Healthy Mind and Body

How to get rid of sleeplessness? (Part 2)

1. June, 2015Healthy Mind and BodyNo comments

Dinesh K Nagpal

 

Please note this article does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any kind.

Part 2 of 2

Natural remedies for sleeplessness:

Sleeplessness is a result of several factors including disturbed lifestyle. Therefore it is imperative to bring required changes in your life style to help body getting rid of this menace.

Here are given some suggestions for overcoming sleeplessness.

1.      Changes in life style:

Bringing some changes in life style is considered to be the most effective way of curbing the menace of sleeplessness.  Some of the suggestions are given here.

  • Go for a walk in the morning.
  • Get plenty of physical exercise.
  • Practice aerobic exercise every day.
  • Practice yoga and deep breathing exercise.
  • Avoid nap during day time.
  • Increase light exposure during the day. Spend some time outdoors.
  •  Reduce exposure to light during night.
  • Stick to regular sleep schedule.
  • Make sure that your bed room is dark, quiet and cool. Maintain room temperature between 65 – 72° F (18 – 22° C).
  • Turn off TV, phone, computer, laptop, i-pad etc. one hour before going to bed.
  • Take a bath at bed time. Add Epsom salt or few drops of lavender oil or chamomile oil to water.
  • Brush your teeth before going to bed.
  • Meditate before going to bed and after getting up in the morning.
  • Your mattress and pillow should be comfortable.
  • Avoid exercising before sleeping.
  • Avoid agonizing and worrying about your habit of sleeplessness and other physical and mental disorders.
  • Don’t think of unpleasant situations and circumstances of your life before going to bed.
  • Reading books and literature of your choice also helps sleeping.
  • You can use music therapy to induce sleep. Listen to light music.
  • You can maintain a sleep journal. Record your life style, food habits, stressful events, sleep routine, your behavior and your relations with persons in your life. This exercise will help you diagnosing and pin pointing reason behind your habit of sleeplessnes

2.      Change your food habits:

Food habits greatly affect sleep patterns. Here are given some dos and don’ts for those they are fighting their habit of sleeplessness.

  • Do’s:
    • Take honey twice a day, preferably with lemon juice.
    • One can also take honey with decaffeinated tea.
    • Banana in breakfast and before going to bed helps inducing sleep.
    • Take oats regularly in breakfast as porridge or any other form.
    • Take cherry juice twice a day.
    • Increase intake of fruits including apples in breakfast. Take more of seasonal fruits.
    • Take wheat germ regularly.
    • Almonds are considered good for inducing sleep.
    • Intake of sunflower seeds is helpful in sleeplessness.
    • Increase intake of green leafy vegetables in meals. These are rich in magnesium and help during sleep disorders.
    • Take more salad with your lunch. Add lettuce and carrot. It should be taken every day.
    • Increase intake of protein in your regular meals.
    • One cup yogurt taken with one TSF sugar during bedtime is effective in inducing sleep.
    • Else take warm milk before going to bed. Add some almonds and green cardamoms before boiling and add honey.
    • Some people also suggest taking small portion of turkey or chicken at bed time for inducing sleep.

-          Don’ts:

  • Decrease use of carbohydrates from your meals.
  • Stay away from processed food, refined foods and products that are heavy in sugars and salt.
  • Avoid taking sugary and spicy food.
  • Limit use of caffeinated and nicotine products and alcohol in any form.
  • Avoid large and heavy intake of food before going to bed.

3.      Herbal remedies:

Nature has provided countless number of herbs for the welfare of human beings. Some of these herbs are considered helpful in controlling sleeplessness. These herbs are being used for generation and generally suggested by the elder members of the family.

However it is my suggestion that herbal remedies, use of food supplements, nature cure therapies, aromatherapy and other such therapies must be used under medical supervision only.

Here is given information about use of these herbs for curbing sleeplessness.

