Life by Choice Anupama Garg

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The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment and is a subjective phenomenon. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental and emotional response called the stress response or the “fight or flight response”. The body’s autonomic nervous system has an internal mechanism that causes physiological changes to equip the body to deal with stressful situations. It flushes the body with hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine to prepare the body to escape or confront the threat/demand/pressure.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, raises your blood pressure and provides additional energy. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, also temporarily boosts energy by triggering the release of glucose into the bloodstream, to aid the person confront the challenge. Simultaneously, other bodily functions which are not instantly needed, such as digestion, are suppressed.

The body’s response to stress is usually self limiting and regulates itself once the pressure/threat/demand has passed. As our hormone levels fall, our heart and blood pressure will return to normal and other systems resume their regular activities. However the stress response can become persistently activated during prolonged periods of stress. The long-term activation of the stress-response mechanism and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt almost all our body functions.

Long term stress wreaks havoc on our wellbeing and is detrimental to our health.

Stress effects our:

Musculoskeletal System

Respiratory System




Nervous System

Reproductive organs

Sexual Desire


Symptoms of chronic stress include:





insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams

grinding teeth



sweaty palms and feet

dry mouth

allergy attacks

chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse

rapid and garbled speech patterns

unexplained weight loss and gain

Increased anger, frustration

frequent mood swings

Frequent crying spells

Constant fatigue, weakness,

Difficulty in concentrating

Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion

Fidgeting, feet tapping

Stress can extensively affect our thoughts, emotions, mood and behaviour thereby defining the quality of our life.

Managing stress, therefore, can involve guidelines to alter the external factors which confront you or the internal factors which toughen your capability to deal with what comes your way.

Anupama Garg

Stress Management Consultant

RAPE is the ultimate violation of self following Homicide

“You save yourself or you remain unsaved.” ? Alice Sebold

This article is not about feminism but about the regular and repeated crime of RAPE of women or RAPE and murder thereafter.

Reasons as I see:

  1. Lack of Laws and which instil fear and act as a deterrent.
  2. Poor implementation of existing laws.
  3. Lack of education
  4. Lack of Respect for women.


We lack education and we evidently lack education on sex which leads to the healthy understanding of sexuality. We need to move beyond biological study of reproductive parts and delve into sexual education covering diverse topics related to sex and sexuality. Sex education should aid in the understanding of values and acquiring skills that are needed to navigate one’s self in a civilised society. Honest conversations about sex and sexuality without guilt and disgrace attached to it are crucial and should be a part of education at home and in schools. Children learn largely from the way their mothers and sisters are treated in the house and it certainly calls for introspection and reorganization. Domestic violence is brushed under the carpet and it’s imperative to recognize that happenings in the society at large are a reflection of the conditions prevalent in our homes.

A man needs to understand the limitations of his rights and should be able to comprehend that a woman has similar rights like him. Dressing or drinking does not imply a “YES” to be violated. The perception of the word “masculine” needs a fundamental rectification and the erroneous self-worth attached to the size of one’s manhood needs to be substituted by a healthy perception of self worth. It has to be inculcated from childhood that sex can be consensual only. Men with fragile ego’s and low self esteem consider their masculinity threatened if a woman objects or denies to comply  with their wishes and in some cases resort to crime and violence.

The recent ones:

13 th MAY 2017

(23-YEAR-OLD KIDNAPPED, GANG RAPED, FACE SMASHED WITH BRICK AND RUN OVER BY A CAR IN ROHTAK, HARYANA. According to Times Now, the forensic team stated, “The victim was tortured and her body was mutilated and tortured after the gang rape. She was killed after being raped involving at least seven people. Her skull was smashed in a way which indicates that she was run over by a vehicle in order to hide her identity.”)

14th May


The belief that a man is superior to a woman gives rise to a fallacious mentality that a woman is simply a device through which the man may satiate his desires in whatever capacity and whenever he wills. In addition to this is the deformed conventional projection of what defines a woman with good character. Often many women are agreeable supporters of this distorted belief and contribute to the unfortunate condition they have in the society.

Rape is never a victims fault and women who have been raped need the support and understanding of all those around them including the males.

