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Can We ‘Catch’ the Moods and Emotions of our Friends like Common Cold? Researchers say ‘Yes’! Read to know more!

If findings from a new study are believed, researchers suggest emotions are contagious!

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Researchers at the University of Warwick believe that it is possible for individuals to catch both positive and negative moods of the people they interact with. Pixabay

United Kingdom, October 19, 2017 : We all know yawing is contagious – if we look at a person yawn, we tend to yawn too. But can interactions or merely looking at another individual make us experience the same emotions that they are going through?

If findings from a new study are believed, researchers suggest emotions are contagious!

Researchers at the University of Warwick believe that it is possible for individuals to catch both positive and negative moods of the people they interact with.

The study has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science and sheds light on the importance of choosing the right company.

As part of the study, researchers analyzed a volunteering group of US teenagers and recorded their behavioral patterns and changes, with respect to their interaction with their peers.

The research observed that an increasing number of individuals experienced low and upsetting mood and were more likely to have mood swings with friends who were upset. On the other hand, individuals with a cheerful and happy peer group were recorded to remain happier, in general.

ALSO READ Do You Only Experience Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Surprise, Fear and Disgust? Not Anymore! Researchers Discover 27 Different States of Human Emotions

Researchers largely understand this phenomenon as ‘emotional contagion’ and attribute it as a three-step process by which an individual ‘catches’ another person’s feelings.

The process can be better understood as follows,

  • Stage I: Non-conscious mimicry: In this stage, individuals copy another person’s gesticulations, behavior, or expressions.
  • Stage II: In this stage, people share an internal feedback. Because you mimicked your friend’s frown, you begin to feel low too.
  • Stage III: In the final stage, individuals are believed to share their experiences with their friends until their reactions, and emotions are synchronized.

The science of emotional contagion goes back to 400 B.C., when Hippocrates, the founder of medicine, observed that some women seemed to transfer “hysteria” to one another

The tendency to ‘catch’ another person’s emotions is not new- the first record dates back to 400 BC when Hippocrates, the founder of medicine, realized that some women were possibly transferring ‘hysteria’ to each-other. However,  it was only in the recent past that researchers have begun to analyze the dynamics behind the contagious nature of feelings and emotions in human relationships.

Thus, it is possible that you may unknowingly begin imitating an upset friend’s behavior when you were having a good day yourself, and in turn begin to morph into an unhappy state yourself.

Researchers assert there are two aims of social interactions and communication.

According to Professor Frances Griffiths, the co-author of the study, there are multiple components of mood that can spread socially.

According to him, a primary aim of social interventions could be for the development and maintenance of friendly relationships to reduce the likelihood of depression. “A secondary aim could be to reduce spreading of negative mood,” he said.

The contagious nature of emotions can become increasingly amplified when people are in frequent contact with one another.

Thus, the study places emphasis on the need to wisely choose the company you keep, so that you can potentially catch other people’s good moods, rather than their upset, low or bad moods.

While it does not suggest that you should abandon a friend who s upset, what the study certainly says is that you must seclude yourself if you have a serial moaner in your peer circle.

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You Better Not Give These Flowers to the People you Love! A Deeper look into Flowers and their Meanings

Flowers with their gorgeous hues and intricate patterns have held symbolic meanings for centuries

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Every flower conveys a deeper meaning. Hence, there are some flowers that you should not present to the people you love. Pixabay

How many times have you told your father that you love him? How often have you thanked your teacher for always being the light of your life? Was it easy telling your partner how you feel about them? As humans, our words sometimes restrict us. Overwhelmed by emotions, we find it hard to express how we feel.  We say, “I don’t have words to say.” We say we are lost for words. It is in these moments that flowers give us back the words we need. Without any formal idea, we all assume flowers and their meanings and use them to convey emotions.

We have long relied on flowers to convey emotions and messages when words failed. Haven’t you surprised your partner with a bunch of roses without a reason sometimes? Why do you instinctively carry flowers to see patients in a hospital?

flowers and their meanings
Every flower conveys a differing meaning. Pixabay

Flowers have deeper meanings and whether we know them or not, we attempt to convey our messages using gorgeous blossoms!

Flowers have a language, and the larger world understands it as Floriography.

