3 Sticky Healthcare Stories : How to Communicate Effectively

 3 Sticky Healthcare Stories: How to Communicate Effectively


                                    A friend of my friend is a frequent business traveler. He has to travel all around the world. Let’s call him John. He was in New Orleans for a business meeting. After the meeting, he had to travel to another city. He reached the airport but his flight was delayed. 

                                    To pass time, he went to a local bar near the airport. He met a beautiful lady in the bar who was also all alone. Our guy was average looking. The beautiful lady approached him and asked if she could buy him a drink. He was surprised and flattered. Never in his life, he felt so lucky. Today was his day. 

                                    The lady brought back two drinks -one for her and one for the guy. He was immensely pleased and he thanked her and took the first sip. Well, that was the last thing he recalled.

                                   He finally woke up, feeling feverish in a bathtub of the hotel room. His body was submerged in ice and water. He tried to figure out what was happening to him. He was having a headache and was feeling dizzy. Maybe he drank too much? 

                                     There he noticed a note lying near him. Please don’t move. Call  Emergency number 911. His mobile phone was near the bath table. He picked up the phone and called the emergency number. His hands were shivering. The operator seemed OK with the call. In a calm voice, she asked "Sir I want you to reach behind you and see if there is a tube protruding from your back". With trembling hands, he reached to his back. He found a tube protruding from his back. He told the operator in affirmation. The operator told him not to move until the ambulance arrives with paramedics. One of his kidneys has been stolen. This is common in this part of the country.

                                      The above story is taken from the book "Made to Stick" by Chip & Dan Heath. In this book, the author discusses why some ideas take hold and stick. Some positive ideas do not stick and just move out of the brain. Chip Heath is a Professor of Organisational behavior in the School of Business at Stanford University. Dan Heath is A Senior Fellow At Dukes University. They conduct an online course on the subject as well.

                                  This Kidney story is the one that sticks. We can understand the story and recall the story even after a long time. In today's information age you are bombarded by information. Our brain gets distracted. Many good ideas don't stay in the brain However few ideas do hold strong in the human brain. Many fake news stories are traveling on the internet. Negative and ghastly stories travel fast on the internet. The human brain is attracted to such stories.

                                    You must have heard this story or some other kidney racket story. The human brain becomes alert when he hears the word kidney. Being a healthcare professional I am aware of this acute kidney problem. One of my relatives sent a message asking if it's true that doctors in Mumbai have falsely labeled a person as having COVID 19 Infection just to remove his kidneys and other organs. A Whatsapp post was being circulated in the country stating the same. It's very common when a patient is undergoing some abdominal surgery he /she asks: Are doctors going to remove my kidneys also?. One friend of mine came to see me. My friend's brother warned him to be careful. You are going to see a doctor. He may trick you and remove your kidneys.

                                 The media understands this very well. The Kidney stories run on front pages. People add spices to the stories. This is because certain ideas stick in the human brain. One of them is the Kidney Story. Usually, the source is some friend's friend or a distant relative last seen 10  years back. The idea of organ donation takes a backseat and such stories occupy public imagination.

                                   How to nurture ideas so they succeed in the world. Good ideas often have a very hard time succeeding in the real world. The world is filled with false notions and wicked stories. Many healthcare professionals struggle to communicate ideas effectively. Good teachers find it difficult to keep the attention of the students. A Science teacher explains to the class of 100 about DNA structure and after a week only 3 students vaguely remember what it is. Many times the CEO of the company fails to convince his employees about the new useful strategy. Governments struggle to convince people regarding the value of their programs.


                                 Every language has its proverbs and fables. You must have heard the story of the Hare and Tortoise. How the tortoise won the race is well known. Another famous story that's very popular universally is the story of the sour grapes. One Summer afternoon a fox was walking through the garden. He saw a bunch of ripe grapes high on the grape wine. He jumped and tried to reach the grapes. He failed. He ran a few paces behind and took a fast run. He jumped even higher. Still, he missed. He tried again but still could not reach. At last, he gave up. While returning he said loudly: "I am sure these grapes are sour". 

Image of Tortoise
Tortoise Swimming in Sea

                                 These stories have been told from one generation to another. This story was written by Aesop. According to history, he was a slave who was later freed. He authored some of the stickiest stories in history. His other well-known stories are "The Goose that laid the Golden Egg", "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing." 

