5 best shows/ movies to understand about suicide

The world of cinema has made attempts in capturing and raising awareness about suicide.

Here is a list of eye-opening movies that draws our attention towards the causal factors and possible reasons what causes suicide. In some cases, helps us build awareness about the magnitude of the problem.

1. Perks of Being a Wallflower

This movie is which talks about a socially awkward teenager Charlie (Logan Lerman) who is a wallflower who meets a free-spirited Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller). Both of them help Charlie discover the joys of friendship, first love, music and more. However, as his new friends prepare to leave for college, Charlie’s inner sadness threatens to shatter his newfound confidence.

2. 13 Reasons Why

It is a Netflix original series in which Newcomer Katherine Langford plays the role of Hannah, a young woman who takes her own life. Two weeks after her tragic death, a classmate named Clay finds a mysterious box on his porch. It is not only explores the meaning of life (and of a possible afterlife) but also suicide.

3. The Dreamseller

It is based on The Bestselling Book “The Dreamseller” written by world renown Brazilian psychiatrist and psychotherapist Augusto Cury. In this movie a disillusioned psychologist tries to commit suicide until he strikes up a friendship with an unlikely savior who teaches him a new way of living.

4. 3 idiots

It’s a bollywood movie. The movie centers around the lives of three students in one of the most famous engineering colleges in the country (India). While two of them barely scrape by in their exams, the third one, Rancho, always tops the class in every subject. Those students who are constantly bogged down by the pressures of these colleges sometimes even take steps as drastic as suicide.

5. The S Word

A documentary on suicide attempt survivor is on a mission to find fellow survivors and documents their stories of courage, insight and humor. Along the way, she discovers a rising national movement transforming personal struggles into action.

I hope these help you understand how suicide is far more than a single word. Not only it impacts the individual but those around them.

September- Su;cide Prevention & Awareness

Photo courtesy : Connor Pope

Suicide according to American Psychological Association is defined as the act of killing oneself.

Looking at the data, the latest published statistics on suicide from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2019, 47,511 Americans died by suicide. Approximately 1.38 million attempted suicide.

Global statistics suggest that nearly 800,000 people die by suicide every year. Roughly estimates to 1 death every 40 seconds.

Now, looking at the data in the United States and worldwide clearly demonstrates that suicide is a growing public health concern. Ofcourse, there is more to it beyond statistics which remains unrecognised or underreported.

The impact suicide has on an individual is far more than just a single word. It involves serious impacts in terms of emotional, physical and economic.

Suicide is not just about an individual but about friends, family, loved ones, colleagues, and community. As it does not ends on one individual ending their life to suicide but about the after effects both physiological and psychological.

Understanding that the weight suicide is heavier than the word. What I want to bring your attention is towards becoming aware about this health problem and begin to working on it together to prevent it.

Project Semicolon explains that “a semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life”

Getting out of corona sedentism

Photo courtesy : Milada Vigerova

Though things have started getting back to what you can say – something like normal. But, actually far from it as far as psyche is concerned.

There is hope ofcourse but at the end of a long, twisted and harrowing tunnel. The reason is that vaccine is available to keep yourself safe from the physical impact of covid but mental struggles still have a long way until you finally get out of the tunnel.

Talking about life in terms of pre or post covid. It has been stressful in general but pandemic had added more to the existing struggles.

Everything has become virtual, from schools to offices. A constant feeling of being stuck in a maze, which keeps you puzzled and has nearly become your lifestyle.

Recent studies have found that the sitting hours of people living in the United States has gone up than ever before pandemic occured. The average of sitting hours has gone up to six hours per day.

A recent paper which looked at changes in physical activity & sedentary behaviour due to covid on mental health stated close association with higher depressive and anxiety related symptoms.

Furthermore, too little activity and sitting for long hours can lead to weight gain, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes to name a few. Plus, the back pain that adds to the problem.

Another study published in the Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine on pandemic induced physical inactivity concluded that the pandemic has promoted sedentary lifestyle in all age groups. As well as highlighting the need for serious action.

So what can you do about it

The foundation lies in incorporating back the physical activity into our lives. Graves highly recommends 30 minutes of physical activity every week.

Find a way to get exercise in any form whether inside or outside. The pandemic has introduced us all to the virtual world so well that you can find workout of your choice from the comfort of your home and begin practicing.

Stand up whenever possible. Aim at interrupt sitting and reclining time every 30 minutes.

