#AtoZChallenge- Xanthophobia

Jason was seven and was waiting at the bus stop with his dad for his bus. After a few minutes he was excited to look at the school bus approaching. But in a fraction of few seconds, the yellow school bus was hit hard by a speeding truck with a rash driver. The bus immediately burst into flames and Jason froze with shock, though his dad tried hard to take him away from the spot.

He was in extreme shock and cried in pain for months after the incident. He couldn’t go to school and feared going out, despite his parent’s best efforts. After several months, he started feeling a bit better, but his anxiety wasn’t gone completely. One morning, his mother gave him a banana for breakfast and the moment he saw it, he despised and threw it far away. He locked himself up in his room but came out running in a while. He was all sweaty and gasped continuously. After inquiring what was wrong, Jason told his parents that he is getting extremely scared when he looks at anything yellow.

His parents panicked and they went to see a doctor regarding their son’s condition. Upon consulting the doctor, they realized Jason has developed a rare case of chromophobia, fear of a color and his condition was called Xanthophobia. Jason was reminded of the burning yellow school bus whenever he saw anything yellow. This made it hard for him to even go out as he would have to see the sun. Though medication could help alleviate fear to some extent, the condition could get better only with time.

Xanthophobia is fear of the color yellow. It is a type of chromophobia and it is a strong aversion towards anything of the color yellow. Sometimes people suffering from Xanthophobia have the extreme cases of fear from evening hearing the word yellow. As strange as it may sound, the fear causes extreme levels of inconvenience and anxiety. 


#AtoZChallenge- Weather Way

When I moved to the States, I found many things, habits and practices fascinating. One among them has to be the inevitable role played by the weather in everyday life. Coming from a tropical country, weather was never really an issue, apart from heavy downpour once in a blue moon.  The transition from a hot and dry climate of South India to cold and snowy weather of Mid Western United States hasn’t been easy for me. Climate was a huge part of my culture shock during the initial stages.

Coming from a warm place, I never really cared or even acknowledged much about weather changes. I hardly had a track of the temperatures except for the summers as it got too hot, but event then, not very often. Well now, weather has become an integral part of my life. It decides my outfit, my plan for the day and also my mood!  Dressing as per weather has been fun during the honeymoon stages in a new country, but then that did not last long. I was welcomed for the first time to the United States in the month of December, just ahead of New Year’s eve. The moment I stepped out of the airport, imagine my direct first hand experience of being hit by snow on my face and the chilly wind sweeping through my hair! It was priceless! Yet intimidating. For a person who used to wrap up in blankets at 13 °C, it wasn’t easy to adapt to temperatures as low as -30°C.

However the miracles of the human body made me cope up and finally get used to the harsh winters with layers of clothing to keep myself warm. The beauty of this transition was that I learned to acknowledge the weather changes very much. Checking the weather forecast has become the first thing I do every morning. I eagerly wait for Spring and Summer during the winters and yearn for Fall colors during the summers. Though snowy winters are beyond beautiful, they are still not my favorite. But they made me realize the importance of sunlight. My cravings for a sunny morning make me appreciate the very basic existence of sunshine and it’s value, which I never really acknowledged for the most part of my life. I realized that Weather is also the most common and easiest way to start a conversation with a stranger. Thus a very non-existent and ignored phenomenon according to me like the climatic change has finally made me realize and appreciate the value it brings to our lives.


#AtoZChallenge- Visualization 

Visualization is a great way to improve the path to success and to make it easier to achieve our aspirations and goals. It has the power to subconsciously make us stronger and more inclined towards achieving  what we strive for. Visualization is nothing but a process of visualizing something that we want to gain or become. Apart from working hard, visualizing that perfect shot if you’re a sportsperson, that ideal weight if you’re struggling to lose weight or that dream house if you’re planning to build one, will lead to higher rates of success in your chosen path!

The power of visualization is directly linked to our subconscious mind. The subconscious mind processes our thoughts in images, hence visualizing in imagery highly boosts our subconscious mind to grasp and store. This aligns your thoughts and your actions, both consciously and unconsciously towards your goal. There are various ways of visualizing what you aim for. Constantly imagining your success is one way, whereas developing images and making sure you look at those images so well and frequently, that they are captured in your subconscious mind is another way.

