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Musing Minds- Student Blog- Ms. Ananya Suri MA Psychology

As I sat one night brainstorming ways to do justice to this blog and introduce myself to the world of sharing musings, I channeled all of my love for psychology into a “personality type” format to kick off my journaling. I recently took the popular ’16 personality’ test online to amuse myself. It is an adaptation of the theory of psychological personality types produced by Carl Jung. It is based on 16 personality types, which Jung viewed as stereotypes. At the heart of Myers – Briggs theory are four spectrum on which one can be positioned, forming their unique personality. These are:

  • People and things (Extroversion “E”), versus ideas and information (Introversion “I”).
  • Facts and reality (Sensing “S”), versus possibilities and potential (Intuition “N”).
  • Logic and truth (Thinking “T”), versus values and relationships (Feeling “F”).
  • A lifestyle that is well-structured (Judgment “J”), versus one that goes with the flow (Perception/ Prospecting “P”)While at first I struggled with how definitive it seemed in its diagnosis and how online “personality tests” can often seem like you are reading a horoscope, I decided to be less skeptical and introspect. Isn’t it my life experiences that make me who I am? How do they put together all of my essence  into this succinct format? 

    ENFPs’ (like myself) are invigorating, independent and socially adept at navigating our worlds using an enthusiasm for exploration. This has been true for every aspect of my life. My self-esteem is driven by my ability to produce original content and come up with creative solutions. I’m inherently curious, which leaves me longing for life-changing experiences.

    During my childhood, I discovered my need for social interactions and exploration. The first pillar of my personality, extroversion (E) shone through in my formative years.

    I struggled with learning disabilities and dexterity problems as a child. Focusing in class was an uphill battle and I could be easily distracted; I found it difficult to cope with classwork and homework, and was left to deal with the same largely undiagnosed.

    Despite my struggle with academics, it didn’t hinder me from pursuing extracurricular hobbies and I focused on being a complete people’s person. All of my parents ‘couple’ friends together provided a strong childhood friends circle that I carry along with me even now, forming a family-like bond making me learn to express myself through my friendships.

    In lieu of my prospecting nature comes my passion: Psychology. The world is my playground, and I intend to explore every inch of it! My intuitive (N) side thrives while discovering the beauty of the world around us. I tend to see life as a big, complex puzzle where everything is connected, through a prism of emotion, compassion, and mysticism, constantly seeking deeper meaning.

    On the other hand, that same intuition has a darker side, which shows in my low score of (P). I often deal with anxiety for a multitude of reasons, some of which are hard to admit. While I love social interaction, it can leave me caring too much about what other people think of me. Sometimes I get too hung up on the smaller details and fail to see the bigger picture and my overthinking takes over all else. Although, my flaws are a part of who I am. My anxiety makes me sensitive, it drives me to be a perfectionist and want to improve constantly. I give my all to anything I put my heart to, and for that, I am thankful.

    Lastly, my feeling (F) side is evident in all my interpersonal relationships ,and brings out all the other factors of my personality even more, especially with my family.

    My parents voracious and infectious energies have given me an immense passion that I carry on within me (and it even sometimes drives my sister and me up the wall). I have always been in admiration of how they brought us up, constantly learning from their creative parenting. Our home has always been a very open and progressive household, sharing feelings, thoughts, and ideas every step of the way. No topic has been out of bounds, no conversation that couldn’t be shared among us four. Anything and everything was open to debate and all our voices rang loud and clear. There’s ‘never a dull day’ in the “Suri household”.

    Another central aspect of my life is my very loving husband. We traveled together in the same school bus, and like most pre-pubescent in 8th grade, we fell head over heels. What one would assume was childish infatuation was anything but that. I’m now married to the same boy who lived down the lane, except now he lives in the same room!  We got married very young because we could not be apart any longer and now as of 4 days back, we have even grown as a family with the addition of our tiny 2 month old dalmatian puppies!

    Through all my facets of life, I’m ever-changing, but I always choose to live deeply and happily, laughing often, loving always and never looking back. While personality tests may not be the gospel truth, they are a great ally for some reflection into our lives!

What is Toxic Empathy and How to Emotionally Protect Yourself?

What is Toxic Empathy?

Toxic empathy is when a person over-identifies with someone emotions, feelings and takes them on as their own personal. Although, if the other individual’s anxiety and stress keep you from your current tasks and responsibilities, it is called toxic empathy.

