What is the use of Ribo device?

The 'Ribo' is a robotic solution for those looking to enjoy a bit of digital companionship. It "embraces" your smartphone and displays expressions that seem to convey your smartphone's feelings while separated from your hands. Half desktop pet and half smartphone dock, Ribo expresses emotions through its eyes displayed on a circular screen that serves as its face. The "tummy" of the robot is where you can slot your smartphone in. Inserting a charging cable turns Ribo into a charging station when needed. If you hold both of its hands in yours, it can take ECG readings that will be displayed on your phone and on its LCD display. Compared to smart docks with wireless charging and advanced features, Ribo might seem lacking, but what it offers is a more personal and approachable connection with technology.

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Under pressure I feel the urge to try drugs.

My friends often talk about drinking, smoking and vaping. Many of them are also consuming the same. As I don't, I sometimes feel like a misfit in the group. Under pressure I feel the urge to try these things.

As you grow older you will be introduced to a number of new things. Drinking, smoking and vaping can become very addictive vices over time. Many individuals start with thinking of trying it just once and then get habituated to it and are unable to leave it. I appreciate that you have never indulged in the same. I suggest that you refrain from these habits as these are not healthy for your physical and mental well-being.

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I am having difficulty in preparing for my exams.

I am a first year MBBS student. I am having ... difficulty in preparing for my exams thereby decreasing my efficiency. Kindly guide.

Studying as an MBBS student may be overwhelming sometimes. Since the syllabus is vast, you can benefit by dividing the portion equally and preparing an organised daily timetable to help you learn better. Make sure you keep some time as free time or a break time to avoid getting too bogged down by the syllabus. Try learning in terms of pointers first and later elaborate on what you have learnt. Use a highlighter wherever required, this would help to magnify important words or statements. Try to maintain a book on pointers only, this will help you revise your entire portion at one glance, last minute. You can also audio record yourself as you read out a difficult answer and hear it later; according to studies, listening to your own voice repeatedly can help you memorise better.

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I am not good at controlling my anger.

I am not good at controlling my anger. If I let it out, I worsen my relationship with my friends and family. If I keep it in, it keeps bothering me from within and affects my overall personality. It is making my life difficult and I have started talking to less and less people. I fear I will explode if someone talks to me because I do not feel comfortable with the people in my surroundings. What can I do to be at peace with myself as well as with everyone else?

I appreciate your honesty. Talking to fewer people may not always be the best solution, because in life you will have to talk to many other people over time. Indulging in daily physical activities is said to reduce anger. You can go for a run or brisk walk every day; this will help you unwind. Whenever you get angry, it is best to take a brief timeout of maybe 10-15 minutes wherein you can hold yourself better and gather your thoughts, too, before you speak. Simple stretching exercises and focussed breathing exercises (breathe in and breathe out very slowly) will also help you calm down. It is also important to have a friend that you can speak to and vent your emotions and fears to.

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I am stressed about my future.

I am in Class 9. Before the pandemic, I used to be a bright child and a topper, but after the pandemic my grades have deteriorated a lot. I was on the brink of failing in my periodic tests. I am stressed about my future.

The pandemic has caused several changes in the lives of people and many are still facing concerns, though things are back to normal at the moment. It is important for you to find out what exactly has changed in your life during the past two years that led to this drastic change. Did you suffer emotionally? Has your friend circle changed? Has there been something that has upset you or are you worrying about something that you find difficult to speak about? Make a list of all these things to find out what the root cause of the problem is. After you have learnt about the root cause it will be easier for you to tackle it. For example, if you are unable to understand what is being taught, maybe you can take coaching from a specialised teacher for the same. As you go to a higher standard, the studies may also get a little difficult and you may find it difficult to concentrate, understand that you are worried about future, however, this is a concern that is definitely resolvable.

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A new girl joined our class this year. I don't know what it is about her but everybody likes her. Even my friends are always with her. She "plays politics" with me and I can't stand her, because of her my friends have left me alone. How can I get my friends back and tell them that she isn't a nice person?

Looks like the new girl in your class is making you feel quite insecure and you 'can't stand her'. This new girl is quite popular, and everyone is attracted to her, including your friends. Seems like you feel helpless that you can do nothing about it.

It is not that a person is a nice person' or 'not a nice person'. You think that she is not nice, but your friends think she is. So, reflect on what makes you say that she 'isn't a nice person'? Note down any evidence that you ) have for each reason. Have you interacted with her enough to get to know these things? What does she do when she "plays politics" with you? Have others also =noticed the same things? If not, your friends will see that you feel jealous.

Instead of focusing on putting her down, focus on what makes you feel insecure and develop yourself in those areas. If you want your friends back, pay attention to your relationship with them and the fun you can have together. Your friends will not be happy around you if your attention is on her in a negative way.

How about going a step further and making friends with the new girl? Discover whether you find her truly nice or not. Perhaps it is not about competing with her, but all of you finding things in common and being friends. Might be more fun...

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My best friend of the past five years has a crush on me. I am not interested in him this way and I don't have feelings for him. My priorities are my studies and family. I don't know what to do. I don't want to break my friendship with him.

You are dismayed to learn that your best friend has a crush on you for you are worried that this could mean the end of your friendship.

So, if you haven't already done so, ask for time with your friend and speak frankly with him. Gently but firmly state that you don't reciprocate his feelings. Ask him what he would like to do. He may want to remain friends but want time off from the friendship to work through his feelings. Or he may want to end the friendship. Either way, respect his choice. And if you feel you want to end the friendship, then discuss that with your friend. He would need to respect your decision too.