The second method proves to be more efficient as you are making sure to stick to one kind of imagery, instead of a bunch of random images floating inside your head. This can be achieved by Vision Boards. These appear to sound like they’re ineffective, but the fact is most of us have no idea how much they help in making us focus on what we want to achieve. Vision boards make our visions come to life and this is no joke. We’ll have to paste pictures and quotes of our goals on a board or a chart. For instance, paste pictures of a dream house, a dream vacation destination, picture of your favorite actress or role model whose body you’d like to achieve, your dream car, dream university, the list could go endless. Place this vision board full of your vision imagery or dream pictures at a location where you tend to look at often. May be at your desk or hang it on the wall opposite to where you work, the idea is to keep looking at it quite often. This makes our subconscious mind capture these images and makes us feel good and motivated whenever we think about them. This motivation drives your focus towards your goal to be achieved amidst all the clutter.

Scrap books are similar to vision boards. You could paste your to-be accomplished images in your scrap book and look at them everyday before you go to sleep. This helps with your subconscious mind storage and the generated positive energy will pave way for positive reactions from your side to work towards your goal. Does cutting and pasting images in a scrap book sound something familiar to you as a kid? Just like how kids paste pictures of their favorite cartoon characters or cars or toys and keep yearning to want them, is what exactly we as adults forget to do. We forget to have blind faith and endless hope, without any doubts and fears inside our head. It is not immatured or uncool to do something like this, as the fact is, it works! Because the universe loves and helps people who are childlike. Now go bring that child out of you again!

#AtoZChallenge- Uber

Uber conversations are sometimes like a breath of fresh air, surprisingly enlightening and sometimes, even a life saver! Ben was having a hard day, he had to leave his car at the service center after it broke down. He requested for a ride on Uber and waited helplessly at the auto service. He notice a white Lexus car approaching and realized it’s the Uber driver Jack. He gets in..

Jack: Hey there Ben? How’re you doing?

Ben: Hey, how’s it going?

Jack: Heading Downtown?

Ben: Yup

Jack: How was your day?

Ben: Mmm…, wasn’t great. My car broke down, had to leave it at the auto service.

Jack: Oh no! Was it that bad? 

Ben: Well yeah, should be done by tomorrow. Until then Uber it is!

Jack: Haha, Cool! So what do you do?

Ben: I’m into Digital Marketing and I work for…., sorry I used to work. Recently I lost my job as they had to cut down resources.

Jack: I’m so sorry, that’s too bad. Was it all off a sudden?

Ben: Well, technically yeah. They gave us a heads up before two days that we could expect lay offs. But that wasn’t of much help.

Jack: Hmmm, so currently looking for a job?

Ben: Yeah, job hunting. Gave a few interviews but still waiting to hear back. Can you please take left here?

Jack: Oh sure, the GPS on the app wasn’t taking me left, sorry about that!

Ben: Haha, that’s alright! You can stop here.

Jack: Alrighty. Hey Ben.., I have a…small Digital Marketing firm, may be you can find something that interests you. 

Ben: Oh that’s great!!

Jack: Here’s my card, give me a call and later we can set up an interview for you if interested.

Ben: Oh, thanks a lot Jack! Will surely give you call, thank you very much for the offer!

Jack: No problem man! Have a good night!

Ben: Sure I will! Good night and see you soon! 


#AtoZChallenge- Teetotaler’s Tale

Meera and team were heading to their project success party at a client’s location. As the celebrations began, people flocked towards the bar for drinks. Meera browsed through the menu for non alcoholic beverages apart from soda. But as usual, she couldn’t find anything and even if she did, her options would be very limited. As she sat sighing at having only soda again, she saw her team mates approaching her with a bunch of beer bottles.

You want a beer? They have some flavored ones you could try”, offered her colleague. “Oh, that’s great! Mmm, I don’t drink, but thanks”, she smiled. “Oh okay”, her colleague threw a weird smile. The same story at every party Meera attends. She headed to the bar to ask for options. All she could get was some juice but the bar tender was generous enough and offered to make her some virgin mojito though it wasn’t on the menu. “Oh well, something is better than nothing”, she thought.

After few casual conversations and roaming around congratulating one another, Meera couldn’t stop wondering about her habit for being ‘non-alcoholic’, for the way she was often questioned about it. As she sat down sipping in her mojito, she was reminded of how her friends considered her ‘old fashioned’ and often commented that she doesn’t know how to have fun, just because she doesn’t drink. “Why is it so hard to accept a teetotaler? What’s questionable in making a choice of what to eat or drink? Well may be, the world has a habit of questioning anything that isn’t obvious”, she wondered.