Toxic empathy is when you do not just replicate and reflect another person’s emotions or feelings, you also experience and consume them. Consuming someone else’s problems can cause you to become equally overwhelmed or even more so. When you replicate another person’s emotions as your own, you make them your emotions too even though you are only empathizing or putting yourself in that person’s shoes.

People who are overly-empathetic or hyper-empathetic may gradually lose their own wants, needs as the feeling when overshadowed by another person’s emotions. These people experience others’ emotions to an extent where they lose themselves and feel the pain or negativity and in some cases positivity of another person. This diverts them from their own path and their life and onto someone else’s.

Regular over empathizing can lead to a reduced capacity of making one’s own decisions as per their best interest. They may also experience draining feelings physically and mentally since they draw away from their own feelings. People who give greater importance to others’ lives and needs above their own experience general anxiety and even mild depression at times. They don’t think of themselves often and are fully consumed by others’ sentiments they report feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness. They mostly look at situations from another person’s perspective rather than their own.

Some signs you may be experiencing toxic empathy are:

  1. Pitying others’ situations often and use it as a justification if they are mean and unpleasant towards you.
  2. Giving in to others’ demands easily and find it hard to say no or refuse.
  3. Unintentionally physically replicate another person’s stress i.e, feeling like you have a knot in your stomach, clammy hands, etc.
  4. Emotionally mirroring another individual’s pain and feeling persistent emotions of sadness and suffering for a prolonged period of time.
  5. Feeling exhausted physically and psychologically after interacting with people.
  6. Being unable to complete or fulfil your own responsibilities because you feel overwhelmed by your feelings.

Managing toxic empathy

Emotional Hijacking

Emotional hijacking is when another person’s thoughts and feelings have control over your emotions and feelings. People who have a high empathic quotient and are prone to toxic empathy may experience emotional hijacking during a process like venting. They can absorb the other’s frustrations and replicate them. To prevent this, you must observe what emotions you feel when someone is expressing their feeling to you and remain calm, relax. Composing yourself later on and relaxing gradually will allow you to release the other individual’s emotions and empathise in a healthy way.

Healthy relationships

In mutually healthy relations both parties’ emotional needs are given proportionate importance. It uses the give and take method where both parties act as listeners and speakers as well. Every healthy relationship has a well defined boundary where everyone’s needs are met and an equal amount of support is given to both individuals. Communication is key and is necessary in order to fully express and let go or relive yourself from some of the negative emotions you are feeling. Communication in a healthy relationship would make you feel heard, lighten your mood and deepen your connection with the other individual.

In a healthy relationship, boundaries are extremely important since they help you distinguish between your own needs and the other person’s needs which allows you to shield yourself from toxic empathy.

Psychologists near me

If you feel that you are always overwhelmed with your emotions, listening to others’ problems causes you to stress, seek the help of distinguished Psychologists at IILM would be happy to guide and counsel you. Our faculties can help you understand the causes and help you balance empathizing with others, managing your own emotions and forming healthy relationships.

Please feel free to write to us at megha.pushkarna@iilm.edu The distinguished Psychologists at IILM would be happy to guide and counsel you.

 

 

 

ANANYA PANDEY FROM BA YR II Batch 2019

Reforming our Education System- Student Blog (Kirti Manektala B.A(Hons)Psychology Year II)

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learnt in school” -Einstein

Introduction

The Indian education system is largely based on rote learning. Students focus more on memorizing the facts rather than understanding. This creates a bridge between education and knowledge. UGC even during the pandemic amidst the lockdown announced exams stating that exams are linked directly to academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress.

The question remains why are exams so important that even during the course of a pandemic which is causing a physical and a mental toll on people; UGC considers exams as an essential? Exams are built to test the rote learning capacity of a student rather than their actual conceptual understanding. In the real world, understanding the practical application is what comes in handy rather than mugged-up concepts.

Are marks so crucial for our future?

Marks still continue to be the most important factor in deciding the future of children. College cut offs, choice of streams, career choices, etc are all dependent on the marks a student score. 90% plus students choose the science stream, an 80% plus gets math, etc. The streams aren’t governed by choice but rather by 10th marks.