                                   These stories were written 2500 years back. Imagine we remember stories that were written so many years back but still cannot remember what was taught in the class 2 weeks back. Those who don't remember the story still know the meaning of sour grapes in English. The stories evoke concrete images. We human beings think in pictures. Visualization is the mental imaging of a story or a proverb. We create mental images of the words that we hear. Have you heard the proverb: "A Bird in hand is better than two in the bush"? Did you notice the concreteness of the images? We need more concrete messages today to convey good ideas.

                                 One of the biggest failures recently has been to convince people to wear masks. This problem is seen across the globe. A lot of Americans refuse to wear masks. The same is true with Europeans and Indians. Same people when board a plane meekly wear seatbelts without asking any questions. How many people have survived a plane-crash if they were wearing seatbelts? 

                                  Wearing masks has been documented to stop the virus from spreading. Still, many people refuse to wear masks. This includes well-educated people. Maybe health care professionals and governments should devise a sticky idea to convince people to happily wear masks.      


                                  We need to convey the message in more concrete terms. Like wearing a mask every day will keep the doctor or Ventilator away. If you are getting any concrete ideas feel free to write in the comment box. Some countries have imposed fines on people not wearing masks. Still, people are not convinced. The cheapest way to treat this pandemic is to wear masks. It saves you and your family from further trouble. Still not convinced? We need another modern-day Aesop to write some new stories or proverbs that will stick.


Diabetes Communication Book
Made To Stick Book

                                       I was listening to a debate on France 24 English Channel. They were discussing the COVID epidemic in India. One person said the response of the government was very faulty. Another person argued differently. He told the anchorperson about the enormous problem that the country was facing differently. He said the population of India is equal to the population of the United States plus the UK plus European Union plus Russia plus Australia put together.

                                       These all are developed countries. In contrast, India is a developing country with poor health infrastructure. Indian Government spends far less on the healthcare budget than the United States or Italy. Yet the mortality in India Is far less than in the European Union or the United States. India has far fewer ICCU beds than other countries. This brought a different perspective in the debate. His argument showed that the Government has put incredible efforts into fighting the disease. He also brought in the open the enormity of the problem by showing a credible comparison. He gave a credible and compelling argument.

                                      Some of the ideas in this blog are taken from the book "Made to Stick" by Chip & Dan Heath. If you want to read the whole book you can purchase from Amazon by clicking on the link of the book on the right upper corner of the blog. 

                                     Whether you are a teacher, parent, healthcare professional, media person, salesman, or businessman you need to communicate in a better way. This book will help you in communicating good ideas more effectively. The cost of the book is around USD 7 $ in the United States. In India, it is available for Rs 434. The book is crisply written and only about 300 pages. It's a good weekend read.

                                     We will be very happy to hear from you. Feel free to post your feedback in the comments section. You can sign up to receive our emails for free.


7 Easy and Simple Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure.

  7 Easy and Simple Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure.

                         High blood pressure can be very troublesome. It can produce headaches, dizziness, and giddiness. It can also produce blackouts and blurred vision. If you have any of these symptoms, then you should immediately check your blood pressure.

                           In many cases, high blood pressure has no symptoms. In such cases, High Blood Pressure is detected on a routine medical checkup. High blood pressure is called hypertension. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. Blood pressure can vary with age. Blood pressure is dynamic. In a person, it keeps on fluctuating throughout the day. During the day Blood Pressure can increase or decrease. It depends on your physical activity and state of mind. Hypertension is called a silent killer because in the majority of cases it produces no symptoms.

                         For an active young female blood pressure of 90/70 can be normal. She can continue her routine work normally. However, a blood pressure of 90/70 can be dangerous for a hypertensive elderly person. He can fall due to giddiness. If your blood pressure is above 140/90 then you need treatment. You can check your blood pressure frequently. If it is persistently high above 140/90 then you should consult your Physician. 

                        Hypertension is divided into 4 different grades.

  • Mild: Blood Pressure above 140/90 but below 160/100

  • Moderate: Blood Pressure above 160/100 but below 180/110.

  • Severe: Blood Pressure above 180/110

  • Malignant or Resistant Hypertension: Blood pressure not responding to treatment and above 200/110.                      

