Rehabilitation before Prevention: When Space Quest met with Medical Satiety

Gone are the days when we waited for things to go wrong to mend them for the future. Unfortunately, human history speaks of days when humans were buried or mummified alive as a sacrifice to save the community from diseases to days where prisoners of war were used for experiments that have great relevance in today’s advanced medical science. But in the late 20th Century, we reached a position that can be said as the fastest period of advancement of medical science we know today. Be it using antibiotics for bacterial infections on soldiers to surgical interventions that gave a new life to billions of people, if not trillions. But after sending various animals, low tech devices to earth’s orbit and outside, the scientists at NASA and other space centres realised that we need more than just prevention of deformities and cure of astronauts coming back to earth after the trip to outer space. Although the astronauts are selected via rigorous methods evaluating them and selecting exceptionally healthy ones exhibiting peak physical and mental performance, a quarter of the year in space ends up developing various medical conditions. Rehabilitation becomes necessary even before the disorder actually occurs.

Ethical Arena

Sending animals to space drew some attention, but the vision of space made most of those sacrifices unaccounted, but now the Space war began. Sending artificial satellites was an achievement that many people thought had more benefits. The ability to show superpower was bygone, but sending humans to space and bringing them alive met with many ethical groups. Undoubtedly, the soldiers serving in the USSR had to give in to Government orders. However, the ethical groups that were to be managed for humans cannot be openly experimented with for space research. Hence, Prisoners of War came in. Medical Science no doubt salutes them for their forgotten sacrifices, for which we have our textbooks today. But since prisoners of war could not be sent to space either, scientists at space organisations like the US, USSR, and so forth started scratching their heads of using then physics theories and shreds of evidence in terms of models to invent gadgets that come in miniature versions today. Thus the first milestone of space training began when medical reports of Yuri Gagarin came by winter of 1961, based on which by September 1969 – “Mission Evolution through Hardware Commonality” was forwarded to President Nixon that grossly contained space-based training of potential candidates for space flight. Finally, the US Congress approved it in the fiscal year of 1972.

space research science astronaut
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Inventions on the way

If someone tried to be familiar with the origins and modifications of medical equipment, then Space organisations, especially NASA, have very significant involvement in developing and improving the equipment. Those projects back till the late 20th Century mainly had 2 intentions, one to enhance human missions to space and the other to enhance the life of mankind in hospitals and out in public. While many inventions and modifications came due to scientists continuing the project even after completing the mission they were commissioned for, some also continued because some commercial setups continued their projects for profiteering. Nevertheless, the inventions below changed medical care to a level that we can’t imagine a health care industry without it.

  • Digital image processing by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA changed how MRI, CT/CAT scans are viewed and analysed by Radio-diagnosis experts today
  • LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) was developed in partnership with Dr Michael DeBakey with Johnson Space Centre, NASA giving new lives through the hands of CTVS surgeons
  • Amputations now end with 6-10 times lighter prosthetics compared to what we had years back, thanks to ISRO and NASA
  • Programmable pacemakers and Implantable Heart aids changed the field of Cardiology and CTVS to a pace just impossible without NASA
  • Flow Cytometer in partnership with NASA with American Cancer Society changed Oncology and gave a boon to many other branches
  • Contributions to Robotic surgery training and devices, significantly in Rosa and DaVinci
  • Holter ECG and Stress testing training programs involved galvanometer modifications and results that have a deep impact on both diagnosis and health care
  • Cell-Matrix, now in experimentation has the potential to disrupt the very Axioms and postulates in God knows how many fields and save how many lives.
person holding silver round coins
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

And the list goes on with one main motive in mind: to treat and rehabilitate the problems faced by an astronaut in outer space while they are in space and before they descend back to earth so that there is still life ahead for them on earth. Nevertheless, humankind has always benefited it in little ways that now we can’t think without.

Rehabilitation in progress

Even though in the branch of preventive medicine, some of the processes involved are still being practised in health care setups and public health administration, as we go to the lives of humans in microgravity or zero gravity, the demands become higher. In small ways, the space training of non-commercial organisations differs from commercial ones like SpaceX, Amazon subsidiary, etc. It is not just preventive exercises and measures but actual therapeutic steps in sync with the duration of the pre-mission, mission and post-mission. Some of them include –

A. Risks of Radiation Exposure

Potential Countermeasures –

  1. Implanted/Non-invasive Monitors
  2. Radiation Sickness medications and pre-Oncocare in addition to supplements
  3. Diet include and saturated with ingredients believed to reduce long haul harms
  4. Radiation shields and Components for reabsorption from the body

B. Risk of Isolation

Potential Countermeasures –

  1. Gardening, journaling and Behaviour control therapies/care
  2. Light and sound stimulation technologies for acclimatisation for and post-mission
  3. Virtual Reality Sessions pre-mission and during the mission

C. Risk of distance from Earth

Potential Countermeasures –

  1. Preservative acclimatisation and treatment
  2. Sustainable food system and monitors
  3. Telemedicine Care and Virtual assistants
  4. AI-based diagnosis and clinical decision support tools whilst Telemedicine intervention arrives

D. Risk of Microgravity changes

Potential Countermeasures –

  1. Exercise training extending post-mission care
  2. Metabolism improving supplements and curative medications
  3. Self-administered physiotherapies until post-mission medical care
  4. Pressure devices and Fine motor testing and therapeutics
  5. Fluid and ion balance care, Hyperbaric therapies
  6. Cardiac support and Space Motion sickness care

E. Risk of Non-Terrestrial Environment Change harms

Potential Countermeasures –

  1. Homeostasis stimulations
  2. Periodic Decontamination care
  3. Immune supplements and immunisations
  4. Routine Cleaning, air filter maintenance, AQ monitoring
Servicing Mission 4 astronauts practise on a Hubble model underwater at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston

The Need and Epilogue

Well, this article may be relatively short enough for the gist and to sum up, but space science has always involved researches that fulfilled medical satiety. The debates and criticisms always address the hunger pandemic and the wide gap of health care access in terms of haves and have-nots, but the same can be there in every field. Science and humanity have intermingled subsets of some extensive set that has a dimensional impact in fulfilling the satiety of medical science. Even the book of Sir A.P.J Abdul Kalam, “The Scientific Indian”, very lucidly and interestingly expressed how India has developed in science, but the impact of ISRO missions on healthcare and humanity mentioned in the book can never be underestimated. As the knitting of public services continues, decades have passed by and will go on; Prevention and Rehabilitation in the health care sector shall always be the need of the hour, be it with or without any calamity, pandemic and whatnot, the time stores for mankind.

