Articles on emotions

The Ways of Dealing With Anger, Depression and Fears of Emotional Abuse

Mr. Azeem Dana, Psychologist
Emotional abuse happens to most of the women, even men, all over the world. Like physical wounds, even emotional abuse wounds are taking too long to heal. Those emotional wounds are so deep that adverse effects of it take time to wear off.It affects physical health as well as the emotional state of mind, relationship with others and behavior. Self-esteem to deal with abusersIn any Psychological Counselling we cannot generalize. The solution has to be found out based on particular situation. And it is true that every issue can be sorted out with a solution. In the case of abuse, it is nothing but part of personality or behaviour. Personality is influenced by psychological, biological and social factors and hence, we call personality is a learned behavior, and whatever a person has learned can either be re-learned or unlearned.In the case of the victim to maintain self esteem, the victim should understand the psychological, biological and social factors from both the end, of being a victim and from the end of abuser. If the Boss or a Relative is abusing, find out the cause for his or her outrage. One reason can be, that the person is not educated, i.e., not knowing what he or she does, or it can be that they are brought-up in such a way influenced by psycho-bio-social factors or it can be the pressure created by others or can be some sort of illness. As a victim, once I understand the abuser, find out what makes me a victim of abuse. Whether I do not remain assertive due to lack of communication skills - like using questions of what, where, when, how and with whom -  to know exactly what other person mean to say or what they expect me to do. Or do I have to get trained in coping skills, so that I can fulfil my responsibility in a better way and if required I can undergo the training to enhance my skills. Or find out if I have to learn time management or share responsibilities, or it can be simply that I have to voice my concern, that is to speak out rather than suffering within, so that the other person understands my concerns better. The ways of dealing with anger, depression and fearsTo deal with anger, fear and depression, I should understand that any emotion that I express is not there just because of current situation. It is a repeated pattern of expression that I have been expressing throughout my life at various situations since my childhood days. So, to deal with any particular emotion, I should know about, or write down, my complete life history and identify the various situations of my life that made me to experience this particular emotion or anger. Then I have to find out the psychological, biological and social factors that made me to experience that particular emotion repeatedly from my childhood days. Once knowing them, find out what is that inner strength or ability that I was lacking to deal with that particular emotion. Then work on to develop that quality within myself.Meditation - Practicing silence of mind by relaxing the physical body- helps to overcome any type of depression, fear and anger by strengthening our mind and will-power.Belief in abilities and self-love to get rid of effects of emotional abuseThe effects of abuse can be overcome by knowing that personality is nothing but a learned behavior, and whenever we want we can change our personality with the help of knowledge – understanding of self and others gained by using our logical mind, will power – to maintain the desire for change, acceptance – without any guilt feelings of whatever has happened in the past, patience - giving time for change, hope, determination, love for self and others. Even if we do not have control over the stressors – person, place,situations - or the abusers, still we can deal with them when we remember ourown inner abilities and strengths, when we have faith in our own self, when weare able to maintain our self respect. To remember this at the time of need,every day morning and evening, practice simple visualization or imagination ofown strengths and abilities that are appreciated by our parents, relatives,friends since our childhood days to till date. The victim can also visualize and see in their mind how they are dealing with their abuser maintaining their self-esteem.Stop being abusedInstead of dealing with the situation by seeing one as a victim and other as an abuser, focus on the cause and solutions. Instead of reacting by revenge, respond to the situations using the logical sense of mind. The points to remember is:1. Try to understand using logical mind - understand the abuser and own self.2. If the abuser is not really an abuser but has real reason, try to make him or her understand, and if required, try to improve the self.3. If you find, the abuser is really an abuser, for his/her own reasons like illness or when you feel out of your control, speak out being assertive or act finding a new job, complaining to police, complaining to mental hospital or move away from the abuser.4. Forgive the abuser by understanding and remove the victim attitude from the self, learn from the past to begin a better future by adding coping abilities to the self. 