                     Mild to moderate hypertension can be treated at home. If you fall in the severe or malignant category then you should immediately take bed rest or get hospitalized to control blood pressure. This can prevent any further complications like intracerebral bleeding.

                     Stress causes high blood pressure. Constant Work pressure can lead to hypertension. Stress can lead to a lack of sleep and persistent anxiety. Sleep Apnoea is associated with high blood pressure. In sleep apnoea breathing halts briefly but repeatedly during sleep. Most people with sleep apnoea are overweight. They snore a lot during sleep.

                           Elevated blood pressure can cause cardiovascular and cerebral complications. It can lead to the rupture of blood vessels of the brain leading to intracranial hemorrhage. Persistent blood pressure over a while can lead to heart problems like heart attack and heart failure. Therefore, it is very important to control your high blood pressure.

                         If you have a high blood pressure than you can use these easy and simple ways to reduce high blood pressure.

1:     Reduce Salt Intake.

              High salt intake is associated with hypertension. Put less salt in your food preparations. Cut down on salted wafers and french fries. You can switch to Low Sodium Salts from regular salts.Blood Pressure Measurement .

     2:              Increase intake of Potassium. Potassium-rich food can help in reducing blood pressure. However, check your Kidney function before doing this. Check with your physician whether you can take a high Potassium diet. 

                     High potassium is found naturally in many fruits and seaweeds. Tomatoes and apples are rich in potassium. Have you heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”?

     3:               Check your weight. If you are obese or (overweight) then your chance of developing high blood pressure increase substantially.

                       Abdominal obesity is the most dangerous. Abdominal Obesity as measured by waist circumference is more correlated with hypertension. Waist circumference should not exceed 90cms. Try increasing physical activities. 

                       Abdominal workouts to decrease abdominal girth can be very beneficial. Be gentle while doing exercises. It’s advisable to do workouts under the supervision of a trained physiotherapist. Decrease the intake of high-calorie foods.

4:              Check Your Cholesterol Levels.

                      If your cholesterol levels are high then you are more likely to develop hypertension. Even thin people can have high blood pressure. Contrary to popular belief, thin people can also have elevated cholesterol and lipid levels. Therefore, everyone should get his blood cholesterol and lipid levels checked. WHO has recommended that everyone above the age of 18 should get his Lipid Profile checked once a year.

5:                  Stop heavy exercises. If you are having high blood pressure and you suddenly do heavy exercises like lifting weights in a gym then it can produce complications. Stop doing heavy exercises until your blood pressure returns to normal. If your blood pressure is high then you should take rest immediately.

6:                   Start graded Aerobic Exercises. Graded aerobic exercises help reduce high blood pressure. Check with your physician before starting any exercise program. Start slowly and increase in a stepwise manner. Swimming and walking are two simple exercises that you can start.

7:                 Reduce Intake of Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol.     

                      Excessive intake of caffeine can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Apart from coffee, Caffeine is present in many colas, diet coke, and sports drinks. Tobacco smoking has been reported to increase blood pressure. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also lead to elevated blood pressure. Try to get a good 8 hours of sleep. You can also try relaxation techniques.Mindfulness is particularly helpful in decreasing stress and elevated blood pressure.These simple mindfulness and relaxation techniques described in the linked article can be of immense help immediately in lowering high blood pressure.


                            If you have High blood pressure then try to find out the cause of high blood pressure. Sometimes an adrenal tumor may be present or polycystic kidneys may be found. Renal parenchymal diseases are associated with hypertension. Catecholamine secreting tumors like Pheochromocytomas may be present. It produces palpitations and sweating. You can do an Ultrasound abdomen to detect any liver, adrenal, or kidney malfunction. Thyroid disorders can also produce an increase in blood pressure.

                           Always consult your doctor. Your doctor will help you in finding the cause of high blood pressure. If you can find the cause then it is possible to treat hypertension completely. If no cause could be found then it is labeled as essential hypertension and treated accordingly. There are many drugs available to control high blood pressure. Each individual is different. These drugs need to be tailored according to individual needs.

Author Dr Nishikant Sharma MD FACP

3 Interesting Outdoor Activities for Seniors: Live Longer Live Healthier

3 Interesting Outdoor Activities for Seniors: Live Longer Live Healthier

                             The elderly have different needs than other age groups. They may be having knee problems due to aging and osteoarthritis which can limit their activities. The elderly can have other problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.