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): It is also known as Indian ginseng.  Decoction of Ashwagandha is prepared by boiling one to two gram of its root in one cup water and boiling the same for 15 minutes. Allow it infuse for ten minutes at room temperature. Filter and drink one cup in morning and one in the evening to induce sleep and overcome stress.
  • Brahmi (Bacopa monniery): One TSF of dried Brahmi leaves taken with water once a day is considered beneficial for those they have sleep disorders.
  • Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi): Soak one fourth of TSF its powder in  one cup water for five hours. Strain and drink before bedtime.
  • Amla (Phyllanthus emblica): Use of Amla in any form is considered good for human health. Half TSF of Amla powder taken with water twice a day is considered beneficial in sleeplessness.
  • Mint: Boil three gram fresh or 1.5 gram dried mint leaves in one cup water and allow it to boil for fifteen minutes and allow it to cool. Add one TSF honey and take at bedtime.
  • Add one TSF of cumin seeds on sliced banana and take at bedtime.
  • Herbal teas: There are varieties of herbal teas that are helpful in sleep disorders. Some of these teas are:
    • Green tea
    • Siberian ginseng tea
    • Passion flower tea
    • Kava Kava tea
    • Lime blossom tea
    • Lemon balm tea
    • Valerian tea
    • Lime blossom tea
    • St. John’s wort tea
    • Young pine or Fir needle tea
    • Decaffeinated tea
    • Tea made from Hops, Lavender oil or Chamomile oil.

4.       Food supplements:

Please note you must not use any of the food supplements without medical supervision. Under mentioned food supplements are used in sleep disorders.

  • Cordyceps: Three to six gram per day.
  • Co enzyme Q10: 60 to 100 mg is taken per day.
  • Valerian extract: 20 drops of tincture in water is taken before bed.
  • Melatonin extract: 0.3 to 0.5 mg is kept under tongue.
  • Hops: 30 to 120 mg per day.
  • Threonine: 50 to 200 mg is taken.
  • Passion flower: 30 to 60 drops of tincture taken in water one hour before bed is beneficial.
  • Jamaica dogwood: It is taken with hops and valerian.
  • Californian poppy: 2 ml tincture taken in water before bedtime is beneficial.
  • Lettuce supplement: 30 to 120 mg is suggested to be taken.
  • Magnesium (200 mg or less) with Calcium (600 mg) taken at bedtime helps inducing sleep.

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How to get rid of sleeplessness?

29. April, 2015Healthy Mind and BodyNo comments

Dinesh K Nagpal

Please note this article does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any kind.

Part 1 of 2

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”  ~ William Blake

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”~ Thomas Dekker

“Sleep is the best meditation.”~ Dalai Lama

“My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” ~ Marla Thomas

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.”  ~ Leonardo da Vinci

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”  ~ Irish Proverb

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.”  ~ Clifton Fadiman

“Your life is a reflection of how you sleep, and how you sleep is a reflection of your life.”  ~ Dr. Rafael Pelayo

“Don’t fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
and kick every worriment out of the bed.”
 ~ Edmund Vance Cooke

“Sleeping is no mean art, for its sake one must stay awake all day.”  ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

 

What is sleeplessness?

After whole day’s working, every one of us needs a restful sleep at night. Those working at night need similarly restful sleep during day time.

After sound sleep of almost eight hours, your body gets energized and is charged with renewed energy and enthusiasm to work for the next very day.

Sleep improves your mental awareness, memories, concentration power and alertness. Sleep makes your body’s immune system strong; as a result you are not prone to several diseases. But there are several other factors also that are required to improve body’s immunity level.

There is countless number of people who after going to bed for sleep, keep struggling in bed and are unable to sleep for a longtime. There are people who even after being tired do not get quality sleep. And there are several people who are finding it difficult to sleep again, once they wake up in the middle of night or sleep cycle. Thus sleeplessness is a sleep disorder with,
i) Difficulty in falling sleep and
ii) Difficulty in staying sleep.

Therefore, some people are deprived of quality sleep and some lack required quantity of sleep. This problem is termed as Insomnia in medical terminology. It is common in people of advanced age group.