No society can progress till it lacks respect for women; this is a land where the three Gods, Brahama, Vishnu and Mahesh have complementing Goddesses Saraswati, Laxmi and Shakti.  The woman of the house is equated with goddess Laxmi which is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, goddess Saraswati represents education and goddess Shakti represents the entire creation. The aforesaid fact needs to be instilled in the society in this country which is greatly reverential towards its deities.

No civilisation can prosper with women victimised, degraded and disrespected.

IMMEDIATE ACTION(Justice delayed is justice denied.)

Laws should be modified and perpetrators need to be punished adequately and speedily in a way that even the idea of rape becomes an implausible thought. The law enforcement agencies should be held accountable for any lapses. Procedures should be laid down to expeditiously review the actions and strategy adopted by them in investigation. Fear unquestionably acts as a deterrent both for the accused and enforcement agencies. Our own ancient wisdom “Laaton ke bhoot bataon se nahi mante” works the best and fastest. The light of the day has to begin with the law makers and law implementers who first need to educate themselves, amend and implement the laws speedily and step up to bring about the transformation.


How preposterous is the fact that a juvenile can conveniently commit a heinous crime of rape and torture but is juvenile to bear the punishment?

Is an exclusive fast track court required to handle cases on rape and rape and murder?

Don’t women irrespective of their age, caste, creed, religion, education and social strata who have given and will give birth to the entire population of human beings have a right to live a fearless life?

Does the answer lie in the fact that barbaric punishments should be given for barbaric acts? If life imprisonment or capital punishment is not deterrent enough do we need some other stringent measures both against the accused and delinquent law enforcement officers till responsibility and respect towards women in society at large is fully ingrained in its constituents?

Is public humiliation in one’s hometown the answer or widely publicised and advertised PUBLIC CASTRATION the answer?


“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”


To forgive is a gift to self. Most religions and traditions emphasize on forgiveness to self and others as it is essential for our restoration and wellbeing. It concerns nobody but the individual who feels victimized or sees himself as an offender. Forgiving means letting go of the pain and resentment which is seething inside us. Forgiving is not an option but mandatory for our good. Forgiving our self as well as others is an act of self interest more than any other rationale.

Resentment, anger, guilt, the desire to take revenge is like a demon residing within which consumes us. Research shows that people feel significantly negative, angry, sad and less in control during an unforgiving condition than during the forgiving condition. An unforgiving state brings about adverse changes in our physical, mental and emotional states thereby affecting our life adversely in every way. Research has proved that there are definite biological links between fear, anxiety, anger and increased risk of coronary heart disease, allergies and various other ailments which manifest differently in different individuals. Researchers found that mentally nursing a grudge puts our body through the same strain as a major stressful event. The tendency to nurse grievances makes them our allies, which slowly destroy us and lock us out of experiencing the flow of life. Emotions like love and forgiveness enhance physical health, mental clarity and emotional strength.

We are hurt in thousands of ways in a lifetime and have our individual stories of pain and hurt. That is the way life is and we all have our burdens to carry. How we carry them decides the quality of our life. When we harbor bitterness or feeling of resentment for self or others the harm we bring upon our self could result in more grievous consequences than to what the actual incident or the offender has done.

The relevant that when we are angry with someone or something we give the person or situation power over us. A past that cannot be changed should not mar our present. Lingering pain from a negative experience that we have not forgiven causes us to fear a reoccurrence. This fear is bound to influence our present relationships unfavorably. We need to be free from the past and let it be transformational.We do not have to struggle to forgive just make SELF LOVE your priority. Forgiveness is a path to peace and happiness. If we hold a burning coal who do we affect?


 The first step is to feel the pain of being wronged. Time is said to be a healer but any hurt cannot be held on for an extended period.

A pivotal role in turning the victimized feeling towards forgiveness involves trying to understand what factors may have influenced the offending behavior. It helps greatly if we view the situation objectively, as a detached spectator without the feeling of self pity and victimization.

It helps to view the situation from the offender’s perspective.

It helps to go through the times we have wronged and have sought forgiveness.

It helps to see ourselves as survivors and not victims.

