World Mental Health Day

7 MOST EFFECTIVE MENTAL HEALTH TIPS: WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 2011

Happiness is in the ‘now”. What can be a better day than today to let that statement ring loud and clear. Today 10th October is World Mental Health Day and the ongoing week is the World Mental Health Week. At Inner Space we decided to do something special for this week. We brainstormed and came up with seven most effective suggestions to live a mentally healthier life. Today onwards for the next seven days we will be sharing a tip with you, each day. Hope you enjoy these tips and have your own introspecting sessions.

Do write in to us in the comments section and let us know your thoughts.

TIP 1: Accept that there will be pain and difficulty

It is the uneasiness with being uneasy that seems to be the bigger problem. I see people sad about being “sad” or worried about “having to worry” sometime in the future if things go wrong.

Pain, emotional or physical, is inevitable and we all know that. Nothing new! And yet allowing ourselves to get hurt is unacceptable to us. We want to fight against being hurt. We want to fight with people who hurt us. We want to worry our lives away in the fear that someday we will encounter huge pain and won’t be able to handle it.

Oftentimes in therapy, I see people struggling, unhappy and dealing with deep fears and anxiety. As someone who facilitates and watches them through their process of self-work, moving from deep pain to happier and more joyful states, I find pain playing such an important role in their happiness. A lot of times people come for therapy when the emotional pain is too much to bear. In therapy, we hardly ever work with just one problem, we understand the larger context and built-in patterns of doing and thinking that are relevant to the current distress. The remedy is therefore working with yourself as a whole, not in parts. In this kind of work, I see that only because people have gone through pain could they have the opportunity for a deeper understanding of themselves and happier lives. They become more accepting of themselves and others. If there wasn’t any pain, there would be no seeking of solutions, no attempt to increase awareness or change self-defeating patterns of behaviour and therefore minimal chances for self-growth.

I completely agree with Kahlil Gibran, when he says:

” Your pain

is the breaking of the shell

that encloses your understanding

Even as the stone of the fruit must break,

that its heart may stand in the sun,

so must u know pain”

So the first step, when you are faced with a difficulty or problem that is making you unhappy, is: Take a moment, breathe, and tell yourself, “I am one of billions of people in the human race. Others come in contact with pain and so will I. I can accept that I can live with pain just as I can live with joy”.

Quoting Gibran again, He says:

“It (Pain) is the bitter potion

By which the physician within you

Heals your sick self

Therefore trust the physician

And drink his remedy

In silence and tranquility”

Gibran’s entire poem on pain is beautiful and one of my favorites and can be read here

Watch out for the next tip tomorrow and meanwhile enjoy today!

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