Symptoms of sleeplessness:

Sleeplessness is responsible for depriving you of required energy, mood and takes toll on your health. Your ability to work is also adversely affected. Sleeplessness thus leads to daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability and you find it difficult to concentrate on your work during the day. An extended period of insomnia may further lead to anxiety, depression and worrying thoughts. You may also find yourself in a situation that makes it difficult for you in socializing.

Duration:

Sleep disorder could be for a shorter period of few days that is known as Transient insomnia.

And when sleeplessness exceeds few weeks, it is known as Acute insomnia.

Then there are people who suffer from this disorder for a long time. Period of their sleeplessness may range from few months to a year or more. They are considered to suffer from Chronic insomnia.

Causes of sleeplessness:

There are several factors responsible for sleeplessness. But some of the important reasons are given here.

  1. Certain medications:  It is observed that use of some medicines such that are used for hormonal balancing and controlling various ailments including high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, dementia and cholesterol may cause sleeplessness. Medicines containing alcohol and caffeine may also be the cause of sleeplessness.
  2. Certain medical problems may also be the root cause of sleeplessness, such as Allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, Angina, Arthritis, Asthma,  Cancer, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Gastro-intestinal problems, Hypothyroidism, etc.
  3. Mental disorders including Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Hopelessness and Worry are also major causes of sleeplessness conditions.
  4. Change of weather conditions, place, time to go to bed, change of shift of job or time zone are also reasons behind sleeplessness.
  5. Sometimes, hormonal changes in body especially during menstruation and menopause also cause sleeplessness in women. Similarly hormonal changes in men also cause sleeplessness.
  6. Excessive use of computer, TV, video games, mobile phones, DVD players, I pad and other similar electronic devices are also cause of problems pertaining to sleeplessness.
  7. There could be several other reasons of sleeplessness though looking insignificant but are causes of concern. Some of these are:
  • Naps during afternoon can make it difficult to sleep at night
  • Taking heavy meals at late hours just before bed time is also a cause of sleeplessness.
  • Excessive intake of coffee and caffeinated drinks is a major factor in sleeplessness conditions. Coffee taken during evening hour also causes sleeplessness. You are frequently getting up in middle of night for urination due to diuretic effect of caffeine.
  • Increased use of alcohol is also a major reason for sleeplessness in many people. Like caffeine, alcohol also has diuretic effect and therefore taking alcohol during late evening hours causes frequent urination leading to sleep disturbance.
  • Similarly use of nicotine by intake of tobacco in any form causes sleeplessness.
  • Trauma or traumatic experience of any kind causes sleeplessness.
  • Over reactive mind is also a cause of sleeplessness in many cases. Anger, hatred, jealousy, resentment, revengefulness etc. overpower your mind and as a result you experience sleeplessness.
  • In case your bed is worn out, or you have too soft or too hard mattress, uncomfortable pillow that too also leads to sleeplessness.
  • In case your bed room is too noisy, it also results in sleeplessness.
  • Bed rooms without proper ventilation and passage of air also cause sleeplessness. Sleeping in such room causes suffocation and one experiences sleeplessness.

Effects of sleeplessness: Lack of sleep invites several physical and mental conditions. Some effects are visible immediately however some are not. These effects are harmful for body. Here are given some of the adverse and harmful effects of sleeplessness.