Unfortunately, with his feelings for you and your relationship has already changed, and even if you don't want to break the friendship, you need to be prepared that it may happen. This will depend on the choices you both make.

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I'm a 15-year-old boy. My problem is that I get aggressive and often short-tempered with others. I even show my anger in front of my parents. I can't share my problems with anyone; my best friends don't listen to me and one of them is not talking to me. I'm unable to concentrate on my studies due to this. Please help me out.

Looks like you're feeling helpless at being unable to do anything about your anger and its consequences.

First, understand your anger: Find the real feeling underneath the anger. E.g., if you can't share your problems with anyone; if your best friends don't listen to you; when a friend doesn't talk to you...how do each of these make you feel? You get angry when you yourself don't know what you are really feeling. When you're angry, you may end up taking your anger out on  someone/something else, making things worse. You can look up the 'Anger Iceberg' worksheet online and use it to understand your anger. Observe and list the warning signs that you're showing. For example, do you tend to tremble? Does your mind go blank? Do you breathe heavily? Note these down

Manage your anger: Use the S.T.O.P. technique. When you know you're getting angry, first Stop doing anything and just wait. Then Think about what is making you angry and label the feeling, e.g. I feel.... Then think about the Options you have to calm yourself instead of showing your anger. Maybe you could go for a walk, listen to calming music, breathe slowly... Finally, Proceed to do what you need to do next, e.g. you can go ahead and express your feelings.

You can ask yourself: How can I express myself in a way that will truly express my need instead of simply reacting to the person in front of me. Over time, you will learn to find what really bothers you and manage it well.

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I'm 17-years-old, but I can't face people confidently. I feel as if they don't like me from the way they treat me. I'm easily swayed by my negative thoughts which make me feel bad all day long. Please help!

Looks like you feel hurt and mistreated by people who don't seem to dislike you, and your negative thoughts don't help the lack of confidence you feel.

More than others liking you, it is essential to like yourself first. So, start by asking yourself, 'Is it really true that people don't like me?' Whether 'yes' or 'no', ask 'What proof do I have for this?' All the ways they treat you can be included here. Then ask: How do I feel when they treat me like this?

Next ask, 'How would I like people to treat me?' What steps can I take to make this happen? How difficult or easy are each of these steps. This should also help you to learn about yourself as a person. Are you shy? Hesitant to reach out to others? Do you think you're not good enough or undeserving?

The first step to make it happen is to love, accept and like yourself the way you are now. Self-aceeptance is the best starting point to change and build your confidence.

Develop your confidence by developing your personality. Discover your own talents by trying out different hobbies and by contributing to someone's life. Volunteer to teach younger kids or join a youth group to do social work. If you are less self-conscious about yourself, you'll be more confident. Remember, respect yourself, and others will treat you respectfully.

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My parents quarrel often and it bothers me immensely. When I try to intervene, it only gets worse. Neither of them is ready to understand.

Since you mentioned it gets worse, I suggest you do not intervene during the argument. When things have calmed down, speak to both of them and tell them how you are getting affected and disturbed by their quarrels. In the right space, I am sure they will be able to understand you and your situation better.

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I am trying to lose weight. However, I feel weak when I try to go on a strict diet. I am not losing a lot of weight, but in turn feeling very lethargic and fatigued.

Whenever you try to lose weight the right way, it is essential that you consult a dietician. Only starving yourself will make you weak. Your body needs the right vitamins, minerals and proteins which self-dieting won't give you. The fact that you are feeling lethargic and fatigued means that you are not dieting the right way. To stay healthy, it is also essential to have good sleep and regular exercise.

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A friend of mine introduced me to a vape (electronic cigarette) and told me it is harmless. I have now realized that I am very addicted to it and cannot do without it. I feel I want to tell my parents about it as I need help.

One vape pod delivers as much addictive nicotine as 20 cigarettes. Vaping trains the brain to expect more nicotine and creates the desire to vape even more (Health and Human Services 2021). Though you have been introduced to this as a harmless substance, I urge you to understand that it isn't safe. I appreciate your decision, and suggest that you inform your parents about the same, as you would require help getting off it.

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Going back to college all over again feels like a task. I have hardly studied anything during online classes and I feel I will be judged for my lack of knowledge.

Online schooling has hit everyone hard in the same way. Most students feel the same way just like you. Online schooling and exams have been easier for most students. However, now that college is offline you will have to take the plunge. Maybe this is just an initial phase where you may feel uneasy to go to college. Once you start you will feel a lot better with every passing day.

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I am unable to have a constant group of friends; my friend circle changes almost every year as I go to the next class.

It is important to understand why your friend circle changes, is it only because you go to the next class and have other friends or is there any other reason. As you move ahead in life, we will keep meeting new interesting people and they may become a part of your friend circle. Some people may have the same set of friends throughout, however not everyone does. It is completely fine to have new friends every year.

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Post online classes I am now finding it very difficult to reduce my screen time. I am on the phone all the time post school and it has become a sort of habit that I am unable to let go of. My screen time is around 7-8 hours a day.

You can gradually try and reduce the number of hours on your own. So, if your present screen time is 8 hours, make it 7 hours for the next week and the following week make it 6 hours. In this manner, you are self-monitoring yourself. However, if you find this difficult, I would suggest you maintain a screen time on your phone of a limited time that is password-protected. You can ask your parents to save a password that you are not aware of. After you have exhausted your hours for the day, your phone will automatically go off.

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