The recent shocking news of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput suicide has deeply disturbed me like all of us. All the more it coming soon after the suicide of his manager.
Already the past months have been harrowing. As if the Covid-19 pandemic was not enough in 2020 that we got back to back depressing news of legendary actors Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor demise.
Along with scary news of the spread and rise in the number of Covid-19 patients, we have been bombarded with the sad news of financial crisis among the film industry professionals and the related suicides, the natural disasters, and now the Indo-China face-off.
All of this has hit us all hard. But how are you taking care of your mental wellness at this time of crisis? When we have already been coping up with the quarantine life, work from home, the “new normal” that this year has brought us? It’s certainly stressful. Not easy AT ALL! But not impossible.
I want to share with you some small-but-with-great-impact things that I practice in my daily life for my general emotional wellbeing which also eventually help me in coping with any crisis. These are not medical treatments given by a psychologist. I suggest taking the help of a professional in case of severe mental illness. I have just aggregated some tips from my life that have helped me. And will be grateful if even one person reading this finds positivity in his/her life.
Some days back I was watching an interview with The Dalai Lama on NDTV. Ahead of his 85th birthday, he was asked for tips to build fitness to fight the Coronavirus. To which he replied ‘peace of mind’ as the primary factor. He was further asked what he would choose between peace and happiness. He promptly said mental peace. With mental peace comes happiness.
I know it’s easier said than done. It is very natural to get anxiety, worry and stress in our routine life. But if we see the other side of the coin, our life challenges are what makes it adventurous and worth living.
8 ways to Mental Wellness
1. Law of Attraction:
It is the Great Secret of Life – ‘Like attracts Like’. Ever since I got my hands on ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, it has become my bible. The principle of the law of attraction as given in ‘The Secret’ says ‘Thoughts become Things’.
It is very important to Dream. Have a Vision. Believe in what you want. And the Universe will make sure that you Receive it. Thoughts are magnetic. Think positive and positive will come to you and it is vice-versa too.
As goes the dialogue of Shahrukh Khan in the Bollywood film ‘Om Shanti Om’-
“Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho … to puri kainaat usse tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.”Shahrukh Khan in Om Shanti OM
(It is saying that if you really desire something from the heart … then the whole universe will work towards getting you that.)
This is my number one way to happiness in life. I proclaim this principle with conviction because I have applied it and got positive results.
2. Be Creative
Have you noticed people around coming out with their hidden talents ever since the lockdown happened? They are either trying out new stuff or going back to their forgotten hobbies.
There is a link between creativity and happiness. Researches have proved that engaging in creative activities reduces anxiety and depression and gives rise to positive emotions and mental well-being.
It doesn’t mean that you need to be an artist to find happiness. Just get involved in creating something besides the usual everyday chores and work. Doesn’t matter how good or bad you may be at it. It can be writing, gardening, sketching, cooking, singing or dancing.
In case you are not able to find where to start and feel lost, check out my post on ‘Easy Baking to Ease Stress’ to begin with.
I started writing some years ago when I was undergoing a stressful phase. I wasn’t aware of its connection to happiness then. It was just a way to distract my mind as there was no other way. Since then it has become my therapy. What is yours? Do share in the comments below 🙂
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”– George R.R. Martin
Reading not only imparts knowledge and entertainment but also shapes our personality. It is another great way to break the chain of negative thoughts going on in our minds. It transports us from our present to a completely different world. And once we are back in the real life, we feel much lighter and relaxed.
Reading also stimulates our mind like any creative activity and hence helps in our mental wellness.
The next time you feel a mental block, try picking up a book, an article, a blog, a magazine of any genre that interests you, and see the difference. In case you want to start a new book, go for ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, if you haven’t read it already 🙂
4. Confiding in your Confidante
We all need family and friends in our lives to keep going on. But we must have at least that one best friend or person to whom we can pour our hearts out without the fear of being judged.
I feel immensely blessed to have not one but more 4 am -friends who are my go-to psychologists/ counselors/ therapists wherever I am.
If you too have 4 am -friends in your lives, you must thank them today for having your back all these years.
Remember, however bad a phase we might be going through, we must always be in touch with our family, friends and well-wishers who care for us.
5. Never Compare
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”Theodore Roosevelt
No two humans are alike, even identical twins. And goes the same for our lives. Everyone has his own life story.
With social media becoming a part and parcel of our lives today, it doesn’t take much to provoke us to draw instant comparisons. However, we must keep it in mind that what we see is just a glimpse and not the entire story. The grass always looks greener on the other side.
Social media must be used for entertainment or staying connected with people ONLY.
Comparisons make us envious, self-doubting and frustrated. So, stop yourself and also others (who do) from comparing with each other and happiness will be all yours!
6. Realistic Expectations
Keeping expectations realistic is the key to happiness. Consequently, a key to better mental health.
Consciously or subconsciously we expect much out of our lives, family, children, friends, colleagues and when those expectations are not met we feel anxiety, despair and unhappy.
For example, unrealistic expectations are one of the reasons for issues in relationships. When a couple starts dating and falls in love everything seems perfect. Gradually we start expecting our relationship to be in a certain way which we may have picked from our family, friends or movies and television. We tend to forget (because we are in love) that every couple and relationship is different. And when we are hit by day-to-day life realities, it becomes stressful.
As beautifully explained by Tim Urban in this blog post ‘Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy’–
Happiness = Reality – Expectations
Exercise is required for physical fitness, weight loss, good physique (to look attractive) and to build immunity to fight against infections and diseases like Covid-19. But did you know regular exercise relieves stress, anxiety, depression and boosts our overall mood? Yes, that’s right!
Studies have proved that exercise can treat certain levels of depression and anxiety. Exercise releases powerful chemicals in our brain called the endorphins which create feelings of calm and mental well-being.
So if you want to treat your mental illness by a natural method without any side-effects, just get up and get going. And you need not be a fitness freak to reap its benefits. Whatever age or fitness level or location you are at, you can start off with a 10-minute brisk walk or climbing the stairs up and down or some simple stretching and meditation wherever you are. You can bring it to your routine and gradually go up from there.
In addition, exercise, like creative activities, also helps in breaking the chain of negative thoughts. Thus, making us feel good and relaxed.
8. Gratitude Attitude
Last but not least. Have you ever thought why the words ‘Thank you’ are among the first to be taught to children by parents and schools? Or why is ‘Thank you’ given so much importance in our culture?
Of course, it’s part of our good manners. But, the answer doesn’t just stop there. In all the religions we are taught from a very young age to pray to God and thank Him first thing in the morning every day.
Because it is a powerful process to bring more into our lives what we are grateful for. With the attitude of gratitude, we reinforce the Law of Attraction that I described in the first point.
When we feel ungrateful for anything, we emit out thoughts of ‘not enough’ to the universe. In return, we attract more of these negative emotions back to our lives.
That is why it is extremely important to have an attitude full of Gratitude. As a matter of fact, you must make it a way of life. Surely, you’ll see a difference soon. Let’s start right away. What are you grateful for today?
We don’t know what drives someone to suicidal instincts. And wouldn’t even know until we go through it ourselves. But definitely it begins with sadness and depression.
Nonetheless, there’s always a silver lining. With will-power and these not-so therapy-y methods, we can fight them!
If you find these simple yet effective tips helpful kindly share it with others too. We all are fighting our own battles. So, let’s spread love and happiness ❤
**Disclaimer – The information in this article is not a substitute for informed medical advice and you should consult with a healthcare professional in case of severe mental illness.