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Accept the exact reason for feeling the guilt or shame instead of repressing it. Pixabay

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.

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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.

Guilt is an intense emotion that helps one acknowledge their actions and motivates them to improve behavior. Pixabay

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.

The acceptance clears up a lot of muzzled energy. Pixabay

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.

Be mindful during the day and monitor your behavior. Pixabay

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.

ALSO READ: Shame and Sense of Guilt Using Inhalers at Work Prevents Asthma Sufferers from Working to Their Full Potential

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)


Photo by Rob Pumphrey on Unsplash

Basil Leaves

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.

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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

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.

ALSO READ: Can You Drink Coffee While You're Pregnant?

"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.

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