Mental

Nina Kharazmi || Photography, Photography, Portfolio

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Coney Island

Nina Kharazmi || Photography, Photography, Travel

A quirky playground of sights and sounds,

where the subway ends and the city meets the beach

with vibrant, tattered streets. 

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Downtown

Nina Kharazmi || Photography, Photography

NEW YORK CITY

The geometry of industry from the financial district and below.

A hallowed past of success,

where lines at best

meet dreams to rest.

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Humor, Anger and Incivility

Advocacy, Editorial

Techniques for using laughter for emotional transformation.

6-reasons-why-laughter-is-the-best-medicine

Photo: The Chopra Center

Feeling swamped, burned out and frustrated at work? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In this fast paced society, overworking is common and even socially acceptable. Today, job expectations involve long hours slaving over a full plate of responsibilities that only seem to move from excessive to moderately tolerable. If you’re not stressed out then you must not be working hard enough, right? Wrong. At some point, this view became acceptable as genuine dedication was replaced with corporate hustling. But at what cost?

Burned out employees are more likely to experience emotions that can negatively impact work performance and overall well-being. This includes feelings of stress, frustration, disappointment, annoyance and resentment. If left unchecked, these emotions can easily spiral into anger with disastrous consequences. When acting from a place of rage, the outcomes can be devastating.

HUMOR FOR BETTER HEALTH

Humor provides an outlet for better health in a stressful work environment. When demands are high, people are more likely to be on edge. For those with a low tolerance for stress, this may lead to a reduction in creativity and innovation. In the worst cases, interpersonal conflicts arise, collaborative efforts demise, and frustration and anger ensues.

There are many ways in which humor serves as an effective tool for stress reduction and anger management. On a physical level, it minimizes the effect of cortisol, which is the “fight-or-flight” hormone released during highly stressful situations. Additionally, humor relaxes the body and releases more of those “feel good” hormones. Beyond that, humor also benefits mental health by promoting community bonding, solidarity and even creativity.

HOW TO LAUGH MORE

Laughter can effectively defuse rage by using opposite emotional states. On one end, anger is a rigid and serious emotion that occurs when expectations are not met. In contrast, humor is a flexible emotion that requires out of the box thinking. Therefore, in order to transform anger into humor, you must remember to not take life too seriously. This can be done through visualizations or drawings. For example, if you think of a colleague as a “dirt bag”, try to imagine an actual bag of dirt sitting on a desk, attending meetings and making calls. While it may appear “silly”, using humor in this manner can help to reduce tension and allow you to later address problems more constructively.

Next time rage is on the rise, take a step back and try to examine the situation in a lighthearted manner.

When events are taken lightly, humor has the opportunity to seep into the lives of even the most stressed out individuals. For example, in a 2017 study presented in the Journal of Managerial Psychology, researchers found that business executives, lawyers and doctors admitted to swearing in the workplace. While profanity is generally unacceptable in this environment, positive outcomes were still reported at the individual, interpersonal and group levels. As a result of not taking swearing too seriously, professionals and their colleagues were able to react to profanity with humor rather than anger. Numerous positive results were reported, including stress-relief, as well as enriched communication and social interactions. Overall, this study illustrates the benefits of experiencing life from a lighter and more humorous state of being. While I am not condoning profanity at work, I am endorsing life with more laughter.

 

    … …..      bskgwfrcmaa9grn


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Reference
Featured Image: http://www.tipsywriter.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/laugh-quotes.jpg

Millennial Workforce

Advocacy, Editorial

Spoiled, Lazy & Conceited – Shifting Perceptions to Engage Millennials

Stress-free strategies for cultivating passion in business.
millennials

Photo: Times Jobs

By 2030, millennials or Gen Y will account for 75% of the global workforce. (1,2) Engaging this young and technologically savvy group requires innovative tactics. What worked for past generations may not necessarily produce the same outcomes for Gen Y. Currently, 72% of U.S. employees are disengaged or actively disengaged. The high cost of employee turnover is estimated at 1.5 to 3 times an employee’s salary. This is due to the cost of recruitment, loss of institutional knowledge, training new hires, loss of member relationships and impact on morale. Therefore, it is vital that employers understand generational differences in order to implement effective interventions that foster employee commitment and retention. While the media has often painted Gen Y unfavorably—entitled and self-absorbed—the truth behind the millennial mindset is likely more complex. With increased attention, researchers are now examining the motivations of Gen Y for the purposes of cultivating corporate environments for the modern age.

 

Table 1. Definitions of Generations

Name Span of Birth Years
Baby Boomers 1944-1964
Gen X 1965-1980
Millennials (Gen Y) 1981-1995


In a 2016 study by Indiana University, 1,798 retail workers were surveyed in order to examine generational mindsets and whether a positive work environment was associated with employee loyalty. (1) Researchers found that when compared to Gen X or Baby Boomers, millennials had drastically different perceptions of work, especially in regards to the concepts of duty, drive and reward. Additionally, millennials did not conceptually link organizational commitment with workplace culture. Therefore, having a positive workplace environment is not enough for millennials to stay committed to a particular company. Instead, they seek organizations that meet their needs for contribution and fulfillment.

