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Health & Beauty Tips

Slim-down Drink 1 cup grapefruit or orange juice 2 tsp apple cider vinegar 1 tsp honey stir really well! Drink before each meal. It helps break down fat cells faster and aids in weight loss! Boost your metabolism naturally with this Detox Drink. Try this out for a week. You will drop weight and have TONS ON ENERGY! Sounds yummy!









చుండ్రుకు ఇంటి వైద్యం

పుదీనా ఆకుల్ని మెత్తగా రుబ్బి..కాసిన్ని నీళ్లు కలిపి.. మాడుకు పట్టించి.. గంటన్నర తర్వాత తలస్నానం చేస్తే చుండ్రు తగ్గిపోతుంది.
గోరువెచ్చటి కొబ్బరినూనెను రాత్రిపూట జుట్టు కుదుళ్లకు మర్దన చేయాలి. ఇలా మూడు రోజులు చేస్తే ఫలితం ఉంటుంది.

శీకాకాయ పౌడర్‌ను గోరువెచ్చటి నీటిలో కాసేపు నానబెట్టి తలస్నానం చేస్తే బెటర్.

ముదురు వేపాకుల్ని మెత్తగా గ్రైండ్ చేసి.. తలకు పట్టించాలి.

ఉసిరి, కుంకుడుకాయ, శీకాకాయ పొడులను సమపాళ్లలో కలిపి రెండు లీటర్ల నీటిలో ఉడకబెట్టాలి. కాస్త గట్టిపడ్డాక షాంపూలా వాడితే బాగుంటుంది.

రెండు టేబుల్ స్పూన్ల నిమ్మరసానికి కొంచెం నీళ్లు జోడించి.. వారానికి రెండుసార్లు వాడితే మొండి చుండ్రును వదిలించుకోవచ్చు.

గుడ్డు తెల్లసొనను జుట్టుకు పట్టించి.. గంట తర్వాత స్నానం చేయాలి.




*'మునగ' మునగాకులో పోషక విలువలు పుష్కలం. మునగ ఆకు, కాయల్లో ఔషధగుణాలు ఉండటం వల్ల పాతకాలంలో మూలికావైద్యంలోనూ వాడేవారు. విటమిన్ ఎ, విటమిన్ సి, కాల్షియం, ప్రొటీన్లు దండిగా ఉండే మునగకాయల్ని రకరకాల కూరల్లో కలుపుకుని కూడా వండుకోవచ్చు. సాంబారు, వేపుళ్లు సరేసరి. మునగ మధుమేహులకు ఉపకరిస్తుంది. మానసిక ఆందోళన, తలనొప్పి, ఊపిరితిత్తుల జబ్బుల్ని తగ్గించే శక్తి దీనికుంది. రక్తంలోని చక్కెర నిల్వలను సమతుల్యపరచడమే కాకుండా మంచి కొలెస్ట్రాల్‌ను పెంచి చెడుకొవ్వును తొలగించగలదు మునగ.* 





How to achieve stress-relief while at work?

In todays over competitive world, almost each one of us suffers from stress resulting from one factor or the other. According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in the US in 2007, 75% of the Americans feel that money and work are the two major causes of stress. The following 10 of the best quick stress-relief techniques are simple to use and can be practiced at the workplace itself and will surely help you to manage stress in the middle of a hectic work day!

Meditate. Get short breaks of 5 to 10 minutes every 2 to 3 hours to spend some time with your inner self. When you take these short breaks, think of nothing. Choose a secluded place, if you can choose a place underneath a big tree, it would be great! Relax, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Inhale as deeply as you can and concentrate on your breathing. Once you have filled your lungs full of fresh oxygen, hold your breath as long as you can. Once you have held your breath long enough, exhale as slowly as you can, once again concentrating on your breathing.

Chat. Try and spend some time with your colleagues and catch up with them to do some friendly chit chatting. Make it a point not to talk about anything related to work or business. Some tips for topics that you could discuss would be a new movie which has been recently released, or about a restaurant which serves great food or simply to listen to what your colleague has to share.

Laugh. Keep a humor book handy at your desk. Whenever you feel stressed out grab this book and read a couple of humor anecdotes and if possible (and of course, if the situation permits!) share it with your colleagues too! Everybody is aware that humor is one of the most powerful stress busters and it serves the purpose while you are at work as well!

Organize. Clear-up your desk! Remove all those unwanted papers, organize those files, organize important documents neatly into different folders or files and clear all the clutter. It is very stressful to work in a cluttered work-desk than to get stressed out by the work itself. Once you do this, and your work desk is clean and neatly organized, you will not feel stressed out without any reason. Not anymore!