                               The activities need to be gentler and low impact. As you age, bones become fragile and joints become stiff. Osteoporosis can occur especially in females after the age of menopause. Apart from routine activities, they may get tired and bored easily.

                                   As children grow up and leave the house for higher education and jobs many elders are left alone. This leads to what is popularly known as Empty Nest Syndrome. This can leave many seniors depressed and isolated. At this age it is very important to stay fit and independent.This can be achieved by staying active. They can get out of the house and do some outdoor activities.

                                          Here are 3 Interesting Activities for the Elderly.

Beach Walking

                                             It’s a great way to improve your endurance and strength. Beach walking is an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors. Extra resistance from the sand burns more calories. It takes 2-2.5 times more energy to walk on sand than it does to move at the same speed on the road. The sound and visuals of the ocean relax the mind. As you reach the beach almost immediately, serotonin is released which makes you happier and relaxed. The Elderly are more prone to depression and loneliness. They definitely will feel rejuvenated after the walk. The wet sand is good for the feet. It acts as an exfoliating agent. It removes dead skin and makes feet softer.

                                            If you do not live near a beach, then also you needn't worry. You can walk near the river bank or a lake or in a garden on the soft grass. Walking is good exercise for the heart. It's a great Cardio workout. It’s gentle and less demanding than running. You can walk to a nearby park.Elderly couple walking in a garden.

Forest Bathing or Shinrin Yoku

                                         Shinrin Yoku is a Japanese term which means Forest bathing. There is no rigid definition of Forest Bathing. In simple terms, it means being in the presence of trees and nature in a forest. Elderly people can travel to nearby forest zones and be with nature. The high oxygen-rich environment is good for people with respiratory ailments. Forest bathing does not mean to go for long treks or hiking. It just means walking aimlessly in the forest area. 

                                          You can let loose your five senses. You can see and enjoy the greenery of the forest. You can smell the flowers and listen to the sounds of birds and animals. The gentle breeze blowing through the jungle can have a soothing effect on the brain. Trees are also living beings. Some trees can be of the age of 200-300 years. You can rest under the shade of a tree and relax. The trees release substances to protect themselves from bacteria and other pathogens. These are known as Phytoncides. Elderly People with skin and respiratory allergies can benefit from them. These phytoncides are the basis of aromatherapy.

                                             Bird watching can be combined with forest bathing which can have additional benefits. Those interested in outdoor photography can also use the hobby to make the journey more enjoyable.

Outdoor Tai chi Or Yoga

                                        Tai Chi is described as “meditation in motion”. There is growing evidence that Tai Chi, a mind-body practice that originated as a martial art, has value in preventing and treating many diseases and ailments. It’s especially useful for the elderly because of its slow and gentle movements. It improves your balance and posture. It can prevent falls which are common in the elderly. Many seniors have vertigo and balancing problems. While doing these exercises you need not tense your muscles. These are slow and circular movements. They are not harsh for the joints either. Tai Chi can be done in a nearby garden. 

                                      Understanding the Yin Yang principle in Tai-Chi helps you relax. Tension is Yang, Relaxation is YIn. Everything in our lives has a polar opposite. The night gives way to a new day. Summer ends and winter begins. You tend to get angry with the people whom you love the most. Nothing in life is static. We are in a constant flux. It's the balance that is needed. Seniors can particularly benefit from this practice.

                                       Yoga is at least a 2000 years old art form that originated from India. It improves body flexibility. It involves different postures and breathing exercises. Yoga improves balance and muscle tone. Different yoga postures can benefit chronic muscle aches and joint pains. Different postures are to be maintained for a few seconds. They are known as Asanas. For example, Bhujangasana can be useful for chronic back pain from which many elderly suffer. It should be learned by certified trainers. It should be learned slowly and gently. Never push your body too hard.

                                          Breathing exercises are good for calming the brain. Meditation is part of Yoga. Meditation is good for all age groups, especially seniors.

Author: Dr.Nishikant Sharma MD FACP

Dr.Nishikant Sharma MD FACP (US)

Specialist Internal Medicine

Believes in Preventive Medicine & Quality Treatment For all at Affordable cost. He is a Medical Writer & Content Creator.