  1. Causes accidents: Sleeplessness causes tiredness, fatigue, loss of self-control and decreased concentration. People also experience dizziness and nausea. This may result in accidents on roads and also for those they are working in factories on different machines. Every year countless numbers of persons are either killed in such accidents or injured causing loss of limbs and other vital organs.
  2. Impairs judgments: Sleeplessness is also one of the major causes of impaired judgment and resultant worsening of quality of life.
  3. Forgetfulness: It not only causes temporary memory loss and forgetfulness but also has an adverse effect on learning process. Chronic insomnia can also lead to permanent memory loss.
  4. Health problems: Sleeplessness leads to various health problems which include heart related diseases such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, heart failure etc. In addition, it also causes high cholesterol, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, kidney malfunctioning or kidney failure, blindness, damaged bones and many more diseases. Sleeplessness increases risk of death.
  5. Suppresses immune system: Sleeplessness has adverse effect on immune system of the body due to hormonal changes and decreased production of WBC’s. With weak immune system, body is prone to various ailments including common cold, flu and attack by various kind of virus and bacteria.
  6. Obesity: Those suffering from insomnia tend to eat more and their metabolic systems are also adversely affected thus resulting in weight gain. Obesity further leads to various diseases linked to it.
  7. Ageing of skin: Sleeplessness also results in hormonal disturbance as stress hormone; cortisol is produced in excess and thus resulting in adverse effect on skin and eyes. Eyes get puffy and dark circles are created under eyes. Texture of skin gets affected and it loses its luster and elasticity. Wrinkles on face and hands become permanent.
  8. Depression and anxiety:  Sleeplessness further leads to depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

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How to overcome depression (Part 2)

14. September, 2012Healthy Mind and BodyNo comments

Dinesh K. Nagpal

Part 2 of 2

Types of depression:

Depending on severity and other factors associated to depression, following are the types of depression.

Bipolar depression. (Manic depressive illness)

Chronic depression (Dysthymia)

Major depression (Major depressive disorder, MDD)

Postpartum depression (Postnatal depression, PND)

Psychotic depression

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Substance induced mood disorder (SIMD)

Overcoming depression:

Overcoming depression is a difficult task but it is not impossible. Since depression is a serious mood disorder and is a result of consistent negative thinking hence its cure lies in thought replacement. Always remember depression is a temporary phenomenon. Believe you can get rid of it. Here is the holistic approach to overcome depression.

1. Learn to think positive: Stop altogether negative thought pattern including complaining, crying, feeling low, negatively thinking about bleak future, depressive behavior and similar thought process. Improve your thinking habits. Develop positive mental attitude. Let your imagination get yourself to the state of feeling good, even if your circumstances are adverse. Negative thoughts attract adversity in your life hence it is advisable to keep them away from you. Positivism keeps you healthy.

2. Go to nature: Be closure to nature. You may visit a park or go to jungle. See beauty of a waterfall, mountains, seashore, bank of a river or any other place of your choice and convenience. Spend time there and enjoy its beauty with positive frame of mind.

3. Expand your social network: Be in contact with people. Speak to positive thinking friends and relatives. Join social networking sites. Make new friends. Share everything positive with them. Do not engage yourself in negative conversation. Beware of such people who spread hatred, jealousy and all sort of negativism in this world. Develop healthy relationships. 

4. Improve quality of your sleep: Adequate sleep is necessary for your body. You must sleep minimum eight hours a day. Try to maintain fixed sleep routine by going to bed and coming out of bed at a predefined time. Everyday come out of your bed immediately after opening your eyes. Do not allow yourself to remain in bed for long time after waking. Keep away from depressing thoughts before sleeping and after waking.

5. Do some exercise: Exercise is important for everyone’s daily routine. You must engage yourself in any exercise of your choice and convenience. Be it aerobics, walking, jogging, yoga or any other form of exercise. These are excellent mediums to divert your mind from negative to positive and keep you in good health. Daily dose of thirty to sixty minutes exercise is ideal.

6. Spare time for pranayam: Deep rhythmic breathing exercise for ten to fifteen minutes, preferably twice a day is helpful in keeping your negative thoughts at bay. You can practice pranayam for ten to fifteen minutes twice a day.

7. Meditate: Learn meditation techniques. You can choose any meditation of your choice, but I would suggest you to practice Mantra meditation with a mantra, So’ham. While inhaling feel natural sound of ‘So’ and during exhalation you can feel natural sound of ‘humm’. Your concentration must be at your breath. Repeat the same for fifteen minutes preferably once or twice. You can gradually increase its duration as per your convenience. You can learn more on meditation.

