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Why we need to understand the art of subtlety

Shayamal Vallabhjee

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The Latin origin of the word subtle and subtlety means ‘finely woven’ and was used to describe fabric. In the realm of communication, subtlety is the quality of being understated, delicate or nuanced. In describing the subtlety of an argument, we make reference to the fine weave of the words and thoughts used to convey a certain meaning or message.

Before I elaborate on this concept of subtlety, I want to bring your attention to the definition and metaphorical reference of the word suspension. Suspension is the act of stopping something from happening or operating. It is a word used across multiple fields. In chemistry, certain substances have a suspension state (chalk in water); in architecture, bridges are built using suspension cables and in employment, you can place an employee on suspension. When something is held in a certain state for a prolonged period of time, we refer to it as being in a state of suspension. On both the physiological and psychological levels, a state of suspension can have incredible benefits, but also potentially disastrous ramifications.

Pranayama is the Vedic practice of breath control, commonly used by yoga practitioners. It is a mindfulness practice that draws one’s attention to the rhythmic cycles of inhalation and exhalation. Prana means breath or life-giving force and yamah refers to the suspension of that breath. Within the practice of pranayama, there is a component called kumbhaka which involves the retention (holding) of breath. Antara kumbhaka is holding your breath with air inside your lungs and Bahya kumbhaka refers to holding your breath without air inside your lungs.

When you practice pranayama, you realise that the power of the practice is not in the inhalation or exhalation of the breath – it is in the suspension state between the cycles of inhalations and exhalations.

Similarly, in healing from emotional pain, our ability to hold an emotion helps determine our ability to understand, acknowledge, appreciate and transition from that pain. If we allow pain to become anger and anger to become resentment, we will not be able to process the core of the pain. Only when we are mindful enough to hold an emotional state will we find the power to heal it.

Breath retention beyond a certain point, of course, will cause asphyxiation. In the same way, holding on to emotional pain for a prolonged period will also have a disastrous impact on your ability to function. Suspension states have incredible power up to a point; beyond that, they can be lifethreatening.

A patient, Bernard, once called me sounding highly stressed. He was in an emotionally abusive relationship and it had reached a breaking point. The situation with his live-in girlfriend was toxic and sensitive, and Bernard was desperate for physical and emotional space. I asked him, ‘How did the situation become so toxic so quickly?’ He replied, ‘It has always been like this but I have reached a point where I cannot keep quiet anymore. I am tired of walking around on eggshells. I have no voice and I am afraid if I say something, it is going to trigger another pattern of rage in her.’

Employees frustrated at work, parents tolerating verbal or emotional abuse from their teenage children, live-in couples silencing their voices to avoid conflict, lovers withholding the resentment of a lack of intimacy in the relationship, are all examples of toxic relationships compounded by a lack of emotional connectivity and communication.

The Art of Subtlety is the solution to preventing such toxicity. I discovered this strategy during a stint with the cricket team Kings XI Punjab, during the Indian Premier League (IPL) season. The IPL is a high-stress sporting environment and rightfully so. Held once a year, this competition is the hallmark event in cricketing circles – it is an opportunity to truly make your mark on a global stage. Anyone who does well over these forty-eight days is guaranteed to have a dramatic life shift after the event.

Every high-stress environment carries its own set of problems. At the IPL, I had to deal with cricketers who were not getting an opportunity to play; those who did get an opportunity but could not perform; coaches who weren’t able to select the teams they wanted and youngsters petrified of letting their team down. Among all of these were a few exceptionally talented cricketers who were just there to make money and contributed nothing to overall team culture. The result of all of this was a proverbial ‘pressure cooker’ environment, which if not managed properly could become highly toxic. Emotional toxicity comes from holding on to emotions for longer than is needed to understand, acknowledge and process them.

 Emotional toxicity can be found in every environment and very often is the result of a given personality type as opposed to a situational trigger. A person who holds on to a negative emotion at work will also do so in their personal relationships. It is a subconscious pattern that they need to become mindfully aware of.

Subtlety is a mindfulness technique to address emotional toxicity at its core. It is a two-fold technique.

 • First, I encourage individuals to understand, acknowledge, process and release the emotions they are feeling in a situation, precisely at that moment. Doing so seems simple, but it can be an enormous challenge. We tend to do anything to avoid, deflect, or delay dealing with powerful emotions. The idea behind this technique is to avoid emotional build-up, either negative or positive. Subtlety is a kind of emotional detoxification.

• Second, the expression of our emotions in the moment must be understated, delicate and nuanced. This is a critical but difficult aspect of the Art of Subtlety. The emotions we feel in a given situation may be intense and powerful. It is possible to overwhelm the other person with the intensity of these emotions. To be understated, delicate, and nuanced is a show of courtesy and consideration for the other person. It is mindfully responding in a way that they can hear and absorb; that doesn’t put them on the defensive and that accounts for their feelings as well.

 Excerpts from the book, ‘Breathe Believe Balance: A Guide to Self-discovery and Healing’, published by Pan Macmillan India.

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Health & Wellness

India’s daily Covid cases are at a four-month low ahead of the festive season

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India’s Covid-19 infection tally fell below 2,000 for the first time in four months on Tuesday, with the country recording 1,968 new infections in the previous 24 hours. Over 26,300 new infections were reported in India in the week ending October 2.

After two years of muted celebrations due to the virus, the latest dip is being viewed as a respite by thousands across the country.

