“Buy Bloom, Not Gloom”- Kajal Daga

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

Myself Kajal Daga, p
rofessionally, I am a Psychologist and a Life Skills Trainer working at Tihar Jail no.5 with young adolescents of 19-21 years of age. I am also a founder of Soul Console. The main motto of Soul Console is to BLOOM, NOT GLOOM.

I have worked with various NGOs and worked in different settings so that I can choose the best for myself. So, after all the exposure, I decided to work as a trainer and provide group counseling and workshops for adolescents.

2. What led you to take up this career path?

Well, that’s an interesting question to answer, during my earlier years of life when I was an adolescent, I myself faced low self-esteem issues, had a fear instilled in me, that how can I overcome with this. I used to be an excellent student and then my grades started falling down.

My parents, that time had no idea about the counselors and psychologists. I myself worked upon me in overcoming my issues which somewhere kept me down. In 12th results also, I just wanted to secure that many marks so that I can get admission in my dream University to do my dream Course (Psychology).

A psychologist also called me up and appreciated a lot on how well I worked on myself. After 12th, my elder brother took a step forward and got me enrolled in my dream course (psychology) and made my parents also understood.

Similarly, I have helped two or three children also to overcome their issues of adolescence.

I feel that I have gone through it, so I can perfectly understand the other person’s feelings as well (empathy). That’s how I took it as my Career Path and helping adolescents and their parents dealing with the issues.

3. What are some common myths in society about psychology?

I have heard my friends, family members, and others saying that how can you cry you are a psychologist. You cannot behave in this manner.

So I would like to tell everyone that, we are also human beings and emotions are a part of our day to day lives and our bodies. It's very normal to experience every emotion. Psychologists can also express every emotion, we can cry, express our anger, can get worried, etc.

The difference is just we know how to bounce back from the situations so that it does not impact us adversely.

4. How can people practice mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a very effective technique to savor the present. Mindfulness is a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

There are a lot of exercises by which one can practice mindfulness. Here I am sharing a few of them.

1. Pay attention. It's hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste, and truly enjoy it.

2. Being in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting, and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.

3. Focus on your breathing. The easiest to do. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.

5. What are your tips for people who want to practice this profession?

So, here’s a wonderful tip/advice I would like to share with the young people who want to practice in this field.

So, it is- There are numerous ways (numerous fields) in which a psychologist can work. During your Course, try to get as much exposure as you can in different fields and in different areas where a psychologist is required. Then choose the best among them, you will get to know what suits you the most.

Then choose your field wisely, when you enter into the real professional world, where you can apply your skills.

6. Is work-life balance a myth or reality according to you?

A famous saying is- All Work and All Play, makes Jack a dull boy.

Work-Life balance term indicates that one needs to balance his/her work and other areas of life effectively. But Work often provides an individual with a sense of satisfaction and identity. 

So, it means that All work would also make an individual dull. And also, all play would make the individual stressed because the person will have low satisfaction. So, work-life balance is not only important for health but also for healthy relationships.

That is why one should try achieving it by following some of these strategies-

1. Set your priorities. 

2. Keep track of your time. 

3. Respect your private time 

4. Try scheduling one thing that you would look forward to each day.

7. How according to you one can manage stress?

Stress is the thing that we all face and can never eliminate this from our life completely.

Imagine your life, without any stress and stressors. How would you function? No motivation left, right. Life has become dull and boring, right. So, stress also plays an important role in one’s life in a positive way which is known as eustress.

While in a stressful situation, I personally try relaxation exercises which is deep breathing. It instantly calms me down and allows me to look for the other ways in which I can deal with the situation.

- Kajal Daga , Life Skills Trainer, and Psychologist

- Interviewed by Shilpy Sharan

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