8. Visualize: Visualization is a powerful technique. It is creating an image of positive outcome of existing troubles and feeling that all existing problems are solved. Select a suitable place for visualization session. Sit comfortably with straight back and closed eyes. Make a clear mental picture in your mind’s eye and keep watching as long as it is convenient. Imagine what you would like to get in future to overcome your depression. Duration can be ten to fifteen minutes twice a day. You can also visualize immediately after waking up and before going to deep sleep, while lying in your bed.

9. Keep busy: Engage yourself in constructive activities and try to keep busy.  In free time, you can read some books that teach you to stay positive. You can engage in a hobby. It may be music, vocal or instrumental, dancing, painting, crafts, writing, sports, adventure tourism or any other hobby of your choice. Avoid unnecessarily watching TV, gossiping and idle living. However, you can watch funny and mood boosting TV shows and movies. Idle time leads to negative thinking.

10. Laugh: Laughter is good medicine. It keeps you healthy. Laugh as much as you can but make sure not to laugh at any one. Your laughter shouldn’t hurt someone. You can laugh at your troubles, problems, negative circumstances and feel as if those situations are going away from you. You can also laugh at your bad and negative habits to keep them away from you..

11. Listen music: Listening music helps calm your mind. Several studies have revealed that music improves mood and decreases depression. It has ability to heal the soul and lift spirit. Researches reveal that listening to music helps reducing depression levels.

12. Keep a pet: Pets are very friendly and help you coming out of depression and negative thoughts. Those they own a pet keep away from psychological and physiological diseases. It increases feeling of selflessness and happiness. Hence owning a pet is a great idea for overcoming depression.

13. Eat healthy and balanced diet: You must ensure to eat healthy, nutritious and balanced diet. Make sure you get all those nutrients required for body. Avoid sugars and refined carbohydrates. Your diet must be rich of proteins, complex carbohydrates, fats containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (PUFA and MUFA) and more of omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, it must also contain adequate quantity of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and enzymes etc.

14. Hydrate: Drink adequate quantity of water to keep body hydrated. Water is as essential as air to breathe. It is necessary to drink three to four liter of water everyday to prevent dehydration and keep healthy. Water has amazing healing properties and prevents from several diseases. It also helps greatly in depression.

15. Write your thoughts: Maintain a daily diary of your thoughts. Write negative thoughts separately towards one side and find corresponding positive thought and write the same on opposite side. Make efforts to ponder over corresponding positive thoughts. Analyze your thoughts and discard negative thoughts from your mind by involving yourself in constructive activities.

16. Write happy moments: You must also maintain a journal of happy moments and blessings of your life. Write everyday positive instances happening on day to day basis. Read them when you feel low and have depression. Learn to see beauty in every moment. 

17. Set a goal: Set a goal of your life, if you have not done so far. It must be a positive goal for your overall development and for the welfare of society. Work on your goals with careful planning. Create burning desire for fulfillment of the goal and work consistently for the same.

18. Visit a hospital and a mental asylum: On visiting a hospital especially for underprivileged people of society, you will find miseries of people. Similarly, if you visit a mental asylum and see how mental disturbance can lead people to terminal mental illnesses. You can feel satisfied that your current situation is much better than several others. And thus you can keep away from depression.

19. Speak to God: You should never forget this fact that God is always with you. He is consistently hearing your voice, be it subtle or loud. He cares for you every moment of your life. You can realize God and speak to Him without fear and inhibitions. Seek a solution to your existing problems. He would certainly give you reply. It will be in a subtle form. You should always be cautious and ready to listen to Him and His advice. This advice will help you sort all your existing problems.

20. Medication: In case of depression, consult your doctor and take some antidepressants with his suggestion. Do not take any medicine without his consent.

21. Repeat affirmations: Affirmations are positive statements in the form of sentences. On repeating the same several times, both in mind or spoken words, these are soaked in your subconscious mind and as a result trigger into action bringing desired results. Affirmations for depression are powerful to drive away the same from your mind. Repeat any of the following affirmations several times a day, right from awakening in morning to going to sleep at night.