It helps to look at how it helped us and the contribution it made to our growth even though it could be a challenge to do so. Nevertheless it still is necessary.

It helps to focus on the good things that life has offered us and being grateful for it.

If we have faith in God/ Universe our faith should enable us to understand that whatever has happened fits perfectly well in the larger picture of things and occurred to offer us some valuable lessons.


It is important to note that forgiveness does not mean that we do not hold the offender responsible for transgression, and it does not involve denying, ignoring, tolerating, condoning, or forgetting the offense. It also does not mean reconciliation.Forgiveness is not about accepting, giving up, surrendering to defeat, or avoiding justice. It requires gracious remembering without stirring negative emotions. It means freedom from painful thoughts and emotional turmoil.  Forgiveness is about liberating our own self and finding meaning in the worst of situations. We practice forgiveness to be free of our inner rage but we do not abandon the pursuit of right action. On the contrary we gain clear vision that allows us to take the appropriate action.


Healthy relationships in all areas of our life are essential to our well being. Though we may have different views on what healthy relationships are, certain ingredients remain common.

Anything to grow requires space. A beautiful relationship demands togetherness with space to evolve individually. It is important that we as individuals retain and nurture our individuality. It will help us give space in relationships, as we would understand its significance. It is essential to keep our interests alive and have a personal space that helps us to evolve as better human beings. The courage to trust comes naturally, if we respect our self and have a healthy self esteem. The balance has to be struck between independence and intimacy.

Friendship remains the basis of any relationship, be it life partners, parent child, siblings and of course our close friends.

Respect in any relationship remains the backbone on which the relationship rests. It is important to respect the individual with his individual world which may have his/her set of work commitments, friends, hobbies and principles which we may not necessarily agree with. A good relationship means that we agree to disagree. When we respect the other in most cases we also set the standard of how we will be treated.

  Many a times while trying to discipline our children we cross the line of respect. As parents our concern about them may result in failure to realize that most of our time is spent in correcting them. This may lead to scarce happy moments of togetherness. A child is more likely to understand us if he/she sees a friend in us. Raising a child is balance of unconditional love and support with guidance, giving direction and correction. We can approach our children with gentle explaining and understanding. It is fine to give them space to make them feel responsible. It is also natural for them to make mistakes. If we go back to our childhood, we too made mistakes and we still do, as adults. Its good to be protective but any excesses lead to degeneration of the relationship. It is always more effective to practice what we tell and expect out of our children. Our actions speak louder than our words in any relationship.

Successful relationship with our spouse, siblings and friends, requires the same ingredients of respect, trust, care and space. The need to mould someone according to our parameters is disastrous to any relationship. The urge to control comes with one single phenomenon, which is insecurity. An insecure person will cling, be over possessive, will want to control and mould a person according to his/her needs. The core lies in trusting our own self to be able to trust someone else. Self expansion leads to long-lasting relationships. The golden rule remains “Do unto others what you want other to do unto you”.

It is unfair to burden a loved one to fulfill all our needs, it ends in sheer disappointment .It is important to cultivate our individual space with a sense of purpose, friends and activities that contribute to our experiences and in turn enrich our relationships. It is important to strive to be a complete individual contributing constructively in our relationships. It is human nature that any relationship that gives us the feeling of being imprisoned cannot be healthy and fulfilling. Being alone does not mean being lonely. Physical and emotional space helps the relationship grow stronger as it gives room to grow.

All harmonious relationships are built upon by caring, dependability, responsibility, trust, empathy, acceptance, time for the relationship and time for self. It always works well to see things from the others point of view. We all change with time and experiences and we should respect and value these changes in others too.

It is reassuring to believe that relationships last for ever. But the truth is that there are relationships that will endure and there are relationships which will not. Every person close to us today may not be there in our life to come. Deceit and dishonesty can end a great relationship. When situations arise, our relationships can also change, and that can lead us to examine where we are investing our time and energy. If consciously the decision leads to let go…LET GO and move on

Love Yourself

“Not only do self love and love for others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable

 Loving our self means attending to our self as a whole. Our requirement as a human being is at various levels. We need to attend to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. Till we leave any of these aspects unattended, our love for ourselves is incomplete.