Self Help Tips to Manage Panic Attacks

Udayan Bhaumik, Psychiatrist
When it comes to panic attacks, professional treatment and therapy can make a big difference. But there are many things you can do to help yourself, too:Learn about panic. Simply knowing more about panic can go a long way towards relieving your distress. So read up on anxiety, panic disorder, and the fight-or-flight response experienced during a panic attack. You’ll learn that the sensations and feelings you have when you panic are normal and that you aren’t going crazy.Avoid smoking and caffeine. Smoking and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in people who are susceptible. As a result, it’s wise to avoid cigarettes, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. Also be careful with medications that contain stimulants, such as diet pills and non-drowsy cold medications.Learn how to control your breathing. Hyperventilation brings on many sensations (such as lightheadedness and tightness of the chest) that occur during a panic attack. Deep breathing, on the other hand, can relieve the symptoms of panic. By learning to control your breathing, you develop a coping skill that you can use to calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxious. If you know how to control your breathing, you are also less likely to create the very sensations that you are afraid of.Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, activities such as yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation strengthen the body’s relaxation response—the opposite of the stress response involved in anxiety and panic. And not only do these relaxation practices promote relaxation, but they also increase feelings of joy and equanimity. So make time for them in your daily routine.These are not easy to do but can be managed with a little please remember and practise!!!

Release Stress By Talking it out!

Mr. Suryakumar R., Psychologist
The word Stress is one of the most popularly used terms by people all over the world. In fact nowadays it has become fashionable for some people to complain that they are stressed. There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress. When you have a problem which you are unable to deal with, just by talking to a trusted friend you will feel better.  Even though the situation may not have changed, you still feel little better. What makes you feel better?  According to the American Neuroscientist Dr.Candace Pert, who is the author of the book `Molecules of Emotion,’  if emotions are suppressed, they can clog the biological system, causing both physical and psychological disturbances. When feelings are processed, unclogging of the biological system happens. The neurotransmitters called peptides which carry emotional messages to every cell in your body move freely throughout the biological system; this changes the chemistry of your body which promotes feelings of wellbeing. This is why you feel better when you talk it out.The willingness and the courage to face a problem often mean identifying and talking about the problem. Then, looking at the available resources,identifying solutions and developing a plan of action. So whenever something troubles you, talk it out with a trusted friend or a psychological counselor who will help you to feel better so that you can deal with it better.

7 Ways to Counter Routine Depression

Dr. Rohit Garg, Psychiatrist
In the recent past years, depression has become a part of our lives, with the ever growing demands of the modern society which hardly gives us time to introspect about our daily routine life. We are so involved in the superficial world and in keeping up appearances that we ignore foreseen problems in our lives whether they are emotional or financial.Let's look at some of the ways to fight regular depression cycles that we all face in our lives: Reduce social media activity- One should look to reduce the time spent on social media where often everything is glamorized and depicted in over the top manner. In the time saved one should dedicate it towards reading a book. This will significantly help you in diverting your mind and reducing the stress levels.Take a day off- When feeling de-motivated and upset take a day off from your routine life and go explore the city, visit museums, historical monuments, catch a movie or eat out. This will help you look at life from a different perspective, which may help you find a way to be more positive.It’s okay to cry- Psychologist state that it is better to cry sometimes especially for men when they no longer can hold on to a negative emotion. This instantly gives relief both within the heart and in mind and helps in thinking more clearly.Share your emotions- It is important to share your emotions with someone who values them, it lifts the burden of the problem to an extent and makes us feel more important. In case, you can’t trust anyone it is advisable to consult a psychology expert.Spend time with people who matter- It's in your best interest to spend more time with your friends and family when you are depressed. This makes you realize that your problems don’t only affect you but also your loved ones, being together at times solves more than half of the problems.Eat your favorite food- When feeling low order or make your favorite culinary delicacy, enticing your taste buds instantly helps in improving your mood and think more optimistically about life. At the end, we all earn money to eat food and maintain a lifestyle.Take a walk- Take a long walk alone or with your loved one in a park away from all the pollutants and automobiles. This will freshen up your mind and soul and help in facing things with a rejuvenated outlook.One fact that is important to note is that clinical depression which persists for more than 2 weeks should be brought to the notice of a psychiatrist and help should be sought for a healthy recovery.