Diabetes & Heart Clinic



Sleepless Nights?: 7 Tips for Your Sound Sleep

Sleepless nights: 7 tips for your sound sleep

                           Sleep is essential for good performance, mood, concentration, proper safety, and health. It is an important part of the triad of a healthy life (the other two are diet and exercise). Good sleep patterns can dramatically improve your work performance, creativity, and mood. Sleep deprivation can make you more irritable, anxious, or depressed.

                        Lack of proper sleep is a common complaint. Inadequate sleep is one of the major modern-day problems. There can be an inability to fall asleep. Another problem is the inability to get back to sleep once you get up in the night for a bathroom visit. Fragmented sleep is another problem especially in the elderly.           

                        The inability to sleep properly is one of the causes of daytime sleepiness or somnolence. It decreases concentration power. It is also a major cause of accidents. If you do not get proper sleep then the possibility of workplace & driving accidents increases substantially.

                            What are the causes of Insomnia?

                                Many people have to work in night shifts. In many industries, people work during the night. Their sleep pattern is disturbed.  Others watch movies on mobile phones or in movie theatres in late-night shows. Constantly glaring at your smartphones stimulates your brain. This in turn makes it difficult for you to fall asleep. The basic cause of insomnia is the discovery of light bulbs. Its bright light stimulates the brain and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep.

                                Anxiety, stress, and depression are other major causes of chronic sleep deprivation.

Baby Sleeping comfortably

How to get proper sleep? 7 Simple & Easy Tips For You.

1 Keeping your room dark is a good start.

                             Bright lights too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep. Darkness signals the biological clock that it is the time to unwind. Don’t use mobile phones before you go to sleep. The bright light will stimulate your brain.  Don’t use your Smartphone after 8 pm. If you have developed the bad habit of checking your Emails every few minutes then stop.
Keep a fixed time once or twice a day preferably in afternoons for this work. Similarly, you should not keep checking messages on Facebook and other social media frequently especially late at night. You can avoid that. Many students play fast-paced computer games at night. That you can avoid.

2 Reduce Alcohol Intake. 

You may think that consuming alcohol makes you sleep better. It is a misconception. It reduces the quality of sleep. It decreases deep sleep. It reduces REM sleep. It produces increased daytime sleepiness.

3 Start Physical Exercise.

If you do a good amount of physical exercise then you can sleep better. You get tired and your body needs sleep to rejuvenate. After getting up in the morning try to go for a 30 minutes walk. You can do aerobic workouts or join a gym.

4 Try Mindfulness.

Mindfulness helps you to sleep better. It even improves sleep quality by producing more alpha waves in the brain. Mindfulness produces alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves are slower in frequency. They make your mind and body relaxed.  It’s easier for you to get good sleep after 10 minutes of mindfulness.

5 Avoid drinking Coffee

You can avoid coffee and other caffeine drinks at night. Coffee stimulates the brain and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep. Some foods that contain tryptophan can promote good sleep. These foods release serotonin and help you to relax and get a good sleep. A bowl of oats with warm milk can do the trick. Almonds and walnuts are also rich in melatonin which regulates the sleep cycle.

6 Don’t do heavy exercise at night

You should avoid doing heavy exercise at night before going to sleep. Some people have a habit of going to the gym at night. Even a brisk walk at night can disturb you from falling asleep. A gentle walk after dinner can be helpful. Similarly, avoid sleeping in the afternoon for more than 30 minutes if you have difficulty falling asleep at night. The temperature of the room also can affect your sleep quality. You may find it difficult to sleep properly if the temperature is too high or cold.

7 Your State of Mind

Anxiety and Stress; Anxiety and stress can be the cause of chronic sleep deprivation. Depression can be an underlying cause. Don't take worries about your office home. If you have some problems talk to your friends and relatives. If this is not working try to seek professional help. You can consult your doctor or a psychiatrist. Psychotherapy does help in reducing stress.

Dr Nishikant Sharma MD FACP
Author: Dr. Nishikant Sharma MD FACP(USA)

Medical Writer & Content Creator

Specialist Internal Medicine./ Diabetes

He is an advocate of preventive and affordable medical care.

He has done a Content writing course from The University of California Davis (USA).