Based on the findings in this study, numerous strategies are recommended to engage millennials in a manner that minimizes stress. For example, managers could adjust their performance appraisal process by showing millennials how their work positively supports organizational objectives and goals. Doing so cultivates a greater sense of meaning and commitment to the team. It also addresses three traits that researchers have found to be prominent in the millennial mindset: teamwork, communication with superiors, and frequent feedback. Reframing concepts of duty, drive and reward can ultimately facilitate a more productive environment, with a workforce that is committed, passionate and loyal. By embracing differences and acting with empathy, corporate leaders are shaping workplace environments that foster employee well-being.millennial-workforce-2020

Recommendations for engaging millennials:

Cultivate Duty

Show how individual work connects to the larger team goals.

Encourage Resilience

Frame failure as a positive learning experience that encourages alternative actions.

Support Innovation

Position work requests in terms of the larger organizational context.

Increase Communication

Promote frequent interaction with superiors through a performance evaluation plan that increases organizational communication.

Provide Feedback

Frequently assess activities and provide tangible evidence of appreciation.

 

learning-to-love-the-millennial-workforce

Photo: Metro Fax

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REFERENCES

  1. http://www.inderscienceonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1504/IJBSR.2017.080832
  2. https://www.wired.com/insights/2013/08/the-rise-of-the-millennial-workforce

Pegasus

Nina Kharazmi || Photography, Photography, Travel

Sights from the Pegasus building in downtown Los Angeles.

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Pakistan

Advocacy, Editorial, Nina Kharazmi || Photography, Video

Honor Killings in Pakistan

Over 1,000 women are brutally murdered in Pakistan each year.

October 6, 2016
borgen-magazine

Photo by: Borgen Magazine

Pakistan is a patriarchal society where women’s behaviors are traditionally limited by cultural restrictions in order to preserve their chastity. Any deviant behavior is therefore deemed immoral and brings dishonor upon the family. Consequently, women labeled as deviant are often murdered by male relatives or neighbors in order to restore familial honor and reputation within the community (1). These brutal acts of murder are known as honor killings. Each year, over 1,000 women in Pakistan are murdered in the name of honor.

While “immoral behavior” includes infidelity, it also encompasses a range of unexpected behaviors. For instance, women are often murdered for being raped, refusing an arranged marriage, dressing “inappropriately” or acting flirtatious. It can also be warranted by familial quarrels over property ownership, inheritance issues, or a woman’s desire to marry for love. Many times women are even murdered on the basis of suspicion alone (2).

gospel-herald

Photo by: Gospel Herald

Human rights groups have been pressuring the Pakistani government to put an end to honor killings. However, authorities have been unsuccessful and have often even turned a blind eye. In many cases, murders are not even investigated, leaving perpetrators free from prosecution (3).

bbc

Photo by: BBC

This issue has gained international attention, especially with the rising number of high-profile honor killings this year. One such case was Qandeel Baloch, a Pakistani social media star, who was strangled to death by her brother in July. Pakistani filmmaker and activist, Sharmeen Obaid, also heightened international attention towards this issue in her Academy Award winning documentary, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.

In response to the rising campaigns for women’s rights, the Pakistani government passed a bill ensuring that killers receive a mandatory life sentence (4). Previously, a killer could be pardoned for murder if he gained forgiveness from the victim’s family. This new legislation no longer allows freedom from impunity. Even still, it remains uncertain whether this law is enough to deter honor killings. However, activists everywhere are celebrating this new step in the right direction towards ending violence against women.

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Honor killing suspects are blind folded before their court hearing. (Photo by: CNN)

… 


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REFERENCES

  1. “Pakistan rejects pro-women bill”. BBC News. March 2, 2005.
  2. Hassan, Yasmeen. “The Fate of Pakistani Women”. New York TimesMarch 25, 1999.
  3. “Pakistan’s honour killings enjoy high-level support”. Taipei Times. The Liberty Times Group. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  4. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37578111.

Light

Nina Kharazmi || Photography, Photography

A manipulation of light in space.

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Freedom

Nina Kharazmi || Photography, Video

 …

Freedom, Poverty and Human Rights

Poverty is the failure to acquire certain fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms from disease, hunger, and illiteracy. In order for people to have the freedom to live a healthy life, there cannot be obstacles preventing the legitimate pursuit of good health and well-being. Simultaneously, society must support individuals by creating an environment that allows for the achievement of good health. Once these basic freedoms are acquired, an individual attains a level of minimal human dignity. According to the human rights approach, people have inalienable rights to these freedoms. It is a human right to be free from hunger and disease. Once people attain a minimal level of human dignity they are then able to gain something greater – the freedom of choice and the power to create a better life.

 …


Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2004). Human Rights and Poverty Reduction: A Conceptual Framework. Retrieved from http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/PovertyReductionen.pdf

Truth

Nina Kharazmi || Photography, Video

Life is made of stories.

Violence, corruption, abuse.

Somewhere between past & present lies truth.

Discover truth and you will find power,

The power to change the world.

The power to fight for freedom, justice & hope.

By exposing the dark side of the human condition,

There may be light.

As truth is enlightenment.

And people have the power,

The power to change the world.