Sources:

  1. NASA Archives on public domain (www.nasa.gov)
  2. Howstuffworks.com, run by Info Space Holdings
  3. The Hill Opinion Article by Dr Dorit Donoviel, Director, TRISH & Associate Professor in Baylor College of Medicine

Girls versus Boys: Diary Entry #4

Social interactions are often guided by who we are, and what we were as we grew up or live in. Includes people around us, the environment and what now. Maybe an anthropologist or a person versed with society and behaviour might be an expert to reason out our memories of stupidities in past or present. Likewise, I do have a memory without being much description of my analysis of myself and the people involved in it. One of them was when I got versed with how simple gender-based fights can become. But to the ground zero, I still feel that we had such fights because we already took the fact to take the opposite gender to be equal human, I mean as an equal classmate to be precise. At least when I think of different Army Public Schools, I studied in, I found gender equality to be a very small thing to bother of compared to who gets water from the water cooler. There was no question of gender sensitisation in our class as the very base of our fights never took any discrimination into account. I guess that comes up as we grow up among elders, not among classmates. Still, as usual, I got no expert views on my days in school or school in present days. So here is one of my memories of predictably unpredictable turn of events related to fights we had among girls and boys in school.

I still remember it started from class 2 that I am a deep devotee of this Girls versus Boys fight. It was such that we used to cross our fingers before accepting or giving things to a girl. I always did fingers crossed when I was either borrowing or taking something else giving or lending something. Sometimes it went to extent of dropping the pencil or eraser once to the floor and touching it with shoes once and then cleaning dust with hands, fingers crossed and then finally using it normally. Be it the thing that due to dropping from a height, the fragile pencil lead often breaks. Now being nostalgic, I feel relieved that we never used pen then else that will not exist even for a second would have been always a different matter, but our dresses getting a permanent dye resulting in great applauses by sticks and hands of our moms at homes would have been the first matter.

When I got promoted to class four after the March Annual Exam Results, my father was transferred to Sukna in Siliguri, from Barrackpore we shifted with him. I was in a completely new environment with completely different minds. Still, I was no different. I was still a strong warrior from the Boys army, still maintaining that versus fight. It was in May 2006, my parents decided finally do my Sulakaran, which is the ceremonial cutting of hair of the male child by a Brahmin or the Hindu Priest, usually done once in a lifetime before the child goes to school but due to some inability, it was not possible in my case. That too after so many years of missed schedules or no auspicious dates on the set period of time when my father was able to take leave. I already started my schooling in the new school, so had to miss my classes in between before the summer break to have the ceremony on the decided auspicious date.

We had to leave for our village on May 2nd and my Sulakaran was to be held on May 8. Therefore, it was our just 2 weeks of stay in Sukna, and it was the 2nd day, I met my rival in academics and so-called boys versus girls fight, her name was Rupshah. Until class 10, I had a very dangerous instinct, to search for a rival in Academics and the co-curricular activities I am interested in the most. After my search was successful, I used to compete with that person without letting the person know. Doing better than my rival for long meant two things for me, one was to search for another more potential candidate for my rival tag and the other was to enjoy that and help my rival do better in the field where the person is my rival. Therefore, in meantime, I would finally end up becoming good friends with that person, without my knowledge. If your rival becomes your role model too, then the person would surely become your best friend. I felt this in class 10, so finally decided to stop the habit of mine of making rivals and compete with them.

Coming back to the Sukna story, I could do two more classes before May 2. On the last day of my school before leaving for the village, we decided to go to the Shopping Complex near our home in the evening. The shopping complexes in every cantonment are worth visiting. The visit is in no way near to visit of any Multiplex Malls. There might not be shops compared to the multiplexes but the joy in the park, greenery near shops and the friendly storeowners owning shops of various kinds, be it tailor shop, the restaurant, or the shops appealing you to buy ethnic or designer items. All make you jolly. And finally, there is a store selling different fast foods, chocolates or ice cream to relish are the treasure islands, with a difference that you get the treasure when your parents lighten their purses or wallets.

That evening after lunch and roaming around the Complex, we finally ended up in the Ice Cream shop. Dad went to the ATM nearby probably had a small queue and Mom was waiting outside watching both of us, who comes out first would wait for the latter. In the shop, I met with Rupshah. She was with her father, probably also had evening recreation like us. On watching her, I became numb. I did not know then how to react or interact or so and start or proceed with the conversation with a classmate outside school or a girl in or outside the school. Probably God kept more dangerous thing for me. I actually tried to hide my face to see what the ice cream options available were. I did find some different ice cream options, but I already decided then and I know it now too, that my all-time favourite is Choco bar. I was about to move my face to Mom, in order to pretend to ask, what will I take for me, when Rupshah called my name and went further by saying, “Hi! How are you? It’s good to see you again.”

I was dumbstruck having no idea of what to reply. All the emotions of fear, shyness, embarrassment, numbness, silly mind and most of all great belief of Girls versus Boys fight came to my mind. I started ignoring what she was speaking; I even did not give a glance at her face. Probably she thought I did not hear so she repeated her words of greeting. I still gave no heed to her and was about to move face to the shopkeeper, asking if I could open the refrigerator top panel, but I got the nod before I could ask. The shopkeeper gave a nod to both of us and I was a bit further than Rupshah from the panel handle. She was still speaking but I was Dumb, no words at all. Her father was witnessing her and me, so were my parents. My father came from ATM and was with mom, so both might have watched my actions from far. For God’s sake they did not come near, a thing I still thank God for saving me that day. Else, I would have struck in Natural Disaster of Anger wrath of both Mom and Dad. She finally while opening the panel asked me what will I take.

“I like Choco bar, you?”
“I like Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry Flavour”
“Great!” said I as I moved towards her, then I faced towards shopkeeper, “Uncle How Much?”
“Do you know him?” asked Rupshah’s before me, enough that it is audible to me. He had a bit anger look on his face.

We bought our Ice creams and said bye to each other though mine was cold and numb. As we were coming out, I saw a bit of unfriendly look on my parents. As I moved my head, I could see Rupshah being scolded in a low tone by her father. Why should not he do so? It was so rude of me not to reply the whole time and her foolishly going on with the conversation, not sensing how rude I was at that time. However, I am a weird Psychopath so I thought, I know that I am not rude but my confused mind and numbed body, and under certain circumstances, I make myself knowingly but uncontrollably appear fully arrogant, rude and unsocial. Unfortunate and foolish me!

Outside, the devil of misfortune was awaiting me. I had my mom and dad ready to thrash me up if I was at the home, but fortunately, we were outside the home, surrounded by people who came for evening recreation to the place of eternity. Dim lights around the road and pavements in the park. Heart touchingly joyous music played at audible enough volume from the speakers present at every street light post. Small children are so jolly at music that they dance at times in the mid of the road, convinced that they can dance there without honks or bell trrings, thanks to no cycle or motor vehicle signboard at the entrance gate of the shopping complex. All of them made my mom speak just four words,

“Do you know her?”
“Yes, she is my classmate. I met her yesterday only. She is Rupshah. I heard she is good in studies, but you know, boys in our class are much better in studies, even in co-curri……..”
“Why didn’t you respond to her when she was calling you? Are you dumb or you’re a king that you just don’t want to speak to anyone you don’t like to at any moment of time!”