Forest Bathing: 3 Awesome Benefits

Forest Bathing : 3 Awesome Benefits

 Forest Bathing (Shinrin Yoku)

                                         There is no particular definition of Forest bathing. This is also known as Shinrin Yoku in the Japanese Language. Dr. Quing Li wrote a popular book on Forest Bathing. It has become popular in the 1980s onwards. Japanese practice this frequently. We all know the life expectancy of the average Japanese is high. Japanese people live healthy and long lives. You can find active old people in Japan unlike in other countries. People in Japan live and work up to 90-100 years and beyond. There is an island in Japan known as Okinawa where the largest number of people above 100 is found.
                                        Forest bathing means being in the presence of trees. Shinrin means Forest and Yoku means bath. It does not mean hiking or jogging. Though you can definitely trek through the forest with added benefits. It is simply being in nature. You can connect with nature through your senses. The sense of hearing can help us to listen to the sounds in the forest. The sounds of birds singing and occasional shrieks of monkeys or deers can have a soothing effect on your mind. The sense of smell can enable you to smell the flowers in the forest. The smell of soil connects you with mother nature. The sense of sight of course enables you to see the lush greenery which can have a soothing effect on your mind and soul. The sun shining between the trees also has a loving effect. It calms your mind and nerves.
                                        Increasing urbanization is causing people all over the world to move towards cities away from villages. About 60-70% of the population is now living in urban or semi-urban areas. Even in cities, people are spending 80-90% of their time indoors either in the office or at home. This has caused a disconnect between nature and us.
                                     Sprawling concrete jungles have come up with big shopping centers and malls. New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mumbai, Mexico City New Delhi are some of the many examples. Many cities do have decent parks in the city like The Central Park in Manhattan New York or Botanical garden in Singapore but many others have no such open spaces. In developing nations the urbanization is chaotic at best. Parks are overcrowded most of the time and may not be the best place for forest bathing. People with dogs and shouting children can be distracting

   What are the 3 Major benefits of Forest bathing?
    Green Forest
    Lush Green Forest

  • It is an Oxygen rich environment. Plants absorb CO2 and release Oxygen. Human beings need oxygen. We inhale oxygen and exhale CO2. People with Bronchial Asthma and other respiratory ailments can breathe easy. Forests are away from the city and are less polluted. Less pollution and high levels of oxygen are beneficial for people with allergic respiratory diseases. tress live long lives. Some trees can live for 200- 300 years. Trees secrete Phytoncides to protect themselves from infections. They are the basis of Aromatherapy. Phytoncides protect trees from viral and other infections. Please don't forget trees are living organisms. You can hug the trees and sit under their shade for a while. It helps in improving your immunity.

  • Walking Through a Forest
    Tropical Forest 

  • Mind-body Medicine. Forest Bathing helps you to calm your mind. As you enter the forest your heart rate starts to drop and blood pressure starts decreasing. The mind becomes relaxed. This has a positive effect on your body as well. Our mind and body are both connected. Trekking through the forest can be of an added benefit for diabetes as it consumes calories. It will decrease the blood sugar levels also. It has been found that patients who have rooms facing gardens recover faster from their diseases. Walking through the jungle is a good exercise. It burns calories and keeps you fit and healthy. It is gentle on your knees also.

  • Increased Creativity. To get the most of the Forest Bathing you should leave your smartphone and camera at home. You can walk through the place aimlessly. Unlocking power is in your five senses. Feel the breeze rustling through the trees and listen to the birds as they sing a song for you. You can sit near some water stream with your feet in the flowing water. Or You can walk bare feet on the grass. All this helps in unlocking your creativity. In the cities, you can not focus as you are multitasking almost always. This is a type of mindfulness exercise that unlocks your creativity. Creativity leads to increased productivity.

Author: Dr. Nishikant Sharma MD FACP (USA)
              He is a Health Care Professional.
              He is a specialist in Internal Medicine.
              He believes in Preventive Aspects of Diseases.
              He is a Medical Writer and Content Creator.
              He has done a Content Writing Course From the University Of California Davis.

