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Guilt is an intense emotion that helps one acknowledge their actions and motivates them to improve behavior. It is all right to feel guilty, however, if guilt is unjustified or left unprocessed, it can lead to self-punishing behavior, sadness, anxiety, and disengagement. As the pandemic scenario continues to wreak havoc, more and more people are finding themselves going through an array of emotions. Whether it is working from home, losing a job, losing a loved one, struggling with business, supporting family members and the community, or battling the virus themselves, everyone is impacted in some way or the other.
Dr. Chandni Tugnait, MD (A.M) Psychotherapist, Coach, and Founder-Director, Gateway of Healing shares some of the reasons and solutions to overcome guilt. Some reasons why people are feeling guilty are: spreading the virus by being careless; being healthy and comfortable while others are going through tough times; not being able to save a loved one despite all attempts; not being able to stay with the loved ones when they are battling the virus in isolation; not being able to do the last rites for a family member; unable to control the screen time for children or give them enough time or not being able to be with them physically; doing well financially during the current scenario while most others are crumbling down; being unproductive or demotivated on most days; burdening family with responsibilities.
According to the coach, surviving the virus while many others lost their lives is also a key factor of pandemic guilt. Often called Survivor’s Guilt, it is a mental condition that occurs when a person believes they have done something wrong by surviving a traumatic or tragic event when others did not. The situation is highly distressing and morally challenging. This is resulting in a lot of unjustified guilt as well.
Although, optimum level of guilt drives us to be more cautious, get vaccinated, take care of ourselves and family members, and extend help to whoever we can but there’s more to it than what meets the eye. Intense guilt and shame lead to stress which impacts the hormone levels that in turn impact the immune system, cause inflammation, anxiety, depression, and somatic symptom disorder.
Some ways to manage the feelings of guilt & shame are:
Accept the emotion: Don’t fight the feeling, allow it. Accept the exact reason for feeling the guilt or shame instead of repressing it. The acceptance clears up a lot of muzzled energy.
Quit the negative self-talk: Be mindful of your self-talk. There is no point in reliving the past and criticizing yourself for not doing things differently. Replace negative thoughts with neutral or positive thoughts. Shift the way you think by altering your choice of words.
Take your share of responsibility: Do what you can to support yourself, your family members, co-workers, and the community. Don’t mull over things and act; share responsibility. Help people when you can and also be in a state of gratitude to keep yourself calm and happy.
Nurture yourself: Every day does at least one thing to soothe yourself. Call a friend, sketch or doodle, engage in a hobby, listen to music, read a book, journal your thoughts and feelings, exercise, and meditate.
Practice mindfulness: Be mindful during the day and monitor your behavior. Don’t indulge in emotional eating, binge-watching, excessive sleeping, or increased screen time. It’s okay to overindulge once in a while but let it not be a pattern. Don’t make unhealthy choices to alleviate your guilt. Stay in the present moment.
Practice Self-compassion: We are all in the middle of a crisis. The pandemic is an unmapped dominion and there is no way to be absolutely right. We can only follow the best practices, take precautions and follow the protocol based on the information we have. What would you say to a friend going through guilt and shame at this time? Chances are, you’d be compassionate. Be the same with yourself too.
Block the triggers: Limit the news intake and the time spent on social media. Identify the triggers to control the exposure towards them. Replace this time with exercise, deep breathing, or a power nap to shift the focus and de-stress.
Seek help: There’s no shame in asking for help if you aren’t able to cope with the feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, or anger. Emotional mastery is important to lead a well-balanced life. Consult an expert who can hold the space for you and enable you to take intentional and informed choices.
Find a balance, help yourselves as well as others and be mindful of the present without getting into the extremes of self-denial or self-indulgence. Remember, we are always one choice away from a completely different life. (IANS/JC)
( Survivors Guilt meaning, What is Survivors Guilt, feelings of guilt, Survivors Guilt explained)
Indian origin girls -- New Jersey-based Natasha Peri (11) and Dubai-based Priyamvada Deshmukh (12) -- have been named in the worlds "brightest" students list based on results of above-grade-level testing of 19,000 students across 84 countries, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), a part of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
"Peri, a student at Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementary School, was honored for exceptional performance on the SAT, ACT, or similar assessment is taken as part of the CTY Talent Search," said a statement from the CTY.