Chew a gum! According to an article published by, a research by Professor Andrew Scholey says that chewing gum may act as a stress buster in addition to relieving anxiety and boosting alertness. Gum chewers who participated in the research had a 17% reduction in anxiety during mild stress (against non-gum chewers). The study also showed around 10% reductions in moderate stress among gum chewers against non-gum chewers.

Music. Listen to some good and soothing music. Choose some mild music which has a soothing effect on you. Music has long been recommended by most physicians for a range of therapies, stress-relief being one among them. Stop all that you are doing for 5 minutes and just listen to the music. Concentrate on the music and enjoy every beat of it. I guarantee you that once you are done with listening to the music for as less as 5 minutes, your stress would have vanished and you will be totally refreshed.

Say "NO". It is very important for each individual to understand and accept each one of our limits. While we all will be even happier to do all that is possible under the Sun, what is more important is that we need to accept the fact that it is not possible. Whether it is in personal relationships or at work, refuse to accept additional responsibilities unless and until you can fulfill them without compromising on "your time". Eating more than what you could digest will cause indigestion and other related ailments, similarly accepting more than what you could handle normally is a guaranteed recipe for stress.

Enjoy. Make it a point to do something that you enjoy doing every day, even though it might be for as short a time as 5 minutes. It is very important for each individual to set aside some time everyday to do some leisure activities of the person's choice. Some examples of leisure activities are a game of tennis, a good workout, gardening, spending time with the kids, etc.

Avoid smoking and drinking. Smoking and drinking alcohol may tend to act as a stress-relief medication temporarily but the damage inflicted is permanent. In effect, there is no stress-relief associated with neither smoking nor drinking.

Sleep! Get enough sleep. It is very important for a healthy and normal human being to have a good eight hours of sound sleep every night. Adequate sleep fuels the mind and prepares our body for a hectic day. Feeling tired because of lack of sleep, will increase stress apart from forcing the human brain to think irrationally.
With Love,
Vinay CH.


Tips for enhancing your ability to learn and remember
  • Pay attention. You can’t remember something if you never learned it, and you can’t learn something—that is, encode it into your brain—if you don’t pay enough attention to it. It takes about eight seconds of intense focus to process a piece of information into your memory. If you’re easily distracted, pick a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
  • Involve as many senses as possible. Try to relate information to colors, textures, smells, and tastes. The physical act of rewriting information can help imprint it onto your brain. Even if you’re a visual learner, read out loud what you want to remember. If you can recite it rhythmically, even better.
  • Relate information to what you already know. Connect new data to information you already remember, whether it’s new material that builds on previous knowledge, or something as simple as an address of someone who lives on a street where you already know someone.
  • For more complex material, focus on understanding basic ideas rather than memorizing isolated details. Practice explaining the ideas to someone else in your own words.
  • Rehearse information you’ve already learned. Review what you’ve learned the same day you learn it, and at intervals thereafter. This “spaced rehearsal” is more effective than cramming, especially for retaining what you’ve learned.

With Love,
Vinay CH.


Mantras for a Joyful Life!
How You Can Combat the Negativity that Steals Your Joy