Beginning Of The Language of Flowers

Flowers with their gorgeous hues and intricate patterns have held symbolic meanings for centuries and had been in use to convey messages in Persia and the Middle East since times immemorial. However, floriography did not see the light of the day until the late 19th century England.

It was in the Victorian Era, in societies governed by strict rules and etiquette that flowers came to have a secret language. However, it was not not easy to decode the numerous flowers and their meanings.

With the publication of various flower dictionaries, the language of flowers came to the masses, and evoked different meaning of plants, flowers and herbs. It was then that floriography emerged and spread as a tradition throughout England.

Floriography And Victorian Floral Arrangements

19th century England was nothing in ideology as depicted in the books written at the time. While books of the time were obsessed with romance, citizens did not enjoy the privilege to express affection openly; the expression of romance was relentlessly constrained in a society that had very strict rules around interaction between the genders.

Women from the Victorian Era would categorically carry small bouquets to evade the bad odor coming from the streets. The scent of the flowers would not only block the smells, but also announce their arrival through its freshness and added to their beauty.

flowers and their meanings
Women in the Victorian Era used to walk in the streets with small bouquets in their hands. These bouquets were called ‘Nosegays’ (Representative image) Pixabay

 

Nosegays, as these bouquets were called, were the first means for communicating secret messages by the use of flowers. Men would gift the women they admired with nosegays arranged in a specific pattern, conveying complex, however detailed messages.

Victorian flower arrangements had more than what met the eye. Each flower in the nosegays conveyed different meaning. Not only did the flowers alter meanings, the pattern in which they were arranged would convey different emotions.

The women-folk would indicate their response to the message by the manner in which they held the nosegays; a nosegay held against the chest would mean an acceptance of the message while holding it pointing downwards would mean a rejection.

Flowers And Their Meanings

Today, very few people can decode different flowers and their meanings. If anything at all, they know that red roses denote love, orchids are for beauty, olives mean peace and forget-me-nots are well, a reminder to never forget about me.

Choosing The Right Flowers

If paid attention, it is not very difficult to understand the different flowers and their meanings.

Convey emotions through the language of flowers; when words fall short, let the art of floriography convey what the heart desires.

But you must be careful when selecting a flower! While every flower carries a deeper meaning, not every flower may convey what you intend to.

ALSO READ These 3 Blooming Flowers Will Bring Positive Aura To Your Home!

Each flower has its own meaning, and that can vary according to the flower’s hue. Did you know that a single-colored Carnation symbolizes a ‘yes’ when a striped Carnation is associated with a firm ‘no’?

Here is a list that talks about different flowers and their meanings; a list that entails the flowers that you should better not give to someone if you wish to show your affection or convey their importance in your life,

 1. Carnations

What does the Carnation flower mean?

Carnations are found in a variety of colors and each hue symbolizes a unique and rich association. White carnations suggest pure love and innocence, whereas dark red carnations are for deep love and affection, pride and admiration.

Wondering about the meaning of pink carnations? It is believed that pink carnations first appeared on the earth with Virgin Mary’s tears and have been hence, believed to symbolize a mother’s undying love.

While carnations in general mean affection and pride, beware to never present striped or yellow carnations to your beloved.

Yellow carnations means hate. So the next time someone gets you some yellow carnations, you might as well imagine them saying, “I loathe you!”

On the other hand, striped carnations for simply mean “no”. Because they are a mix of colors, striped carnations are a gentler way to simply mean refusal. When paired with another solid color, they strongly express regret.

flowers and their meanings
Striped Carnations. Pixabay

2. Marigold

What does the Marigold mean?

Early Christians placed flowers on Virgin Mary’s altar in place of coins, which is where the flower Marigold gets its name from; it is believed to mean ‘Mary’s Gold’.

Marigold is associated with the sun – it is bright, vibrant and yellow.

However, Marigolds are also symbolic of cruelty and grief. The blooming flower is believed to denote strong passion to the extent that it transcends into jealousy, which is not a positive emotion for any relationship.

flowers and their meanings
Marigold blossoms. Pixabay

In Victorian Era, Marigold symbolized the desire for riches, and the flower is also hence believed to utter a call of desperation; definitely not an emotion you would want to present somebody.

3. Anemone

What does the anemone flower mean?