Cognitive stimulation is another way to not just involve body but also mind. Choose from a variety of reading, puzzles or get a Rubik’s cube on your desk.

Meditation and deep breathing can help you stay calm and increase your level of concentration.

Besides all of these, a healthy lifestyle should also include healthy meals. Consume foods having less sugar or fat. Prefer whole grains, fresh fruits and nuts but cheat meals can be taken sometimes too in smaller quantities.

Do tell me which tip helped you to push back your sedentary lifestyle.

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Quick ways to stay productive while working from home during Covid-19

Looking at the past year, the pandemic has brought about changes in the personal and professional lives. What was personal has become a shared space of professional.

Let’s make our homes a make shift professional space to keep ourselves motivated and energetic to get the right vibes to work.

1. Designate a space to work

Creating a space to work doesn’t mean bringing in more furniture. It simply means making shifts here and there. For example sitting in a direction which gets you set in the right mood to stay motivated during your working hours. For example: choosing a well lit space in your room which makes you feel a little like – back at work, a chair and table to add a bit more structure or a space that is free of sounds of the television or anything that doesn’t attracts you towards entertainment.

2. Rejuvenate

Taking a quick shower is something that gets us set to begin the day. Not only does it makes us prepared to work but also, brings in “the feel good” feeling.

3. Stretch out the lethargy

Your brain needs some stretching too to stay active. Exercising increases your heart rate which increases blood flow in the brain. It further exposes your brain to more oxygen and nutrients. Furthermore, improves sleep, boosts creativity and overall brain functioning.

4. Look out for opportunities to learn

Sign up for online courses not only to enhance your skill set but also look for skills that will help you with your hobby which you always wanted to pursue and never really had the time to dedicate. If a course looks too much, there are multiple talks/ online presentations or conferences which you can sign up for.

5. Find your perks

With the luxury of work from home, you can bake your bread loaf right away while you take your mini break from work. You can spend those extra hours with your dog or spend time in your garden, or socialising. Perks are not just outside but the reduced hustle of getting stuck in traffic and enjoy that extra hour at home doing anything you always wished to do after work.

Figure out works best for you.

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Mental Unwinding – Decoding Breaks

Aren’t we all unwinding something or the other every time? Isn’t it too difficult to stay with the same old feeling which blocks our thinking? How about a break, how about times when you just look up to the sapphire sky and breathe, unraveling the mysteries of life and returning back home rejuvenated in the midst of mundane and tiresome routines.

We are prone to feeling fatigued and bored from routines, and perhaps what keeps playing on our mind is a break. Breaks are short periods of time when we change the boring routine of incoming information, which usually arrives via predictable, tedious, and well-worn pathways. And most of us have thought about taking a break, at some point or the other. The nature of breaks can have different forms; it may be a tea break or a power nap, depending on person to person. Each of us has different meanings of breaks and distinct needs that we aim to fulfill via such breaks. Breaks can be either volitional or forced. Volitional breaks are most often voluntary, we decide to take a break and hence we take it, such as a walk in between our work. Whereas on the other hand, forced breaks are unwillingly taken, such as any medical emergency or any urgency on board that can be exhausting too.

We often feel the need to give our minds a booster shot and rejuvenate our mental processes. Our brain requires substantial time to think of innovative ideas or just wander. While talking about wandering, the meaning may in itself take different forms. Wandering is when we diverge; it is not necessary to have any aim in mind. We are usually so structure ridden, that wandering gives us a new lens to view things.

People need free space to create a better capacity to work effectively and efficaciously. On a typical day, there is an overwhelming amount of data that our brains process, which is why there is a necessity to give our brains a break. Recent studies have shown how small periods of diversions from a task can dramatically have an impact on our ability to focus for a longer period. The results suggested that prolonged attention onataskhinders performance. Apart from those mentioned above, meditation and mindfulness training are other ways of taking breaks. Mindfulness is characterized by merely paying precise, nonjudgmental attention to the details of our experience as it arises and subsides, not necessarily rejecting anything. Instead of struggling to get away from the incident we find difficult, we move towards being able to be with them. We bring mindfulness to pleasant experience as well.  Being mindful is not a substitute for actually participating in our lives. In fact, the more mindful we are, the more skillful we can be. There are three basic aspects worked with, in this technique. First, is the environment surrounding our body and body position. Second, working on breath, and last, working on thoughts such as plans for future goals.

Breaks restore our brain’s stores; they encourage productivity and creativity and most essentially increase our attention because our brains are built to detect and respond to change. They enhance our abilities, and give us time to reboot and complete our unfinished businesses.