Deshmukh, a student of GEMS Modern Academy, Dubai, has been honored for her exceptional performance on the SCAT assessment taken as part of the CTY Talent Search, a university statement said.
She was one of nearly 19,000 students from 84 countries who joined CTY in the 2019-21 Talent Search years. CTY uses above-grade-level testing to identify advanced students from around the world and provide a clear picture of their true academic abilities.
Peri took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2021 when she was in Grade 5. Her results in the verbal and quantitative sections leveled with the 90th percentile of advanced Grade 8 performance.
"This motivates me to do more," she said, adding that doodling and reading J.R.R Tolkien's novels may have worked for her.
Deshmukh took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2020 when she was still in Grade 6. Her results in the verbal sections leveled with the advanced Grade 10 performance. She made the cut for Johns Hopkins CTY 'High Honors Awards'.
Due to the Covid19, induced delay in Global logistics support, she finally received her much-awaited "High Honors" pin this week, which she lovingly kept in front of her Grandparents photograph as a tribute to her roots.
The delay in officially getting the certificates did not stop her from attending the summer program at John Hopkins University's CTY in English literature where she studied the confluence of Art and Science in literary writing and completed the course scoring 'A' Grade.
She followed up with top-scoring the second level of Asset Talent Examination which also qualified her for the summer program at Northwestern University this year, where she is learning about world-building in fiction writing this year.
Her elder brother was among the first UAE students to have cleared the Duke University TIP (Talent Identification Programme) when he was in Class 8.
Her parents joke that it's nothing but routine sibling rivalry that she wanted to achieve the same, just a year ahead of her brother. Even though she loves Physics and Computer Science as subjects, unlike her elder brother (who is Chancellor's Scholarship holder student of Astro Physics at the University of Massachusetts), Deshmukh wants to pursue humanities and literature when she goes to college five years down the lane.
As part of Johns Hopkins policy, granular information is not broken down by age or race.
Likewise, it is left to the guardian to disclose the prodigy's name. Within the US, awardees come from all 50 US states.
"We are thrilled to celebrate these students," said Virginia Roach, CTY's executive director.
"In a year that was anything but ordinary, their love of learning shined through, and we are excited to help cultivate their growth as scholars and citizens throughout high school, college, and beyond," Roach added.
The quantitative section of the Johns Hopkins CTY test measures the ability to see relationships between quantities expressed in mathematical terms, the verbal section measures understanding of the meaning of words and the relationships between them.
Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.
Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.
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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.
In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.
The herb has rounded leaves.Pixabay
There are more than 60 varieties of basil, with sweet basil being one of the most widely used. The herb has rounded leaves that are often pointed. It is a bright green plant, although some varieties have hints of purple or red in their leaves, basil makes a colorful and flavorful addition to many different dishes.
It has been observed that many of the cooks use basil to thicken their dessert instead of using any artificial/ unhealthy powder to do so. Sometimes people are not able to differentiate between Chia seeds and basil seeds, to make it clear basil seeds are different in nature they are larger and a bit duller in their color. These herbs are used in various recipes as a cooling component in desserts, drinks, and fruit juices for refreshment, also beating the summer heat.
For better digestion, weight loss, and immune system, I suggest this simple recipe which can be easily made at home:
*Take 2 tsp of Basil seeds (sabja) + Add in 1/2 liter of water +10 mint leaves crushed
*1/2 tsp cinnamon powder + A little bit of sendha salt (pink Himalayan salt)
*Or to make a sweeter version one can add organic honey.
*Mix it well and drink it.
This recipe will help to flush out toxins from our body making it feel light and healthy. (IANS/SP)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)