Physical care includes nurturing our physical self. The physical body is the temple wherein the divine resides. Do we want the temple to be clean and healthy or dilapidated and abused? Regular physical exercise, proper meal times and healthy food are important to maintain optimum physical fitness. Exercise boosts up our energy levels and gives us a natural high. It keeps us fit and energetic. A nutritional diet and timely meals are important to provide us with the essential fuel. The type of food that we eat is also reflected in our physical states. We don’t have to totally give up things but moderation has to be exercised. If we cannot take care of our own body no one else will. It will help to contemplate that it is our body that remains with us till our last breath. Our body and mind are intertwined.

Are we attentive to absorb inputs, which are positive for our mental well being? We should be fully aware of our thought process. Any thought patterns which lead us to an unresourceful state should not be indulged in. We are what our thoughts are. It is mandatory to keep company of people who help us to grow mentally and have a positive influence on us. The friends that we keep, the discussions that we have, the books we read, the television programs we watch, effect our mind. If we choose to take in garbage then garbage comes out through our words and actions. Nature has given us minds and what we fill our minds with, is our choice. Our mind should remain open to learning. A positive mindset leads to positive emotions and positive actions. Our mental state controls our emotions. If we think positive we will feel good.

We should acknowledge and recognize our full range of emotions without feeling ashamed. It is however important how we handle our emotions. We should not dissipate our energy in an unresourceful state. Repression is not the answer, channelization is. Certain emotions like anger and grief can be channelized to produce amazing results. How we exhibit our emotions can create or destroy our life and can bind or break relationships. We cannot control all situations or people but we surely can control our thoughts, emotions and our response. Our interpretation and response to a situation can create us or destroy us. A cluttered mind and ruffled emotional state leads to actions which we may regret later. Every challenge we face can help us grow if we make a choice to grow and learn. Whether we become better or bitter is a choice we make. We are the solution to all our problems. Our actions our guided by our emotional states. Our actions define who we are.

 Spiritual understanding of our self is the core of our existence. Without attending to our spiritual growth, life can never be beautiful and complete. Putting it most simply, spirituality is the understanding of self. The day we know ourselves completely, all that is worth knowing will be known. The day we understand our self we will have the ability to understand all that we as humans need to understand.

In life, it is always about the self. It is one thing that is always in our own control. Taking responsibility of ourselves and nurturing our self is mandatory for a fulfilling life. All aspects integrate to design who we are. Love is centric; we can only love others truly when we first love our self truly. If we shape our self to someone whom we can truly love and respect, external validation becomes insignificant. However if we can love and respect our self, everyone else will too.









Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Have  I sat and contemplated on issues that will help me to  understand my  self ? I am going to be honest and contemplate deeply before I arrive to the answers. In the process to understand the world it seems I completely forgot to understand my own self.Life has been a series of experiences and I have come this far to be what I am today.
1.       Was it worth it?
Am I proud of what I am today . I should be aware whether I accept myself the way I am, after all I have given my life till the present moment to evolve into my present self.
2.       Do I clearly know what I want in life and why I want it?
If I delve deep into this question it will help me to identify the deep seated desire behind my actions. I will know clearly that behind my efforts, successes and failures what was it that I have truly desired. It is important to know why I have done whatever I have done. What was the driving force behind my actions? What exactly have I been running after all these years? Which desire was it that propelled me to reach where I am today?
3.       Have I actually achieved what I wanted so deeply?
I have to think beyond the layers of conditioning to reach to the core of the answer. I had to give up a lot in order to get what I got. I had to pay a price for the choices I made in life. At times making a choice was rather tough, I had to give up a lot more than I had bargained for, but nevertheless I did choose what mattered more or so I thought at that time. Some realizations I have experienced come with time only. I gave up much to have what I have today.
4.       Do I feel fulfilled in the deeper sense?
I am running towards a future which I am creating through my actions knowingly or unknowingly. Are my actions creating the future I want to bring to my life?
Now that I have answered all the questions I know where I stand in life. What has gone by may never come back but I still have a choice to make the most of what I have.I now know where I have to go from where I am.