As a clinical social worker and therapist, I try to help my clients combat negative and faulty thinking. Often, we find ourselves stuck in either the past or the future, which steals our present joy. Only when we make the decision to actively challenge the negativity that plagues us can we free ourselves and live in peace and contentment. I find that the use of positive mantras helps to reframe and redirect the negative thinking that can hinder our growth as human beings. I have created this short list of helpful mantras with the hope that everyone who reads it will realize that joy can be had and it can be had now!
  • · "Don't believe everything you think."
Sounds silly, but we need to challenge faulty thinking. If we simply believe whatever enters our minds as fact, then we are enslaved by our emotions. What we think is not always necessarily so. We need to start using discernment with our thoughts as we do with other aspects of our lives. Another variation of that is, "Just because you think it, doesn't make it so." Let the negative and faulty thinking leave your mind as sand runs through a sieve.
  • · "This too shall pass"
We need to remember that life is about moments and that just because we have some bad moments, does not mean our entire lives have to be bad. If we can remember that, we can have joy even in dark times. Everything is temporary. Yes, that means that the good times are only temporary as well, but hang on to the hope of the next moment. Sit with your pain and discomfort, but accept that it is only temporary. If the bad is over, let it go!
  • · "Wherever you are, be all there."
Get out of your head! If you are stuck in your head, either lamenting about past mistakes or regrets, or you are worrying about the future, you are missing the present. You are missing what is right in front of you. We can learn from mistakes of the past. As a matter of fact, we absolutely should learn from our mistakes and all of our experiences. That is how wisdom is acquired; however, if we remain stuck there, we miss today's joys. More than that, our growth potential is stunted, as we are ruled by negative emotions such as guilt, regret, anger or sadness. You do NOT have to bring yesterday's woes into today! Free yourself from that.
As for the future and worrying, it has not happened so stop acting as if it has! It's perfectly normal to assess what might occur. A lot of us have to do that for our occupations. We have to see a problem, come up with an action plan, project different outcomes that may occur and have a solution for each. That is just a smart way to operate when problem-solving. However, the issue comes when we get stuck in worry. We project into the future without truly assessing realistic possible outcomes. We allow ourselves to think that the worst case scenario will occur, then we start to really believe it will and then, once again, we are ruled by such negative emotions as worry, dread or fear. It is OK to plan, but then you have to reign yourself back to the present and realize that the future is not yet here and that it does not always have to be the worst case scenario. Challenge that belief and entertain more probable outcomes. Then, get out of your head! Enjoy the here and now with all of its possibilities!
  • · "It is what it is."
ACCEPTANCE!!! This should always be the goal. We need to accept what has happened to us. We need to accept where we are in life at this moment in time, completely and without judgments or self-deprecation. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we place sometimes unrealistic expectations on those whom we love? Why can we not accept that things are the way they are supposed to be at this moment? Even if it is a dark time, we can use it as a learning opportunity. Remember, we cannot learn unless we are tested; moreover, we may never know the full extent of our strengths and abilities if they are not put to the test. If we can accept our place in this moment, we have true freedom.
  • · "I am more than the sum of my parts."
Don't think for one second that we begin and end with our bodies. Never underestimate the power of the mind. We are not bodies with souls. We are souls with bodies! Our mind, our spirits, can overcome any obstacle. The trick is to not let negativity take over, because then is when we are vulnerable. Release the anger. Release the hate. Move away from self-pity. Only think of those things which are filled with joy, beauty and peace. Feed your soul with the things that only serve to enrich your life, encourage you and fill you with love. If you get your mind in the right place, the body will follow. I do not mean that you can cure yourself of what ails you. I simply mean that, no matter what your body is enduring, with a positive mind and heart, you can transcend the physical and still have joy right now.
  • · "Count your blessings, not your troubles."
We all have stuff. We all have things about which we can complain. Life can be downright hard! There are times I feel as if I am constantly hiking up hill and I cannot seem to reach the pinnacle. When I start to do the "woe is me" song and dance, I stop myself and look up and say, "Thank you Lord for my strong legs that keep me hiking!" If you take the time to stop and look around, I am sure you have many things about which to be thankful. There are so many blessings in our everyday lives, but we miss them because we are too busy lamenting about the things we don't have or we are coveting others' possessions or accomplishments. That is such a terrible waste of time and energy. I challenge you to be thankful! Everyday put on an attitude of gratitude. Take time to be thankful for at least one blessing a day. If you do this, you will begin to see that your blessings outnumber your woes.

· "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)
This is my mother's favorite scripture. She has some major medical issues. When she was diagnosed with a brain tumor back in 1998, she did not say, "Why me?" She looked up and said, "Ok Lord, what is it that you want me to learn?"
Thankfully, the tumor was not cancer; however, it was wrapped around her pituitary gland and a large portion of it was inoperable. It caused a condition called Acromegaly. In case you do not know what that is, it is the disease with which Andre the Giant (the famous wrestler) suffered. It ultimately caused his death. Her disease is being controlled by medication, but her doctor needs to tightly monitor her for any signs of growth. This is an unpredictable thing. Sure, she has her moments of fear and terror, especially at night, but she will not allow that fear and terror to steal her joy. Every day when she wakes, she says, "Thank you Lord for returning my soul to my body today. This is the day that YOU made and I will rejoice and be glad in it."
Do not waste your days. None of us are promised tomorrow. Please, do not waste your days on things that have no value. Be glad in everything, even the mundane. In the words of James Taylor, "Shower the people you love with love and show them the way that you feel. Things are going to be much better if you only will." Please, shower the people you love with love, shower yourself and shower even strangers, for you have no idea how even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference. You will have your down moments. You may entertain your beigest fears. You may get angry, sad, jealous, anxious, lonely, and fearful, but I beg you, do not dwell there. Let yourself feel what you need to feel to process the emotion, but then take the lesson to be learned from it and move forward. There is so much joy to be had! You can choose joy today, right now!
With Love,
Vinay CH.

