Positive Psychology

https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/can-gratitude-really-build-better-mental-health?fbclid=IwAR3X43MUNx-7noV0AT3et2dvIPWeJZDpF_ug-ppYAtHYPlVT-

Hello Zeenat,

It was lovely to hear you at the Bipolar Conference. You were very engaging and emphatic.

I am a journalist working with a Singapore based health website, PatientsEngage.  It is a social enterprise aimed to provide support to patients, caregivers and other stakeholders in the management of chronic conditions. We endeavour to highlight methods and medications that help triumph over illnesses and health complications.

The questions for the interview are listed below. The focus is on –

Positive Psychology and its Effectiveness in Bipolar Disorder.’

Thank you.

Regards,

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Questions 

  • At a recent conference on Bipolar Disorder, you spoke about how positive psychology can help adults with depression or bipolar. What exactly is positive psychology?

Ans – Positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behaviour with a focus on strengths instead of weakness, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).

The term “positive psychology” is a broad one, encompassing a variety of techniques that encourage people to identify and further develop their own positive emotions, experiences, and character traits.

  • What are the techniques used in positive psychology?

Ans – Psychologist Carol Kauffman, Director of the Coaching and Positive Psychology Initiative at Harvard’s McLean Hospital, discussed four techniques for integrating the principles of positive psychology.

  1. Reverse the focus from negative to positive
  2. Develop a language of strength
  3. Balance the positive and negative
  4. Build strategies that foster hope
  • How do psychologists treat bipolar disorder?

(This is a generic question I feel, not focussed on Positive Psychology)

  • What are the common positive traits in the bipolar spectrum?

(My topic/talk was on Positive Psychology for Mental Health, not specifically for Bipolar Disorder). 

  • In your talk, you mentioned that you were once suffered from depression and have now overcome it successfully? Could you tell us what did you do to manage your depression?

Ans – I was suffering from Depression since very young age, till around I was 40 years’  old. The day I started Yoga and Meditation, I learned many ways to manage my lows, stress and negative thoughts.

Slowly, I started following Yoga, Meditation, Walk, Run, Workouts, Balanced Diet religiously.

I started focusing on what I am good at. Also, I focused on strengthening my emotional/mental/spiritual and social health, made good friends, continued enhancing my knowledge and skills… I still do all these. 

  • As a professional life coach you focus on human empowerment by re-engineering the mindset? What do you mean by this?

Ans – Till the age of around 2 years, we are normally very close to the source(the Universe), hence we do not understand fear, sadness, anger or any such dis-empowering traits. Slowly, as we began to understand languages, relationships, responses, reactions…. We slowly move away from the source and become part of this world. And we start wearing masks family, school, teachers, friends, society offer us.

The day we are hit badly by life and realize things are not the way it would have been… we try figuring out the ways to get back to our natural self.

And to live a meaningful/purposeful life, we must re-engineer our mindsets to start exploring our own self. 

  • Why do you think positive psychology is needed in today’s society?

Ans – There is no other way but to remain positive in all circumstances. I generally talk about 5 types of health, for a fulfilling life. They are;

  1. Physical Health
  2. Mental Health
  3. Emotional Health
  4. Spiritual Health
  5. Social Health

And to achieve all these, we must remain motivated, grateful, peaceful… we have to think positive, feel positive, act positive and live positive. 

  • Could you tell us 5 positive psychology exercises that can help train our brain to be more positive?  
  1. Count your Blessings
  2. Practice Kindness
  3. Learn to live in the present moment
  4. Practice Meditation
  5. Have and follow your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goal

Zeenat Jahan

Difference between Knowledge and Wisdom

“Difference between Knowledge and Wisdom”
Education gives knowledge, Life gives Wisdom.
Knowledge comes from the books; Wisdom comes from situations/struggles.
Wisdom is gained by practicing knowledge.
Knowledge can make you intelligent, but wisdom makes you intellectual.
Knowledge can make you grow materialistically, Wisdom makes you grow spiritually.
To lead, guide, coach, inspire, we need wisdom, not knowledge.
Zeenat Jahan

Humility

Humility is a very integral trait of a strong personality. It is important that we beware of feeling overly proud and conceited.

