Self-care Exercises That Help Me Manage Stress and Pain

Virginia Woolf said of pain, “English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no words for the shiver and the headache… The merest schoolgirl, when she falls in love, has Shakespeare and Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.”Growing up, I was often told of the mythical story of beloved Karna, the spiritual son of the Hindu sun-God Surya and princess Kunti. In the Mahabharata, it is said he offered his lap as... Read More

What Olympians Can Teach Us About Resilience and Mental Health Let us not forget the person behind the performer.

Arnold Guttman was thirteen years old when his father drowned in the Danube River. From that time the heartbroken Arnold swore to himself that one day he would become a good swimmer. Five years later, while still a student of architecture in Hungary, he accomplished much more: he won two gold medals in the inaugural 1896 Athens Olympics by swimming in freezing temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius in the Mediterranean Sea with 12 foot waves crashing down on him. Cold water can kill you in less than a minute. All he wanted was to finish the race, to hell with... Read More

What is an Emotion? And five ways to regulate them

An essay in my 6th grade Hindi textbook was titled “Shok Sabha” and narrated the scene during a Hindu bereavement ritual. In it was described the life of a “Rudaali” (“one who cries”) or a professional mourner from Rajasthan. She was a peasant woman who wore black and was hired to mourn at the untimely death of a young aristocratic man from a wealthy family. She cried aloud and thumped her chest while tears rolled down her cheek and her disheveled hair gave the reader the appearance of someone angst-ridden, inconsolable and overcome with sorrow.For the first time in my life, I remember asking myself “How is it possible that... Read More

Mental Health and Sportspersons

“Pressure? There is no pressure in Test cricket. Real pressure is when you are flying a Mosquito with a Messerschmitt up your ar*e” said Keith Miller lover of music, cricketer and a World War II fighter pilot to boot, a man I wish I knew (from the many stories I hear about him). But being an athlete is not as easy as Miller made it out to be. In fact, it is one of the hardest life decisions a person can take. In addition to the fierce physical training and exhaustion, you have to learn to take hits below the... Read More