I was speechless. Could not think of anything to reply to.

“No. He is almighty. He will speak only when he thinks the person has prayed enough to make him speak so. He thinks his voice is divine. It is useless for you to scold him or ask him questions here. He needs some special attention at home.”

I clearly understood what dad meant, but did not say anything in fear that my speaking now may worsen the matter. My ice cream was melting faster but I could not gather enough courage to have it. Nevertheless, shameless me, in few minutes of walking home I started having it.

“There’s a shameless boy in this world who deserves punishment. No manners and politeness.”
“I was feeling a bit thirsty.”
“Now you can answer. Why don’t you when you’re before classmates?”

We finally reached home. I felt we reached too early. I wanted to spend completely, the evening there, on way and reach home in the middle of the night, but then I felt, we reached early. It often happens when you know something unpleasant will happen to you on reaching someplace and you have to reach that destination. At home began all punishments, sandals are the best weapon of moms and dads are great with giving a good amount of gift from hand and finally, there was scolding till we reached our village for my Sulakaran. I forgot the incident a bit for I can remember the pain all over my body for a few days, thanks to collective massage that causes green spots at times, prevailing for two or three days.

The whole incident went like forgotten memory as I paid my loan as getting punishments with compound interest every hour like hell. Probably a different hell, where there are sufferings due to scolding and pulling of legs. After Summer Break, I started attending school regularly. We both forgot about the incident. My friends, namely Swarnesh, Vivek and Rupshah, helped me in coping up with my course and classes; I missed during my absence and before admission. Nevertheless, we four were new admissions, who took admission that year, but we helped each other. So in due course of time, we became good friends. I still think now, how they managed a Psychopath in the group, who used to be busy infighting and unknowingly being weird.

The whole year went by. We helped each other in our studies. Even in the year itself, when one misses the class, there was other three ready with notes of different subject and with explanations of chapters taught in class. Nevertheless, we were promoted to class five, there was reshuffling and all of us except Rupshah were in the same section. We three got closer, and some new entries came into our group and we started becoming playmates. Finally, in August, I saw Rupshah with her mom coming to our class teacher while she was teaching in our section, for a signature, as she was leaving next week. I felt bad that we were good friends once, but the same system that teaches us to make new friends, get accustomed to new people, becoming friendlier to them, was responsible for separating best friends. I learnt a lesson that no one except your root, means your parents are your best friends. They will never never leave your side until deathbed.

A year more passed. In class six, I met more people that are new to me. Became friends, but the rest three of us were in the same section, like in class five. Like tradition, new best friends made. Old ones who went to different sections either became good friends or stayed only as friends whom we may meet once in a week or even less. We gave annuals, helping each other. My Father was posted again to Lucknow, so I left that school, some of the traditions but carried new thinking and blended mindset and memories with me to the new school. I took admission there is a new school to get again, new people and new minds with varied mindsets following a tradition unique to that school.

In my then so-called new school had a music teacher whom we loved to call Black Bear for his Beard and his habit of being too jolly, so acting like bit dancing which was our one of the biggest source of laughter and entertainment in the morning assembly. Though we had music classes, we had hobby classes too, where we had to choose one among Art, Modern and Traditional Craft, Indian Music, Western Music, Sports and lots more. There was again a new fight, making me joyous again. Boys versus Girls fight! We used to compete with each other, though it was not unhealthy and unsocial like before. I especially competed with others in academics, art and craft. One day when I was returning from Music Class, which was just before recess, I heard a familiar voice calling me by name and the same words of politeness in greeting that made me turn around at once.

“It’s nice to see you again Rupshah. I never in my wildest dreams thought of this coincidence. How are you?”
“I’m pretty fine. Even I was shocked with this coincidence though it’s a shock for seeing well.”

We talked with each other and lost track of time, standing in the same place and sharing about our experiences after class four or sometimes recollecting my mischiefs in class, for I was quite mischievous. Fortunately, it was hobby class after recess and we had to come to that building complex for the classes, which had different rooms for each hobby class. We finally bade each other goodbye to reach our hobby class.

After that day, we often used to meet for sharing our notes and to talk about what happened all along or so. Unfortunately, being a newly admitted student, I was a victim of bully and made fun of almost every day. I had many temporary friends, probably so because I do not have the ability to speak directly to a new person. However, I never had someone in that school to call an a best friend. Now I had one old friend who too was famous for unusually silent, unsocial and bookworm. Unfortunately, society is an expert at making fun of constructive hard work. My classmates called me rude, unsocial, mischievous, and at last arrogant for I did not have many friends. Like before, being still a bit of a devotee of the Girls versus Boys fight, I was no way easy and friendly to Girls; moreover go numb when I was asked about something. I still have the habit of competing and sometimes that Competition was productive too. In the meantime, I attained few debating skills. I started practising against Rupshah. We used to meet often and debate on random topics and chose a topic for next time. It was so that out of my surprise, I got selected for representing my section in the Interclass debate competition. There were two contestants per section of each class. Rupshah was a classy one in the debate so her selection was for sure.

Finally, it was the competition day on Saturday; we had a great competition among all the participants. We had very fierce but interesting competition among us. I never took in any debate competition before because I never got selected to represent my class or section. For the first time then, I got to know that I love Debate competition. In addition, the fire of the Girls versus Boys fight was so high in me that I thought to use it at the best at the competition. We did our best while complementing each other. Finally, school ended that day after the competition. The results were to be announced on Monday. As I went to the gate for the boarding bus, I saw my Father waiting outside to pick me up. He was quite excited that for the first time I took part in Debate and selected to represent my section. I was too. Nevertheless, outside school, I saw Rupshah’s Father pick her up and our parents were near to each other. They might have seen each other before too in Sukna but probably they never knew each other. As we grow up, we start making boundaries around us demarking our comfort zone, reluctant to meet new people just like that, without any reason. We introduced each other to our parents while saying that we were classmates too in Sukna. Probably it was a big mistake of ours. Rupshah’s father recognised me and my father recognised her, though faintly earlier but later sharply when we uttered the word Sukna. The faces of our parents changed. We moved our homes. The same compound interest payment of scolding me as rude and unsocial began at my home. Now there was a bit of pulling legs too and a bit of praise too in the blend, as my father saw me being social with my classmate outside, though with one person.

We met again next Monday as usual for sharing notes, but she was changed. She said that she would not speak any to me anymore. In the morning assembly, debate results were announced, as usual, she got what she deserved. She ranked 1st among the class six to eight group. Out of Surprise, I was third, though still think how I got. I was happy at my achievement, in a completely new arena, where I never tried to take part in any competition or even know that I was interested in that activity. Still, till-date I remember one sentence she said, “My parents said me not to speak to a rude and unsocial person”.

Life is no different than a Daruma Doll

As I grew up, though, I am still growing and ageing towards maturity, I still love to watch the Animated series. My favourite list is too long but still, I can say one of them is Doraemon. I loved it watching earlier and even now, and among all episodes, I like the one showing Daruma Doll.