Humility is the key to the purification of the soul.

Every time, human presumptuousness, insolence, arrogance, elevated self-worth, power go beyond boundaries, perhaps hardship like pandemic/hardship appears, to humble us.

The cause of the pains and wounds that we complain about is the lack of humility and its imperfection in an individual. Because pain is inevitable, so acceptance of this, is humbleness.

But the suffering due to the pain is complaint (Why me/how much/till when), ignorance and lack of humility.

Humility is a natural virtue, and when it gets missing from humanity, nature makes sure that it brings that virtue back in us.

Humility should be apparent in our conduct and in our actions, it should manifest in our lives.

Humility is one of the greatest blessings. Because when a person becomes humble, he acknowledges his weaknesses and defects.

A person who possesses humility keeps his feet on the ground,  he is grateful and always kind to people.

Humility increases our self-confidence, which motivates us to do race to all that is good without putting others down.

Zeenat Jahan

 

Tolerance

Tolerance

Accept the fact that human beings, naturally distinct in their appearances, situations, perceptions, opinions, speeches, behaviors, and values.

Practice tolerance to co-exist with mutual respect and peaceful harmony between conflicting religions and ideologies.

Practice tolerance to encourage freedom of expression and to have the capacity to listen and bear their perceptions, but not to suppress self and others.

Tolerance is the graceful knot that binds the family, the relationships, the society, and keeps the nation intact.

Tolerance teaches us to be calm, composed, strong, sane and well managed. It helps us live a peaceful, happy and harmonious life.

Tolerance doesn’t mean to put oneself down in front of others or to stay quiet or to do unjust with yourself and others.

It does not mean toleration of social injustice or the abandonment or weakening of one’s convictions. It does not mean lack of principles, or lack of seriousness about one’s principles.

Intolerance is evil and painful, and it causes violence and destruction in relationships.

Prevention Of Self Harassment

In one of the Public Speaking sessions,  while there were three hours dedicated to the topic of Prevention Of Sexual Harassment,  I had to make it a little different to keep the audience engaged and interested in the topic, hence I made it to Prevention Of Self Harassment.

Self-protection, self-awareness, self-defense becomes the initial preventive measures when it comes to Prevention Of Sexual Harassment. One has to first take care of his/her self, before the law comes into action.

Prevention from sexual harassment starts from self. You must build yourself in such a way, that people have no choice but to respect you. You have to safeguard your self-respect and dignity all the time. It has been observed that many of us live with very low self-esteem. Although we try to present ourselves as confident and well managed, the reality check happens when we come across any unwelcome situations. We usually live with the fear of losing our self – respect, and in the process we actually lose it. When we learn to respect self, we also start to respect others… which helps in reducing any kind of injustice or harassment.

Self-awareness plays a vital in safe guarding self. There is an ABCDE model to understand our own self. Let us go through the model in detail;

Aspirations  – We aspire to become someone/something in life, which has brought us to the corporate world. What basic aspirations we have entered this world with, obviously to earn respect, name and fame. What kind of mindset/thought process/personality we carry to achieve these? How well defined our goals and actions are. How much clarity do we have to achieve our aspirations?

Belief/Values – What value system do we have? What values keeps us apart from others? What is our belief system? For example, do we believe that to move the corporate ladder of success, we have to compromise on our values, to be people pleaser?

If you believe that it is not right to share what you are going through or if you share, you will be judged and it may hamper your job, and that you are not supposed to be offending your boss or your seniors etc etc. All these are true till the time your fundamental rights are not at others hands. You need to draw a line between respecting others and protecting self.

Be mindful of your personal values. Values create our personality, our own individual brand, which has to be only stronger and clearer.

Commitments – How committed are we towards our own self, what all measures do we take to fulfil our commitments? What are the commitments towards our family, job, employer? What goals do we  have and how focused are we towards achieving them? A regular check on these also helps us in procrastinating our productive time and keeping us away from unnecessary happenings around. There has to be a daily goal to achieve, to remain focussed and dedicated. I am sure, many of us do not believe in having and achieving daily goals, because it requires a lot of efforts, accountability and responsibility. Being committed is not easy either.