Healthy Ways of Thinking

Thinking Well for Happiness that Lasts
Healthy ways of thinking will lead you in the direction of happiness everytime you implement them. I've spent a lot of time attempting to change old negative thought processes that generate bad moods and a hopelessness. We have the answers to our happiness within us, at least I feel that I do. I know that I have to think well to create an environment of happiness in and around me. Below are some of the ways in which I do that.
Open Mindedness
Keeping my my open rather than in a place that is too structured allows me to embrace change. Change is inevitable. It's the salt of the earth and about the only thing we can count on. Without change the seasons wouldn't keep the earth healthy, and without change in our lives, we wouldn't be healthy either. I have found it best to embrace it rather than fight it. Fighting it results in loss of serenity. I find an open mind leads to a healthy mind.
Simplify Life
When I keep things simple by thinking about one baby step at a time toward a goal, I can complete a task or challenge in a successful way without a lot of struggle. I find that when I think of the issue as a "whole", I get intimidated by the task or project and back away rather than taking things one step at a time. Little by little I get things accomplished and can see the fruits of tackling my life with this strategy.
Avoid Controlling
One of the best things I can do for myself to think in a healthy way is to give up control of others. Here's the thing. We don't have control anyway. We want to think we do, however that's an illusion. I have found that if I give up my "illusion" of control, my mind becomes freed up to think in more healthy ways that don't involve manipulating or premeditating anything. In my life, I find that giving up control works hand in hand with open mindedness.
Living in the Present
Living in the present is always a healthy way to obtain happiness. It provides a clear path to happiness if we allow ourselves to become mindful of it. If we can quiet our mind and stay focused on what we are doing we will never be sorry for it. At least I never find that I'm never sorry for staying planted in the present. Tomorrow will take care of itself and present it's problems to us at the appropriate time when we get there. For now, enjoy the present and live it fully.
Source: Personal Experience implementing these practices.
With Love,
Vinay CH.

Life Improvement Exercises: Living in the Present

"My life has been a series of wonderful experiences. It's a pity I wasn't there for most of them." - Portia Nelson (1920-2001) American actress
Isn't this true for so many? We tend to either live in our past or our future. There could be either this place of regrets, what could have been OR a place of what will and can happen that only brings anxiety and worry. It's like we have never been taught to live in the today, in the moment, in the Right Now.
But we must realize that Right now is all you've got. If you miss it, it's gone. The good news is that there's always another "right now" ready to show up around the corner. The bad news is that it's easy to miss that one too. It becomes very easy to arrive at the end of one's life without actually spending a lot of time in the moment. And that's because it's easy to obsess about the past or the future (two places that don't even exist!)

Isn't it logical that if you are looking to increase happiness in your life, an easy way would be to live in the today since the other two don't seem to add much of that all the time?

Just the other day, I had a client who booked an appointment with me. She came in with a certain seriousness to her face, it was evident. As we talked a little bit, it became clear that her anxiety was getting heightened because she was consumed with worry about what was going to happen to her job and her life. She was worried that she may get laid off. I asked her - what made her feel that, have others been laid off or is she not performing well? She refused that none of this were the reasons, but that she was repeatedly reading on the Internet, seeing in the news the troubles of the unemployed and even knew some of her friends who were in this boat. All this made her stress out even more than usual and that made her worried about her future. It stressed her so much that she wasn't able to sleep at night fearing the worst.
We talked some more and through our conversations, she was able to see that she was paying too much attention to something that wasn't her reality. Her effectiveness at work decreased because of this not to mention her quality of life as well. Why? Because she was focusing too much living at other places and not just in today, in the present.
Even when your present isn't all that perfect and may not have everything you want, it is still better to live in the now.
Let's do a couple of exercises:
1.Let's say you are unhappy in your life right now. If I asked you to just stop for 1 second as you read this, just for 1 second, will you feel surrounded by problems? Chances are you won't because there won't be enough time for your mind to wander anywhere else. Now stretch that 1 second to 5 seconds and see what happens. You still shouldn't be going back to any place else but staying in the moment.
It does take practice and a conscious effort to do this but it does work provided you are consistent and keep your awareness up.
2. Think of an area of your business or life where things aren't working, perhaps you have made a mistake and are beating yourself about it or you are worried about your future. Take a pen and a paper and write down about what you can do write now, what is in your control. It doesn't have to be anything big, just whatever you can do. Once you have written something, start taking action and see how it feels.
It's important to realize that no one has any control on either their past because it's already gone or their future because that is yet to arrive. You can only do the best and handle today, right now. You can certainly feel better and increase your happiness levels by detaching from unnecessary worry. Don't let your life pass you by with you being present in it.

