Metaphors of The Mind's blog on interesting insights into psychological and emotional health

Make Your ‘Sorry’ Matter: Apologize Effectively

There have been so many times when we have said or done things in a lighter tone or when we were not aware what our words would sound like, and that ends up hurting someone. It is a knee jerk reaction to apologize, but what is important in order to maintain the relationship, is to have an effective apology. If your apology sounds fake, then it is very likely that it will worsen the relationship.


Here are 5 research based tips for offering a good apology:

Express regret: When you say something flippant like ‘I’m sorry if you were hurt’, to the person, it sounds like ‘you were not supposed to be hurt or be so touchy about something so tiny, but I’ll still apologize out of pity’. Therefore, expressing proper regret is crucial. Explain how you feel bad for what you did, and how you would be affected if this impacted the relationship.

Explain what went wrong: When you explain what went wrong, it helps the person to see that you did not do it out of malice. However, be careful not to take a justifying tone. Explaining the cause does not mean that you are absolved from the responsibility of hurting someone. Instead, this helps them to see you in a kinder light and makes it easy to forgive.

Acknowledge responsibility: Admit that you made a mistake. Say that you shouldn’t have said or done that, or you should have considered the hurtful consequences before you did this. This shows that you have really given a thought to this and are to apologizing just to get it out of the way. This helps the person to see that you are read to bear the responsibility of the hurt you caused and then to change it.

HOW TOapologize effectively.

Declaration of repentance: Your repentance should indicate a change of mind, where you can show that now you think significantly differently, compared to when you did the hurtful act. This shows to the person that you have changed your stance and there is no reason not to forgive you. something on the lines of ‘while I did not think much of it then,
I see now that this is important to you’.

Offer of repair: Lastly, the person you hurt needs to know that you are serious enough to take whatever steps our needed to repair your mistake. Therefore, think through it and make an offer of repair which would show that you really care about the person and want to make up for the error.

5 Psychological Tricks to Make Life Easy!

Have you ever wondered what could give you an edge over a mean co-worker? Or what could make you an exciting friend or date?

Here are some psychological insights into making your daily social and personal life easy!

Eye contact: When talking to someone, try and notice their eye colour. This will make you have un-awkward eye contact for longer, and will get them to like you. When you want someone to say more than they have, maintain eye contact. This gets them to think that you are expecting more and what was said was not enough, so they will elaborate.

Feel the emotions you want: Our body has a two way feedback mechanism. So, while you cry when you are sad, you can also reverse it. That is, smiling can make you happy. And holding powerful poses can help you to feel confident, like raising your hands in a cheer, or broadening your shoulders! So practice expressions and postures to get the emotions you want.


Favours: When asking for favours start with a large and unrealistic one. So, when you as for the entire collection, then half the collection and then just one item from the collection, you are more likely to get that one item. Therefore, after declining two large favours, people usually agree to a smaller one. Salespeople commonly use this trick.

Hostile Situations: When you are in a group or a meeting or any sort of hostile situation, try out these two tricks:

  • Sit next to the enemy: When you sit next to the supposed enemy and not opposite, they cannot mentally work as a pack with the rest of the people behind them, and against you. This forces them to reconsider and tone down their mean behaviour.
  • Get them to see themselves: While a client, friend or coworker is being mean, have a reflective surface of a mirror behind you. No one wants to see themselves being mean and so the mirror or reflective surface will help to get them to tone down.

Associate yourself with happy scenes: When you take your date to a thrilling and exciting place for a first date, or you look happy and excited when meeting friends, people will associate the happiness/thrill/excitement with you, and view you in a positive light!


3 Tips To Choose The Right Career Direction

Written by Sadaf Vidha, Psychologist at Type a Thought

It’s Result time and all boards like CBSE, ICSE and SSC are putting out their results. youngsters are now rushing from college to college, at least virtually, to secure admission.. it’s a highly competitive atmosphere right now, and all the fun had during vacations seems washed away!

We get many students on our online counseling website where we provide a free first session and career counseling, and they do seem very confused about what career direction to take! Everyone imaginable is giving them advice, be it 10th std or 12th std students. In fact, one of my co-counselors drew a parallel between the plight of our students and people who look for a change in career around the 30s. Regardless of whenever you want to decide a career direction, these three golden career rules can help you:

Skills and Interests: The first question to answer is this: what are your unique skills and interests? What are some things that always interested you from childhood? It can be anything, something as random as being ‘street-smart’ to something specific like being very good at selecting gifts for people. Along with your interest is the question of your skills too. For example, I have personally always like the concept of astronomy, but I do not really have good star-gazing skills.

So we are really looking for that sweet spot where skills and interests unite to become a passion.

Think long and think hard – doing what makes you happy? What makes you feel like it is ‘naturally you’ and what makes you feel like you spent time creating/being productive?

Visualize and Research: Now that we know what your passion or passions are, it is time to find career options where they can be used. You would generally have an area narrowed down. For example, if you are very social and can convince people, you may do well in sales, marketing or public speaking. After you have the areas, you need to visualize: can I spend all my life doing this, or variations of this?

To do the visualization properly, you would need to research: what does a marketing person do? How do they do it? Who helps them in it? what does the work look like? What are the best places to work and study? For details about colleges, universities and scholarships, you can talk to our our career counselor and discuss it in detail.

Experiment: Now is the time to test your research and reflection. Take up a free online course or a skill or a book related to your potential job or job types and make a project out of it. For example, if you want to become a developer, see if you can wrap yourself around basic coding. See if you are able to stick through with your project and whether you enjoy the challenge of learning. This helps to find out for sure if you are up for the actual hard work that goes in making your career.

By the end of applying these 3 tips of finding the right career direction, you will be able to cancel out a lot of wrong options. Of course, convincing your parents/family of your career choices can be another problem altogether! You can talk to our counselors to find out some tips to convince your parents!

All the best!

Tame the Inner Hulk/Rowdy Rathore: Anger Management Simplified

Anger as a powerful and often heroic emotion is well portrayed in our movies and books. Right from vengeance to violence, all of it, supposedly arises from anger.

It so happens, that having grown up, we feel that it is just and right to get angry because of what others do.

We feel that something happened – someone said something or did something, or something was not done as we wanted it, and that lead to our anger. Right?


Anger is largely a matter of what you’ve been telling yourself about the situations around you. Anger is about the few thoughts that quickly cross your mind just before you get angry.

Taming your anger is all about changing what you tell yourself.


Imagine this: There are two guys, both stuck with a fairly annoying autowala.

Guy A: Can you take the shortcut?

Autowala: Are you nuts! The police will catch me! I’m not going to take that road!

Guy A (thinks): Dammit! how dare he tell me he won’t take the short cut! I pay his fare, I decide where he should go!

Result: Gets into a useless argument with the autowala.

Continue reading “Tame the Inner Hulk/Rowdy Rathore: Anger Management Simplified” Depression: A Slowing Down Depression: A Slowing Down: *Image Credit When depression starts to seep in, everything seems to gradually slow…

The 3 Steps to Realistic Stress Management

Stress has many effects, be it physical, emotional or relational. However, to combat stress, one just simply needs to understand this: Stress is caused when you look at situations as threatening. This is the key to effectively handling your stress in three simple steps.

blog (1)

Effective Stress management involves 3 steps: Breathe, Think and Do.

Breathe: Our ancestors would get ‘stressed’ only when faced by a hungry lion. However, since we are evolving slowly, our system attributes the hungry-lion level of stress to regular events like work stress and relationship hassles. The result? Our stress reaction systems are burned out, or on the way to getting burned out.

What’s the solution? Firstly, breathing. When stressed, we start to breath from the chest, in a shallow manner. This triggers anxiety, panic and may even aid a heart attack. So, step one is to breathe deeply and regularly, using your abdomen. You can download a helpful guide to relaxation techniques here: Simple Relaxation Techniques (PDF) .

Think: The biggest aspect of stress you can control, is appraisal (sorry to use this word, it may have triggered some bad office memories!). Appraisal of stress or perception of stress is how you see the stressful situation. Do you see it as something absolutely horrible that you cannot get out of? Or do you think of it as an uncomfortable but tolerable?

Changing your self-talk and thinking could make a big difference in how you feel about the situation, how you act after it, and how much you let it bother you. Watch this short video to find out 12 common thinking mistakes.

Do: There is a lot you can do physically to reduce your stress. Within the stressful situation, you can find a stress ball to squeeze, take a walk, have some water, do some light exercise, or try powerposing. Outside of the stressful situation, make sure that you have a lot of opportunity to relax, via yoga, meditation, indulging in your hobbies, having work-life balance and a satisfying social life.

7 Whacky Ways to Control Cravings

All of us have struggled to keep off certain food – either we are watching our weight, or due to some health condition, or because our profession demands it. But it gets hard if we are surrounded by tasty looking food, doesn’t it?

Studies suggest that there is more than just one ‘type’ of eating. There are actually three types. There is emotional eating, external eating and biological eating.

As you guessed, emotional eating happens due to extreme emotions of sadness, happiness, guilt, anger and so on. External eating happens because in a situation, certain foods are consumed and so our environment gives us eating cues, even when we are not hungry. For example, having popcorn along with movies is such a classic that going without that is kind of unimaginable.

The Psychology of Eating (1)

So, what do you do when you get such sticky cravings? Here are some refreshingly new ways to manage them. After all, most of our cravings are in the mind:

Brush: Yup. If you brush your teeth, your mouth and brain ‘wake up’ from the zombie craving zone that they were in and it helps you to look at the world with new eyes. The piece of cake leaves its gigantic proportions and reduces to its normal size, in your mind’s eye.

Ask your craving some pointed questions: Treat your cravings like an uninvited guest. Ask: Why are you here? Where did you come from? What do you want? This will help you to find out whether it is external eating or emotional eating that you are indulging in, and once you are aware that you don’t NEED to eat that, you can fight it off better.


Argue with your craving: Put on the black coat and argue with your craving. What will I get by indulging in you? Are there any benefits? Can I make up for you with my exercise schedule tomorrow? Is it the right time to eat you or will you make me put on whatever I have lost in the last two weeks? This will help you to postpone the craving till it is okay to have it, maybe after heavy exercise, or before 7 pm.

Have the element not the food: Our bodies crave certain elements, like sodium, carbs etc, but we interpret the need for the element as the need for specific foods. For example, may be when you crave chips, your body actually wants just some sodium (salt), which you can easily have in the form of nimboo pani. So try to find out the element your body needs and give it a healthier food containing that. You can do this for your common cravings in advance.

Ask ‘How would I feel?’: Ask yourself how would you feel by indulging in a craving, immediately after having, the next morning, and within one week. Also ask yourself whether in the long run, will you remember this temporary ecstasy more or the guilt more? This will help to put your choice in perspective of time and your fitness goals.

Drink/eat something with a strong or surprising flavour: This is a substitute for tip number one, because you cannot randomly start brushing when you are out with people. Any sort of surprising flavour like mint, which are strong, can help to change the mental zone you are in when you crave. So try an appetizer or a drink with some ‘rich’ or surprising flavour in order to shake off the craving.

How and Why was Type a Thought started?

Our founders talk about what led them to start Type a Thought and some challenges 🙂

Why don’t we have time for anything?

By Sadaf Vidha, consultant psychologist at Type a Thought.

The economist Maynard Keynes had predicted that the people of the 21st century will have a lot of leisure time on their hands, because we will have the technology to get a lot of time-consuming work done by us.

Two very prominent news giants who dominate the conversation on cultural topics, present startkly different views on this. The New Yorker says that we simply are busier than before. The Atlantic, in response, said that it largely depends on what we mean by ‘busy’ and ‘we’.

So, are we really busier than before? If not, why do we feel that all our time is taken away and hardly anything left for relaxation?


Keeping up appearances: In a world where everything is competing for our attention, we naturally do not want to fade away. Therefore, even when we are not ‘busy’ with work, we are busy in a social competition, be in on social media or with coworkers. Proving our worth constantly is the only way we feel good about ourselves, and things which can take up time, like personal reflection, mindfulness or meditation, are simply not fast-enough for our result and ‘out of sight’ world.

Thus, the biggest reason we feel busy is because we are constantly ‘doing’ and hardly ‘being’.

Disruption as a fashion: Disruption is a fashion. Any product which can disrupt a well-established player in any industry, is considered innovative and cool. And while this may give us many useful products, it also means that creators need to go more and more out of their way to get our attention. Thus, we have push notifications and desktop notifications and what not.

It’s like the entire market’s profit’s depends on how much they can eat into your time and give your another thing to explore, another task to do.

Sloppy boundaries: We watch recreational videos at work and answer emails at the dinner table. So, mentally, we are unable to distance ourselves from work and that is one of the bigger reasons why we feel burdened, like it ‘never ends’. Bad boundaries can also be seen when we measure our non-work activities in terms of what brownie points they could gain us. Like a class on creative thinking may be seen as a leeway to impress the boss at work. Since the effort is driven by an end goal that one ‘must’ achieve, is it surprising that you were not as relaxed at the class, and ended up not learning a lot?

Relative value of time: Since we have a lot of options with what we could do with our time, we feel guilty when not using it properly. There could be ten articles to read, and 9 emails to answer, and so on. So while people 100 years ago also had choices, leisure time spent doing one thing for a longer time was valued, and aided by the fact that there were lesser choices.

Relative problem of choice: On the topic of choice, while it is true that like we are confused between 10 choices, earlier people would be confused between 3, there is a cognitive bias that makes us think like we always have it tougher. Some of it is objectively true in the number of choices, but subjectively, humans will always feel they are facing a conondrum. In other words, we will feel burdened by choice, no matter what time in history we live.

So, what’s the way out?

Putting a stop to distraction: Following the pomodro technique, work with 25 minute slots where you put away all distractions. Work will get done much faster, with more sense of accomplishment. This can be followed by a break of 10 minutes.

The best way to use your break would be to save stuff offline which you want to recreationally read or work on. Working offline will help you maximise your focus.

Going off the radar: Take up any practice which involves your senses, be in dancing, meditation, Tai-chi, pottery – anything. A proper ‘activity’ will help you feel that you are living in real time, not a fast-zooming, scroll-down, virutal world. Take of the weight off one of your senses (usually sight) which is overused most-times.

Define yourself: Feeling like you need to keep up appearances is the biggest cause for making yourself too busy for your own good. Step back from your social media persona and set down some exploration for yourself.

Who are you as a person? What are your strengths? Challenges? Why does your self-esteem feel like it depends on constantly being praised on social media? What would you do to feel good about yourself in the absence of social media feedback?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you will feel released from internalized behaviours which you just consumed over time as ‘cool’ or ‘required’. Then you can finally have time. For yourself.


Blog at

Up ↑