Daruma Doll is a doll, that never lies down. It stands, up erect even when thrown, dropped or laid. The main reason behind this is its Centre of Gravity being quite low in the erect position and finally, it’s wobbly nature. All add up to make it stand up soon.

set of daruma dolls in market
Credits: The Walt Disney Company , Source: Wiki

As a whole, this Daruma Doll is a good inspiration for all of us. The characters they possess say a lot of things. Things long enough not to fit in here still can be summarized. Still, let’s see their character as a layman – they don’t stay lied down. They stand up even if dropped ever from a height. It teaches us to stand up whenever we attain failure thus feel low. It teaches us to have patience and perseverance. We must think about the matter, and do a SWAT analysis and see why should achieve your goal and how to achieve it. Making smaller plans and goals for the ultimate goal and forgetting about result actually fetches success and satisfaction.

As a whole, if we see by the viewpoint of Physics, we see its centre of gravity. It’s quite low to the ground. It tells us a very important thing. Whenever you gain success, never forget your starting point. Always stay in touch with ground zero. Always, respect and learn from that. And finally never be arrogant for the same, for it’s your beginning that will help you stand up always to the height of success. So we must learn to be kind and satisfied with whatever we have and achieved to date.

At last, it also inspires you never to give up. Daruma Doll since ages was made from a material that simply makes it enough strong that it does not break easily when dropped. Whenever we fall, we fail, we must never think that we can’t attain success ever. We must think on the matter once again, ponder on the possible reason for our failure. We must stay strong, strong enough to take accountability for our mistakes and failures.

All these do make a person strong, kind, well-motivated and a person satisfied with life, enough to help others get inspired to be a better person. But at last one may think instead putting a title saying something about why one should be like a Daruma Doll, I made it that like is a Daruma doll! Well, thinking second time that even though life has a downfall it still tries to get up, why can’t we? At last it’s never a sin to fall down, but it is really a big sin to not try again.

Light too has Dimensions: Diary Entry #3

Pretty absurd isn’t it? Well, I don’t exactly want to say that the light, which can be both photon particle or its waves depending on the situation. It is a very argued and debated topic since the time I read it in my science book in high school. I mean, I am no scientist, though want to be one someday. I just gained one take-home message from my book and science class is that for several decades, people been arguing about is light a particle or a wave? To be specific, I am no physicist nor I follow any physicist closely. Not because I feel physics to be boring but because neither am I a genius nor can I claim that get lesser bouncers. You may probably understand by now that it’s still something that science fiction movies and sitcoms prefer to cover. One of the favourites to the public has been The Big Bang Theory.

So, where does the title come in? Well, just like many high school students, when they reach the final senior years, some get a lot inspired by science, especially physics, thanks to the Discovery Channel and the internet. And some of them are possibly the biggest souls who mark every point of their faculties in college or school in the initial days of subject introduction and make it till the year-end. Though I am not one of the biggest souls in something good in meaning, I am sometimes in something extraordinarily dumb. Hope this story finds you in perfect humour with a snippet of a message.

So it was monsoons when my senior pre-final year of school officially started after my matriculation. I was probably overflowing with a little dumbness because of my colourful matriculation grades. So our introductory classes in physics included knowing that there are particles called atoms, sub-atomic components like neutrons, etc and further etc. In short sometimes quite interesting if someone teaching you makes it fun. I feel that physics need both seriousness and wits. In the initial days, we were also told about something called dimensions in form of [Mx Lx Tx] where each x denoted a value that may be same or different. So as usual, the derivations and memorisations began. Someone told it right. If you can’t understand it then memorise it and then ask someone to guide you of what you need to understand in there. But teenagers shall always be teenagers, full of stupidity. In one class I heard, Light is what you read in the beginning part, which implies it has no mass and no length and of course it is not a measurement of time. In short, light has no dimensions like some 1D, 2D or 3D or maybe some other D. Thankfully, the same month we were told something about lumens. A way to measure light. But just like the introductory class of Psychology in Young Sheldon’s season four, I was struck and hung up with what is correct. But as simple mind, I decided that I will put that light has no dimensions. To some extend I was correct, provided, if I took a correct inference of what dimension I mean here. Not bad enough, even today, I still am unclear of my inferences at that time.


Every wrong thing in science, in terms of what a human knows, gets corrected at some point of time. I mean often. But for the students, it gets corrected of what they learnt wrong, within the same life. I got one of my internal exams, made it wrong. Got it marked as wrong in my transcript and so did plan to go to our teacher. Sometimes at teens, when you see you end up argue well at home, you get confident that you may repeat the same in your school. Well at that time, it may be sometimes forgotten that our parents feel that we will learn eventually the correct one in due time. But, for our mind, we shall surely get what we think is right. I mean we as teenagers thought that time to be the right. As I reached our teacher’s room, I found that I wasn’t alone. I was also accompanied by some more minds who wanted to argue and get marks awarded and some who simply wanted to know. I mean both dumb like me and wise like someone wise, I guess. After a thirty minutes argument, we saw that our teacher doesn’t give in for that petty one marker. Well, we gave up. Some of us knew why we were wrong but still not ready to accept. Coming back to our benches after that tiresome exercise of vocal cords, I realised two things. One that light does have a different type of dimension to represent it with and, never argue for scientific facts till you know the facts and are competent enough and find out of why what others already found and accept maybe wrong. But while sitting at the table writing this, I feel that it was the thirst of getting awarded with marks that made us do so but in reality, we choose science for the hunger for knowledge to be more curious and have a continued thirst to learn more in life and field of reasoning in mother nature or whatever the science may be described with.

Science v/s Superstition : A tug of war for the Scientists

According to a probably apocryphal story about the famous physicist Niels Bohr, a visitor was once astonished to see a horseshoe hanging on the wall of his home. “Surely you can’t believe in that sort of superstitious nonsense,” said the guest.

“Of course I don’t believe in it,” replied Bohr. “But I understand that it works whether you believe it or not.” As strange as this story sounds, superstitions in the lab are quite common too. And even more incredibly, they might work. Kind of sometimes.

Throwing NaCl Over Your Shoulder or Sugar with Curd before exams

Not too much of a surprise that scientists can be victims of superstition like the rest of us. At the end, they are also humans. Like, for example, Pierre and Marie Curie were somewhat taken with mediums who claimed to have contacted the Afterlife, or that Jack Parsons, a founding member of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, was also heavily involved in both the occult practices of Aleister Crowley and the early days of Scientology.

