Sunday, January 27, 2008

Manage Diversity In Your Workplace To Enhance Your Mind and Body Health.

"We define diversity in an organizational setting in terms of a collective of individuals, who differ from each other on one or any number of dimensions including culture,

values, education, gender, marital status and age. Diversity deals with visible and invisible characteristics."


Valuing diversity means acknowledging that other people, other races, other voices,

and other cultures have as much integrity and as much claim

on the world as you do. It is the recognition that there are other ways of seeing the world,

solving problems, and working together.

ASME PPC on-line

The world is a global village. The US is in a unique position of having many different ethnic groups on its soil. Hence, the workplace may sometimes reflect this diversity. Diversity is important for the workplace as it improves productivity if managed well. However, when organizations bring people with different backgrounds together, there is a tendency to be conflict if they do not make their workers aware of the importance of tolerance and diversity to the organization.

Workers in a workplace should understand that successful organizations bring different people from different backgrounds together for a common cause, to serve people and to improve the bottom line of the organization. If this concept is missing, the ensuing conflicts can cause stress, which in turn will cause poor performance, tardiness, conflicts and decrease in the workplace productivity.

Stress is common in the workplace as I see many patients who complain of stress at work, from a mean boss or unfriendly coworkers. Add diversity issues to it and you have a dysfunctional workforce on your hand.

As a worker, what do you do? These are few suggestions that may help you avoid workplace stressful diversity issues:

  • Have an open mind when dealing with people who are different from you. Get to know them, for they may teach you something about their world that will make you a better person. You become richer in the process.
  • Remember that the new hire is scared and anxious. You should treat him as you would like others to treat you in a similar situation. This way, you may decrease his anxiety. The feeling of acceptance would bring out the best in your newfound friend.
  • Be patient with your new coworkers. They may make mistakes initially. It is ok. That is how we all learn. It is the person who is working that will make mistakes. Correct him gently. He will be forever grateful to you for your understanding and kindness.
  • Always walk in the shoes of your friend and see how it feels. You will realize that we are all the same people. We come in different colors, shapes, ages and languages. However, we all aspire for the same shelter, security and crave love and recognition in our second home that we call "work place."

Regard your neighbor's gain as your gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.
Tai Shang Kan Yin P'ien

All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:1

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Embrace Hope To Nurture Your Mind And Body Health

"Look to this day for it is life,
For yesterday is already a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today, well lived, makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness and every tomorrow, a vision of hope."
Sanskrit Proverb

Let me confess that sometimes waking up in the morning and going to work is a chore. Sometimes life seems to be just about working. Home is only there for sleeping. When your life revolves around work and you do not even have time for any pastime, except on the occasions when you encroach on your sleep, then you know you are in trouble.

There is a tendency to lose hope in such situations. However, on such occasions you are the only one who can shine some light into your life. The two quotations in this passage give you a few suggestions to live bye. Embrace them and live today like there was no yesterday or there is no tomorrow. By so doing, you will know that to live a hopeful life is stay in the moment. For, this moment lived fully will yield a better tomorrow. Let this be your creed and embrace today with all its foibles.

"There is no medicine like hope No incentive so great And no tonic so powerful As the expectation Of something better tomorrow."
Orison Swett Marden

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Weight Gain And Diabetes Linked To Sleep Deprivation-A Toxin For Your Mind And Body Health

One report, published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, focused on how the suppression of deep sleep hurts the ability to regulate blood-sugar levels even in young adults. Please, read on:

Sleeping Like A Baby Is A Balm For Your Mind And Body Health

"Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast."

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Sleep is an important component of our mind and body health. However our ability to sleep is always under attack from many quarters such as:

  • Stress at work
  • Financial problems
  • Shift work
  • Illness
  • Death in the family
  • fighting with your partner

When we experience any of the above problems, we pay through lack of sleep. Eve Van Cauter, MD, professor at the University of Chicago performed a study on a group of healthy young men in their 20's. The study group was allowed four hours of sleep at night while they continued performing their routine chores.

After one week of this experiment, the group's ability to process carbohydrates and metabolic levels was similar to a 65-year-old man. Hence lack of sleep causes major changes in our body such as abnormalities in glucose tolerance similar to prediabetic state. Additionally, the study group had increased evening cortisol similar to people with major depression. In addition to the increased cortisol, leptin ( a hormone that makes you feel full) levels changed, making the study group feeling underfed by 1,000 calories per day. This can make you feel hungry resulting in overeating to cause weight gain.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that has effects on your tissues. It can make you gain weight and cause you to age prematurely and damage your brain cells. Hence, we cannot take adequate sleep lightly. We have to make time to sleep as it's important for our mind and body health. The following are some suggestions to help you sleep better:

  • Don't go to bed angry. Anger raises your stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol that can keep you up, deny you of a healthy sleep and raise your blood pressure if the stressful situation continues.
  • Don't fill your stomach with food and go to bed as it may cause indigestion and acid reflux.
  • Don't drink caffeinated beverages before your bedtime.
  • Have a routine of winding down to calm your mind so you can sleep. What I have found helpful is reading inspirational passages in the bible (or any inspirational passages of your choice) followed by meditation. Meditation by deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can enhance your chances of sleeping within a short time. In addition to calming your mind, meditation also decreases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The deep breathing supplies your body with nitric oxide that opens your blood vessels, lower your blood pressure and keep you younger.
  • Watching your thoughts has to be your mantra as it will enhance your ability to quickly switch gears to calm your mind to go to sleep.
  • Find time to exercise, because it lowers your stress hormones and improve your quality of sleep.

"And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created."

D.H. Lawrence

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dropping Of Religious Activities Linked To Increased Anxiety In Women

ScienceDaily (2008-01-03) -- For many, religious activity changes between childhood and adulthood, and a new study finds this could affect one's mental health. Women who had stopped being religiously active were more than three times more likely to have suffered generalized anxiety and alcohol abuse/dependence than women who reported always having been active. Conversely, men who stopped being religiously active were less likely to suffer major depression when compared to men who had always been religiously active. Please, read on:


Temple University (2008, January 3). Dropping Of Religious Activities Linked To Increased Anxiety In Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 3, 2008, from