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Mindfulness for Beginners: 3 Simple & Useful Exercises

Mind-body Medicine

                                   Our state of mind has a very powerful influence on our bodies. Our emotions and thoughts have a direct and indirect effect on our bodies. If you are stressed out your heart starts to beat faster. Suppose you suddenly get terrified your heart starts to race at a higher pace. Your body gets tensed up. Doctors call it as palpitation. It's like a tiger has just crossed your path or you have sighted a snake nearby.
                                   This response is ok if you have really spotted a tiger. We no longer live in jungles but our responses are still the same. Our fight or flight response is triggered every now and then. Simply watching breaking news can trigger such a response. It's your response to the situation not the important situation.
Tranquil Sea 
                                 We create stressors.  We create all sorts of anxieties about our future. What if I get sick tomorrow? What if I fail in exams? What if I lose my job? Such thoughts create unwanted flight and fight response. But in the modern world, you cannot run away from the tiger nor you can fight. So you start to wear and tear your body systems. It is like having and car and then driving it badly. It causes wear and tears effects on your body. This is known as the Allostatic load.
                                     Constant worries and stress lead to an increase in blood pressure. It ultimately leads to the hardening of blood vessels and atherosclerosis. An increase in the incidence of heart attacks occurs. The immune system becomes weakened.
                                     Mindfulness practice has been associated with a decrease in stress and anxieties.


3 Simple and Useful Mindfulness Exercises.

                               Here are 3 simple exercises that you can practice even in your busy schedule. The exercises can be done in 5-15 minutes.
  1. Body Scanning
  1. Breathing Exercises
  1. Mindful Movements.
 Body Scan 
                            A body scan is a simple exercise. It needs 5- 15 minutes to complete. It can be done at any time of the day. It can be done during a lunch break or before an important meeting.
                             You need to sit upright. You can sit in a cross-legged lotus position or on a chair. The chair should be armless. Many people find it difficult to sit on the floor in a cross-legged position. Sitting on a chair is perfectly ok. Your spine should be straight.
                           In body scanning you can focus on one part of the body at a time. You can start from feet and then ascend upwards. Feet then legs then thighs and then buttocks. You concentrate on one part of the body at a time. You can squeeze the muscle involved for a few seconds then relax. As you ascend upwards you need to concentrate on different upper body parts. You focus on the upper body, face, and eyes.
                           Our mind at a time can hold only one thought. By concentrating on body parts we divert our brain to our body and present moment.
Breathing Exercises
                              In breathing exercises you need to focus on your breath. You can count up to 7 as you inhale. Then you can hold your breath and count up to 7. Then exhale counting 7. As you continue the process you can after some time stop counting and just focus on the breath. This has a definite calming effect on the brain.
                               It increases your focus. After a few minutes your heart rate starts to slow down and blood pressure returns to normal. The calm brain is more effective and productive than an agitated and angry one. This technique is also known as Hong Sau Method. Here we shift our focus from some unknown fear of the future to the present moment. It's a very effective method to calm your nerves.
Mindful Movements.
                                    You thought mindfulness needs to practice in sitting position. No it can be practiced while moving also. Many elite sports persons and their coaching staff are turning to mindful
movements to enhance their performance. For example renowned tennis player Novak Djokovic learned mindfulness so he can realize when he starts obsessing about the outcome of the match. This helped him to improve his game.
                                    Here are some suggestions for helping you to do any physical activity more mindfully.
                                    In the morning, take a few moments to stretch and breathe before getting up (or reaching for your phone). While walking pay attention to the experience of walking. Remember, mindfulness does not have to be done slowly. Focus on the surroundings while walking, the trees, roads, cars, etc. Likewise while driving pay attention to the road ahead maintain an awareness of what is behind you and how fast your car is going etc. Forget about the meeting ahead instead focus on the present moment. Observe the vehicles ahead, feel the steering wheel and the seat. This way you start enjoying the drive and the journey.
                                     Life is a journey that should be enjoyed every moment and every day. Instead we think about the past and future. That thinking makes us sad and anxious. No One knows what will happen tomorrow. Instead one should focus on the present moment.
                                 This will surely increase your happiness and productivity. it will improve your peak performance.
                                If you want to know more about how mindfulness can benefit you,  please leave your Email Address in the comment section.