Of course, what’s even more common are the superstitions and rituals the scientists work out is what gives them inner peace and thus boosts to their work. A 2017 article in Nature got scientists from all different disciplines to admit the sometimes bizarre rituals they rely on to get their desired results. Okay, thats too scientific periodical to follow. Simply proceed to daily news like Washington Post, NewYork Times or Times of India, be it NASA or ISRO, both have a prayer a day before that their project succeeds. Afterall, it’s their brain child brought up and every parent prays to god for success of their children. But then the activity proceeds to different superstitions based on personal and familial beliefs and often maybe rooted to place they belonged to.

portrait of female chemical engineer in laboratory
Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

Taking for an example, “Rock Ness,” a Loch Ness Monster–shaped stone that brings luck to archaeologists at Oregon State University. Some of the documentaries featuring ornithologist Walt Koenig showed that, he thanks the acorn woodpeckers, that he studies in the wild by kissing them on the forehead and telling them “Live long and prosper.” (It’s even better if you know that he shares a name with the actor who played Ensign Chekov on “Star Trek.”) Some rituals do take on a more serious note, too — like in Japan, universities often hold annual memorial services to pay their respects to the animals who died as a result of their experiments. Well thats soul touching!

We understand that humans naturally gravitate toward rituals like these, whether they’re scientifically minded or not. But when you ask some of the well renowned psychologists, they say that it does act as confidence booster and at the same time helps them focus on their work. But what really blew our minds is the fact that there might actually be something to the superstition.

Kind of Real Effect (Maybe All in Your Head)

According to a study put together by Allison Wood Brooks and Juliana Schroeder, rituals can play a very important role in how the human brain deals with stress. They designed a series of anxiety-inducing tasks, including singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” in front of their peers and completing a difficult math test. They also made up a series of random actions that they characterized as a ritual: participants had to draw a picture of how they were feeling, sprinkle salt on the drawing, crumple up the paper, and throw it in the trash. Some participants were made to perform their stressful tasks without completing the ritual first, others were asked to complete the ritual for good luck, and others were asked to perform the exact same ritual but were explicitly told that it was a meaningless series of random instructions.

woman in blue tank top smiling
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

What they found in the study was that the people who performed the ritual as a ritual (and not just as random instructions on paper) showed the least signs of physiological stress. When they had to sing, they sang better, they had lower heart rates, and they reported feeling less anxiety and more peaceful. For the math test, they still reported roughly the same level of anxiety (we all know why, lmao!) — but their performance was still improved and their heart rate showed a feeling of an ease.

So maybe that explains it. Science is sometimes a bit stressful thing to practice, and a little ritual can be the difference between gamely soldiering through a failed experiment and breaking all your pipettes in a fit of frustration. Unless you need to do that for good luck, that is. At the same instance, maybe smart hardwork on the job do fetch better results than one done without.

P.S: I do love black cats, so let’s get away from bad thoughts about them.

black cat walking on road
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Minus Twenty-Five: Diary Entry #2

Schools with just curriculum courses and exams or morning assembly at maximum are just too boring. But then we all may have volumes of happy, sad or spicy memories. Some may even be quite embarrassing ones. What would happen, if you were a part of a school quiz and you need to answer 5 bonuses or 5 points each or 3 answers of 10 points each just to reach a mark of zero? Looks, too funny but even murphy’s law stays at bay with me. So this is a story of maybe class 5 or 6 when our school was celebrating the silver jubilee event of AWES.


Well as some of my friends say, I am a very boring person. Until I got something that I may surely end up messing with, so was that day. The morning was jolly with a breeze remnant of the heavy shower the night ago. My mind empty and carefree, for both fear and some crucial knowledge to face the day, just like many average students in primary and middle schools. I got ready to go with my Maternal Uncle (mom’s brother) to the seats meant for parents and guardians. No, no, it’s not that my father was too busy or my mom too tired to accompany me to the school event. But the event also had a quiz competition I participated in; I felt my mom dad will be a bit less confident to face it though they may know the answers. I thought it was a foolproof plan. As usual like all other kids in that phase. We had different events set for that day included a cultural mini-food festival to start with dance, singing and Judo talent shows, ending with a quiz. I mean the last event of the day set for was the only event, I left my bed early to attend.


The solo and group dance competition went forth and I was altogether thinking of where the food fest was, alas my cravings were still juicing my patience out. But then I had my best bad luck taste bitter that food fest already ended at another side of the campus and so did my only luck to yummm… I mean I literally lied and skipped breakfast for the sake of tasting and contenting my tongue for the various spices of Indian dishes of different parts of India. Still, I let myself behold the visual delicacy of martial artists who came as showstoppers in the Judo talent show and not the competition. The competition wasn’t a part of the schedule for we had lesser students taking part in it and so was the stage not ready to accept them. But at the last after the declaration of all results came the quiz which I thought they made out of schedule as I was very desperate to get past the final round of stage. I mean the initial qualification stages were unknown to me for I don’t know how to get past the questionnaires of the written quiz but maybe it was just a chance of luck or maybe they wanted a mid-school child to be among the finalists. Till date, I simply keep that part to just maybe, because it wasn’t an exciting moment of my heart winning from my brain or the feared moments of darker moments as per my brain.


So came the quiz, I somehow got on stage with my makeshift guardian participant (P.S – He till that time didn’t have a single idea that I signed up for student guardian quiz competition with him). Questions came in and so my spontaneity to create blunders in answering. I successfully gained 10 correct points to answer one question meant to our table and further gained 40 negative points to finally set my score to minus thirty. I was spontaneous but at the same time happy as the crowd enjoyed my inventive answers for questions I never understood well. Maybe I didn’t know the answers, but I was equally semi-deficit in listening skills. So it was the last bonus question and the question was something to do with the achievement of Sabana Azmi. Yes, the very renowned and well-appreciated personality of the Indian Entertainment Industry or Bollywood but at that age, I was clueless of who she was when my Uncle said the answer. Maybe it is best-kept mouth shut. I now feel his laughter with partial embarrassment on stage that day. But I learnt one thing, I gotta think something about my redundant listening skills and thinking twice before I leap. Our score was minus twenty-five. Nice score if taken in the positive direction for the second got fifteen points for that rank. Maybe I just needed someone to make a vertical dash on an already horizontal one.


Well, that Be-positive attitude continued with me getting a Current affairs book on my birthday that year. I wish someone swapped that with some fiction in the bookstore. I mean I just wished… because it continued with the book of the current affairs every new year as a present from my father for 4 years.

Can BCG Matrix mean better HR?

When a layman is asked where a company invests. Most will ask about the organisational structure which is quite nominal but when the answer some do tend to forget that the employees are also an asset, in-short a very complex investment in terms of money, trust, time and whatnot. Though we say so, we never simply could apply the capital investment ideas directly in Human resources. We always want to divert resources of our mind thinking that a big company is big and having a mammoth growth rate simply because they estimated the most profitable products and profitable managers, consultants and that’s how their growth rate skyrocketed. Some yet to understand people think of some classic VCR or cellulose era kind of movies that showed about throwing money, doing corruption and ruling all. Of course, corruption simply destroys the whole machinery in running but throwing money may not simply be a winning Jackpot always. To the surprise of many, investing all resources in the most profiteering products never always yielded a successful result and this is the idea, which does apply co-incidentally in Human Resource.

