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June 01, 2018 Friday 12:24:07 PM IST

‘IT ’S HIGH TIME WE FOUND LIGHT’

Cover Story

Mental health has always been deemed a subject of great sensitivity. We believe that a person with a healthy mind is one who feels comfortable in one’s own skin. Grasping the true essence of happiness and contentment can give us vital clues to what constitutes a healthy mind. That, to our mind, is the quintessential point on which the balance of the human mind centres on.

 

However, in our constant and frenetic pursuit to ‘succeed’ in life, more often than not, we neglect that most critical balance. So, we forget to stand still for a moment and appreciate how far we have come along in life and analyse the degree of punishment, sans solace, we have subjected our minds to. That epiphanic moment should reveal how truly liberated are we of our troubles even though we ‘believe’ we have achieved something meaningful in life. Have we, really? And at what cost?

 


Taking a few moments out of our daily life to finely and constructively critique one’s own omissions and commissions and also surrounding oneself with people who can help one become a better person is what we believe to be the best way to stay mentally healthy.

 

EARLY PRESSURE

 


The world today has put the budding generation inside the pressure cooker of expectations and the sheer competition, within and without, often leads to soul-killing self-doubt and lack of confidence among the young.

 

Creating a sense of inhibition and poor self-worth in a young person’s mind is truly a horrendous act. The intent may be good, but the path chosen is often ill-informed, and, naturally, the effect can only be to the contrary.

 


Instead of instilling in the minds of the young the virtues of ‘success’ and ‘competition’ alone, why can’t adults turn their focus on helping their young seek out meaning and happiness in life and allowing them to explore the world, make their own decisions, and also let them be responsible for the results thereof.

 

Only then there can be holistic development within a child and the potential for good to happen when there is healthy communication between parent and child. A simple kiss of love, or a pat of reassurance on the child’s back, or even an ‘it’s okay’ can go a long way in building a wholesome person.

 


PSEUDO REALITY

 

For most of us, ‘abnormal’ is the new normal. We are mostly on edge and rarely ever listen to our inner voices. It’s only when we have reached the point of no return that we take recourse to help.

 


However, there is great stigma in our society when it comes to seeking professional help psychological counselling. It is a ubiquitous notion in India that meeting a counsellor or a psychiatrist is likely to ‘brand’ us permanently. Image is all. And that is a near-fatal trap.

 

SELF-DEPENDENCE

 


The young nowadays tend to be dependent on their parents and peers for most things. We feel this is mainly because of the instant need-based gratification formula we follow: we ask for something and we are most likely given what we have asked for without having to work for it. Neither do parents take time out to instil in their children the necessity and importance of a certain work-life ethic, busy as they are with their professional lives.

 

This leads to a pronounced lack of self-dependence among the young. So, when we face a problem, we look out for help rather than trying to solve it ourselves. And, should we fail in solving it, we lose hope, leading us right up the streets of stress and depression. Thus, the first fundamental step, we feel, is to build self-dependence in children from the beginning.

 


One of the most basic human traits is to find faults and weaknesses in anything and everything. When a child does something, rather than nit picking with it, elders need to focus on the child’s strengths and help build those skill sets. This will help the young gain self-confidence. Stress and depression mainly happen when someone is unable to cope with a trying situation. Parents need to instil in their children the capacity to cope with and adapt to situations that life will invariably throw up. This, we believe, can be achieved through parent-child collaborative activities that empower and educate the child.

 

The most important thing, we feel as youngsters, for parents to teach children is that life isn’t only about winning and that there is more to life. In fact, losing teaches us a lot more than winning does. Sometimes, losing is all. Importantly, one isn’t a failure just because one has lost. Rather, one learns what ‘mistakes’ one has committed.

 


We need to weave laughter, happiness, and contentment into our lives and embark upon new adventures and embrace failure bravely, to find meaningful success.


It’s high time we found light


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