Stories about anemone flowers mostly circle around death, which is why the anemone flower is often linked with being abandoned and forsaken.

Tracing its roots in the Greek mythology, the Anemone flowers are believed to have sprung out of Aphrodite’s tears as she mourned the death of Adonis, the love of her life. Henceforth, the Anemone flowers have been interpreted as a symbol of dying love, or the departure of a love that will never return.

flowers and their meanings
Red Anemone flowers. Pixabay

A flower to express distance between two people, a bunch of anemone flowers simply mean “I feel abandoned”.

4. Yellow rose

What does a yellow rose mean?

We have all grown up believing that a red rose stands for love and affection, a white rose means purity and a yellow rose symbolizes friendship. But that is where we are wrong!

In the Victorian Era, the color yellow was associated with negative connotations, ranging from lukewarm affection to jealousy.

A yellow rose hence, represents jealousy and infidelity. It may also mean diminishing emotions, a love that is nearing its end. Yellow rose may also mean farewell, combined with a hint of sorrow.

The association of yellow rose with friendship is believed to be an invention of rose cartels to expand the sale of the flower. Surprisingly, that is the more popularly known (and believed) interpretation, too.

flowers and their meanings
Yellow Rose. Pixabay

It is not very difficult to understand the decode different flowers and their meanings. While there are numerous flowers that express affection, grief, care and concern, there are handfuls that denote negative emotions. Refer to our list the next time you wish to buy flowers for somebody and remember to never get these flowers if you wish to show your affection,

Crocus                               I need some time to think

Lavender                           I do not trust you

Tansy                                Leave me alone

Geranium                          You do not seem right for me

A dried white rose             I would literally die than be with you 

 

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Recognizing Signs of Depression | Lets Talk About It

Depression is more than just ‘low mood'- it is deeper than you think

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Feeling moody or low from time to time is normal, but depression is something entirely different. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 11, 2017 : Being unhappy is not synonymous with depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is a constant state of low mood and an aversion to activity that can alter a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and a sense of general well being. People suffering from depression may feel anxious, empty, helpless, worthless, hopeless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless – and sometimes all of this at the same time. These can largely be viewed as both outcome and signs of depression.

Feeling moody or low from time to time is normal; these are natural emotions which when experienced in regular intervals are healthy. However, some people experience these feelings deeply. And contrary to popular belief, they may not be able to ‘snap out of it’ for long periods that might last up to weeks, months or even years.  What is further a cause of concern is that sometimes, these behaviors and mood swings are without any apparent reason. While signs of depression may be hard to point, they are not entirely invisible.

Signs of Depression

Depression is more than just ‘low mood’- it is a serious situation that can affect an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health.

But how can we know that an individual may be suffering from depression, are there any warning signs of depression?

Feeling sad is a part of depression, but the illness can present itself in a variety of other ways. If observed closely, one can figure out signs of depression in people.

The following can be broadly understood as signs of depression that can motivate an individual to seek professional help,

1. BODY : You have unexplained pain

According to the Mayo Clinic, unexplained pain, for example, back aches or migraines can be one of the first or only signs of depression. In fact, pain and depression often comprise a complimentary relationship. If your depression is causing you pain, this can influence you to feel additionally depressed which may further the pain. In addition, this ‘unexplained’ pain can give rise to a host of other problems like stress, low confidence, restlessness and you may even face difficulties falling asleep.

2. SLEEP : You sleep excessively – or too little

According to experts and numerous researches published in health-related journals, sleeping for extended hours is interpreted as escapism behavior.

You may wind up in bed and feel like staying there for hours, take naps whenever you can during the day. Depression can force you to feel immobile. Or it can cause you to remain awake till late in the night-tossing and turning and worrying.

Sleeping too much or too less comes with its own set of drawbacks. You may feel worn out and drowsy from a lot of rest which can make you feel even more terrible. Unrest due to long sleep hours will make you likely to sleep more and thereafter face even more trouble falling asleep at night.

3. WEIGHT : Your eating patterns have changed

Depression can alter your life in more ways than one. While some symptoms will be easier to notice, you might not be able to point out others until a while. Depression can influence major parts of your life, like your dietary patterns.