A 3-hour paper evaluates the individual’s potential, future and career choices. Evaluations should be based on real life skills as well as practical skills such as leadership, extra curricular, etc but rather they are based on a person’s ability to memorize provided content.

Subjects are also given different priorities for example: science students are given a priority over students with commerce or arts. Languages, communication, arts etc in the subject hierarchy are not considered as important as sciences.

Maths and science marks always determine a student’s overall capability. Students good in social sciences but lacking in math and science often find themselves condemned for their science and math marks despite their capabilities in other fields.

Similarly, students good at extracurricular such as sports, drama or dance but not above average in marks often face academic judgement.

Practical Knowledge over Rote Learning

A student’s potential to excel in subjects, academics and extracurricular often depends on their aptitude which is largely genetic. For example: a student with logical mathematical aptitude would excel in math, a student with linguistic aptitude would excel in languages and one with bodily kinaesthetic aptitude would excel in sports or dance. Education needs to be personalized according to the student’s aptitude. Similarly, our education system needs to focus on practical learning rather than rote memorization of textbook content. Students need to be taught practical applications of the knowledge provided in their books.

Media overemphasizes on excellence

Oftentimes news reporters are seen interviewing board toppers where they ask them the most basic general knowledge questions and the toppers are unable to answer the same. Similarly, reporters also interview school teachers who are unable to answer the basic general knowledge questions.

This showcases a large loophole of our education system where students are aware of what’s written in the book due to their memorization capacity but they are unaware of basic general knowledge required in real world settings.

An 18-year-old student coming out of school is incapable to engage in basic banking, healthcare, investment, etc. Students are unaware of basic necessities such as how to wire money, how to write checks, how to file FIRs, how to file a PIL, how to write actual formal letters and emails, create CVS and resumes, how to check taxes, etc which makes them incapable of dealing with real life tasks which are rather important.

Different learning styles

Every human being has varying learning styles- visual, oral, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary i.e. everyone has different ways of acquiring information. Our education system doesn’t take into consideration the difference in learning styles.

Education system needs to be moulded according to the learning needs of each and every individual. This would increase the effectiveness of the learning provided to each and every student. Rather than focusing on group learning where every student is supposed to acquire the information in the same way, education should focus on the strengths and weaknesses of every individual.

Similarly, the assessment types are again generalized rather than subjective for example: personality types- students who are introverted often find it uncomfortable to participate in group projects or present yet every student regardless of their individual differences are boxed up into the same type of learning as well as the same types of assessment. Every learner, every individual, etc is unique and that is something which education system needs to seriously consider.

Education is a journey to development

Education is an important part of an individuals’ growth and development. To create human resources, which would actually contribute to the resource pool of the economy we need to reconsider our methods of teaching. Adding technology to the equation doesn’t resolve the outdatedness of our education system. It is important that as we evolve our education system also evolves. It is important that education considers neuroscience, cognitive psychology and education psychology and creates a framework which is effective.

Conclusion

Education should focus on growth but shouldn’t create pressure. We need to consider where we are going wrong. Change is the only constant and our education system needs some serious change.  What are your views on the Indian Education System and how do you think National Education Policy 2020 would help in bridging the gap between education and employability?

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – Einstein

https://blog.iilm.edu/kya-result-aaya-boards-2020/

A HEALTHY MIND IS THE GREATEST TREASURE TO FIND (Student Blog B.A. Hons. Psychology)

 

Conversations around mental health have always been a taboo in our Indian society. It has been related to how a person might be possessed or simply is dysfunctional to be ever cured; thus not be able to work in an environment to sustain oneself. People in our country are struggling with varied psychological issues that have a direct impact on their overall well-being. There is a tremendous mental health crisis that has been brewing in our society ever since 2015. The problem is aggravated as people believe that mental health issues can be cured by visiting religious centres where God is the only source of direction and solution to cure such problems. Even today, such belief systems have a found place in people’s life which is quite far off from logic and rationality.

Rural areas perceive mental illness very differently. They consider mental illness equal, to be possessed by some evil soul under which individuals facing problems are many times handled quite harshly which leaves a long lasting impact on their mental health & well being. Many times patients whose families are totally unaware of their condition end up abandoning their family members considering them mentally unfit, which leaves a long lasting scar in the life of the suffering person. Lack of mental health awareness has many a time led people from backward areas to a wrong diagnosis which worsens the mental condition of the person, leaving him in a situation where they may have no door to knock.