While on a break, we allow our minds to wander, replay, absorb, and rewrite the blunders we may be committing. It helps to give ourselves moments to craft our own innovative ideas; to have the script ready in our heads and improvise before executing in real life. Breaks are reminders to go back to the past menu and pick out the moments that are now golden and keep a constant check on our growth.  Also, breaks help us note the sensations and experiences of various aspects of life, making our own narrative unique to ourselves. We don’t immediately take actions to get rid of our thoughts. It may take time and we are constantly in the process of learning to be with ourselves. It is of course possible that we’re just daydreaming of impossible acts of heroism or remembering our golden memories, but it’s also possible that we are xylographing the old wood and unraveling our potential.

Well! You can go ahead and take that break.

Anjali Kanojia

Find the original post here.

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Capture: From Cognition to Concretization

Photography is a medium through which we try to preserve fleeting moments. The photographer makes an attempt to take a photograph from a suitable angle, with appropriate light and colors to make the photograph meaningful. 

Photography dates back 150 years, and has covered a vast journey where it was seen as a perfect documentary medium because of its nature, i.e.,”the   medium ensured, unadulterated, exact replicas of the subject matter.”    

There have been developments in the field of photography in terms of applications like, “Instagram”, “Snapchat”, and “Facebook” to name a few. This is shown in different forms, to give an example, Humans  of New York,   talking about people and aspects of their life through the medium of photography. There has been development in the types of photography,   such as those with a focus on varying subject matter like nature, still life,  abstracts, portraits and fashion. There have been changes in terms of how people perceived photography as something intruding their private space to inclusivity today, where it has become a compulsory ritual in every occasion, social and otherwise. The purpose of photography in itself has changed and extended its limitations from official work to a trend today. 

While talking about photography, I would like to shift the focus to how a photographer makes a photograph. The way in which a photographer notices or understands something using his/her own senses is called perception.   Senses  such as vision, hearing, touch, smell, balance help us create a detailed  understanding of our surroundings, which are then captured through photographs.

We are naturally curious beings, we keep looking, exploring, and wandering along random paths. Some concertize their expression through speaking, some through writing; and some express through photography. For every individual there are differences  in perceptions based on one’s age, sex,culture, and expertise. When  a photographer views a scene, he/she makes meaning of it based on the information they receive from their senses and their past experiences. This further helps the photographer in framing.

Framing refers to the presentation on visual elements in an image, mainly the placement of the subject in regards to other objects. The goal is to bring the focus of the observer on the subject. It is primarily concerned with the position and the perspective of the viewer. There are a couple of factors such as depth of field, white space, vignetting, perspective distortion to name a few. Framing can be of different types,   such as environmental, structural, framing with light or without. They work towards bringing the attention of the observer towards the subject.

A photograph for most of us is like a visual diary of our past memories, feelings, and emotions. A photograph provides an opportunity to revisit our sensations in a more structured form. The essence of photography is not simply about a black machine filled with lenses and flashes, but is a step beyond. It’s about frames: what we are referring to and what we are expecting it to be perceived as by the other side through the senses. 

Our eyes have a dynamic feature to see the brightest and the darkest of colours. Considering the harmonious and disharmonious color patterns Sanocki  and Sulman conducted an Color  Relations Experiment to gauge the impact of color on visual short-term memory. They conducted four trials of both harmonious and disharmonious color palettes. The results showed that participants were better able to remember harmonious color palettes. Color differences between the foreground and the background may enhance one’s ability to focus our attention. 

For photographs to come out in their most natural form,the process of photography needs effort. A photographer needs to have a vision of what the capture of an image will look like. Visualization is  an important aspect in the field of photography, making a vivid final impact. The photographer must be able to see into the mind’s eye of the frame before he/she captures an experience. Mental imagery impacts the processing of perceptions, motor control, and planning. Visualization improves performance of a photographer and enables them to diversify across a variety of perspectives, rather than sticking to a unilateral way of capturing images. A photograph has elements in a frame such as shades, highlights and shadow details, exposure, and so on.

Our perception about an image is about how we structure and give meaning to the information we receive from our visual senses. Understanding the intention of a photograph, the meaning it makes, the feelings it evokes and the impact of an image on our brain is interlinked. Perception can be bidirectional when we consider photography i.e., from the perspective of the photographer and perspective of the observer who is looking at the photograph. There is a story which either connects the two  or a parallel that runs between the two individuals.   