  • By grace of God and under security of God’s love, I am successfully releasing all stress, worries, resentment, anger, anxiety, ego, hurt feeling, fears and phobias etc. and start living happy, healthy, peaceful and purposeful life. I am thankful.
  • I know the God, in His infinite intelligence has gifted me with miraculous, wonder working, energy. I call upon it now to infuse this prayer, to empower it and make it work in my daily life. I affirm my own God given ability to reach out for rainbows, to seek the Sun, to experience joy and life more peaceful.
  • Stillness to my mind, rest to my body, height to my spirit, nimbleness to my fingers, adroitness to my movement, excellence to my act, strength to my muscle, vitality to my blood, life to my limb and power to my brain.
  • God is now filling my mind with peace, with courage, with calm assurance
  • God is constantly with me and is taking care of me. God will never leave me alone. If God be for me, I have nothing to worry.
  • I am now emptying my mind of all anxiety, fear and insecurity.
  • Depressive thoughts are now erased from my subconscious mind. I am now living happy and peaceful life.

Disclaimer: Please note above given approach for overcoming depression is based on my observations and personal experiences of several persons shared by them. It is not a professional advice. In case, you are under medical supervision, it is suggested to continue with whatever medication and therapy your physician is prescribing you. You can consult him for including above suggestions, as these will increase your recovery.

I am confident those they are passing through traumatic phase of depression shall greatly benefited using these techniques and come out of it. I sincerely and wholeheartedly pray for their welfare and goodwill.

Keep reading and giving your valuable feedback. God bless you all.

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How to overcome depression

10. September, 2012Healthy Mind and BodyNo comments

By Dinesh K. Nagpal

Part 1 of 2

“You largely constructed your depression. It wasn’t given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it”.  ~ Albert Ellis

“Depression can seem worse than terminal cancer, because most cancer patients feel loved and they have hope and self-esteem”. ~ David D. Burns

“Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future”. ~ Sivananda

“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key”. ~ Elizabeth Wurtzel

“The concept of the “good ol’ days” must be one of our society’s biggest delusions, top reasons for depression, as well as most often used excuse for lack of success”. ~ Bo Bennett

“There’s nothing, repeat, nothing to be ashamed of when you’re going through a depression. If you get help, the chances of your licking it are really good. But, you have to get yourself onto a safe path”. ~ Mike Wallace

“Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm”. ~ Steven Wright

“Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression”. ~ Dodie Smith

“Remember sadness is always temporary. This, too, shall pass”. ~ Chuck T. Falcon

”Many people think that depression is something you just have to live with when you get older, but it’s not”. ~ Tom Bosley

”My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle”. ~ Patty Duke

”If I had not been already been meditating, I would certainly have had to start. I’ve treated my own depression for many years with exercise and meditation, and I’ve found that to be a tremendous help”. ~ Judy Collins

 

Today the world is observing tenth ‘World suicide prevention day’.

Suicidal behavior has become a major issue across the world. If successful, thought of suicide results in tragic end of life of the person concerned. It is estimated that in this world more than one million people die by suicide every year. It means every thirty seconds there is one death by suicide. But attempts to suicide are even more. Almost every one and a half second there is an attempt to commit suicide. This corresponds to over 21 million attempts per annum.

Depression is one of the major causes of attempting suicide. Let us work together to overcome depression in self and others and consequently prevent tendency of suicide.

What is depression?

Depression is the outcome of our negatives thoughts.

Human mind is always at work except during deep sleep. Researchers tell us that it generates almost 60,000 thoughts everyday. In this world every type of people exists. There are those they think positive and also people they think negative and find fault in every situation and every condition. Those they generate negative thoughts give rise to more than a million negative thoughts a month. Predominance of these negative thoughts in a person’s mind leads one to depression.

In other words we can say, when a negative thought of depression is sown as a seed in a fertile human mind, and he is watering and nurturing this seed with thoughts of isolation, idleness, wrong thinking etc. coupled with sadist behavior, it turns to a large destructive tree namely depression. It further leads to sadness, hopelessness and pessimism that cannot be converted to cheerfulness, hope and optimism. 