Pic Credits: PandoLogic

Today most of the Companies try to analyse or approach a consultancy to get analysed many factors waiting to act as a sunny day or a thunderstorm when it comes to creating strategies about allocating the right resources to their different departments as they would have done while investing in different products. Here’s a widely used framework for your reference.

The best thing for Managers since the printing press

The Boston Consulting Group (a leading Management consulting firm) devised the Growth-share matrix in 1968 to aid organisations in evaluating and allocating resources to their different product lines. The matrix has been used since 1968 to help companies gain insights on what products best help them capitalize on market share growth opportunities. Meanwhile, some of the companies have adopted it while hiring in their own company.Reeves Martin, senior partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group said that nearly 50 years after its inception, the BCG matrix remains a valuable tool for helping companies understand their potential.Here the x-axis shows a product line’s market share and the y-axis shows the product line’s growth rate. We, therefore, have four quadrants as follows:

bcg matrix

Stars: Product has a higher market share with its Industry growing rapidly
Cash cows: Product has a higher market share with its Industry slowly growing
Question mark or Problem child: Product has a lower market share with its Industry growing rapidly
Dogs: Product has low market share and Industry slowly growing

Typically, when any company launches a product, it starts as a Question mark or simply the problem child. The product will have a low market share with a fast-growing industry. If nurtured well (with the right investment, strategy, and people), the Problem child can turn into a Star i.e. a high market share company relatively fast-growing market.

Although Stars typically need an ongoing investment for the organisation to retain their market dominance, fend off existing & upcoming competition, meanwhile, sometimes to keep growing the market, it is loved by everyone in the market. As the industry reaches a certain size and starts slowing down, Stars turn into Cash cows – products that have a high market share in a slow industry/environment.

Cash cows are “boring” because both growth and innovation are slow, but they are highly valuable in terms of generating profits for the company. Despite that fact, the company keeps “milking” the Cash cow. As the industry slows down further or as more competition enters the industry seeing the Cash cow’s high profitability, the Cash cow slowly loses its market share and becomes finally a Dog – with a low market share in a slow-growing industry. Dogs may not be loss-making, but companies like to sell off or shut down Dogs as they reduce the Organisation’s Return on Investment. The hope is always that a Question mark turns into a Star and then a Cash cow. But sometimes, the Question mark turns into a Dog and the company loses money on it.


You can read more about the BCG matrix here: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5693-bcg-matrix.html

How it can be used in HR industry?

The companies evaluate the services & product lines they provide on the BCG matrix and see how the organisation is allocating resources (time, people or money) and if there is something which can be changed? Some may say, that it’s quite an indirect way of its effect on Hiring but the truth is it has a multi-directional impact in some mythical flowchart with good lot converging meetups or diverging junctions.

Stars: Candidates or Employees having higher output share as an individual, with career experience and growing rapidly. They do produce great results, clientele inflow, newer investments and increasing profits. The industry’s growth is nearly proportional with expectations from them.

Cash cows: Employees having significant output share with their skills and capabilities slowly growing. These are usually people who have served the company for long with dedication and loyalty. The industry’s growth is though affected by their work, the expectations are simply for profits.

A question mark or Problem child: Often the New Recruits having a low output share but the relation of the company’s projects with its Industry growing rapidly dependent on them too to a significant level.

Dogs: Employees having output share be it direct or indirect. Their output share and project results are slowly growing or improving but at times may turn liability to the company.

The nature of jobs sometimes loses their relationship with what we think as they are. A loyal fourth-grade government employee or their counterpart in the corporate sector has always made a significant contribution to the company but in indirect ways which very fewer people other than an HR person knows. Of course, Mr Pichai was once a newly recruited employee too, but it was the joint investment that we see Google as it is now.

Extra HR Idea: When in doubt, Create a 2*2 Matrix

BCG is one of the most popular examples of a 2*2 Matrix. But such matrices can also be used in a few question areas to define a reliable solution even in your personal life. One such example is the cost-benefit analysis where on a 2*2 matrix on the x-axis you can show the cost of products and on the y-axis, you can plot the benefits provided by-products. Out of the four combinations high cost- low benefit, high cost – high benefit, low cost – high benefit and low cost – low benefits – the products with lower cost and greater benefits are obviously worth spending your money on.Here’s an example of one such 2*2 matrix published by Harvard Press to help you prioritise the skills to learn right now. It can be accessed at https://hbr.org/2017/09/a-2×2-matrix-to-help-you-prioritize-the-skills-to-learn-right-now

An alternative for another perspective

Though a promising tool, the BCG matrix isn’t for every business. Some companies find they don’t have employees in each quadrant, nor do they have a steady movement of their projects and its members among the quadrants as they progress in their life cycles.
Some experts advocate the use of the GE/McKinsey matrix instead, which offers little more categorization options and measures products according to business unit strength and industry attractiveness rather than market share, the complexity of which may be outside an individual company’s control. Comparing the two models can reveal hidden insights that fuel increased growth for your company. It can be accessed at http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/matrix/ge-mckinsey/

Because finally, employees are not tools but humans who are the biggest natural resource made by nature. The resource that is too inhuman to think about just profiteering though it is never at the expense of downfall.

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A Bond of Dairy Milk: Diary Entry #1

It was a really tiring Tuesday, I can still remember, the incident that took place in the last week of Sweating Summer April. I saw my friend having Dairy Milk, a delicacy that was awesome for me since childhood. She almost finished her last bite and unknowingly, seeing the wrapper I asked her if there was any left. Sometimes even the smallest bite of your desired delicacy shall suffice your desire only if you don’t have a sweet tooth, else that desire to have more sweet delicacy arises bringing a pang of guilt in your mind that you don’t have it. Of course, I deserved the answer as a big “NO” but then god has kept something for me. I was still going to the classroom that was a bit away from our usual Lecture Hall, where we attend most of our Sleeping Pill classes.


Being a psychiatric patient having small memory losses since childhood, I completely forgot that I too had one in my bag. I had the same guilt of not having that packet of Dairy Milk with me in the morning when I saw a Kinder Garden Toddler living in my neighbourhood was given Dairy Milk by her Mom. I had then a strong desire to buy one for me even if I get late to my college. I just went to that shop near my college and bought a packet of Dairy Milk from that shopkeeper who was kind enough to fasten his process of opening his shop that included praying and lighting an incense stick inside and get me late of extra 10 minutes for the morning class. Can’t help when you get good scolding after that while your heart is already content with that possession in your pocket that values equal to an Olympic Medal for you!


Coming back, that friend of mine asked me if I brought an extra Pen. She forgot her in Lecture Hall we just came from. Even though I am a person with a bit of memory loss with a tendency to rush every time, I still make a point that I check my Bag for all necessities, every morning, including an Antiseptic Hand wash and a Comb, to make it a perfect emergency Travel Bag with a shortage of food, which of course, I could buy of on the way. I just in haste brought out a thing from my bag that could create Sensation in my surroundings, for it was the same Dairy Milk packet, I bought that morning. I could clearly feel the sense of butterflies dancing in her stomach. I brought a grand smile to her face. I believe she even forgot that she asked me for a pen and I took the wrong thing out of the bag. A pen was more necessary to her at that moment when the professor inside the class could at any moment turn nasty for not being ready to write her notes cum lecture for the Physiology Practical we were about to do that day.