How to Be Happy Everyday: Is it Really Possible?

Do you think that it's impossible to be happy every day? I don't! Notice, I did NOT say to be happy every moment of every day, but rather to be happy ever day.
We all have times of heartache, fear, depression, disappointment and so on, but in the midst of those negative emotions and hardships of life, I fully believe that it is possible to be happy at least part of every day.
Here are my suggestions for being happy every day.
1. Look on the bright side. You know, there is always a bright side, even in the midst of a bad day or even bad period of time in your life. For instance, if you lose your job, the bright side may be that you are now free to pursue a job you've always wanted. Perhaps the loss of the job and thus the necessity for looking for a new job may be just the push you need to pursue your dream job. Looking on the bright side of every situation can help you to be happy every day.
2. Talk to yourself. Yes, that's right. There are times when it is necessary to talk to yourself. King David in the Bible had all kinds of problems, including people trying to kill him, and yet he always managed to rise above his depression. He chose to be happy in part by talking to himself. For example, in Psalm 42:5 he asked himself questions such as, "Soul, why are you cast down?" and then concluded by saying, "Hope in God!" He dealt honestly with his feelings of despair and then gave himself a pep talk. I think that David's tendency to talk to himself helped him to be happy every day. Talking to yourself can also help you to be happy every day.
3. Talk to God. The great thing about God is that He is always there and always willing to listen. People may not be around when you need to complain or talk about your concerns, but whether you are in the middle of a busy day or in the stillness of the night, God is there with you, and He is more than willing to listen. Sometimes knowing that you are not alone in your struggle by simply talking to God can help you to be happy every day.
4. Send notes of encouragement to other people. Has someone done something nice for you? Think about all the people in your past who have had a positive impact on your life. Make a list of them, and one by one, over time, write notes of encouragement and appreciation. This does two things that will help you to be happy every day. First of all, it removes your focus from yourself and your problems. Secondly, it can be fun to know that you are helping someone else to be happy. Those two things alone, not to mention the nice response you may receive from the person you wrote to will help you to be happy every day.
5. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down at least five things every day that you are thankful for on that specific day. Thankfulness and happiness go hand in hand. When I'm almost ready to go to sleep at night, I can choose to focus on whatever I'm worried or upset about or I can write down things I'm thankful for. If I express gratitude right before falling asleep at night, I'll likely fall asleep thinking pleasant thoughts which helps me to be happy every day.
6. Volunteer to serve others less fortunate than you. It really feels good to help others. It also helps to put my own problems and circumstances into a proper perspective. Working with people who are homeless, for example, makes my little apartment seem like a palace. Helping other people helps me to be happy every day.
7. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Lack of sleep is a common cause of depression. Getting adequate sleep can be hard to do when you feel that you have too much to do or are worried about things, but do everything within your power to get the rest you need. If you put yourself on a schedule and go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every morning, your body will not only feel refreshed, but you will find it easier to go to sleep at night. Exercise is also a good stress reliever. Adequate sleep and exercise can both help you to be happy every day.
8. Do something fun or wacky. One day, when I was feeling especially blue, I, for some strange reason, decided to go outside and yell as loud as I could, "Life, I love you!" Yes, I felt a little silly, but as I ran back inside as quickly as I could, I laughed hard, and quickly moved out of my blue funk. Doing something fun or wacky can help you to be happy every day.
9. Forgive. If you harbor anger or bitterness toward someone, you are only hurting yourself. Let go of anger and bitterness and forgive, even if the person doesn't deserve to be forgiven. Reconcile with the person if at all possible, but even if you can't, choose not to allow them to control you by holding on to bitterness. Living a life free of bitterness is a wonderful way to be happy every day.
With Love,

Vinay CH.

How to Improve Your Memory

Tips and Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind and Boost Brainpower
A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you're a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance.

Harnessing the power of your brain

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes to the brain, scientists have discovered that this old adage simply isn’t true. The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change—even into old age. This ability is known as neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neural pathways, alter existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways.
The brain’s incredible ability to reshape itself holds true when it comes to learning and memory. You can harness the natural power of neuroplasticity to increase your cognitive abilities, enhance your ability to learn new information, and improve your memory.
Improving memory tip 1: Don't skimp on exercise or sleep
Just as an athlete relies on sleep and a nutrition-packed diet to perform his or her best, your ability to remember increases when you nurture your brain with a good diet and other healthy habits.

When you exercise the body, you exercise the brain

Treating your body well can enhance your ability to process and recall information. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise may also enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals and protect brain cells.

