World Mental Health Day – Mental Health in an Unequal World
10 October 2021 – World Mental Health Day 2021 – Themed “Mental Health in an Unequal World.”
“What consumes your mind controls your life!” – True, right? If not completely, at least partially?
We are born with a beautiful and pure mind – we start filling it from day 1, and the process continues. That said, we don’t always load our mind with stuff directly – some happen organically or say indirectly.
As a child, you know nothing; just see and observe people around you. You just smile, cry, or wail to express your feelings without uttering a word. Hence, the events around you and the way you are groomed somehow define what goes into your mind. This continues for quite some time when your family and the people you grow around set the foundation of your thoughts and perceptions of the world.
Then starts the true journey of your life – once you step out of your homes away from your family members. Even if it is spending 3-4 hours in a kindergarten or 6-7 hours of academic schooling, you gradually get a chance to see the world with a different eye. You gather your experiences, talk to people, and get to learn things you were earlier unaware of.
Continuing this way, life goes on. From school to college to higher studies to job to starting a new family, and so on. Some follow the same league defined by society; some ‘dare’ to take on a life journey they wish to live (not just pass)! In the process, we pack our brains with fresh insights and changed thoughts. While learning new, it is extremely significant to unlearn a few things in the process.
How many of us are cautious about our physical looks and health? How many of us have regular appointments with our doctors for body checks? How many of us follow specific diets to keep our bodies healthy? Many of us, I guess – and that’s undoubtedly required. Likewise, stands our mind and its health.
Talking about mental health or accepting a problem that’s bothering us or acknowledging mental illness was considered a stigma for a great deal of time. Nevertheless, people are eventually accepting the mind to be a part of their bodies 🙂 and hence, understanding its functioning – getting tired, sick, ill, frustrated, depressed – is all a part of a living mind.
“The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body,” Publilius Syrus.
Like we’ve discussed previously as well, acceptance is the key! Once we accept ourselves to be humans, we will know that we are stressed, bothered, angry, upset, jealous, or tense. Not that I encourage these feelings, but it is the realization that challenging situations are bound to occur, our reactions and emotions are bound to happen, helps in the long-run process (will come to that later in the write-up).
The World Mental Health Day aims to drive our focus on our mental health and understand and talk about mental health issues. The World Health Organization (WHO) is driving this day with a campaign “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality” and #WorldMentalHealthDay.
What is mental health?
Mental health defines our emotional, social, and psychological well-being. It explains the vibes developing inside us and also, to some extent (varies from person to person) our demeanor. While it would be splendid to understand your mental health and figure out what’s going on inside you, some of the signs that help indicate the same are:
- Feeling low on energy and excited about nothing
- A visible difference in your eating and/or sleeping habits
- Life seems hopeless, helpless, or as if nothing matters
- Feeling confused, scared, upset, or angry
- Unnecessary reactions to normal things or people around, like yelling at family or friends
- Inability to carry out daily activities
- Having persistent disturbing thoughts
- Unable to focus on any particular subject both mentally and physically
- Experiencing unexplained aches
- Pulling away from social gatherings
- Feeling the urge to damage things or harm yourself.
Now, let’s talk about the long-term process. The foundational step of the process we discussed earlier was acceptance. Once done, we cannot just say that we are mentally ill, and that gives us the liberty to show our bad behavior, talk rudely, shout at practically anyone, or always remain secluded. It should instead give us a chance to take our (time-bound) time and space and figure out ways to gain back our calmness and revive our sound health.
Everyone can have a distinct way to deal with self and self issues (emotional/psychological/social). However, as my dharma, I’ll share the ones I prefer following at times or people follow (per Internet trend).
- Meditate (daily basis)
- Exercising routine
- Listening to soulful music
- Watching movies/series of choice
- Talking to someone close (you prefer sharing yourself with)
- Watching/reading/discussing life stories of other people (positive stories might motivate you, sad/upsetting life instances of other people might make you feel equal in an unequal world)
- Sitting alone for sometime
- Talking to self
- Going for a walk/run (whatever suits)
- Taking a break from daily routine
- Solve Sudoku/puzzles/crosswords
- Play music or sing songs
- Watch or read news
These activities don’t solve your problems but give you a chance to clear your mind and start afresh. And that really matters!
So, on World Mental Health Day 2021, figure out one thing that bothers you and work on and for it – or start a new mind soothing chore.
Avani Raj Arora