There is a great need to create awareness about mental health in rural areas, as compared to the urban sector where acceptance and initiative for treatment has taken a positive turn over the years, where mental illness is not seen or considered a taboo to talk and discuss.

Cases of mental illness in urban areas are increasing as people face daily pressures in work and personal lives. Working hours that go beyond the schedule of 9-5, has left people with no time for themselves. Ambitions have over-taken the need for personal care, healthy diet, appropriate sleep and even family time has been compromised giving an open entry to multiple mental health related issues.

Addressing mental health is very important. Once we understand and open up about our struggles we would be in a position to see what awaits us. Living with stress is equal to letting a cancer slowly but steadily grow to eventually harm us one day. Opening up about one’s feeling, emotions, physical symptoms, or lifestyle can be a great start. This will bring focus on the prospects of managing one’s well being. It is like healing a wound which might initially seem quite painful, but with the right diagnosis can cure you to be your wholesome self again pretty soon. The more one explores, the better one feels about his/her mental health condition. Just accepting one’s problem, living with it and not taking corrective action is not a good idea.

One must be very careful, attentive and address any problem they might face. Some symptoms are:

  • Confused thinking.
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows.
  • Excessive fears, worries, and anxieties.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Strong feelings of anger.
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)

It is imperative for a person to seek the help of a professional psychologist, and get the right treatment. People should be made more aware of what mental illness is, through campaigns and workshops.

The first step should be taken by schools to create awareness amongst children and adults of all age groups explaining that “it’s okay not to be okay” and that it’s absolutely normal for boys to cry and experience emotions like pain. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Dedicated counsellors and special educators should be hired in schools, to help people know about mental health issues. Workshops for teachers, parents, and students can be organised to understand how to deal with stress and day- to-day pressures of life. Talking to a therapist should be emphasized upon.

In the end, always remember that mental health issues are never something to be ashamed of. Only when awareness increases in society, will we be able help each other in times of stress and emotional instability because as the saying goes – a healthy mind is the greatest treasure to find.

At IILM University, our Psychology faculty members are trained psychologists and you are welcome to reach out to us for free counselling sessions. Please visit www.iilm.edu.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close

“Kya Result Aaya?” #Boards 2020

Introduction:

Board results are the quintessential discussion for parents and students which also becomes the most discussed topic amongst family. Unfortunately, it’s marking a child’s future with the percentage for the rest of their lives and not to mention labelling them.

The amount of pressure that board classes bring with them has been accounted in various studies, clearly signifying, inverse correlation of stress and marks in board exams, even though we continue to pressurize students to attain, at times, the impossible.

Expectations (from parents, teachers, peer and self) may crumble the self-esteem, as well as performance in boards and can have devastating effects on students and their career options.

100% Board results-2020

In 2019, as many as 17,693 students scored more than 95% in CBSE XII and the numbers increased to 38,686 students in 2020. Board results 2020 have raised the bar for students, who will be giving exams from here on. To compete with 100% marks can have challenges in plenty. Not to downsize the student who made that effort and actually got those brilliant marks; the discussion is about students who got a distinction (above 75%) and still feel “not good enough”.

This unfortunate inadequacy of “could get better marks” is a dilemma any student scoring marks from 70-90% category feels, especially when the choice of subjects in a prestigious university looks bleak. Not that the ones who make it over 90% waltz through the top universities. They also struggle and at some point “have to compromise” on the course or a college.

Can you accept your marks and not label it as destiny?

My observation while looking at board results- Yes, it is the highlight of your life and will be compared in galore with cousins, friends and any known person who got better marks than you. However, could we stop putting the blame on either teachers, Corona or pressure from known and accept what we scored gracefully?

Can we find jubilance in clearing class XII and being ready for applying in colleges rather than whining of what could happen if we scored better? Acceptance of board results brings inner peace and reduces comparisons which clearly isn’t helpful. I believe board results don’t shape your destiny and that only if you are ready to believe in yourself, can life offer opportunities for you to carve out the best in self.

If we can make a reality check and be honest with oneself, as to what are the strengths and to work on them, we may find our success, even if it feels inadequate to others. The key to convince parents and friends is when you, yourself can accept what you want to do, or reach out for counselling, if unable to make career choices.

