Mr Krishnamurthy asks, “Dear Doctor, I am as my profile will reveal is at 82. I am active and is able to keep health by not indulging in anything in excess. Life had been smooth and very pleasant. I observe the present day generation especially the age group of 13 to 18 of both the sex are very lethargic and always indulging in so many gadgets easily available for spending time aimlessly I find they are not very attentive, quick to know the points of any questionnaire etc. Even witty comments are not well understood. This lethargic condition in any generation will be very conducive to destruction Ok. Let me come to the point Is there any medicinal remedy that could be slowly applied to the children to come over this malady Please enlighten me.”
Let us analyze.
Can Ayurvedic medicines help to get rid of laziness and lethargy?
Yes, it can. But conditions apply.
If you are giving medicines to an alcoholic to get rid of alcohol addiction, whichever medicine you may give, how powerful they may be, but unless the person is not motivated, your medicine will be a waste of money.
In case of young generation, I do not think that there is lack of motivation. They are active, agile, eager to learn and positively oriented. But it is in the parent’s hand to guide them to their goals, which needs huge attention. I mean to say, that parents are finding it difficult to hit a balance between exposure of gadgets (by the kids) and success in academics & co-curricular aspects.
I would say, parents, rightly guiding the kids forward, along with Ayurvedic medicine is a killer combination to put Gen Y in the right track.
One mistake that is happening…
The basic difference that I find in the learning process is, in (g)olden times, children were concentrating on one particular subject, diving deep into it, learning all the basic aspects correctly and applying them with different examples.
There was time to learn and assimilate information.
Today, because of information over-load, kids are learning new things everyday, but there is no time provision for assimilation and application. This is where, parents need to act. Parents need to bring in time gap between one learning process and the next.
- Here, I am concentrating more on internet and gadgets. I am excluding TV from the discussion, as TV has got less to do with learning process. It is more of an entertainment tool.
- Here, I am using the term computer to indicate tablets, smart phones, laptops and so on.
Negative effects of internet, gadgets
What internet does to an young learning mind?
Brings in hurriedness – We tend to read only the headings and a few lines rather a full page, on a computer screen. Hurriedness is partially caused due to high brightness of the screen.
Takes away concentration – Multiple tabs can be opened, multiple downloads are happening, multiple videos are getting downloaded. Kid does not know, how to prioritize.
Unnecessary distractions – Kid is learning about ‘anatomy of brain’ in a website, suddenly his friend’s message pops up, somebody has ‘liked’ his pic in Facebook, an update reminder pops up.
Misplaced priority – Due to natural orientation towards friends, kid would easily pick liking and commenting on his friend’s pic over continuing to learn about ‘anatomy of brain’.
Feeling addicted – Trials become practice and practice becomes habit. Kid drowns in Facebook & games; ‘anatomy of brain’ tab in the computer screen is left unattended.
Give time slabs –
Whatever the kid is doing, make sure to give a time slab.
It is better to give one hour for each activity.
- Football with friends – one hour.
- Doing homework – One hour
- Revision, studies – one hour.
- Internet gaming and Facebook – half an hour.
Give them books to read –
For kids, paper books are better than eBooks. The kid can concentrate better. Give them biographies of great innovators. Explain
- How it takes a lifetime of concentrated hard work to do a thing of wonder.
- How it is important not to give up the effort at difficult times
- How it is important not to give in to distractions.
You should also read the book with him, discuss and share your experience.
Encourage them to play outdoor games.
Having said that, do not blame them for playing computer games. Let them play that as well, but for a limited time. Explain – Beating your friend in a running race is a bigger achievement than beating the same friend in car race video game.
- The door should never be locked from inside, when the kid is in front of computer.
- Email and Facebook chat options are kept disabled, while using computer for studies.
- While studying on the internet, once a topic is taken, it will be pursued for not less than 20 minutes.
- Discourage loose talk, vulgar commenting, etc in Facebook and elsewhere.
- Make them understand and follow gentlemanly behavior, both in online and real world.
- Be a real example in time management and lead an active life. The kid will have a live example to follow, 24 X 7.
- Be harsh at times, reasonably. Do not be continuously harsh.
- Enroll them for yoga and meditation classes early in their life. Body and mind gets moulded into a right shape.
- Introduce spirituality to the kid. Follow up spirituality with reasoning. Let the kid be assured that spirituality is a way of life, than a story of the past.
- Do not show that you are rich. Let the kid understand the value of each and every penny that she spends.
- Put them into some hobbies.
Do not over-nourish the kid. Avoid too much of sweets and oily food.
Watch his tummy – As per Ayurveda principles, the next meal should only be taken after the previous one is completely digested. So, mind the gap between two feeds.
Include more of fresh vegetables and fruits. Avoid junk and aerated drinks. They add to the heaviness of stomach and bring in lethargy and laziness.
Cow Ghee – There are many theories about Ghee. But as per Ayurveda and my personal experience, ghee increases memory, concentration and overall health. Period.
Ayurvedic products for concentration
There are many, but depends from one person to other. Usually a combination of herbs like Brahmi, Gotu Kola, Shankhapushpi, Amla, etc are used by Ayurvedic doctors.