“Too much chocolate is injurious to health. Can you please share a bite?”, a conversation she started with a smiley on her face that I regret for I knew that I had to deny for the time being. “I’ll give you when the population count is low”, I said to her with a blink of an eye to console her, that did make her frown but that was no other option. I gave her the pen, kept that chocolate inside as if a well-guarded treasure. Whole period I was thinking one thing in my mind. She had a packet once before without sharing it with anyone. Why should I share? Moreover, she could buy her a new one than asking me once but then I felt it was an honest heart that knew no restrictions when to cut short the words that we often see the grownups have mastered how to suppress, blaming to maturity and confining themselves to an invisible set of walls they made virtually but doesn’t actually exist in reality.


Finally, the wait ended and we were allowed to leave for the class ended for that day. We were leaving when I found her at the exit. I shared the glance and said giggling, “Let’s have something to suffice our sweet tooth!” I took the packet out, shared the chocolate shared smiles and then departed to our respective homes, or hostel rooms specifically. From that day every second day, I brought a packet, spending my pocket money for two days and shared a bar of chocolate among ourselves. But now our group grew to five members including we two. It’s the same delicacy that I never share with my dearest cousins and always complain about it when I had to share but now the sense of togetherness among our friends, no less than bros & sis make me forget that. For the first time, I felt such togetherness in my Medical classes.


But every magic has something like an expiry date and time like we see in the Fairy tales, especially in Cinderella. The magical bond of Dairy Milk faded away in just two weeks’ time. Our Semester end tentative dates were announced and we got a bit isolated from each other. Finally, the last Thursday, we were about to have an internal assessment of Practicals of a different subject. That day I asked her what she was studying and there was a bit of anger on her face for she might have been stressed for the exam to be held in few minutes. I got good nasty words that made me sad and made me respond to worsen it. In mere four-five sentences, our conversation ended. We isolated ourselves to our best to prepare well. Exams went by but the communication gap never filled. I later felt regretted for it was my fault. I tried to say SORRY, for my spontaneous rude nature then, but it always went to deaf ears, for there arose a sense of hatred feeling among us, growing as a sapling. To worsen it I later texted her that as she had hatred belief regarding me which I don’t care and I have decided to promise never to talk to her. We later blocked each other on our social accounts. But I later regretted it badly but it was too late.


This Monday I found a stray dog near the Lecture Hall where we attended our classes, I still had a packet of Thursday of which, I removed the wrapper and gave it to that dog. I didn’t have time to check if he actually had, selfish me, I just kept on the floor before him to eat. Today while coming for classes in the morning I suddenly had a sprain on my leg that I couldn’t walk mere few meters to my class and the very first person to notice it and come to me if it could help was not a human but the same dog I gave my heart, unknowingly. Now while writing this I feel, where have our education system has brought us? A place where we work harder to get degrees, thereby fame and money from that, isolating ourselves in invisible boundaries thinking them to be walls that don’t actually exist!

Rise of Bookstagram in India

Instagram, an image sharing social media platform has recently expressed a surge in Adolescent and Young adult users throughout the world. For various reasons of usage majorly including selfies, groupies and profile images, Instagram has been experiencing surge to extend that it is having unexplained server outrages recently. But this Facebook platform has witnessed some new usage too including Cosplays, Meme shares, Concert highlights, Event highlights, movie reviews and what not to list, but the very same platform has also seen a rise of budding writers & poets in addition to some of the decent Bookstagrammers.

Bookstagram, an urban dictionary word, where it literally means book promo, review and book selfies, which is now fuelled by decreasing effective data prices, increasing Instagram users and a generation of selfie and photography loving readers. If we see Instagram, then we can find a whole new world in the community of readers and amateur literature critics. The best part is, it is saving this world by preserving the culture of literary criticism and promotion, also, to increase in reading trends. A trend which is showing quite a positive benefit and a promising future if that pace at which it is increasing does continue in future too.

What constitutes in the activity of Bookstagramming?

  • 1.  Buying the book from stores and reading it to put a decent picture of the book with a matching background layout. Thanks to online stores like Amazon, Flipkart, etc the book purchase expense have reduced significantly.
  • 2.  Often the work ends with a decent review with a lovely image of the book with a layout.
  • 3.  Sometimes doing a promo of self or the book by tagging and related methods common in all social media platforms.

Now the question arises, what kind of books are read?

Well, the books are often the latest releases, thus an effective threat to existing books, literary legends and classics. Presently rise of books written in English looks to have a deep potential to undermine the culture and our own Indian languages. 

           The books rarely constituted Western classics earlier. But when the trend of Bookstagram began, due to increasing manpower donating volunteers throughout the world we have seen a rise in paperback digitisation and increase in eBooks. Surprisingly it is a very positive thing. Now people read the sample in the form of eBook and place the order of printed paperback at Online Stores. But there has been a different section too like me who do like the eBooks to read the literature. Thanks to increasing Kindle format availability and device simplicity, we have seen an increase in pages read yearly. As per KDP reports, the monthly funds for royalty has always been more than 12 million dollars on Kindle format itself, and for God sake, we still need to have a multidimensional multiplatform study to accurately quantify the actual legitimate reads or illegitimate reads via pirated eBook copies. 

           This new trend has resulted in a slow increase in the expansion rate of the publishing industry. Thanks to platforms of self-publishing, more people have entered in the community of avid readers and aspiring writers. Now we daily see some or the other book club meets in different cities lately. For example, we have “My Secret Bookshelf” founded by our own daughter of Assam, Antara Bhattacharjee, whose activities of Book Club meets, promoting book reading among youths and further support to aspiring writers have been extensively covered by ou regional daily, The Sentinel and few other national dailies too. The book review programs have lately taken a good boom even in Assam, which many used to say to be not in Pan Indian vicinity because of their conservative thoughts or maybe other reasons best not spoken of. Most of the review programs have created a bunch of mentors and literary critics who have themselves developed their own personality too due to the hobby of reading books. And in a great number of cases, these books are gifted to reviewers and made in low prices for sale on online stores, just to inculcate and increase reading habits among the general public.

Published with due permission from the image rights owner. Not for reshare without credits.

           I have lately experienced that avid reading and putting thoughts over social media does have a good impact on myself too. Just like a recent study that found that social media likes are like a reward of candies to youth similarly engagement on posts have been quite motivating for me. I have begun reading a good number of books lately, crossing 22 new novels read this year till September just due to those non-monetary rewards. Well reading the texts containing thoughts, ideas, dreams, fantasies and vividly different knowledge arenas are certainly helpful, till it does not reach to extend of negatively affecting regular course studies or daily activities. And I believe the increase in reading speed does have a very positive impact on a student for his or her own academics too till they got self-discipline of making a proper schedule of doing what and when. Until then, this social media usage trend is a very positive and sustainable trend. 