Causes of depression:

For finding cause of depression, we must try to go to the root cause of negative thoughts in our minds. These are due to various circumstances in one’s life. There may be several instances in your life that you don’t want. You could be in a financial disaster, physically afflicted by certain diseases. There may be separation from someone dear to you, either because of death or divorce. In addition, loss of employment or failure in business activities and host of several other problems in your life may be the reasons behind depression.

But if you give a look to all your negative situations of life, you will find it is not the existence of these situations that depresses you. It is your negative thoughts and your pessimistic thinking about those situations that create negative effect in your mind. It is not the situation; it is your attention to those situations is the real cause of your depression. Intensity of your depression varies with intensity of attention. When your mind is helplessly but consistently thinking that you are not getting what you want and you desperately want to come out of present situation, this may lead you to chronic depression.

People in general have a tendency to pay extra attention to negative circumstances of their lives. They worry for lack of financial freedom and cordial relationships, failure in different fields of life and abundance of physical ailments etc. But they also consider themselves smart and intelligent for that they are ‘concerned’ for negativism in their lives. Whereas in my opinion, they are their worst enemies and are unknowingly causing harm to themselves. Because of paying extra attention to various negativities, they involve themselves in negative circumstances and as a result they attract similar situations in life and get trapped in endless agony and depression. And to make their conditions worst, they resort to consumption of alcohol, smoking, drugs, excessive involvement in sexual activities, pornography, watching more TV, playing video games and develop many more negative habits. Through these habits there is temporary shift of their attention from their problems and it makes them feel relieved for that period of addiction. It is in fact escapism. This habit doesn’t help them coming out of unwanted circumstances. However it makes situation worst.

Our body is like a highly evolved chemical factory. It is very sensitive and has capacity to catch even a small variation in thought pattern. In depression, millions of negative thoughts are consistently being generated in your mind. And they altogether change your brain chemistry and as a result there are several physical and mental symptoms. Your mindset becomes negative and your thought patterns force you to remain in your negative mindset. And gradually you are pushed towards depression. Your anger, hatred, jealousy, and ego add to your depression and it becomes deeper and deeper with each passing day. Unhealthy food habits, lack of physical exercise, irregular and inadequate sleep, long illness, association with difficult people and bad relationships and certain types of medications like anti-hypertensive drugs, certain analgesics, steroids, anti-diabetics, chemotherapeutics etc. add fuel to it. And you become victim of chronic depression.

Depression brings in sadness, anguish, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss of interest in various activities, loss of social contacts and feeling of crying for no reason. You also loss interest in several domestic, social and recreational activities. In addition, there is loss of pleasure and enthusiasm.

Symptoms of depression:

In depression, you have some of these symptoms visible in you. Such as, loss of appetite, constipation, sleep disorders, either insomnia or hypersomnia, reduced energy level, fatigue, increased or decreased diet and resultant increased or decreased weight, change in eating habits, trouble in concentrating, feeling worthlessness and hopelessness, lack of interest and pleasure in all those activities which you enjoyed earlier, loss of productivity at work, feeling guilty, constant negative thoughts about future, frightening and panic for no apparent reason, irritable behavior, anxiety, mood disorder, thoughts of suicide and even attempt to commit suicide etc. These suicidal attempts sometimes are successful and the person ends his life for no apparent reason.

 

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Quit Smoking Stay Healthy (Part 4)

12. June, 2012Healthy Mind and BodyNo comments

Part 4 of 4

 

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms:

Nicotine withdrawal has its own effect on the body and its symptoms will stop, in about two to three weeks. Therefore during this period you will have to work hard to remain in positive frame of mind. Reject those negative thoughts which are inviting you to relapse. These days your body is learning to live without regular dose of nicotine.