Try reducing those mountains of expectation or mirages of “what I should be” to “what I can be” for a better career path and at the same time enjoy the journey of becoming your own person.

Experience the “Joy in Learning at IILM”

With newer opportunities coming up every day like School of Humanities at IILM University, Gurugram, we encourage students from varied fields to open their minds to choose a trending subject and experience the joy in learning. With latest pedagogy in teaching, faculties at IILM strive to help students create a niche for themselves and prepare themselves for better career opportunities.

Conclusion:

Board results could have brought tears of joy or disappointment given what you were expecting and what was received as results. See this as an opportunity to explore and search what and where you want to take your college education. Comparisons and expectations can be hurtful, so try avoiding them by focusing on “what you think you want” than “what you should be”.

 

“Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try”

Personality Traits in Mahabharata and the Ocean Model

Introduction:

While going about our usual day we interact with people, judge their personality as to how they are different from us and at times compromise  with the changing facets of their personalities without even thinking. We unknowingly almost like an automatic response form opinion about people depending on their overt behavioural responses.

Why we do this? Because we humans are wired for curiosity to know more about our environment aWhy we do this? Because we humans are wired for curiosity to know more about our environment and the people we live with. Like when we notice someone at a party surrounded by a large group of people, obviously the centre of attention, chatting and laughing; we may conclude that person is an extrovert.

So, how do we understand personality?

While studying personality we assume that personality characteristics are relatively stable over time and that traits show stability across situations. For example, someone who is described as an extrovert may be very outgoing and chatty at a party but less so in a conference. In both situations, they are likely to be more sociable than an introvert person. We also assume that personality traits influence behaviour. The person is outgoing and chatty because they are an extrovert.

At IILM, we offer courses in personality to undergraduate courses to help them discover themselves as well as understand our basic individual differences.

Personality and its spectrum

Cattell (1965) defined personality as being the characteristics of the individual that allows prediction of how they will behave in a given situation. Psychologists increasingly agree that five super traits may adequately describe the structure of personality.

Costa and McCrae (1992), who measured personality with their OCEAN model represents a continuum along which individuals can be explained in terms of their traits.  For a better understanding of these traits, the following is my explanation of how characters and their personalities were depicted from Mahabharat.

Characters from Mahabharat to explain OCEAN Model:

At IILM the curriculum is an interesting blend of science and mythology. I will explain how we teach traits to our Psychology students with the help of characters from Mahabharat.

OPENNESS – This factor refers to the individual having an openness to new experiences and an active imagination.

Karna was seen to be high on this scale as throughout the epic he justified his never-say-die attitude and courageously confronted all the odds of his destiny. His character in Mahabharata has everlasting fame because he teaches how can one present himself better than the destiny and accomplish everything with shatterproof determination. Bhima was seen low on this scale as he was conventionally oriented towards a particular goal that is of being the mightiest warrior.

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS– This factor describes our degree of self-discipline and control. Yudhishthira was high on this scale; was hard-working, organized, goal-driven whereas Shakuni was seen to be low on this scale as he is the person who poisoned the mind of his explosive nephew Duryodhana and fuelled-up the destructive war of Mahabharata, thus becoming the cause of the destruction of the Kauravas.

EXTRAVERSION – This factor is a measure of the individual’s sociability, energetic, optimistic, friendly and assertive.

Krishna was high on this scale as he attempted to navigate negotiations between the Pandavas and Kurus before the Kurukshetra war even happened. He convinced Balarama to not partake in the war itself. He even tried to get Karna to fight for the Pandavas as well. Sahadeva was shown to be low on extroversion, even though as the wisest of all the Pandava brothers he mostly kept to himself reading Vedas, spoke less and followed mostly what his elder brothers decided upon him.

AGREEABLENESS – This factor relates to the characteristics of social interaction. Individuals with high scores are trusting, helpful, soft-hearted and sympathetic.

Bhishma was high on this scale as his peerless statesmanship to be the mediator between the Kauravas and Pandavas and other impeccable characteristics still inspire his ardent followers across the world. Dronacharya was low on this scale as he discriminated against Karna and Eklavya on the basis of their caste. He did not voice out any objection in the court during Draupadi’s assault.

NEUROTICISM – This factor measures an individual’s emotional stability and personal adjustment. Duryodhana is seen to be high on this scale as he is motivated by greed, jealously, and a desire for retribution. Yudhishthira was low on this scale as he is calm, even-tempered, secure and happy.