Improve your memory by sleeping on it

When you’re sleep deprived, your brain can’t operate at full capacity. Creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills are compromised. Whether you’re studying, working, or trying to juggle life’s many demands, sleep deprivation is a recipe for disaster.
But sleep is critical to learning and memory in an even more fundamental way. Research shows that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, with the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep.
Improving memory tip 2: Make time for friends and fun
When you think of ways to improve memory, do you think of “serious” activities such as wrestling with the New York Times crossword puzzle or mastering chess strategy, or do more lighthearted pastimes—hanging out with friends or enjoying a funny movie—come to mind? If you’re like most of us, it’s probably the former. But countless studies show that a life that’s full of friends and fun comes with cognitive benefits.
Healthy relationships: the ultimate memory booster?

Humans are highly social animals. We’re not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Relationships stimulate our brains—in fact, interacting with others may be the best kind of brain exercise.
Research shows that having meaningful relationships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but also to brain health. In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline.
There are many ways to start taking advantage of the brain and memory-boosting benefits of socializing. Volunteer, join a club, make it a point to see friends more often, or reach out over the phone. And if a human isn’t handy, don’t overlook the value of a pet—especially the highly-social dog.
Laughter is good for your brain
You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, and that holds true for the brain as well as the body. Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain.
Furthermore, listening to jokes and working out punch lines activates areas of the brain vital to learning and creativity. As psychologist Daniel Goleman notes in his book Emotional Intelligence, “laughter…seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”
Looking for ways to bring more laughter in your life? Start with these basics:
  • Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take ourselves less seriously is to talk about the times when we took ourselves too seriously.
  • When you hear laughter, move toward it. Most of the time, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
  • Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily—both at themselves and at life’s absurdities—and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.
  • Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.
  • Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.
Improving memory tip 3: Keep stress in check
Stress is one of the brain’s worst enemies. Over time, if left unchecked, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones.
The stress-busting, brain-boosting benefits of meditation
The scientific evidence for the mental health benefits of meditation continues to pile up. Studies show that meditation helps improve many different types of conditions, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Meditation also can improve focus, concentration, creativity, and learning and reasoning skills.
Meditation works its “magic” by changing the actual brain. Brain images show that regular meditators have more activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with feelings of joy and equanimity. Meditation also increases the thickness of the cerebral cortex and encourages more connections between brain cells—all of which increases mental sharpness and memory ability.

Depression and anxiety can also affect memory

In addition to stress, depression, anxiety, and chronic worrying can also take a heavy toll on the brain. In fact, some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety include difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things. If you are mentally sluggish because of depression or anxiety, dealing with the problem will make a big difference in your cognitive abilities, including memory.
Improving memory tip 4: Eat a brain-boosting diet
Just as the body needs fuel, so does the brain. You probably already know that a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, “healthy” fats (such as olive oil, nuts, fish) and lean protein will provide lots of health benefits, but such a diet can also improve memory. But for brain health, it’s not just what you eat—it’s also what you don’t eat. The following nutritional tips will help boost your brainpower and reduce your risk of dementia:
  • Get your omega-3s. More and more evidence indicates that omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for brain health. Fish is a particularly rich source of omega-3, especially cold water “fatty fish” such as salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring. In addition to boosting brainpower, eating fish may also lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re not a fan of seafood, consider non-fish sources of omega-3s such as walnuts, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, winter squash, kidney and pinto beans, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans.
  • Limit calories and saturated fat. Research shows that diets high in saturated fat (from sources such as red meat, whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, and ice cream) increase your risk of dementia and impair concentration and memory. Eating too many calories in later life can also increase your risk of cognitive impairment. Talk to your doctor or dietician about developing a healthy eating plan.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables. Produce is packed with antioxidants, substances that protect your brain cells from damage. Colorful fruits and vegetables are particularly good antioxidant "superfood" sources. Try leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and arugula, and fruit such as bananas, apricots, mangoes, cantaloupe, and watermelon.
  • Drink green tea. Green tea contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that protect against free radicals that can damage brain cells. Among many other benefits, regular consumption of green tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain aging.
  • Drink wine (or grape juice) in moderation. Keeping your alcohol consumption in check is key, since alcohol kills brain cells. But in moderation (around 1 glass a day for women; 2 for men), alcohol may actually improve memory and cognition. Red wine appears to be the best option, as it is rich in resveratrol, a flavonoid that boosts blood flow in the brain and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Other resveratrol-packed options include grape juice, cranberry juice, fresh grapes and berries, and peanuts.

