Dr Banwari Lal Gupta
“The only constant in life is change”
Heraclitus, the greek philospher
We often want stability in life, but the reality is that it is ever-changing. In these ever-changing aspects of life, we are often encountered with stress, anxiety, and emotional disorder. Stress is the feeling when one is under pressure or feel alarmed and anxiety and emotional disorder is a feeling of worry, nervousness, and unease we get from stressful situations which have an uncertain outcome resulting in breathlessness and panic attacks. Both, affects mental and physical health to such an extent that a person is not able to execute his/her work efficiently and effectively leading to increase in vulnerability to mental and metabolic changes. These changes lead to unhealthy behaviours like improper diet, lack of interest in work and exercise, insomnia etc., affecting first physical health and then mental and emotional health and well-being.
The happiness and smile, which once used to be a vanguard of our life has lost its sheen and way. There are now only stories to be told to younger generations of Indian way of life – a life of togetherness and harmony, a life of joy and happiness, a life of kindness and gratitude, a life of love and care, a life of peace and calmness, a life of patience and virtues, and a life of community. The life of 21st century has many comforts and advantages but somewhere deep inside, our mental and emotional well-being is disturbed and if this disturbance is not checked in time, a large danger is looming over our civic society. Let us wake up before it is too late. It is high time that we delve into ourselves and take care of our mental and emotional health.
In this fast paced technological and competitive world, there are numerous examples where young lives are lost because of high work pressure and stress. This loss of life could have been averted and turned into national human resource and asset through timely and proper guidance and counselling with the help of mental experts, taking medication where necessary and following the practices of yoga and exercises. The recent examples of such cases are Deepika Padukone and Virat Kohli, who despite on top of their success ladder, openly admitted their mental stress and emotional disorder, sought help of professionals, and overcame them successfully. The desire of good life needs to be aroused.
It is said that for a blessed life, one needs to have a blessed mind. In order to overcome stress and trauma affecting one’s mental well-being, one needs to focus on one’s personal inner strengths like challenge, commitment, control, etc. Every individual is gifted with theses inner strengths, which needs to be invoked. One should accept that life is ever-changing and this must be taken as a challenge. The challenge once accepted will act as stimulus to positivity in life. One should also believe in one’s ability to keep the situations under control just like controlling a rudderless boat in a river with the help of oars. During life’s various activities in personal and professional domain, the anxiety and worrisome should be converted into commitment. Threats are linked to anxiety and make us fearful. One should practice seeing threat as a challenge. It will change our perception from negative to positive. The dedicated effort, hard work and determination put in to overcome the obstacle and hurdle will help to ease out the fear and threat. This act to move forward in such a manner will motivate to reach the desired goal.
Emotional well-being is of paramount importance for the mental, physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual growth of an individual. In this fast-paced life, people spend little time with family and give no attention to their thought process and well-being. Living lonely is also one of the main reasons for the emotional disorder. If not checked in time, it can lead to disastrous effects on one’s life like fear, threat, flashbacks, negativity, suicidal tendency, etc. The best course for, when going gets tough, is Resilience and self-affirmations. God has gifted every human being with an inbuilt Resilience. One must work hard in such situations to invoke it. The followings should be exercised to invoke them: (i) Trust yourself and your body’s healing mechanism (ii) Engaging in physical and mental activity like walk, Yoga, exercises, etc. (iii) Writing your ideas, experiences, vision, dreams, activities, etc. (iv) Be in the company of people, whom you trust and with whom you feel comfortable. (v) spending time in a group having humour and lively atmosphere and (vi) Taking the help of counsellors, therapists, and mental health experts.
There are short-term and long-term measures to overcome the mental and emotional well-being. Never feel shy of your stressful situations and speak it out immediately to your friends, family members, colleagues, life partner. Seek out the help of mental health expert (Counsellor, Therapist and Psychiatrist). People generally take it as a physical problem with symptoms of Gastric, Sleeplessness, fearfulness, loss of appetite, tiredness, and weakness, etc. and do self-medication. The short-term measures are the medication strictly under the guidance of mental experts along with the physical and other activities. The long-term measure is Yoga, which is basically a combination of four components – Postures (Asanas), Breathing Techniques, Deep Relaxation and Meditation. Postures (Asanas) leads to strength and flexibility in our body whereas Breathing Practices leads to calmness, focus and balance in our mind. Deep Relaxation leads to peace within and cosmic consciousness and Meditation leads to spiritual bliss and emotional well -being.
The Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction states that an induced e.m.f. (electromotive force*) is produced, if there is change in magnetic flux whereas Lenz’s law states that the direction of the induced e.m.f. is such that it opposes the change that produces it. The same is true in life. Like these laws, we must tap this change in our life in such a positive manner that the current of our mental and emotional well-being is not only produced but also remains in balance, controlled and in harmony. Let us change our negativity into positivity. Let us get ourself counselled and treated wherever necessary under the guidance of experts. Let us immerse in the pleasures of life of peace, serenity, flexibility, strength, and calmness. Let us harmonize our body, mind and soul and strengthen our mental and emotional well-being.
(The author is Retd. Controller of Examinations, J&K BOPEE)