Is there a situational difference when we portray our personality?

Psychologists explain this by segregating personality into a private and public persona. Private being the ‘real’ inner person, while public is the way that the individual presents themselves to the outside world. We may be confident and outgoing in some situations and less sure of ourselves and more retiring in other situations. A case where a shy reserved person joins an organisation but eventually becomes an arrogant and stubborn boss. This fits the explanation of how our personalities differ situationally.

Conclusion:

As much as individuals behave differently in different situations, our behavioural reactions can be clubbed into traits as similar reactions across age and cultures. To conclude, we can say that each one us is uniquely different yet distinctively similar as well.

 

“Personality is a mask we believe in”

Dr White

 

Psychology and Your Future in India

Introduction

Today’s disruptive changes have made Psychology one of the most sought-after careers. The demand and supply chain in Psychology will help overcome obstacles in personal and professional lives in the future. Our fast-paced lives, demanding jobs and complicated family dynamics are making mental health a prime issue of survival in the 21st century.

Countries across the globe are looking at making mental health equally imperative and vital as physical health. Therefore, the role of psychologists in future will become as crucial as our medical workers. Simply put, we may take medicine for any physiological ailment, but what about societal, global pressures coupled with tragedies? There is no known medicine to handle all that, hence Psychology becomes crucial as a subject to be pursued.

Psychology as a subject and its specializations

Psychology has been an undercurrent in any field offering a myriad of opportunities. IILM University, which is considered one of the best colleges in Delhi/NCR for Psychology provides components of the following in the course as fusion in undergraduate as well as specialization in masters.

Clinical Psychology: Anyone who has been a student of Psychology has been amazed by abnormal psychology and at least once aspired to become a clinical Psychologist. Facets such as diagnosis, understanding and management of disorders while working in hospitals, rehabilitation centres come under this. Given the emotional pressures people go through, the demand for good clinical psychologists is expected to rise. We hear and see many celebrities openly discussing their mental health and concerns. This trend has increased awareness and acceptance towards disorders and with time the need for experts in clinical psychology is only expected to grow.

Counselling Psychology: Counselling is like a second skin to any Psychologist as it deals with facing day-to-day scenarios and its management. Counselling being a broader term branch into career guidance, marital and academic. Counselling Psychologists are seen working in private set-ups, career centres, schools, NGOs and organizations. Today, it is required across all walks of life, and the need for it will only continue to grow. At IILM, we invite guest lectures as well as electives in CBT/REBT for Psychology students.

Organizational/Industrial Psychology: Psychologists in this field focus on workplace issues at the individual, group and organizational levels to enhance the productivity of the employees and ultimately the organization. As more and more MNC’s are paying attention to the mental health of their employees, Psychologists with I/OB specialization are working in HR as consultants/managers and are assessing emotional, social intelligence and performance in the employees.

Developmental/Child Psychology: This field works with lifetime development of human beings focusing on psychomotor, cognitive, as well as emotional development from early years. Popularly known as Child Psychologists they work mainly with children in therapy centres, schools, paediatric setups, NGO’s with close association with special educators and psychiatrists.

Sports Psychology: This is a fairly new branch that works with athletes’ physical and cognitive performance along with coaches, nutritionists as well as physiotherapists. Sports Psychologists endeavours to help sports teams to increase performance and motivation of sportsmen. India being a sports passionate country, this field has a lot of scope as a career.

Forensic Psychology: This branch deals with legal and judicial systems and is closely related to criminology. At IILM we help B.A students, enhance their understanding of laws in India while offering Law as an elective course.

Military Psychology: This is yet another contemporary branch of specialization dealing with military personnel and their families. Concerns such as depression, anxiety, grief as well as stress-related issues are taken care of by evaluations and treatment of mental and emotional disorders along with counselling. Psychologists are routinely hired in forces and are doing extensive research and policy-related work.

How to pursue Psychology as a budding career?

In India, we can pursue Psychology from graduation level (Psychology as a subject in Class XI & XII is preferred) and then pursue a B.A. / B.Sc. programme in Psychology. Master’s programme in Psychology is mandatory for seeking a career as a Counsellor as well as to apply for a job. M.Phil. is important to practice as a clinical psychologist and may accompany it with diploma courses in any therapeutic work (cognitive behaviour, rational emotive, career guidance, etc.) IILM University offers BA (Hons) as well as MA Psychology with specialization in counselling and organization behaviour.