   Author Dr. Nishikant Sharma MD FACP.
   He is a healthcare professional
   He believes in Preventive aspects of the diseases.
   He does regular Mindfulness practice.
   Follow us on Twitter @Nishant26718040

 References are taken from Following articles with Thanks:
To know about Different forms of mindfulness click on:
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Warren Buffett and Airlines : 3 Different Perspectives

Warren Buffett and Airlines Industry

                                                      Warren Buffett is the most followed Investor billionaire in the world. People follow his advice and watch his moves very keenly. His quotes are legendary.
                                                         In early May 2020, he suddenly exited the airline's Industry selling his entire stake. He said: American magic has always prevailed and it will do so again 
                                                        The world has changed for airlines and we wish them well.
                                                        In this article, we have discussed his views on the Airlines Industry. References are taken from his letter to shareholders that are published every year on the Berkshire Hathaway website.
                                                    .His views have changed about the industry. Recently he changed his views turning 180 degrees. His views can be divided into 3 different phases.                                    
Phase 1 (1987-2007) :
                                                      The worst sort of business is the one that grows rapidly, requires significant capital to engender growth, and then earns little or no money. Think airlines. Here durable competitive advantage has proven elusive ever since the days of Wright brothers. Indeed if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, He would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting  Orville down.  Warren Buffett wrote in his letter to shareholders in 2007.
                                                      The demand for capital by the airlines' industry has been insatiable. Investors have poured money into a bottomless pit, attracted by the growth when they should have been repelled by it. And I, to my shame, participated in this foolishness when I had Berkshire buy US Air preferred stock in 1989. As the ink was drying on our check, the company went into a tailspin, and before long our preferred dividend was no longer paid. But we got lucky. In one of the recurrent, but always misguided, bursts of optimism for airlines we were actually able to sell our shares in 1998 for a hefty gain. In the decade that following our sale, the company went bankrupt. Twice.

                                                     Buffett's remarks that investors would have saved billions of dollars if someone had shot down the Wright Brothers plane is perhaps the best-known criticism of Airlines Industries. Indeed just in the 2001-2005 period, US airlines collectively lost $40 billion.
                                                      For decades the airline industry has hovered between profit and loss. In most cases, the losses have outweighed the profits over time.
                                                     In 1994 Warren Buffett in his letter to shareholders wrote- As the capacity of the low-cost operators expanded, their fares began to force old-line high-cost airlines operators to cut their own, Eventually the fundamental rule of economics prevailed: In an unregulated commodity business, a company must lower its cost to competitive levels or face extinction.

Airplanes on a Busy Airport
Airplanes waiting on a busy Airport Terminal

                                               The US airline industry was disrupted in early 1990 when low-cost airlines undercut the legacy carrier's fares. The rapid growth of low-cost airlines led to big losses across the industry. Legacy carriers were forced to match their competitors otherwise their base customers would drift away.
Phase 2 (2015-16)
                                                In 2015-16 Warren Buffett decided to buy Airlines Stocks. He changed his long standing stance. He had already purchased Railroad companies in the 2000-2003 period and was interested in transportation. He purchased shares in Delta, American, Southwest, and United Airlines. Probable reasons were as follows.
  • Rising Demand for Seats.
  • Consolidation in the Airlines Industry
  • Reliable Buybacks in Stocks
  • Relative Stable Prices
  • Efficient Managers.
                                        Warren Buffett knew they have terrible economies but stable outlook may have caused him to change his mind. He had thought that Berkshire will get a higher rate of return because of the low multiples of the stocks. He purchased about 9%-11% in each of these stocks. In between, there was a rumor that Berkshire may purchase majority shares in Southwest Airlines. Possibility of share buybacks by companies also made him change is views.
Phase 3 (COVID 19 Pandemic 2020):
                                         The COVID 19 Pandemic hit the airline industry badly. The shares of Airlines started falling. The passenger numbers started falling. The buyback of the shares was put on the backburner.

                                      The current crisis is creating a huge amount of anxiety and changing consumers psyche. Some industries may be permanently altered by the coronavirus such as airlines. Berkshire was a top three shareholder in American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Airlines Inc, Southwest Airlines Co, and United Airlines Holdings Inc, as recently as April 2020. Buffett has decided to completely exit from his positions. The world has changed for airliners and we wish them well.
                                       Even though Buffett is the long term believer of the US economy as a whole his 180-degree turn on the airline industry shows that he sees virus changing some consumer behavior. I believe in the American story and I hope my successors will continue to believe in the same.He informed his shareholders about the same. He took money out of the Airlines Industry. This was done at a substantial loss.

                                      He said: American magic has always prevailed and it will do so again 
the world has changed for airlines and we wish them well.

Author : Dr Nishikant Sharma MD FACP
Health care Professional
Content Writer 

Dr Nishikant Sharma MD FACP

References from and
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