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Let’s Combat Overthinking

Problems! We all have them. Some are small, others are big, while some may be grave, yet we face it. But whatever life is throwing on our way, one thing always remains true: We think about them. We think about the solutions and our worries, whether it’s productive or not, though not applicable to one who love to close their eyes, ears and mind to the problems.

However, sometimes this thinking can become so constant that it’s almost impossible to stop. But if we want to take action in our lives and live in the moment, we need to learn to stop it and that is the actual demand of time. The problem that we’ve all experienced in our lives, however, is hard to stop thinking about it, the more we try, and the intense our thinking becomes to an extent that we forget that we need to find a solution too for that problem.

So, what can we do? According to almost all religions, many therapists and yes certainly by few psychologists, the way to tackle this is via the art of acceptance and letting go.

So, it was such that when I got detained for not scoring enough in my course exam, I couldn’t think of anything other than quitting. My thoughts were more injurious to me that I forgot that I did get an opportunity to appear for a next attempt. The more I saw of my classmates attending their regular classes in the new level of our course, I felt more of inferiority complex, a sense of mind getting blocked came in, my night dreams were just conquered by my results and I couldn’t see much solution other than moving from denial to self-isolation. Well it was my fault though, but a problem is a problem, be it expected or not. But then I had a few of my friends whom I always stayed in touch to give myself strength and started finding ways to find myself peace and for that, I had to stop overthinking. I tried to search online, talked to a psychologist, a person more inclined to philosophies, who was a friend more than a professional to me. The first thing I learnt is to start learning ways to accept that the problem I have does have a solution and overthinking is never a solution to it. During our conversations, I did make up few points that I felt is good to share for it till date is helping me to get rid of overthinking every time I felt such, which I substantiated with more study on my points.

1) Practice the present moment awareness as much possible

When you intentionally focus your attention on incoming sensory data, such as the feeling of the water on your hands while you wash, it reduces activation of the narrative version of your world.

What does this mean in terms of overthinking?

Whenever you intentionally decide to experience only your direct experiences in a network, simply experiencing information coming into your senses like the sense of water hitting the hands or the feeling of getting warmth in tea, you’re reducing activity in your usual experiences involved in planning, daydreaming and ruminating. The one that holds together our narrative about the world, the culprit involved in overthinking.

Often meditation breathing exercises can work when you’re overthinking because you focus your attention on the sensory experience of your breathe. Your senses become more alive at that moment. You can do this at any stage through the day. Simply tune into your senses. Whether it’s your feet hitting the ground, or your hands touching the coffee mug. The more you do this, the more you’ll rewire the brain to experience the present moment.

2) Learn how to practice acceptance of your failures

If you’ve ever tried to control your thoughts, you must have found that more thoughts seem to arise. It’s like putting out fire with fire, even though it seems like it’s the most logical thing to do at that moment, though it’s no way feasible. Every time we face a problem, our mind gets obsessed thinking of it. It’s not just with the problem but with regular issues too. Instead of treating them like we were the “thought police”, we instead act as a more casual observer for overthinking is the simplest and the laziest thing one can do in the need of time. We must not simply watch our thoughts and always give them plenty of room with no control to shovel them aside. What we must do is to stop denial of reality and create hypothetical situations of pleasing things occurring instead of failures.

3) Understand that everything comes and goes, if good days go, so do bad days

Everything changes, it’s the fundamental law of the universe and the same works for consciousness that comes and goes. We identify ourselves strongly with our fixed appearance, with our body and our personality, and when it changes, we suffer a lot. Realizing this in the heat of the moment can diffuse fear, anger, grasping, and despair. For example, it’s hard to stay angry when you see anger for what it is. Yet, we find it hard to accept and adopt it, though we console our friends with the same lines and had been listening so much till we took admission in Medical Science.

4) Learn to observe your own state of the mind

If you’ve ever read wisdom from the likes of Buddha, Osho or Deepak Chopra, then you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “become an observer of your mind.” Things in this text look so similar. Every day, we see lots of memos and videos over the Internet, especially in social media saying the same but when we come to a point in overthinking, everything goes blank.

But how do we actually go about it?

Becoming the observer of one’s own mind simply means taking a step back from your mind and becoming aware of your thinking patterns and how you’re responding to things. And if you become aware that you are not your thoughts, the life of these thoughts will begin to grow weaker, they will begin to become more and more lifeless. The power of your thoughts lies in the fact that you think they are yours.

5) Learn the art of re-framing

When overthinking gets the better of us, controlling us, it largely involves negative self-talk. Every time you allow this inner dialogue to take shape, it just becomes stronger and more limiting. But as we all know, when these cycles begin to take shape, it can be just a tough to figure out how to break it. This is where a little positive psychology can help, particularly an idea called “Re-framing”. Much of these strategies are going to come down to your observing your mind and watching your thoughts.

Here are 6 ways to re-frame a negative mind-set which I sourced from that very friend:

1) The first step begins consciously identifying the type of inner dialogue or language you use daily. We all have one. What’s yours?

2) Starting noticing when you’re using negative words or phrases. Just make a note of them. Perhaps you can use a journal for this.

3) Now it’s time to pay attention to the times you use them again. What situations are causing you to be negative?

4) Note what you’re feeling, what time of day it is and where you are.

5) When you notice yourself saying something negative in your mind, you can stop your thought by saying “Stop!”. This alone is powerful and will make you aware of how many times you are thinking negatively.

6) Now dig deep inside yourself and ask yourself is your assumptions are true. Are you assuming something is negative when maybe it isn’t? Is there actual evidence that backs up your assumptions?

For example, if you’re telling yourself that you can’t handle something, perhaps you should ask yourself if you can handle it. The second thought feels more hopeful and leads to more creativity. By challenging your thoughts and generalizations – you’re helping yourself to see that they might be irrational and that it’s more useful to think optimistically.

In conclusion

As you can see, these mindful strategies involve similar principles. Here is a checklist to implement all of them:

  • Try to practice focusing on the present moment by focusing more on your senses
  • Accept the thoughts you have and that you can’t forcibly change it but you do can change the situations that were responsible for the begin of those thoughts by working smartly hard in a more organised manner, involving the advice by your mentors with a sense of mind
  • Understand that change is the only constant in the universe so is your bad days temporary. If you’re experiencing uncomfortable emotions and thoughts, realize that it won’t last forever.
  • Take in you that you are not the mind and you don’t have to believe your thoughts.
  • Try to challenge the validity of your thoughts

But at last not forget that these are just a compilation of thoughts and ideas that did work for many, including me. But all these are incomparable to talks with Parents, Mentors, and Best trusted friends. Learn to accept that you may be unique but you are not the only one not okay, so try to live and accept the present and work for a more pleasing future. Try to live and fight the moment, not just survive the day overthinking.

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