Most parties even forget there exist people who don’t take alcohol and there are hardly any choices apart from water. “Well, my choice of being sober is a sin these days, as at the end of the day I’m often judged and considered to be boring, anti- social or depressing”, she sighed. How can a choice of beverage decide someone’s personality? “Well, whatever! I don’t drink because I don’t want to and not because I can’t, so I don’t have to give any explanations”, she thought to herself and continued enjoying her minted virgin mojito.

#AtoZChallenge- Subconscious Mind

Any guesses on who or what rules your life? Well, the answer lies within yourself. It’s your sub conscious mind! The power of the subconscious mind is highly underestimated. We hardly realize that our subconscious mind directs the way our life is lead. What we achieve, what we lack, what we desire, what we fear are all outcomes of this underrated miraculous phenomenon within us. 

Whatever is in our subconscious mind transforms to become our reality. How we feel about a situation, about a person, about our goals and ambitions are often reflected from our mind. The subconscious mind is always ON, so it is important to realize that what we think and how we think consciously, play a major role in shaping our subconscious mind. So keep watching the thoughts that govern your mind. Try wiping off negative thoughts that try to worsen a problem or a situation, as this might be hard stored in the subconscious mind. As a result, you are constantly reminded of it consciously and unconsciously. These negative thoughts dampen your spirits, increase your pessimistic attitude and does not help in any way to make your problem any better. Thus subconscious mind creates a series of reactions and influences the way we see, feel and accomplish.

Did you ever notice that how we actually feel about a person or a situation is often reflected in our dreams? That is because our perception of them is captured in the subconscious mind. For instance, irrespective of how weird or out of place our dreams may be, the actions performed by the person we trust always appear in a positive form. When we wish to accomplish a dream or a goal, we need to fuel our subconscious mind with our desire and yearning for the same. Constantly thinking about the hurdles and confusions that come in the way, will only make the subconscious mind aware of more of the negatives than your zest for the goal. This influences our thoughts, our emotions and actions, finally leading to the life we always feared of. So the choice is upon us, as we can always create a life we wanted, sooner or later. Though it is not as easy as it sounds, it can be doable once we realize the importance and the impact of our mind.

So, make sure you monitor the thoughts your feeding to your subconscious mind, because it indeed is the Genie of your life!

#AtoZChallenge- Rehab 2020

Over the last two decades, the reach of technology has increased beyond leaps and bounds across the world. The advent of computers and internet to help mankind and make the world smaller, has slowly reached a point of being misused and has also become the cause for various disorders and addictions in the new age. The addition of smartphones, gadgets, hi tech video games have added to the list of addictions. The need for rehab to detoxify oneself is now included with new and tech savvy addictions. By 2020 few of the most common causes could be as the listicle below:

  • Social Networking/ Internet- This is no surprise. Internet addiction is nothing new to be cited as one of the causes for the need for Rehab, but the new addition here is the social networking platform. Addiction to social media is becoming a serious issue of mental disorder. The urge of always checking for updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., causes restlessness and anxiety. According to researchers few signs include: spending more than 8 hours a day on social media, constantly checking for views/comments/likes on an update, skipping social interactions just to be up to date with news feed.
  • Smartphone- This has aided and gave birth to new age addictions. Social media disorders have been fueled with apps on smartphones. Not just social networking apps, but constant use of internet, the urge to always browse articles, getting a feeling of restlessness without smartphone for few minutes, continuous switching between apps are some of the reasons.
  • Video Games: Addiction to video games as a cause for the need for Rehab is not new. But the ever emerging hi-tech virtual reality experiences in gaming has worsened the situation. This is a serious addiction and the cause for various health issues and disorders.
  • Selfie Mania: This weird phenomenon of the urge to always take selfies may lead to narcissistic behaviors. Selfie addiction due to self absorbed, self obsessed traits lead to looking for approvals online to motivate and increase self esteem. Taking selfies, posting online, waiting for comments and thinking about them over and over again is not a healthy sign.

Directly or indirectly technology has increased new age addictions and paved way for various mental disorders. As prevention is better than cure, it is utmost necessary to understand the importance of control and check addiction levels before it’s too late.