You may encounter a loss of appetite and a diminished enthusiasm for all activities that involve food. It can also have the inverse impact, making you more likely to attempt to mitigate yourself by greedily consuming food. Furthermore, if you suddenly find yourself binge eating or indulging in junk food, you might need to speak with your specialist about depression.

4. COGNITIVE : You may feel confused

If you are experiencing trouble concentrating, or settling on choices on a practically regular routine, it could be a sign of depression. You may experience unfocused thinking, or wavering attention. This can in turn take a toll on your memory and the ability to make sound judgment.

Have you been looking for excuses to delay work? A confused mind may influence you to overlook work deadlines and also motivate you to forego errands. Worst case scenario, it may even lead you to engage in unhealthy and risky behavior.

5. MOOD : You may feel extremely emotional

Although it is a common viewpoint to associate depression with sadness, it can also manifest into a host of other experiences. Depression may make you feel disturbed or angry over things you would have ordinarily ignored. Or you might experience sudden emotional outburst – incessantly crying for no particular reason. You may feel distant and not be able to relate to activities and people who were previously a part of your routine.

If you find yourself indulging in extreme emotional behavior, you might actually be depressed.

– Prepeared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter : SohaKala

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Know the Truth behind Mental Blocks in the Human Body

A mental block affects one’s ability to perform a mental action, creativity, skill, career or life

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Mental Blocks in the Human Body
A human being is always thinking about multiple things which leads to complexity of thoughts. Pixabay

July 10, 2017: 

– by Surbhi Dhawan

Tension has surrounded us as the inevitable guest of our lives. Everyone is stressed today, be it a student or a well-settled man. These pressures highly affect our lives in a negative way and then efforts are made to withdraw these tensions out of our lives. These efforts are very fair on their part because who doesn’t want to stay happy? Who does not want to be ahead? Who wants to be left out, when the whole world is moving forward? The solution is not the perception of this world as enchantment and illusion. The solution lies in clearing the mental blocks in the atmosphere.

A mental block affects one’s ability to perform a mental action, creativity, skill, career or life. It is an unmanageable suppression of painful, unwanted thoughts or memories. An emotional turmoil is the cause of the majority of mental blocks. There is a possibility that a wrong choice might make a student realize that it was not his cup of tea and cause mental blocks. Performance concern might make an athlete lose focus. These mental blocks are a mixture of the memory of incidents and emotions related to that incidents and it is essential to remove both of them.

We can’t keep on accumulating these mental blocks; there is a need to liberate them. There are many ways through which you can release these mental blocks. The first step in tackling these blocks is acceptance. Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, a senior consultant neurologist says “Understand that it can happen to anyone around you. Take a break, relax, find other interests and pursue them. Instead fact, activities like yoga can be of great help. If nothing is effective, do not give up. Seek professional help.”

It’s not necessary for a mental block to be sudden. Dr C.J. John, chief psychiatrist of Medical Trust Hospital, Kochi feels that some events might trigger suppressed memories and unconsciously block emotions. This can range from witnessing a death to a traumatic sexual abuse. There is no definite reason to why the mind acts this way and obsessing about it doesn’t actually help much.

Dr John further helps to give solution by saying that there is a need to address the aspect that bothers you and engage in confidence-building activities, in place of getting tormented. He gives the ideal advice of focusing on life above materialism, he also suggests people to be contented in their life and choose peace over worries. There is a need to start afresh in life which involves letting go your past. If you are not happy with your present job, change your job, if you are not happy with the present situation; change your plan of action. Indulge yourself in a new lifestyle and know your priorities and make a suitable schedule for yourself.

Relaxation is also one way by which you can get detoxed. Psychotherapy can also help us to declutter these mental blocks. It includes treating mental disorder through psychological means, by working on emotional and mental state of a person.  Despite them, meditation is the most important and effective in clearing mental blocks. It’s the most successful method in getting rid of the mental blocks. It helps to flushes out the emotions and also the memory related to that emotion. You can get completely get relieved of these mental blocks after practicing meditation regularly.

For everyone around, who is living a busy life, a target-oriented life, escaping mental blocks is nearly impossible. There is a need to cultivate the capacity to deal well with the fast pace. It just needs a simple similar effort on your part as needed in clearing a cluttered room. Reorder the things in your life and break the mental wall that blocks your way. 

– by Surbhi Dhawan. twitter @surbhi_dhawan