Has #MeToo destroyed dating?

The #MeToo movement has certainly given some hope in having a supportive network and deter sexual predators, but the dating dynamics may never be the same again. Men shall continue to flirt but now they will need to be more cautious.

Doing what can be perceived as a sexual harassment is major concern faced by men today. Dating will be a challenge, esp. in the times when masculinity is getting blurred and women are seeking guy who can take the lead.

It can be very difficult to differentiate flirting from sexual harassment esp. when it is possible for something to still be considered sexual harassment even if it was unintentional.

The basic difference that lies between flirting and sexual harassment is of intent and reciprocation.

Sexual harassment is an act or behaviour of imposing yourself on the victim irrespective of their will. Flirting is about navigating waters of someone be interested in you and being charming, rather than imposing yourself onto that person.

Workplace relationships will need more caution, esp. in situations where the personal and professional boundaries could seem blurred like bar, hospitals, etc.

One should stay safe when going on first date, particularly if it is with someone you don’t know much about, or you have only known that person online. Seek out for help if something on a date makes you feel uncomfortable.

You can be more attentive for physical and verbal cues. Moving away, avoiding eye-contact could also be some indications for your behaviour being non-reciprocal and the person be not interested in you. You should stop if one expresses directly or indirectly their discomfort over your remarks and jokes.

Strictly avoid making superficial judgement particularly over someones clothes. What one is wearing is not your business and certainly not an invitation for you to touch them. ‘can I say she looks nice?’, certainly not a good idea!

While #MeToo might certainly play an important role in changing negative behaviours and attitudes, men paying for first dates shall no longer be a polite gesture. Even Bollywood stars might struggle on the dating scene!


Woebot – Your AI Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, and it can be fatal. The major challenge in the treatment of depression is that people are still afraid to speak openly about it. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent speech ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has advised people to come out and speak about their battle with depression.

With the rising burden of the illness as in-person therapy with a doctor isn’t always an option. A new chatbot app, Woebot, could be an alternative.

What is Woebot?

Woebot is an automated chatbot that helps people monitor their mood and help them to know about themselves. It basically works on a framework of CBT- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, wherein it helps people to keep track of their feelings and triggering events. Woebot asks people about their daily experiences and records them in format of brief conversations.
A review of studies published recently in the journal World Psychiatry compared people who received CBT online to people who did it in person, and found that the online setting was just as effective.

Woebot, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot designed using cognitive behavioral therapy is not a replacement for the traditional therapy, but addition to clinical approaches to treating depression.

How Does Our Environment Affect Mental Health?

World environment day

Its June 5, a World Environment Day.

On this awareness day, people around the world are encouraged to participate in activities that benefit the environment. Although, it may appear to be just a step towards keeping our planet functional, there is more at stake. Connection with the environment, and living in a healthy nature can impact general health and especially Mental health.

Technology, Automation and Disposability have resulted in the environment being something we “consume” rather than “partner with”, and is contributing to the isolation that many struggling with psychiatric illness also struggle with.
Caring towards environment often reflects how you take care of yourself. Respect for environment often emanates from a respect for self.

Mental health benefits greatly from being more social, being more connected with the outer world and from spending more time outdoors. Besides, it can also infuse a sense of meaning and purpose, and even result in modelling healthy behaviours for children.

Not only we feel a sense of belonging on connecting with something larger than us, but also Seeing our investment and actions result in something good, can instil a sense of well-being.

Being in nature, we feel relaxed and safe. We heal. It heightens our sensory perceptions and enhances our living experiences. Most importantly, we learn to appreciate our lives and others more deeply!

Take some time out in nature on this World Environment Day. Try it out for yourself, and bring others with you.

How to quit smoking? Ways to overcome smoking

Quit Smoking

Here are some strategies that can help you quit smoking.

To quit smoking may not be an easy task. For many, it may take multiple attempts to overcome smoking. If you have failed at your previous attempt, think about the possible factors that led you to relapse. What helped you to deal with the cravings and what didn’t? Don’t give up! If last attempt at quitting didn’t work, consider this time.

Quitting to smoke abruptly, may not always work. A process of gradual cutting down on your smoking might actually work.
It can be done by
1. Delay your first smoke of the day as late as possible.
2. Smoke only half of each cigarette.
3. Progressively increase the time duration in between smokes.
4. Restrict to Buying only one pack of cigarettes at a time.

Learn to cope with the cravings.

Don’t give in. If you do feel like smoking, wait for 10 more minutes. Cravings are like waves. They come and they go, and last only for some minutes. You must find a way to distract yourself from the urge, since tobacco cravings usually pass within minutes.

Exercising physically is a good way to distract you from tobacco cravings. A moderate level of physical activity for 30 min can reduce the craving considerably.

Situations where you smoked or used tobacco most often, triggers an urge or craving to smoke. Identify these situations that triggered tobacco cravings, and avoid them.

Do not hesitate to seek expert or professional help for tobacco smoking. Easy and affordable treatment options are widely available. Anti craving medications, nicotine patches, gum etc are very effective, and can help reducing the withdrawal symptoms. Underlying stress, Depression, Anxiety problems are very commonly associated and must treated accordingly. Developing a supportive social system is key. With professional help and suitable treatment, one can successfully be able to quit smoking within couple of weeks.