While discussing about photography and perceptions in the two parallels of the photographer, and observer, the schema varies starkly from individual to individual in terms of age, gender and cultural background and expertise. The meaning I make of an object may vary from the meaning you make of it. Similarly, the lens and thereby the intention, with which an individual captures an image may vary from others in terms of its angle, frame, and so forth. 

There are constant themes that we as individuals work towards; one often clicks in the context of a particular theme. The art of photography is from the lens of both the photographer and the observer, from cognition to composition based upon his/her’s visualizations. 

Towards the end I realize that the photographs are too often looked at and rarely looked into, by viewing them through the frame of reference of a photographer. Most of us simply glance over photographs without thinking about the intention behind photographer’s capture. Viewing images within their frames of reference can help viewers make meaning, beyond the cursory glances we often give to the multiple images crowding our feeds. So the next time you view a selfie or a breathtaking landscape, take a moment to contextualize it; maybe you’ll connect with it. 

Anjali Kanojia

Originally posted here

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In Courage

In courage-you find
no fear
and in courage-no weakness
does appear
In courage-steps toward
danger taken
and in courage-strength
within awaken
In courage- a hero
takes shape
and in courage- the villain
can’t escape
In courage-there is a call
to duty
and in courage-out of ugliness
comes beauty.

By- Dorsey Baker

On Good Friday, I really hope you all find courage in these words to fight the pandemic. Stay safe.

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Overcoming Is Your Superpower

What do you mean by overcoming?

The dictionary defines it as – “succeed in dealing with (a problem or difficulty).”

For each one of us overcoming is different in its meaning and the ways in which you overcome.

It’s something that is subjective in nature and that which keeps on transforming based on your experiences, your abilities, your resilience and your skill set.

I find this word powerful because it brings in ease even in the state of stress, disappointment, fall, heartbreak or even grief.

Sometimes it takes me back to my school days song, “we shall overcome”, if you haven’t just google it. I assure you, you won’t be able to leave the song halfway. It’s both beautiful and strengthening.

So, what do you think about overcoming? Look back on the pages of the past wherein you overcame, where you triumphed your victory on the smallest and on the biggest things that were once impossible in your own head.

There are different ways, definitely. For some of you it could be surrendering, could be your favourite song, could be a friend who supports you, could be a family member, could be a quote, could be dancing or singing at the top of your voice, could be anything.

Don’t worry, if you are still searching. Keep looking, don’t settle (just like Steve Jobs said it).

Yes, you can overcome. And, I do believe that.

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Anxiety Management – 10 Ways

Most of us experience anxiety at some point or are still struggling with it.

Here I share 10 ways how you can teach your brain to manage anxiety

1. Begin to choose what matters more, you can do so by writing down the why’s – why you want to beat anxiety. Go back to the quotes which help you drive your motivation from.

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

2. Make willingness a frequent practice. Begin with a non-judgmental attitude. Change your rules, for instance – I can do this. Build on your physical acceptance. Sit with anxiety while facing your fears. Meditation can help you here. You can download apps such as headspace. Learning grounding can calm both your mind & body.

3. Build emotional muscles; your brain is a big bunch of muscles, the more you practice, the better it becomes. It may take time initially just like your first day to gym but you’ll end up becoming stronger.

4. Give up on the idea of perfectionism. It won’t help you overcome. Bring about a growth mindset instead. Share your mistakes and learnings. It will help not just you buy others too.

5. Letting go the can’t handle stuff. You are undermining your potential. Let’s not forget that it comes from perfectionism.

6. Try shifting his you see or perceive your situations. Understand that there can be a cognitive bias hidden there. You can find a list of cognitive distortions from an authentic website and begin working on it with the help of your therapist.

7. Often said but rarely done, take baby steps. Write down your fears and set them in a hierarchy from lowes to highest. You can take help of your therapist.

8. Stay with your fears, I know it’s uncomfortable . Try this, allow yourself to be uncomfortable. Make it an activity and grade it down 1-10. Don’t force yourself, slowly and steadily. Remember small steps.

9. Get support, it is different from dependency. You need support to get up and stay motivated. It is a good thing to have someone around in our journeys. Take support from people who understand you, could be friends, family or your therapist.

10. Stay compassionate towards yourself. Your little wins matters. They go a long way.

I hope this helps you.

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Don’t Quit – John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyong of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Dont’ give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is falure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
For all the sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

End note-

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson