how to grow new brain cells

Can You Grow New Brain Cells?

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Do you ever wonder if you could grow new brain cells to improve your memory, focus or thinking capacity?

In the past, we used to believe that all brain cells are formed in childhood and there is no further growth.  We only lose brain cells as we age or develop disorders like Alzheimer’s dementia. We can’t do anything to grow new ones.

New research has found that brain (nerve) cells can grow even in adults. Researchers have found new cell growth in the brain area called the hippocampus. These cells play a vital role in the areas of learning, memory, mood, and emotion. Scientists are also discovering the steps we can take to help this process.

Check out this video of an interview with a cutting edge health scientist Dr. Sandrine Thuret. She shared her research findings on How to Grow New Brain Cells. 

Make a note at about 16 minutes mark, when she identified the role of stress in this process.

Even low-grade chronic stress interferes with the growth of new brain cells. This can not only lead to depression but also memory and learning problems.

Although stress is part of today’s life so you can’t get rid of it completely. Still, you can do something about it. While you can’t control all the stressful events in your life, you can control how you respond to them.

If you don’t manage how you’re reacting, stress can cause devastating consequences. And it can sabotage the growth of critical new brain cells. By training yourself to respond effectively to life’s challenges you can grow new brain cells, enhance your memory, and experience greater happiness.

Are you managing your stress before it manages you and growing these new brain cells?

If you are applying some of the techniques you are learning through these articles, you are. You can take more steps from the tips in the video and protect yourself against dementia.


Dedicated to your health and happiness.

Dr. Rozina

#1 Best Selling Author, Speaker, and Psychiatrist


Join me on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn

The Stress to Joy® program is available in

Print Book 

Audio Book

Online Course

Guided Gratitude Journal





This content is for educational purposes only.

Please consult a licensed medical or health professionals for personalized treatment recommendations.


5 Easy Fixes for Irritability and Tiredness

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Do you ever struggle with low energy or irritability? There could be many reasons, but some are common and easy to fix. You may know but may be forgetting.

Let me remind you by sharing how Pam, a 35 yr old woman, mother of two and working full time, is improving her low energy and irritability.

For several months before implementing these fixes, she was feeling as if she was dragging thru the day and was getting irritated by simple things her kids, clients or co-workers were doing.

This was different from her baseline as she was generally a very energetic person with the ability to laugh off simple irritations easily.

After she implemented these five fixes, she started feeling more energetic and calm. Plus, she was better able to tolerate her kids and even enjoy their simple mischief. She got her zest for life back. 

Pam realized something had to be done.

A few weeks back, Pam came in and shared that she has been feeling tired after work and getting easily frustrated. Sometimes she’s screaming at her kids for simple mischiefs.

She is an executive who tries to balance her many roles, and although she’s not going through any major stressors, she keeps on having low-grade stress due to multiple demands in her life.

When we discussed her daily habits of how she was taking care of herself while meeting those demands, she reported;

  • She doesn’t have time to eat regularly. Therefore, she usually eats whatever she finds on the go.
  • For long periods during the day, she forgets to drink water. Usually, she ends up drinking less than two glasses of water a day.
  • As she works late, after putting her kids to sleep, she doesn’t get enough sleep herself.
  • She has a sedentary job, long hours and kids activities after work, she doesn’t get much exercise.
  • Most of the time she is running between activities taking care of her work and family. She says; “Who has time to relax?”

What do you think is the reason for her lack of energy and irritability?

Do you see similar patterns in your life?

As I was hearing her, I felt that it is the story of my life too. As we brainstormed implementing the five simple fixes, I was deciding to give more attention to these fixes in my life too and wanted to share them with you today. These are so simple that we all know them but forget and need reminders from time to time.

Five Simple Fixes that helped her were:

  1. Nutrition.
  2. Water.
  3. Sleep
  4. Body Exercise and
  5. Mind Exercise.

1. Nutrition:

Everybody knows that the food to the body is like fuel/power for your car. If you don’t add the fuel, your car won’t run.

When your body doesn’t get nutrition, it feels tired. When your brain cells don’t get food, they get irritated easily.

Have you noticed that when a team member is absent, the other team members get a little overworked and become irritable?

When you force your body and brain cells to work with an inconsistent supply of fuel for energy- i.e., food, they become overworked and irritated.

What can you do?

I usually suggest to my clients using alarms to remind them every 3-4 hrs to eat something healthy.

Assuming that on a typical day, you are awake between 8 am to 10 pm, then you can put the alarms every three hours like 9, 12, 3, 6 and 9 for three small meals and two healthy snacks.

For a balanced meal, I usually share a printout of the healthy eating plate recommendation from Harvard Medical School.

I also like the recommendation of eating at least five colors of fresh fruits and vegetables to get a variety of nutrients.

Add a healthy snack (size of your fist) in the form of a cup of yogurt, or 8 to 10 almonds or 5 to 10 baby carrots etc.

2. Water:

Although water is part of the nutrition, many people forget so I have started to count it as a separate fix. Water is the basic necessity of life.

Intrinsically we know that life is where water is ( so many wars fought over that). In many parts of the world, people don’t have access to clean drinking water. We have that access, yet with our busy lives, many people forget to drink enough water.

Do you drink enough water? Lack of water (hydration) can lead to dehydration and make you feel tired.  I recommend keeping a water bottle with you and target to finish one (16 oz) bottle or two (8 oz) glasses of water before each meal and before sleep.

That way you will get approximately eight (8 oz) glasses or four (16 oz) bottles of water-i.e 64 ounces of water a day.

3. Sleep:

Your body and mind need proper sleep to rejuvenate and replenish. When your body and mind are rested enough, you would be able to do the things you are trying to do in half of the time. Protect your sleep to get 6 to 8 hours.

4. Body Exercise:

With a sedentary work and lifestyle, the body joints get stiff with lack of movement. So intermittently between activities, get up to walk few steps. To avoid building tension, stretch before or after your busy day.

Exercise also releases endorphins which help uplift your mood. Despite all the benefits, it is hard to incorporate an outside routine many times. For those people, I like to share some exercises doable within your daily schedules. I like the 5 min kitchen exercise by Dr. Chatterjee as he shared in his book ‘Four Pillars Plan’ and in this video.

5. Mind Exercise:

You do physical exercise for your body to function; similarly, your mind also needs exercise to perform at its best.

When I mention mind exercise, people think of relaxing. Yes, resting the brain is most important, yet it is only one aspect of mental exercise. Regular reflection about our mindset, reactions patterns and choices are essential to reset and rejuvenate your mind for it to work at it’s best.

As I mentioned earlier, these are mostly things that you and I know but need reminders from time as a human beings are forgetful beings and sometimes forget what is essential.

So let’s make some intentions together at the beginning of this year to take care of ourselves.

“I choose to take care of my body and mind and give it a priority.”

If you don’t do it, you will have low energy and irritability which can develop into further ill health. If you do take care of your mind and body with these five pillars for optimum health, you will enjoy optimum health and happiness.

Let me know how this step helped you and if you have any questions.

Dedicated to your health and happiness,
Dr. Rozina
# 1 Bestselling Author, Psychiatrist, Transformational Speaker

The Stress to Joy® program is available in  
Print Book 
Audio BookOnline CourseGuided Gratitude Journal

More blogs available atwww.drrozina.com

All names have been changed to protect identity. Any similarity is a coincidence. Advise is for educational purpose and should not be taken as treatment. We take no liability.

stress management

Even Good Things Can Lead to…

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The beginning of the year is also a time when people have gone through increased demands of activities, socializing and sometimes vacations. Many times they feel drained and exhausted afterwards.


Because too many of even good things can be stressful for the body and mind.

We call it positive stress. The stress due to too many positive things.

Stress, even when positive, can cause some adverse effects.

Therefore, let me share here how to minimize the negative effects of positive stress by using my personal example.

I had a stimulating end of the year with a vacation planning for a family wedding and release of my Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal, on top of all the year-end stuff a business owner has to do.

I was thrilled and enjoyed all the socializing and excitement. I did not feel any stress although my body was experiencing some negative effects of positive stress.

Few weeks later, I was found to have high blood pressure. Now if you are a healthcare professional, or know someone who is, you may know that doctors make terrible patients because they know all the possible consequences of an illness.

Like many doctors, my mind started going over all the possible worse case scenarios, I could go thru with an underlying high blood pressure; strokes, heart attacks, dementia, etc.

Consequently, I started feeling stressed and worried.

[Yes, stress doctors can also feel stressed].

The next day, I caught myself worrying and decided to apply the basic formula I teach others in the Stress to Joy® program.

Once I went through the exercise I felt relief from stress. I stopped worrying and started feeling empowered to take action. I started feeling calmer again even though my external situation hadn’t changed yet.

What helped me?

My journaling practice.

I usually start my mornings with my gratitude journal and follow up with my reflections. So that day as I began to reflect, I applied the basic Stress to Joy® formula ACR.

A –  I acknowledged that I am going through the positive stress of publishing as well as vacation planning and business management. Although it makes me happy and excited, it is causing some adverse effects on my health. I noticed the body tension and jumpy thoughts.

C – I calmed down intentionally with the feet to floor exercise and mindfulness.

R – I started reflecting using 3Rs:

Recognize: I recognized that certain things are in my control and certain things are not. The number on the blood pressure machine is not in my control.

It is in my circle of concern but not in my circle of control.

Although I cannot control it, I can still influence it by taking specific actions; e.g., watching my diet, doing my exercises, making my doctor’s appointment, and taking medications if needed.

Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence

Realize: I realized that I was reacting by focusing on the worst-case scenarios and that it is not helping me.

Response: So I told myself to use the mantra for letting go of worries;

“I choose not to suffer before suffering.
I will deal with the problem if it happens when it happens. ( There is a chance it may never happen, or it may occur after a long time. )
I choose to focus on and take steps to get the results I want rather than the results I don’t want.

I added my intention and choice statement to my daily to-do list for my daily reminders:

I choose to walk 10 min three times a day.

I choose to drink water, eat healthily, and take my meds and vitamins regularly.

I choose to give priority to self-care.

I choose to focus on My “I can” circle.

Do I even need to tell you how it shifted my mindset?

If you can relate to my story, then try this technique regularly and see how it helps you shift your mindset gradually and transform your suffering and stress to health and happiness.

You can learn more detail of this technique and many other techniques like this in the book Stress to Joy. (Specifically this technique is on page 113). www.stresstojoy.com

Let me know if you can relate to my story and how this technique helps you.

In my next blog, I will share “Five Easy Fixes for Tiredness and Irritability” so watch out for that.

Dedicated to your health and happiness,

Dr. Rozina

# 1 Bestselling Author, Transformational Speaker and


The Stress to Joy® program is available in  
Print Book 
Audio Book
Online Course
Guided Gratitude Journal

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by signing up at

All names have been changed to protect identity. Any similarity is a coincidence. Advise is for educational purpose and should not be taken as treatment. No liability.


A Unique Technique To Build Confidence (Even If You Feel Like A Failure) Grateful Achievement/Visions Step #1

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Pat shared her frustration with me; “How can I be confident and affirm that I have the best job possible when I am receiving only rejections to all my job applications?”

She was trying to recover from her condition and had made a vision board to help her visualize what she wanted in life. She said, “When you are facing so many problems, how can you feel confident and believe that you could achieve your dreams?”  She was going through a tough time and feeling guilty and focused on regrets in life. She could not feel confident. Many people have similar troubles feeling confident in their vision when they are going through a difficult time.

You may or may not be going thru difficult time but you may be just thinking about your New Year’s resolutions as the year ends. This is a good time to reflect on what goals you were able to achieve in the past year, what great surprises came your way that you did not anticipate at the beginning of the year and what you would like to achieve in the New Year.

Therefore I thought of sharing this unique technique from the new “Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal.” It can help you look to the past and future with confidence, enjoy your present and also increase the chances of your achieving those goals manifolds.

Let’s review it in two steps.

  1. Grateful Achievement
  2. Grateful Vision

Grateful Achievement.

When Pat faced the above dilemma, I advised her to add a Grateful Achievement and change her vision board to Grateful Vision using advanced gratitude concept. She took a manila folder with two plain sheets of paper pasted/stapled on each side. One side was her Grateful Achievement, and the other side was Grateful Vision.

For Grateful Achievement she wrote:

I am grateful that I was able to

  • Pass high school
  • Win a championship in athletics
  • Become a mother to two beautiful children
  • Write a resume and give good interviews

I’ll share what she wrote on the other side – in the next blog on describing Grateful Vision.

Before doing this, she was feeling like a total failure. She could not feel the confidence that she could get out of the hole she was in at that time, with all the legal and financial difficulties.

The next time I saw her, she had a big smile on her face. Her energy was palpable. She felt confident yet humble.  When she did this as part of her daily practice, her goals remained in front of her, and she kept on taking deliberate steps towards her goal. She was close to achieving success.

You may be asking, why Grateful Achievement?

You can easily accomplish results with a simple achievement board. John Assaraf teaches using Achievement Boards where you post all the symbols of successes you have achieved in life till now.

I tried it but had some difficulty due to my past belief system. I grew up in a culture where talking about your achievements is considered negative. Therefore, I try to be humble which is a high virtue in my value system. However, when someone is too humble, it affects their confidence and ability to express where it is needed, like in a job interview.

When you add ‘I am grateful that I was able to achieve’ in front of the list of your achievements, you can feel the confidence with humility and be the best you can be. Therefore, I use Grateful Achievement.

If you do this exercise, you will also be able to feel confidence without arrogance. Combine it with Grateful Vision and you will have a tool that will help you get closer and closer to your success with confidence and humility.

Go ahead make your list of achievements and say I am grateful that I was able to achieve….

Don’t forget the simple achievements because for you they may be simple but for many people in the world, it may not be.

For instance, when I taught this technique to primary grade kids, one of them shared her goal of understanding a certain math concept yet said I don’t think I can ever achieve that goal. I asked her if she understood some other math concepts and she listed many. She minimized her simple achievement, saying it is not a big deal. Everyone knows that. Yet it was a big deal to a kid from lower grade sitting next to her.  Furthermore, there are many kids who may not even have the chance to learn those concepts as they don’t or can’t go to school.

It made sense to her. Once she listed her gratitude for being able to learn and know the learned concepts, she felt more confident that she will be able to achieve the goal of learning other concepts she was having difficulty with.

You could also be grateful for all the simple things that you may take for granted or say, it is not a big deal.

Acknowledge them, offer gratitude for them and it will help you feel more confident to be able to achieve the goals you would like to achieve.

I will share the next step Grateful Vision in the next blog meanwhile let me know how this step helped you. If you would like me to share your list of achievements with others to inspire them, please write to me.

PS: This is one of the techniques from the “Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal”. If you haven’t checked it out yet but like this technique, you can grab your copy on Amazon 
Want more copies your colleagues, friends, and family? Get the special discounts on bulk order (5 or more) at https://stresstojoy.com/order-gratitude-journal-special
Click Here to learn more about what is inside this journal.

Thank you once more for your support me in spreading the message of hope.  Dedicated to your health and happiness,
Dr. Rozina# 1 Bestselling Author, Psychiatrist, Transformational Speakerwwww.drrozina.com

Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Join my LinkedIn Network
The Stress to Joy® program is available in  
Print Book 
Audio Book
Online Course

Guided Gratitude Journal

Don’t forget to check out my blog at www.drrozina.com

All names have been changed to protect identity. Any similarity is a coincidence. Advise is for educational purposes and should not be taken as treatment. No liability.


Why I Dedicated STJ Guided Gratitude Journal to you?

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If you are reading this that means you are supporting me in my mission to spread hope, health, and happiness. Therefore, I want to say;


You may not be aware of many ways you are contributing to this mission, therefore, let me share some here.

  1. For instance, when you choose to read my work and especially when you share your feedback and success stories, it not only helps you but also helps me feel motivated to write more.
  2. Then, every time you choose to apply the tools I share, in your life, it not only helps you train your brain to be more resilient, happy and healthy but also help my goal of helping more than a million people.
  3. Next, when you choose to develop your gratitude practice, mindfulness, and forward-thinking, it not only improves your functioning, focus, and feelings but also impacts people around you. Because you become calmer and mindful, you are more kind and present with them.
  4. And as the saying goes, the biggest present is being present (mindful). By impacting the people you care about with your full presence, you help me further my goal by touching more people.
  5. Similarly, when you are functioning at your best, you do further good in your fields of work, benefiting your clients and spreading the impact.
  6. In addition, as you choose to share the tools with your colleagues, friends, and family, it helps even more people.
  7. Furthermore, when you write reviews on Amazon or other social media, you inspire others to take steps to improve their mental health and expand the impact.
  8. Moreover, you may not know this, but a portion of all the proceeds from your purchases goes to charitable foundations like the Aga Khan Foundation. Thus, you are helping to improve the quality of life for many people in the world, causing a further ripple effect. 

In essence, you are helping me in many ways without being fully aware.

As my gratitude journal helped get greatly in my life, I feel very passionate that this powerful tool helps many more people like you. I started writing
after losing my right/dominant hand ( for short time), you don’t have to lose things before you realize their importance. This practice is going to help you enjoy things when you have them.

If you can learn some of the tools that have helped me and my patients over my 20+ years of practice as a psychiatrist, you will enjoy the best in life.  At the same time, you will help me further my purpose in life.

In short, it is my patients, the stress to joy program participants, and readers like you, who inspire me, motivate me and keep me going.

By reading my work, implementing the changes in your life and spreading the goodness to people around, you participate in this mission to promote health and happiness. Therefore I dedicated “Stress to Joy; Guided Gratitude Journal” to you.

PS: You can grab your copy of the new Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal on Amazon 

Want more copies your colleagues, friends, and family? Get the special discounts on bulk order (5 or more) at https://stresstojoy.com/order-gratitude-journal-special

Click Here to learn more about what is inside this journal.

Thank you once more for your support me in spreading the message of hope. 

Dedicated to your health and happiness,

Dr. Rozina
# 1 Bestselling Author, Psychiatrist, Transformational Speaker


Quick links to Stress to Joy Programs:

Print book: https://stresstojoy.com/book-offer

Kindle E-Book: Amazon.com/
Audiobook: Audible.com/pd/Stress-to-Joy-audiobook

Guided Gratitude Journal: https://stresstojoy.com/gratitude-journal-special
Video Online Course: https://stresstojoy.com/online-course

Author site: amazon.com/author/drrozina
Blogs and programs: www.drrozina.com

Clinic: www.shifahealth.org

Phone: 425-742-4600


All names have been changed to protect identity. Any similarity is a coincidence. Advise is for educational purposes and should not be taken as treatment. No liability.

How Gratitude Changes Your Brain.

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Research at UC Berkeley found that a gratitude practice can help you and your brain heal faster!

That may be no surprise to anyone who’s studied all the benefits of practicing gratitude.

But there was one thing I read in their research that was shocking which few people know about yet… 

Changes in Brain:

It turns out; a gratitude practice creates changes in the brain- the medial prefrontal cortex. This area is associated with social cognition and behavior. The most surprising part is that these changes lasted even three months after the study period.


Indeed, many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed. 

The finding of changes in the brain means a gratitude practice could potentially have long-lasting benefits for our brain and mental health.

Ways to Heal Faster:

With the pressure of our fast-paced world, we are always looking for ways to heal faster and derive the greatest possible benefit from treatment in the shortest amount of time.

Therefore, many healthcare providers, especially in the mental health, are using research-backed approaches to complement psychological counseling with additional activities that are not too taxing for our clients but yield high results, and gratitude practice is one such activity.

My Experience:

Over the years I have used this technique to complement treatment for many of my clients and seen its power. I have also seen its benefits in my own life as I have practiced gratitude journaling for more than 14 years. I started after I broke my right hand and realized the importance of my left hand. (Read more about my story in the book Stress to Joy“.)

Now, to help more people get educated, motivated and guided to start, resume or deepen their gratitude practice, I have developed this tool; “Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal.”

Would you like to get a copy for yourself, your colleagues, and your clients?

It is now available at Amazon.com. I have also arranged for special discounts on bulk order (5 or more) for my friends at https://stresstojoy.com/order-gratitude-journal-special

If you would like to learn more about what is inside this journal or get a free sample PDF, I would be happy to share it with you. The more we spread happiness, the better for all.


Thank you for spreading joy in the world.


Dedicated to your health and happiness

Dr. Rozina Lakhani Psychiatrist, Transformation Speaker, and Author of the #1 Bestseller; “Stress to Joy.   Quick links to Stress to Joy Programs:

Print book: https://stresstojoy.com/book-offer

Kindle E-Book: Amazon.com/ Audiobook: Audible.com/pd/Stress-to-Joy-audiobook

Guided Gratitude Journal: https://stresstojoy.com/gratitude-journal-special Video Online Course: https://stresstojoy.com/online-course

Author site: amazon.com/author/drrozina Blogs and programs: www.drrozina.com

Clinic: www.shifahealth.org

Phone: 425-742-4600

What is inside the STJ Guided Gratitude Journal?

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My friend Sam recently expressed her surprise when I showed her STJ Guided Gratitude Journal, “Oh, I thought this was just a pretty journal with empty lines. I did not know that there are so many instructions and inspirations in it. I feel like it can help many people like me. I will definitely try it.”  

So let me share what is inside this journal. This journal is hybrid of book and journal. It consists of seven components as follows.

1.  Reasons behind each prompt: When you know the “why” of something, it helps to you get motivated to do it.

Therefore I have added the explanation and reasons for the practice and each prompt.

2. Examples: I usually ask my patients to share three things they feel grateful for while I am writing their prescriptions. Some people have a hard time initially. Examples make it easier.

Therefore, I will share some examples for each prompt to get you thinking.

3. Flexibility to write short or long entry: Some days, you’re going to be filled with motivation and want to dive deep into your gratitude practice.

And let’s be honest, there’s probably going to be some days when you’re busy and doing that much could feel overwhelming.

This journal gives you the choice of how much you want to journal each day.

If you simply want to do the minimum, that’s perfect!

And on days you want to do more, you have extra space and additional prompts to connect with a sense of gratitude and joy deeply.

4. Invitation to doodle: Do you like to doodle? One person told me that she feels almost guilty for doodling when she “should be” doing work.

New research supports the benefits of doodling and expressing creatively.

Therefore, you will find a sketch/doodle/brain dump/visualize zone on alternate pages of the journal – a blank space without lines.

You may draw something that you are grateful for or something that is your vision/goal. You may doodle or color or paste some pictures.

You may sketch the floating bubble exercise (an exercise to be able to sleep when the mind is too active as described in ‘Stress to Joy’ book), brain dumps of your ideas, priorities of the day or merely write free flow.

The open space is to invite you to do whatever you desire that day.

5. Thought Provoking Quotes: Good quotes usually inspire and stimulate thinking. Therefore, I have scattered a few of my favorite inspirational quotes throughout the Journal.

6. Gradual Instructions: When I wrote in my journal for the first time, I started with only a few words. Over time it evolved as I introduced different prompts and variations.

When I teach this technique to my patients, I start with the basics and gradually add more prompts to deepen the practice.

This journal is designed to guide you in the same way. The prompts expand gradually to help you master each set.

7. Other Resources: Last but not least, I’ve compiled and shared a list of resources that I have developed to benefit you in acquiring the optimum mindset for health and happiness.

If you would like to use these powerful tools, all you have to do is keep this journal or any journal or notebook by your bedside, in your pocket, or your purse. Every morning, before you get busy with the daily demands of your life, or evening before retiring to bed, pick up the journal and write.

My friend just sent me this note; “I love the Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal. I was thinking about trying a gratitude journal for some time, and I am glad I started here. The thought-provoking quotes and the guided text has motivated me and provided me with a perspective which is helping me express my feelings and focus on the positives. The simple act of journaling has enabled me to see the meaning of events going on around me and helps me create meaning in my own life; as a result, I feel much happier, calmer and more grateful for everything. “

I hope it helps you too and I look forward to hearing from you how it has helped to transform your life.

Grab your copy of this journal at Amazon http://a.co/d/iNHJgzp

For more information about the journal or bulk order please visit https://stresstojoy.com/order-gratitude-journal-special

Dedicated to your health and happiness,

Dr. Rozina Lakhani
Psychiatrist, Transformation Speaker, and Author of the #1 Bestseller; “Stress to Joy”

Author site: amazon.com/author/drrozina
Blogs and programs: www.drrozina.com

Appointments: Call 425-742-4600 or visit www.shifahealth.org

Stress to Joy Books and Courses:

Print book: https://stresstojoy.com/book-offer
Audiobook: Audible.com/pd/Stress-to-Joy-audiobook

Guided Gratitude Journal: https://stresstojoy.com/gratitude-journal-special
Video Online Course: https://stresstojoy.com/online-course

Sign Up for Dr. Rozina’s newsletter and get immediate download for “Relaxation Exercise for Busy People” as a free gift!

All comments will appear after moderator review. The tools and techniques I teach have proven to be highly successful for improving emotional, mental, and physical balance, but they are not intended to replace treatments prescribed by licensed medical or mental health professional.

suicide prevention

Suicide and Stress; How to Cope with a Suicide in the Community.

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How to Cope with a Suicide in the Community.

Has your heart ever ached when you heard about somebody committing suicide? How do you cope with such a loss, especially when it is a youth in the community? The chances of getting affected by such news are increasing as there are approximately 123 suicides per day in the US. According to CDC data, suicide is currently one of the 10 leading causes of death overall and within each age group 10–64. Hearing stats is hard but hearing about someone you know committing suicide is harder. Let me share with you my recent experience and, hopefully, some of the tools that helped me may help you too.

Recently, I went to my daughter’s parent-teacher conference, and the teacher told me a young high schooler, one of her student’s brother, had committed suicide. She told me how hard it was for her to keep herself together. This boy was a ninth grader, a soccer player, a choir member and overall a very good student. He was also her student a few years back. She was feeling grief herself and was trying to figure out how to share the news with her students that their classmate had lost her brother.

As I was seeing patients that day, it was hard to keep my feelings under control. But I just focused on my patient’s needs and that helped me get through my day. I just wanted to go home and hug my kids as soon as possible. When I picked the phone to send a condolence text to the mother of this boy, I saw her last message about taking her son to a soccer game. I felt miserable and could not stop my tears. If I was feeling this way, I couldn’t imagine how that mother must be feeling.

I needed to use some of the tools I teach in the Stress to Joy program.

I acknowledged that; “I am feeling grief. I am a human being, and it is ok to feel sad upon hearing such news. I am a mother and felt for this mother.”

Gradually, I calmed down by letting my emotions flow, and bringing attention to what I was doing. I was driving home, so I started driving mindfully, bringing my attention to the moment. I became aware of my experience of both external and internal environment. I observed the sights, the sounds, and the smells. I noticed how I felt in my body as my hands were maneuvered the steering wheel, and my feet were automatically shifted pressure between the accelerator and brakes.

Once I calmed down, I started reflecting, initially in my head, then calling a friend and later in my journal. My friend said that when she heard about a suicide like that, she felt horrified. She started appreciating what she had in her life and stopped complaining about small day to day issues with her kids. I also started appreciating.

As I reflected, I realized that in our individualistic society, people might think that their life is their own, and their actions don’t affect others. In fact, we are social beings and our actions affect many people, even those that we may not know.

I wondered, what could have been the stressors that surpassed this boy’s capacity to cope that he reverted to such a drastic action? How can we prevent things like this from happening?

I know that there is a misconception that only people with a diagnosed mental illness will commit suicide. Although the rate of suicide is higher in people with mental illness, there are many people who are superficially doing fine in their day-to-day is life, but, when the stressors increase more than their capacity to cope, they break.


So what can we do?

Like in case of an infection, it is important to get antibiotics when infection occurs, and at the same time, it is also important to develop healthy habits like hand-washing to prevent more infections.

As in the case of a heart attack, it is critical that the person gets immediate care, and at the same time, it is very important to develop heart-healthy habits to prevent another heart attack.

Similarly, in case of suicide, it is critical to get treatment for someone having suicidal thoughts, and at the same time, it is also very important to think about developing mind healthy habits to prevent the suicidal thoughts from occurring.

But, do you have to wait till you develop an infection in order to start building healthy habits like hand washing? Or do you have to wait for a heart attack to happen in order to start developing heart-healthy habits? Similarly, you don’t have to wait for suicidal thoughts to occur before strengthening mind healthy habits.

When you develop mind healthy habits and get early treatment if necessary, you increase your resilience and joy which helps you cope with stress without breaking down and taking such drastic actions. The stress that leads up to suicide is temporary, but suicide is permanent. When a person takes his/her own life, in their mind, they think it is a solution; they don’t think that it could be a bigger problem. Who knows what happens after death?  What if there is more pain or what if you have to come back and relive all the pain and still complete your life cycle?

I asked myself, what can I do to prevent suicides in the community?

I recognized that stopping that boy from killing himself was not in my control, but I can help some people from doing something like that in future. it is in my circle of influence to teach the mind training tools to as many people as possible so they can manage their stress before it manages them and prevent unnecessary suffering and possibly suicide.

Therefore, I have been working on prevention education wherever and whenever possible in form of individual teaching, group, and writing. I have collected many mind training tools from my life and practice as a psychiatrist for the last 17 years in form of the Stress to Joy program. My mission is to help at least a million people minimize their stress and prevent unnecessary suffering while maximizing their joy.

Many people who have done a lot of work in this area and this is my contribution to that work. What can you do?

Train your mind. Learn to dance with your stress instead of fighting with it. Adapt to your life challenges and see them as opportunities for growth and develop happiness and resilience to be able to face stress in your life.

Join me and share these tools with other people in your circle of influence.

Contribute your skills, knowledge and time in improving the society as a whole so we decrease the overall stress we create for everyone including our youth.

Please, join me in spreading these mind training tools and resources. Who knows how many lives you would be able to save. Remember, you may not know who is suffering because people can hide their distress until it is too late. I have also attached info about the suicide prevention line below.

SAVE; Suicide Awareness and Voices of Education: https://save.org/

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools: https://afsp.org/our-work/education/after-a-suicide-a-toolkit-for-schools/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat.

Both are free and confidential.  You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.


If you like to learn more mind training tools, I share many in my blogs, book, and course that you can access at www.drrozina.com. If you haven’t already signed up to receive my updates, you can still do that and get a free audio download “Relaxation for busy people” at www.stresstojoy.com

Dedicated to your health and happiness,


Dr. Rozina

Psychiatrist, Author, and Public Speaker



All comments will appear after moderator review. The tools and techniques I teach have proven to be highly successful for improving emotional, mental, and physical balance, but they are not intended to replace treatments prescribed by licensed medical or mental health professional.

Stress management programs

Why Stress To Joy™?

205 300 Dr. Rozina

Why Stress To Joy™?

“Are you trying to run your self out of your business?” commented my friend, Sheila, when I said, “I want to teach Stress to Joy™ so people don’t have to become my patients.” Are you also wondering; “Why is a psychiatrist who specializes in advanced treatment of depression, so passionate about preventing stress?” In this article, let me share my “why” for focusing on prevention and this program and book; Stress to Joy™.


There are three main reasons.

  1. I see stress.
  2. I experience stress.
  3. I feel a calling and a responsibility to prevent stress.


First, I see stress and it’s devastating effects all around me; patients, colleagues, and friends. Very few can say that they don’t face any stressful situation in their life. I have been practicing psychiatry for almost two decades. As I specialize in advanced treatment, like TMS ( Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and medications for resistant depression, people come to me after they have tried many different treatments and suffered for a long time. I try to do more than just provide the treatment they come for; I want to help them develop resilience so they can prevent recurrence. I wondered, how much suffering could be prevented if I could reach people before they get sick. I searched deeply for what can be done to prevent the suffering in the first place. I found that when people learn certain mental tools to manage their day to day stress and develop certain approaches in life, many diseases and a lot of suffering could be prevented.

Second, I experience stress as I too face stress in my day to day life as I juggle between different responsibilities of family, business, profession, and community. I also had a life-changing experience several years back when I lost functioning of my dominant hand in a car accident. I had to learn and utilize these tools myself to help me maintain my sanity and ability to help others. When I was able to write again, I felt the calling to share those tools with others so it could help them too.

Third, I feel a calling and a responsibility to prevent stress. I had an opportunity to get educated in systems that emphasized prevention of illness and promotion of health in addition to treatment. My medical school, Aga Khan University, in Pakistan focused on community health, where we worked with a particular community throughout our medical school to improve their health through education. When I went for my residency in psychiatry, at the University of Illinois in Chicago, I took a public psychiatry track. I was also able to do my Masters in Public Health. So my education gave me tools to empower people through education. My patients, my friends, and my life have all been great teachers at each step.

So now I feel this inner passion, calling and responsibility to do my best to prevent the unnecessary suffering. Some causes of illness are not in our control but others are. Even when my patients come out of their severe states, we focus on this mental training to prevent recurrence and further suffering.

Stress makes all kinds of illness worse so preventing stress can save you not only from mental but many physical conditions too. I also found that unless you develop health and happiness habits, it is hard to cope with stress. Therefore, I focus on the promotion of health and happiness that gives resilience and protection against stress-related illnesses.  

Stress To Joy™ is not just a book. It is a program which can help you transform from a person who feels stress most of the time to a person who feels joy most of the time. I know that people learn in different ways, so I have created different options. If you learn by reading, I hope my book can help you. If you are more of a listener, perhaps check out the audiobook. If you learn better when you see and experience things, then the online course may help. These are all modular so you can mix and match or use all.

It is my intention to help more than a million people with my project “Stress To Joy™”; and you can help. How can you help? By helping yourself and others around you. You can help yourself by learning and practicing these universal tools to minimize your stress and maximize your joy. When you are less stressed and more joyful, it will automatically impact people around you. As you share and pass the message on, you will be helping me and the ripple effects will reach more people and you may help to make our world more joyful and peaceful around us.

If you don’t learn to manage your stress and build resilience, you will continue to build stress and feel like your life is passing by without much joy. If you do apply the principles, you will feel that each day is an opportunity for growth. So my message to you is to take care of your health and happiness by practicing these simple tools to transform your Stress to Joy™.

To your health and happiness.

Dr. Rozina


If you haven’t already, it is not too late to Sign Up to get a free copy of the audio “Relaxation exercise for busy people”, receive notifications of new free gifts, and receive notification when “Stress to Joy™” is available for free! Don’t forget to check out my other blogs for more tools for your mental health toolkit! 


I would love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think. All comments will appear after mediator review.


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