Handle Your Baby’s Tantrums Easily

Dr. Sangeeta Subudhi, Pediatrician
All babies throw tantrums at some point or the other during their initial growing years. Tantrums are just as common in boys as they are in girls and they usually occur between the ages of 1 to 3. Depending upon their temperament, some babies experience regular tantrums, whereas others have them occasionally. Unlike adults, babies do not have an understanding and control over their emotions.Babies Become Difficult During Tantrums. Most babies are usually cheerful during the day, but may unexpectedly throw tantrums upon some trigger. They may lose emotional control, scream or cry, throw things here and there, bang their heads on a wall or floor or hit themselves and others. Some babies may also goto the extent of holding their breaths. Such temper tantrums of your baby may take you to your wit’s end and you may be tempted to set her right. But this may worsen and prolong your baby’s tantrums. Identifying Tantrum Triggers. You need to recognize triggers that induce your baby to throw a tantrum. Many a times babies throw tantrums out of hunger or need to sleep. Try to look out if this is the case and attend to them as required. Babies also tend to throw tantrums when they are ill. Understanding Your Baby’s Tantrums. Tantrums are a normal part of a baby’s development and should not be seen as something negative. Tantrums can be of two types- manipulative tantrums and frustration tantrums. Frustration Tantrums Arise Because of Inability to Express. Sometimes a baby’s mental and motor skills have progressed more quickly than her ability to communicate. So your baby may not be able to express what she wants to do or get done and this inability to make you understand her needs leads to frustration. And because she doesn't yet have the verbal skills to express her frustration, she does so by throwing tantrums. Manipulative Tantrums arise out of desires. Toddlers use manipulative tantrums to get things done their way, which otherwise is unlikely to happen, like throwing tantrums to force you to buy a toy or a candy.Dealing With Manipulative Tantrums of Your Baby.  If you feel that your baby is using tantrums as a tool to get her own way, give her verbal cues and use a body language that discourages her to behave like that. You can send a clear message that tantrums are not acceptable by ignoring them or walking away. Your voice should be calm and loving but firm. You need to tell the baby that you are there for her, but her tantrums are unacceptable.Handling Tantrums at Public Places. Infants tend to get uncomfortable with new surroundings. If your baby often throws tantrums at public places like shopping malls and gives you a hard time, then it is quite possible that she may not like to be out in an unfamiliar place and around unfamiliar people. Let Your Baby Feel Your Presence. Be with your baby all the time. Do not ignore her. Give her a hug or pick her up gently and take a stroll. This calms her down and then you may carry on with your work. Be Prepared to Feed Your Baby. Always carry your baby’s food and water along so that you can feed her if she feels hungry or thirsty at a public places. Take Your Baby Away from the Crowd. If your baby is not settling down you may take her to a quiet place like a restroom or to your car and let her calm down. Once she is better, talk to her and reassure her in a pacifying tone that you are around and she doesn’t need to be afraid of anything.  Carry Her Favorite Toys Along. You may carry her favorite possessions like water bottle, sipper or her favoritetoy to create companionship. If you find it difficult to manage so many things along with an uncomfortable baby, carry her pram. This way, you can put your baby at rest and tuck her belongings in the pram as well. This also makes it comfortable for you to carry things. Preventing Your Baby from Throwing Tantrums.Tantrums can be prevented to a large extent by being pro-active. Have a smart plan ready for your baby and yourself. Here are some tips that you can follow to prevent tantrums:If you are going out or expecting visitors, talk to your baby in advance about where she is going or whom she is going to meetHave a dialogue with your baby and explain her how you expect her to behave while interacting with peopleBabies don’t like surprises, so as far as possible keep a fixed schedule that your baby is aware ofAttend to your baby’shunger and sleep cuesYour baby may behave irrationally if she is unwell, so be tolerant and patient  towards herInform your baby before any change of activity in which she is involved. Like if your baby has been swinging in the park for a while and you want to take her back home, tell her a few minutes before you actually pick her up from the swingRemain as calm aspossible if your baby is already having an emotional surge.Always talk to your baby in a loving, reassuring voice and refrain from lashing out at her.Mingle with your baby and read out to her as much as possible as this enhances her communication skillsA Cry forAttention is Not a Tantrum.Some babies cry just out of a need for attention. This is not a tantrum but just an indication that your baby needs you at that moment. Your love and attention is all that is required to calm her down in such a situation.No matter what kind of tantrum your baby throws and at what place, you need to deal with it with a lot of patience and affection. Interact with your baby as much as you can and encourage her to communicate with you more and more when she is throwing a tantrum. This reduces her irritation and also helps you handle the situation better.