Discipline – How disciplined are you towards your goals? What goals do you have and how focused are you towards achieving them? A regular check on these also helps you in procrastinating your productive time and keeping you away from unnecessary happenings around.

As mentioned above the goals you have for life. What are your goals/objectives? You have decided to come out of the four walls of your house to earn respect, to be independent. You have accepted all the challenges you are going to come across during this journey. Having said that, how responsible are you to take the accountability of the consequences of your choices and decisions? How are you going to take care of the competitive unexpected challenges? Blame game is easy, but not the solution. Handling responsibilities with the same enthusiasm as when joined the work is vital. Being in the victimized mode comes to us naturally. There is always a secondary gain, to be a victim, or at least to feel like a victim. So, be aware of this state of affairs at all times.

Emotions – Understanding our emotions is very important, as it’s comes out in our external personality. “When dealing with people, we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, ” Dale Carnegie said this once, to the leaders.  Everything we do, the way we behave, react, respond, interact, our interpersonal relationships, all of these stems from our emotions.

How well aware are we of our emotions? How well do we manage our emotions, for that matter, even others emotions? We always have emotional reasons behind our decisions, actions. We always defend ourselves on our negative emotion based decisions, every time we fail, or put the blame on someone else, for the failures of our decisions. This brings us to vulnerable state. People generally become victims of their emotions and get exploited by others. Hence, learning to manage emotions at work, is of prime importance.

Being emotionally stronger makes our personality stronger. It creates strong self defense/protective vibrations around us. It helps in building strong and powerful personal and inter-personal relationships. It makes us an assertive communicator. Emotional consistency creates emotional empowerment and reduces self-sabotaging, self-criticism, self-harming behaviors.

Online Meeting/Training Etiquette

1. Join early and check your connection, audio and video. Make sure that look and sound professional.

2.  Light should not be behind you.

3. Stay at the center of the screen, not too high, not too low, not too close, not too far away. Keep your camera at your face level.

4. Make the place look professional. You can choose virtual background or fake clean rooms.

5. Make your family aware that, you are attending a live session, to avoid distractions, disturbance and any embarrassing situations.

6. Be formally dressed.

7. Keep an earphone handy, if computer speaker in not effective.

8. Learn the tools like chat, raise hand etc before hand.

9. Remain present mentally throughout the session. You may be called to answer any time, by the speaker. Let the speaker know, while you are done speaking.

10. Do not animate much, sit still, smile, do not fidget. Do not eat.

Remember, though it is online, you are still live. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Lockdown Lessons

Does it also mean to come back in the inner unexplored territory?

Where mind is still, to the core of listening to the cells whispering.

Where breathing became evident as a flow of life force energy.
And in this divine silence, could we hear the soul calling?

Is it a conspiracy planned by the Universe, for us to touch base with the ultimate source?

Are we able to release what is stinking within?

Are we able to see ourselves eye to eye?

Wil it bring any long lasting change in us.
Will this chirping of birds and music of the nature, remain with us?

Is it making us crave for the same, time and again?

Is it the start of “A Self Exploration journey”?

Zeenat Jahan

Prevention of Sexual Harassment

I have been asked to write about POSH. There are two aspects to it… One is the Act-the Judicial aspect itself, which helps in prevention, prohibition and redressal of the issue, and the other is – how as an individual you must prevent yourself from being sexually harassed.

You can get a lot of content on the judicial aspect but today, let us understand how an individual can prevent self from sexual harassment. The act focuses on protecting women employees, but male counterparts are also been victims of SH. Thus, I have tried my level best to keep the entire article gender neutral, barring one or two places.