After quitting, your first day will seem to be the worst day of your life. Your mind may refuse to be with you. At the time of craving those three to four minutes will seem to be hours to you. First day will more or less look like your one day of northern pole, which is almost 185 days. It may also feel as if someone has dropped a bomb on you.

Second day after quitting may slightly be better than the previous day but craving will haunt you. There will be gradual improvement in subsequent days. Most effects are felt during first seventy two hours. After these three days, when almost all nicotine present in the body is flushed out, your mind still has craving for smoking. It is mostly because of conditioning of your subconscious mind.

It takes almost two to three weeks for your body to come to normal state of physical, mental and emotional level.

Physical symptoms:

Nicotine withdrawal syndrome includes headache, nausea, irritability, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, tiredness, depression, lack of concentration, insomnia, cough, dry mouth, sore throat, constipation or diarrhea, sweating, gas, increased appetite and weight gain. And of course, there are nicotine cravings. Nearly everyone experiences the same. Number of cravings and their intensity varies in different persons. Some of them have almost negligible symptoms while others have experienced repeated various symptoms with greater intensity. You should not worry in case intensity of withdrawal symptoms is greater in you.

I have personally observed some persons enjoy the path of quitting smoking. They welcome craves and adversities associated with quitting. They have prepared their mind to adjust in those situations where there are various symptoms listed earlier.

Psychological symptoms:

In addition to physical withdrawal symptoms there are psychological withdrawal symptoms like depression, pressure of work or having a deadline to complete some work, financial crisis or confrontation with near and dear ones and many more. These are within your capability to control. You will have to be aware not being victim of negative thoughts.

Controlling nicotine withdrawal symptoms:

To control all those nicotine withdrawal symptoms, you must follow quitting tips. Beware of rationization thoughts and cigarette trigger situations. These may force you to smoke again. There are various situations like social gatherings where others are drinking or smoking. Other triggers are drinking coffee, siesta after meals or after having sexual intercourse. You must ensure to be aware of all such situations and keep your willpower strong. Do not allow feelings and urge to smoke to grow and overpower you.

Avoiding relapse of smoking habit:

You must ensure to continuously follow tips on quitting smoking rigorously after one or even two years from the date of quitting and leave no chance of relapse, which in some cases has been reported after two and more years.

Benefits of quitting smoking:

In return of quitting smoking you are getting several gifts in the form of odorless smile and fingers, ash-less surroundings, increased self confidence, more energy and pride, food having good taste, more money in your pockets, enhanced social acceptability and self respect and extra time for constructive work.

In addition to above benefits, your body systems start returning to normal. Within hours of quitting, your pulse rate slows down and blood pressure drops to normal. Level of carbon monoxide in your blood also drops enabling the blood to carry more oxygen. In addition, your skin temperature also starts increasing. Within forty eight hours, your nerve endings also begin to recover.

After three days, your lungs start to expand. In addition, breathing and sense of smell and taste starts improving.

After three months of quitting, your stamina and vigor will show signs of improvement. Immunity starts improving. Risk of heart attack attributed to smoking shall considerably decline after approx. one year. But it takes almost three years that chance of heart attack pertaining to smoking is virtually gone. You are now at par with non-smokers as far as risk of heart attack is concerned.

And it takes more than ten or even fifteen years after quitting smoking, the risk of developing lung cancer or other cancers will be almost the same as are for those they do not smoke.

But is extremely necessary for you to always remember not to smoke again either it is one cigarette or one puff. You have already said, “NO” to smoking.

You are a non-smoker now.

Congratulations and good wishes for your good health.

In case you have successfully quit smoking or you are already a non-smoker, ensure to help others quitting smoking by sharing this article and supporting.

Keep reading and giving your comments.

 

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About


Dr. Dinesh K. Nagpal

He has been studying and practicing The Art and Science of Positivism for over 35 years. His zest for gathering ancient knowledge based on Vedas, Upanishads and other Hindu scriptures, which are full of living life in totality, for the benefit of mankind, brought him laurels. The motto of his life is ‘Caring and Sharing is the essence of life.’

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