For mental energy, choose complex carbohydrates

Just as a racecar needs gas, your brain needs fuel to perform at its best. When you need to be at the top of your mental game, carbohydrates can keep you going. But the type of carbs you choose makes all the difference. Carbohydrates fuel your brain, but simple carbs (sugar, white bread, refined grains) give a quick boost followed by an equally rapid crash. There is also evidence to suggest that diets high in simple carbs can greatly increase the risk for cognitive impairment in older adults. For healthy energy that lasts, choose complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, high-fiber cereal, lentils, and whole beans. Avoid processed foods and limit starches (potato, pasta, rice) to no more than one quarter of your plate.
Improving memory tip 5: Give your brain a workout
By the time you’ve reached adulthood, your brain has developed millions of neural pathways that help you process information quickly, solve familiar problems, and execute familiar tasks with a minimum of mental effort. But if you always stick to these well-worn paths, you aren’t giving your brain the stimulation it needs to keep growing and developing. You have to shake things up from time to time! Try taking a new route home from work or the grocery store, visiting new places at the weekend, or reading different kinds of books
Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it.” The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. The best brain exercising activities break your routine and challenge you to use and develop new brain pathways. Activities that require using your hands are a great way to exercise your brain. Playing a musical instrument, juggling, enjoying a game of ping pong (table tennis), making pottery, knitting, or needlework are activities that exercise the brain by challenging hand-eye coordination, spatial-temporal reasoning, and creativity.
The brain exercising activity you choose can be virtually anything, so long as it meets the following three criteria:
  1. It’s new. No matter how intellectually demanding the activity, if it’s something you’re already good at, it’s not a good brain exercise. The activity needs to be something that’s unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone.
  2. It’s challenging. Anything that takes some mental effort and expands your knowledge will work. Examples include learning a new language, instrument, or sport, or tackling a challenging crossword or Sudoku puzzle.
  3. It’s fun. Physical and emotional enjoyment is important in the brain’s learning process. The more interested and engaged you are in the activity, the more likely you’ll be to continue doing it and the greater the benefits you’ll experience. The activity should be challenging, yes, it should also be something that is fun and enjoyable to you. Make an activity more pleasurable by appealing to your senses—playing music while you do it, or rewarding yourself afterwards with a favorite treat.
With Love,

Vinay CH.

Stress Management

How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Identify the sources of stress in your life
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”).
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Start a Stress Journal

A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down:
  • What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure)
  • How you felt, both physically and emotionally
  • How you acted in response
  • What you did to make yourself feel better

Look at how you currently cope with stress

Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with stress in your life. Your stress journal can help you identify them. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress

These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
  • Using pills or drugs to relax
  • Sleeping too much
  • Procrastinating
  • Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems
  • Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)

Learning healthier ways to manage stress

If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones. There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.

Dealing with Stressful Situations: The Four A’s

Change the situation:
  • Avoid the stressor
  • Alter the stressor
Change your reaction:
  • Adapt to the stressor
  • Accept the stressor
Stress management strategy #1: Avoid unnecessary stress
Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.
  • Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.
  • Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.
  • Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.
  • Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list. If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.
  • Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.
Stress management strategy #2: Alter the situation
If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.
  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.
  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.
  • Be more assertive. Don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them. If you’ve got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk.
  • Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused. But if you plan ahead and make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you can alter the amount of stress you’re under.
Stress management strategy #3: Adapt to the stressor
If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.
  • Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
  • Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”
  • Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

Adjusting Your Attitude

How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.
Stress management strategy #4: Accept the things you can’t change
Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
  • Look for the upside. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.
  • Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.
Stress management strategy #5: Make time for fun and relaxation
Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.

Healthy ways to relax and recharge

  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Take a long bath.
  • Light scented candles.
  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Get a massage.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Watch a comedy.
Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.
  • Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
  • Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.
  • Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
  • Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.
Stress management strategy #6: Adopt a healthy lifestyle
You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
  • Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally. 
 With Love,

Vinay CH.

Try Ayurveda for Hair loss – Regrow your Hair
According to Ayurveda, excess of Pitta dosha in the body is increased by hot climatic conditions, excessive intake of spicy, salty and sour food, hot and sharp food, tea, coffee, alcohol, meats and excessive smoking. Eating too much fried, oily, greasy, and acidic foods also aggravates Pitta. Pitta balancing herbs (Eg: Shatavari —Asparagus) and vegetables which improves the quality of Asthi dhathu (Eg: bitter vegetables) are effective in treating hair fall.

 There are a number of other causes for hair fall like acute illness, high stress, and thyroid imbalance, certain drugs, sudden weight loss and high fever.

