is no bar to solve puzzles. There is one for every kind of person and their age. Playing or trying to solve puzzles not only does belong in the hobby group but also is great for the mind and health.
Jigsaw puzzles in particular have a lot of health benefits where it concerns the brain.



What is a jigsaw puzzle?


Jigsaw puzzles are of the tiling type which consists of shapes that need to be interlocked to solve the puzzle. The shapes are irregular but when interlocked put up a complete picture. The puzzles vary in sizes typically upon the number of pieces the entire picture or mosaic is broken into. The more number of pieces, the more complicated it is and more the level of concentration it requires to solve the puzzle.
The jigsaw puzzle is bringing back a silent revolution that makes screen time take a back seat. Ever since the pandemic began people started spending more time inside locked up in homes. Screen time not only increased for kids but also for adults. The re-entry of the jigsaw puzzles as a family game sure is a tough competitor to the screen times.


Not only that puzzle solving gave it a chance for the family to engage but it also had health benefits even for the elderly. So there is no way they’re giving you a no the next time you call them to play.



Benefits of Puzzling



Here are some benefits of puzzling that would convince you if you had not given it a thought to start and for you to convince others.



Improve visual-spatial reasoning

Imagining and visualising shape and objects position in mind to see where they fit and their relationship with other shapes is called visual-spatial reasoning. When you try putting up the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle your mind takes time to see where the pieces fit into the bog picture. This requires closer attention to the individual pieces. So improvising the skill is also helpful when you drive car, use a map , do packing or even understand movements in dance and try to master them.



Pay great attention to detail

When the puzzle has many similar pieces, it requires greater level of attention to notice the differences and help in completing the puzzle. This requires the eyes to scan for detail and understand the minute differences which can be applied to real life situations. This also plays an important role in the quality of work if we choose to apply the precision.



Improves short-term memory

Solving jigsaw puzzles helps in sparking and strengthening the neural connections. This in turn gives rise to a lot of new connections, which increase our solving speed and thought process.
When we choose a piece we look for similar pieces to make it fit into the picture. The mind visualizes the image on large scale and keeps it in memory to find similar pieces. When you store this information it helps in improving short term memory.



Problem solving capability

To solve a problem we use a lot of approaches in trial and error methodologies. We check hypothesis, theories and formulas when things don’t go as we plan them. This helps us in changing perspectives. This skill of problem solving or critical thinking can be applied to work because it helps us in having better adaptive skills.



Better mood and less stress

Solving a puzzle helps you relax and making it a stress relieving activity. It helps the brain switch states and be alert. Dopamine production is greatly increased when we solve puzzle. Dopamine is responsible for mood uplifting and optimism. Every time we set the piece in the right place dopamine gets released which makes you want to do more of it. It helps in memory, concentration and motivation.



Great activity for me-time

Solving jigsaw puzzles can be a great activity for people who want to spend time with themselves. To unwind ourselves from the digital lifestyle this is a great way to de-stress.



Exercises both left and right brain

When you solve jigsaw puzzle you exercise both the left and right brain. The left brain is logical and right brain works creative , so when you are putting up the pieces in the puzzle its a mental workout that keeps both sides engaged.



Puzzle regularly and live longer

People who solve puzzles jigsaw and crossword have less chances of developing alzheimers disease and memory loss. This increases life span. Solving puzzles help in stimulating brain and helps in warding off the plaque that marks the start of Alzheimers disease.



BENEFITS FOR KIDS



Kids benefit in many ways in terms of physical, emotional and cognition when they play jigsaw puzzles.


When we say emotional benefits we say that children improve self-confidence, self-control and patience.
The physical benefits include motor skills like hand eye coordination and fine grip between the thumb and index fingers.
The cognition improvement helps in developing their concentration and perception.


Start with puzzles that have interesting themes for children and you will definitely see them take a liking towards solving them. Happy puzzling.

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

Review of The Misters Kuru – a return to Mahabharata


Blurb

The Pandavas are back!

Draupadi, Amba and Kunti are well settled in their modern-day Kalyug in New Delhi. So, imagine their surprise when, completely out of the blue, Yudhishtra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva – the Pandava brothers – drop into their world from the heavens. What follows is even more laughter and tears as new battles are fought, old fires are rekindled, and the men find their place in the modern world. If you thought the women had the adventure of a lifetime in Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas, the men from the Mahabharata will certainly give them a run for their money. One thing is certain – by the end of their visit, nothing will ever be the same again.

My review

I grew up listening to mythological stories from both sets of grandparents. The two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata took time immemorial to complete. I would await story time to know what next.

The characters fascinated me and I never felt bored if the stories were retold how many ever times they were. The curriculum followed in my school also had moral values as one of the subjects which took deep dive into the epics but in a much more engaging way.

So my interest in mythology went on to continue. I would love to read books that either were a retelling or a book that has a different point of view. So I could say mythology was one of my favorite genres.

The author’s previous work Ms. Draupadi Kuru, definitely was made many heads turn back. Not because the story was a retelling but the conceptualization of the author and the characters she sketched to suit the current scenario.

So when I knew that the sequel is releasing, I knew I definitely had to give it a read. Draupadi, amba and Kunti descending on Earth, setting their wrongs as right, adapting to the modern life in Kalyug, the then Indraprastha.

Love how Draupadi as a character screamed boldness and loud. The Pandavas deciding to come down and bring back Draupadi is the outline. But will they be able to and how do they do is the plot on which the script is centered.

The earth and the mortal life doesn’t seem the same way as it was thousand years back. Do the Pandavas adjust to the current scenario. Do they keep up their virtue?

I loved the fact that the author did not deviate from characters and their natural traits. Just a weave of modern life situations like fashion shows, cricket, talk shows, vibrators (yes yes you heard me right) and fitted jeans definitely add in a lot of interesting scenarios in the subject.

Arjuna and his ball, nakul and his looks taking him to modeling are definitely interesting twists to the original portrayal.

Life is not as easy when they were down here. They have shocks waiting to startle them, do they handle it well? Will they convince Draupadi to hey back? Not to forget the gossip king Narad Muni being a cook who prepares inedible food.

Who would have thought that he would now hold a ladle? What does Draupadi question Arjuna? Does he have the answers? I leave it to you to read the rest.

In love with the authors writing style of keeping it simple and precise. Not to be told as an exact retelling but a current scenario adaptation of an epic is definitely a good sign.

Click below to buy book

Love love love the caricature on the cover design. Draupadi being depicted as the modern day Goddess definitely lifts the expectations.

Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata

About the author

Trisha Das is the author of The Mahabharata Re-imagined, The Art of the Television Interview and the internationally acclaimed How to Write a Documentary Script. She has written and directed over forty documentaries in her filmmaking career. Trisha has also won an Indian National Film Award (2005) and was UGA’s ‘International Artist of the year’ (2003).

This review is part of Blogchatters Book review program bookchatter.

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.