Conclusion

Psychology as science finds applications in all walks of life. Psychology presents immense career options in the present times and will hold promising opportunities in the future as well.

The best way to predict your future is to create it

Abraham Lincoln

A CACTUS IS REALLY JUST AN AGGRESSIVE CUCUMBER

Introduction:

As a cool cucumber can turn into a savaged looking cactus, all of us can indeed turn our calm selves to something ferocious because of anger which at times triggers violent responses. Reactions ranging from rash driving to banging doors to actually getting into a physical altercation and verbal aggression are seen most commonly with people who are apparently aggressive.

Social Psychologists cleave the concept of aggression into emotional and instrumental aggression which is to say that former results from unhappy/negative emotions (carried out in the heat of the moment like slapping in a fit of rage) whereas the latter is intended, a well-planned move (to hurt someone purposely like a bully in school or at work).

Aggression is exhibited in physical aspects – hitting, kicking to non-physical aspects like verbal (yelling), social (bad-mouthing, excluding others), racial (micro aggression), sexual (misogyny, homophobic jokes) that are intended to harm others.

Following Liberal education at IILM University, we teach life skills in out everyday classes in the form of role plays or class discussion to help them accept, understand and manage negative emotions.

But why do we aggress? Is it like a life skill that we all need so that we don’t look meek?

Evolutionary Scientists explain that we have an innate ability to protect as well as seek continual survival of our genes. Human beings need to be able to aggress in certain situations, and nature has provided us with this skill which means that under the right situation, almost all of us will aggress (Buss & Duntley, 2006).

Physiologists’ support evolutionary perspective as it is known to mankind that aggression is controlled by Amygdala i.e. limbic system inside the cortex controlling emotions. This further controls our autonomic nervous system which in stress activates flight-or-fight mechanism.  What science is trying to explain to us is that under stress, we will either fight the stressor or run away from it. Not only this, some imperative chemical substances in our body like serotonin which when found to be at low levels predict aggression (Kruesi, Hibbs, Zahn, & Keysor, 1992; Virkkunen, de Jong, Bartko, & Linnoila, 1989).

Behavioral scientists feel that what we see in our environment is how we condition ourselves to be; so if children see their parents act out aggression by hitting, to them it’s OK to do the same. It’s no rocket science to explain that aggression would harbor aggression and the more we see it, the easier it is for us to repeat it.

It is imperative to say that one’s social situation also makes it critical for a response like aggression. As it is commonly noticed that we may react violently in situations where we are uncomfortable/ fearful or provoked (with friends or subordinates) but may react more calmly in others (in front of an authority).

On hindsight, it is easy to recall that when we were aggressive, we were likely to be experiencing a negative emotion (example- unhappy thoughts, pain or discomfort) that’s why it became so easy to react aggressively. In general, it could be the feeling of being ill or undergoing emotional disturbance that makes one vulnerable to frustration which further provokes violent behaviour.

At IILM University which is considered one of the best private universities for Psychology around Delhi/NCR, we teach critical thinking and communication skills along with other courses where we discuss how anger does not become an issue till you keep ignoring it. Reaching to the core of an internal conflict and addressing concerns is half battle won without inflicting pain to self or others.

 

How to if not stop, control aggression?

The answer to this is Catharsis which is a process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotion. For reducing negative affect and its arousal, if we can actively distract ourselves from that emotion it can help break the cycle of being provoked to react in anger. Catharsis can be any form of meaningful engagement like talking it out, exercising, listening to music and is most useful when done alone.

At undergrad and master’s courses in Psychology at IILM University we teach positive and social psychology and most importantly emotional intelligence. We endeavour to help our students with a thorough understanding of psychology, its components and how aggression is a symptom of repressed issues which through therapy and counselling can be managed.

Conclusion:

Aggression is seen more an emotional than instrumental response needs to be managed by first checking on our feelings. We need to assess what caused this emotion and why? At times aggression is directed at something different than what actually provoked it. When we think carefully about our situation, rather than simply responding in an emotional way, we can carefully choose the most effective responses when we are angry (Berkowitz, 1993).