Here are some of the most recent updates on the country’s pandemic situation:

  • The daily Covid tally on Tuesday was the lowest in 133 days. On May 23, a total of 1,675 cases were reported in a 24-hour period.
  • According to data from the Union Health Ministry, the number of active cases has also decreased by 1,528 in the last 24 hours, to 34,598. Active cases currently account for 0.08 percent of all cases.
  • According to the reports, the daily positivity rate was 0.94 percent, while the weekly positivity rate was 1.29 percent.
  • The nationwide Covid-19 death toll has risen to 5,28,716 with 15 fatalities, including eight deaths reconciled by Kerala, according to data updated by the ministry.
  • According to state data, the national capital reported 39 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra reported 186 new infections, with Mumbai accounting for 66 of them.
  •  On Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh reported 13 new cases, J&K reported 11 cases, and Gujarat reported 62 infections.
  • The southern state of Tamil Nadu saw 461 new infections, which was slightly higher than the state average. Telangana had 73 cases reported.

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Vietnam reports its first case of monkeypox

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Monkeypox

Health officials in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City announced the country’s first case of monkeypox on Monday, according to the state-run Vietnamnet newspaper, without providing any details on the patient.

According to the reports, Mainland China reported its first case of monkeypox last month in the western megacity of Chongqing in a traveller who arrived from abroad.

The traveller arrived in China on an unspecified date, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing the Chongqing health commission. The traveller developed a rash and other symptoms while being quarantined in accordance with COVID-19 controls, a practice that affects anyone arriving from abroad, according to the WSJ.

After reviewing test results, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the monkeypox case. According to the report, the traveller is being treated at a designated hospital and is in good condition.

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Health & Wellness

What is The Full Meaning of Health?

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Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health may refer to the ability to adapt and manage physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social conditions through changes in lifestyle or self-care.

The word “health” is sometimes used as an abbreviation for “health care”, although health care is only one part of what is meant by health. For example, one might speak about the benefits of “going to the doctor” or “taking medicine”, or the costs of not getting enough sleep or exercise.

There are many other factors that impact on health each day:  nutrition(the food we eat), childhood experiences (the way we were raised), quality of medical care (the drugs and surgery used), genetics (how strong our immune system is), stress levels (whether we feel anxious or depressed), environmental exposure to chemicals and toxins (pesticides on crops, exhaust from cars) and so on .

Health is a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. An important way to promote health is to prevent disease, which can be accomplished through immunization programs and screening for early signs of disease. Promotion of good health often involves advice and education about healthy eating habits, exercise, hygiene, self-care, preventive measures against infectious diseases and other health practices. Health care systems are organizations established to meet the health needs of target populations.

Why do we need a healthy lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle refers to the habits that help people live longer and healthier lives. A healthy lifestyle includes:

Eating a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables.

Regular exercise.

Not smoking cigarettes.

https://dolpxy.com/

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Health & Wellness

Kashmiri ASHA worker serves as inspiration by donating blood 28 times

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A 32-year-old woman named Bilqees Ara, an ASHA worker, has donated blood 28 times since 2012. She has served as an inspiration to others across the nation.

Bilqees, who is from the Handwara Tehsil in the Kupwara area of North Kashmir, stated that she understands the “importance of blood”.

She said that by donating a pint of blood, she not only saves a precious life but an entire family.

She began donating blood in 2012 and has since given 28 pints.

She expressed her gratitude and pride at being the saviour of so many patients in the Kashmir valley.

I’ve seen people cry helplessly as they try to get blood to save their loved ones, but I’m proud of myself because I’ve arranged blood for them as well. “I felt an inner joy after that,” she said.

In Kashmir, she is known as the “Blood Woman of Kashmir”.

She is a registered blood donor. Whenever a need arises, the officials at the Blood Bank at Handwara hospital call her and, within the shortest span of time, she makes herself available to donate blood.

Women should come forward and do this as there is nothing to be afraid of. This is to be done for society, she said. She also said that she wondered who else would do it if she refused.

If a person has blood and courage, why can’t he give it to someone else in a time of need? She asked.

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Health & Wellness

Covid facilities to reduce in Delhi amid drop in cases

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The Delhi government has closed 11 Covid care facilities because to a consistent reduction in cases. Two Covid Care Centers are operational at Ambedkar Nagar Hospital, which has 50 beds, and Balak Ram Hospital, which has 25 beds, according to a government report. Only five admissions were registered at Ambedkar Nagar Hospital over the past three months, while there were none at Balak Ram Hospital.

The number of patients has steadily decreased at the remaining CCCs as well, according to reports.

According to officials, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Thursday decided to scale back the medical staff and infrastructure that had been deployed for COVID management in a planned manner. The health department will now formulate an action plan in response to this decision.

“The deven CCCs were closed and dismantled by Delhi government and one by the Centre and three others with total 4000 bed capacity- Radha Saomi Satsang ,Chattarpur, Sawan Kirpal, Burari , and Sant Nirankari, Burari- were closed but not yet dismantled”, officials said.

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Health & Wellness

India’s daily covid tally falls below 5k with 4,858 new cases

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India reported 4,858 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, 806 fewer than yesterday, bringing the total to 4,45,39,046, according to data released by the Union health ministry on Monday. On the other hand, according to the health bulletin, the number of active cases rose to 48,027.

India has 0.11 percent of the infections that are still active, and the Covid recovery rate has risen to 98.71 percent. 2.76 percent was the daily positivity rate, while 1.78 percent was the weekly positivity rate.

Infections with the coronavirus are currently most common in Kerala, followed by Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, and West Bengal.

The health ministry stated that as many as 18 fatalities were reported today, taking the death toll to 5,28,355. This included eight deaths reconciled by Kerala.

According to the data available, 2.16 billion doses of vaccines have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid vaccination drive.

On December 19, India’s Covid-19 total had reached one billion. On May 4 and June 23, respectively, last year, it reached the depressing milestones of two and three crore. On January 25 of this year, the number of Covid cases in the nation surpassed four crore.

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