 The first step is to locate the root cause in your diet or lifestyle that may be increasing the Pitta dosha. Once you locate it, try to give up or at least reduce the diet, habit, or activity responsible for increasing Pitta. Internal use of Ayurvedic medicines like Thikthakam kashayam, Thikthakam ghritham as per medical advice are effective to correct the metabolism. Ayurvedic general tonics like Narasimha rasayanam, Chyavana prasam are effective for improving hair growth. In alopecia, due to systemic diseases, treatment of the same is also required.

General recommendations and tips to maintain the results are some of the following:
 - A high protein and an iron rich diet is recommended for hair loss. An adequate intake of raw vegetables, fresh fruits, salads, green leafy vegetables should be included in the diet on a regular basis. - Use a natural shampoo to clean the hair. Amla (embilica officinalis), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) are very good for washing the hair. - Oiling and massaging of scalp is very beneficial for stopping the hair loss. Use coconut oil at least three times in a week. Certain medicated oils like Neelibhringadi oil, Kunthala kanthi oil, Kanjunnyadi oil are very useful. Put oil on the scalp, and massage gently in the roots of the hair.
 - The person should maintain a regular bowel movement everyday. In case of constipation, a mild natural laxative can be taken. Triphala is very useful. - Regular physical exercise is very beneficial as it helps in balancing the aggravated doshas. - Rub your scalp after washing the hair. It increases the blood circulation, and activates the sebaceous glands. - A mixture of lettuce and spinach juice is good to drink to induce hair growth. The juice of carrot, and lettuce juice is also good to take. - Applying juice of green coriander leaves on the head is also good. - Washing the hair with a paste of cooked green gram and fenugreek (methi) two to three times a week, is also good. - A paste of licorice made by grinding it in milk can be applied in the bald patches. - The seeds of fenugreek is soaked in coconut oil and kept under direct sunrays for seven days and applied to the scalp, which prevents hair loss. - Traditional therapies like Dhara, Abhyangam, Thala pothichil, Nasya shows excellent effects.
With Love,

Vinay CH.

Top 5 foods for your face
Why go for expensive beauty regimes, when the skin glow can be achieved through ingredients available at home...

1) Lemon juice: This one is the simplest of ingredients and it can brighten up the skin like no other! There are numerous benefits of using lemon juice too. It can tighten up the pores, get rid of the oil and lead to a squeaky clean face with shine. Just use lemon juice directly on your face and remember to wash it off within a few minutes.

2) Eggs: This isn't for vegetarians of course! Take the egg (either whole or simply take the white). The former will result in a more moisturising effect while the white part will just firm the skin. Gently rub it over the face and wash off.

3) Honey: Honey can be used almost everyday on the face. It is a great moisturiser and can fight infections and acne and keep skin soft and supple. Just slather it on and leave it on for up to five minutes and then rinse off. An easy pack is to take honey, mix it with a little lemon juice and sandalwood powder. Apply this paste to the face and rinse off.

4) Strawberries: The fruit makes for a very effective cleanser as well as mask. It contains Vitamin C, antioxidants and exfoliants. You can put strawberries on the face by by simply crushing them them into a mask or then by rubbing over your skin. A strawberry smoothie mask can be made with blending fresh strawberries and blueberries with plain yogurt and honey. Coat the face with it and watch the glow.

5) Bananas: These are a great moisturiser and can leave skin feeling refreshed. Just mash a banana with a little honey and rub it on your face. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off.
With Love,

Vinay CH.

5 Natural tips to prevent hair loss

Try the following easy tips at home and see how effective they are in reducing hair loss!
1. Hot oil treatments: Take any natural oil - olive, coconut, canola - and heat it up so that it is warm, but not too hot. Massage it gently into your scalp. Put on a shower cap and leave it on for an hour, then shampoo your hair.
2. Natural juices: You can rub your scalp with either garlic juice, onion juice or ginger juice. Leave it on overnight and wash it thoroughly in the morning.
3. Get a head massage: Massaging your scalp for a few minutes daily will help stimulate circulation. Good circulation in the scalp keeps hair follicles active. Circulation may be improved through massage by using a few drops of lavender or bay essential oil in an almond or sesame oil base.
4. Antioxidants: Apply warm green tea (two bags brewed in one cup of water) on your scalp and leave this mixture on for an hour and then rinse. Green tea contains antioxidants which prevent hair loss and boost hair growth.
5. Practice meditation: Believe it or not, most of the times, the root cause for hair loss is stress and tension. Meditation can help in reducing that and restore hormonal balance.
With Love,

Vinay CH.