To conclude, aggression is not a disease we need to fight, lets comes to terms with how normal an aggressed response is; but accept that it cannot be typified into personality. We need to address cause before the management for a long-term goal.

 

FUTURE OF WORK-FROM HOME

Introduction

Most of my employed friends have seen this paradigm shift of working from home at the time when pandemic is hovering on our heads. With this cloud of constant worry and panic, I noticed a silver lining and that has been remote working. As much as thoughts about driving to work in traffic and chores to complete at home, seems like a lost memory; we all know it will take some time for us to go back to that mindless driving routine once the lockdown gets lifted.

Effective Diversion at the time of crisis

So, has this shift from “physically” being at work impacted performance for people? If it is to believed home-based jobs has been an effective diversion from anxious thoughts as well as keeping peace at home. Working from home has created a sense of purpose for the day along with balancing home and work commitments. This fine balance we all have evolved to is our future in 2020. IILM University which is excelling in blended modules for its students, aspires to teach innovatively while using latest web tools so that students keep pace with virtual learning while being at home.

Benefits to the Company

Companies post lockdown would be looking at securing future where cost savings leading to productivity gains and convenience of both employer and employees will be implemented. As expected, this year only we will see many of us having flexible workplace as we have learnt how to manage both aspects of life.

Ease for women to be at work while at home

WFH will encourage more women to join the workforce as the hassles of travelling daily would disappear. “In the US, about 25% of the workforce works out of home,” says Rohit Kapoor, vice-chairman & CEO of EXL Service. “In India, we will move to that kind of level over time. This option will also help women, especially mothers, a lot as it will make it easier for them to join the workforce.”

Is it just positive thinking or are we actually missing “going” to work?

Some say that the absence of meeting colleagues and dressing up for work would be missed and sometimes brainstorming sessions on calls may not work for everyone. People will or already are missing the human touch and at times, work from office becomes a form of diversion from personal problems back at home. No dedicated space at home can also be one major challenge and yes, not all professions can “fit in” this newest modal of working.

Mother Nature says yes to WFH

However to look at the bright side, WFH will help in reducing carbon emissions, will bring in flexible working hours, people will be able to manage time to do things they enjoy and pursue some for which they couldn’t find time and most importantly to be able to slow down the pace of life.

Conclusion

All of us given in the past with hectic routines have now become attentive to our environment, our relations and how much we miss the good times. WFH if taken in a positive way is a step closer to saving our environment, building economy, being creative at work, able to pursue vocational aspirations and most importantly being able to multi-task with ease; it’s that change which will be for the better.

“When you put yourself in an uncomfortable position; is when you grow the most”

Gary Swart CEO oDesk

Before its back to normal-Pause and Reflect

So we get these forwarded messages of how lockdown 2020 is treating us and how long we will be suffering in this self-imposed isolation. Satirical jokes about Husband-wife, working moms and home schooling, work from home and work at home, binge eating as well as pollution levels down to nil to be able to see far far away keeps all of us amused.

And in the evening, when the rush of emails and pending work cools off and we are not expected to be logged on to any more meetings; a silence grows with a hounding question; Is it going to be like this forever? Will work structurally change where employers have realized financial viability of having people work from home and its efficiency? How are we going to cope with so many changes and so soon?

Clear blue skies, constant birds chirping, reduced pollution levels and an acceptance which was missing in the first week of #stayathome makes me realize the importance of slowing it down.  We all are compelled to take life easy while crumbling mental blocks to expect and deliver perfection and find peace looking at a messy home, jumbled up time schedules, eating boring home food and mostly not having a choice to step out.

Life before this lockdown was living a rush life; the experience to be everywhere and experience everything will certainly come back to us very soon. We all are wishing to return back to those experiences with a spirit of determination and hope that everything will be OK one day.

But before leaving our homebound lives and getting back into action, please let’s not forget why we are here. Did we learn something relevant out of this? Are we going to embrace self-isolation or just avoid seeing this quality time with self as a bad phase of 2020?

If we can just take with us where we are coming from to where we are going in the near future and accept that all life forms are important, so respect; we need each other, so empathize and to never take anything for granted- not a day, a person or a thing.

If we can just remember to be grateful to see beauty in finer things in life and be easy on self I think we have learnt our lockdown lesson well.

“Life becomes more meaningful when you realize that you will never get the same moment twice”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         OURPOSITVE.COM