  1. Subject Knowledge
  2. Self – Awareness
  3. SWOT
  4. Knowing your VBDGC. (Values, Beliefs, Discipline, Goals, Commitment)
  5. Responsibility and Accountability
  6. Communication Style
  7. Self – Respect
  1. Illiteracy is the main cause of all the problems of our life. Being into the learning and development profession, I come across people from different age group, educational and professional backgrounds, and surprisingly many of those so called highly educated and highly qualified professionals are not aware of this act, which puts them into life-long trouble. This law is too stringent. Thus, the first thing is to gain as much knowledge as possible about the act and consequences of the misconduct.
  2. It is very important to know how you behave in public, what kind of personality are you building in other’s eyes…what do you think about your own self, (as your exterior display is the mirror of your thoughts), and how do you respond to the external situations and people. If your personality comes out strong and powerful, trust me people with negative intentions, will maintain distance from you. With powerful thoughts and stern responses, you create very strong aura around you, which is one of the most important preventing measures.
  3. As in other areas of our life, doing a SWOT analysis in preventing self from SH(Sexual Harassment) is equally important…what are those inner strengths you have to fight during not so good circumstances, what are those weaknesses which might attract you to the disrespectful events…those opportunities you may look for and threats you need to keep yourself away from. Post analysis, be active in bringing changes accordingly.
  4. What value and belief systems do you have? Are they still valid in today’s world? If you believe that it is not right to share what you are going through or if you share, you will be judged and it may hamper your job. And that you are not supposed to be offending your boss or your seniors etc etc. All these are true till the time your fundamental rights not at others hand. You need to draw a line between respecting others and protecting self.

How disciplined and committed are you towards your goals? What goals do you have and how focused are you towards achieving them? A regular check on these also helps you in procrastinating your productive time and keeping you away from unnecessary happenings around.

  1. As mentioned above the goals you have for life. What are your goals/objectives? You have decided to come out of the four walls of your house to earn respect, to be independent. You have accepted all the challenges you are going to come across during this journey. Having said that, how responsible are you to take the accountability of the consequences of your choices and decisions? How are you going to take care of the competitive unexpected challenges? Blame game is easy, but not the solution. Handling responsibilities with the same enthusiasm as when joined the work is vital. Being in the victimized mode comes to us naturally. There is always a secondary gain, to be a victim, or atleast to feel like a victim. So, be aware of this state of affairs at all times.
  2. Even being the most important area of our personality, Communication pattern is always ignored. We are either passive or passive/aggressive communicators. It requires a lot of efforts and work on self to be assertive. Most of the time, we choose to keep quiet to avoid any further disharmony, not realizing that this may invite future trouble. Our choice to not responding might give out a wrong message. It might also appear to be our weakness. So, to be able to speak up at the right time, in a right way is crucial for us to live/work with dignity and less stress.
  3. Prevention from sexual harassment starts from self. You must build yourself in such a way, that people have no choice but to respect you. You have to safeguard your self-respect and dignity. It has been observed that many of us live with very low self-esteem. Although we try to present ourselves as confident and well managed, the reality check happens when we come across any unwelcome situations. We usually live with the fear of losing our self – respect, and in the process we actually lose it. When we learn to respect self, we also start to respect others… which helps in reducing any kind of injustice or harassment.

Sexual harassment is not just a ‘women’s issue.’ Both the genders play a significant role in prevention. Acknowledging sexual assault as a social problem and not just the workplace issue, that impacts all persons, regardless of gender, is vital to preventing sexual assault. Thus sensitizing about other gender and being empathetic towards each other will help in reducing the cases of SH.

Zeenat Jahan

Insomnia essence

Why can’t I sleep….Is the question I am getting everyday nowadays.

And my response is;

How do you feel, when you have to sleep at someone else’s place?

Can you sleep on a open road, in a noisy place, in a crowded places?

Do you think, you get a peaceful sleep in your own house, on your bed, with a comfortable night wear?

Similarly, to sleep you close your eyes, to come back home.

(Do you know that, you have a permanent place in the Universe/Cosmos?
That’s the place where you come from basically, spiritually.)

So, as soon as you close your eyes, you reach that place, where there is no one else, no noise, nothing, it’s very calm and peaceful.

And to access this place regularly and quickly, one has to practice it daily for few days.

I have seen people, who want quick fixes for all their problems, like sleeping pills…Quick fixes gives you very temporary outcomes…(And the pharma industry continues to survive).

So, the choice is yours.

If you really want to practice…We can speak further.