The Positive Side of Negative Feeling!

Palkee Baruah
When I thought of penning down my views on negative emotions and how it brings health, I was very skeptical as to how would everyone take it? Especially in the era of “smile and the world will smile back at you” we live in.Everywhere we look, there are messages such as, “Smile more often” or “Think positive” as if it was that easy and even the right thing to do.  I know I might sound very controversial but being a counselor and an enthusiast of psychology, I must forewarn you that those messages are hazardous, because they aim to drive people away from a very natural and important psychological resource: Negativity. And by reading “The Upside of Your Dark Side” by Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener, you will see that there are many scientific findings supporting this claim.So when I was going through an article about the positive side of negative emotions, this particular therapist says that he was counseling a client seeking help untangling his personal problems, even though as a counselor, he strives to be warm, nonjudgmental and encouraging, but he got a bit unsettled when in the midst of describing his painful experiences, he says, “I'm sorry for being so negative.”  Which is then I too decided to write about our negative emotions, because a vital purpose of therapy is to learn to acknowledge and express a full range of emotions, and here was a client apologizing for doing just that. I have seen cases with highly distressing emotions but the saddest part is when we are guilty or ashamed for feeling such emotions for what we perceive it to be negativity. Such reactions undeniably stem from our culture's intervening bias toward positive thinking. Although positive emotions are worth cultivating, problems arise when people start believing they must be upbeat all the time. As they say it the quest for happiness is a noble quest and indeed working to become a happier person has many obvious (and some not so obvious) profits. But it would be easy to take this truth and derive some altogether false and damaging ideas from it. Happiness is indeed a virtue, but it is too easy to dismiss negative emotions as, by contrast, something “bad." It’s not enjoyable to feel aggravated, sad, worried, and so on, but that doesn’t mean that these negative emotions are altogether or intrinsically bad. In fact, experiencing a variety of emotions is an extremely advantageous thing and it is a defining element of our civilization and necessary for living an unprejudiced life.Anger and sadness are a vital part of life, and new research shows that experiencing and accepting such emotions are vital to our mental health. Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment. Instead of backing away from negative emotions, acknowledge them. Accept how you are feeling without hastening to alter your emotional state. If we always tell ourselves to smile when all we want to do is cry, we are psychologically mistreating ourselves, which in the long run will negatively impact our psychological welfare. Negative emotions exist for a reason; they make us aware of our self and inform us of our values. They protect us, make us aware of dangers, and let us know something is not working for us.  If the emotion is overwhelming, you may want to express how you feel in a journal or to another person. The exercise may shift your perspective and bring a sense of closure. If the discomfort lingers, consider taking action. You may want to tell a friend her comment was hurtful or take steps to leave the job that makes you miserable.You may also try doing mindfulness exercises to help you become aware of your present experience without passing judgment on it. One way to train yourself to adopt this state is to focus on your breathing while meditating and simply acknowledge any fleeting thoughts or feelings.I know, a lot has been written about how to cope with or how to wane away negative emotions, after all, we know that every one of us is vulnerable to a crisis or any catastrophe.  And I am not trying to convince you that negatively is better than being positive, but there are moments where allowing yourself into some negativity can help you achieve better results in your life, work, relationship, etc.The secret is to become skilled at implementing the right equilibrium between positive and negative emotions. Of course, positive emotions generate a more gratifying feeling but that doesn’t mean we should always be in positive states of mind.Let’s accept our negative emotions instead of backing away and suppressing it. We should be able to acknowledge our feelings without rushing to change our emotional state. If you see the brighter side, negative emotions play a pivotal role in motivating us to achieve the zenith because nobody wants to change if he or she is feeling good. Negative emotions prompt us to act upon our current circumstance and generate positive changes.Again I am not at all trying to debase positivity but it is important for us to know that we are human beings who feel both positive and negative emotions. The goal is to feel the appropriate emotion during each circumstance rather than feeling happy all the time. Beyond this, we should strive to create the conditions in our own lives that make happiness the appropriate emotion to feel.