According to a report, 43% of India’s working population is anxious, depressed or isolated.
Now that’s a whopping number if you break it down. It means almost 4 out of 10 people are feeling some form of anxiety, depression or a mental health issue.
I searched in google for “How to improve mental health”. The top results were
In themselves, they are great tips, but here is the problem - they are too vague.
For someone going through anxiety or depression, asking them to try to relax is like asking someone with a migraine to try to not feel pain, try to relax. It doesn’t work like that.
This is where we need specific techniques and tools to help you find ways to reduce stress, deal with difficult emotions and situations at home and work, a technique that’s easy, doable, doesn’t require you to ingest chemicals and helps create a sense of calm and peace.
EFT (emotional freedom technique), also known as Tapping, is emerging as a powerful technique to help with improving mental health and relaxation. It is coming up as a powerful alternative to psychological counselling and many other stress relief techniques.
Often we keep things bottled up for the fear of hurting the other person, or we are afraid of their reactions. It's always fear that keeps us from opening up. But in the process we keep those things inside, where they ferment and rot until they explode unexpectedly like a volcano sweeping away all the goodness and sweetness of the relationship.
If you want your relationships to grow and become beautiful, make it a habit to speak up, express, no matter how uncomfortable the truth.
2. Don’t assume, clarify
How many times have you had an argument or a fight with someone over an issue but when the truth was revealed, it was not what you had assumed or thought? It is human tendency to assume the meaning of what someone is saying without first being sure of their meaning. This is how miscommunications are born.
How often do we pretend to read the minds of others - she doesn’t like me, he doesn’t think I am beautiful, she hates me, he thinks I am stupid etc. It is possible and and likely happens most of the times that how we see the world is not how the other sees the world.
If you feel easily overwhelmed and drained by negative people or in social company, tend to feel emotions that you can find no reason for and have been often called “too sensitive”, You may be an Empath or a Highly sensitive person.
Is this you?
Sensitive people (or as Elaine Aron refers to as ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ or HSP) are the ones who feel everything deeply and intensely. For them feelings are important and something that cannot be ruled out. Sensitive people see the world differently, they are more aware of subtleties and process information deeply.
Empaths are deeply sensitive people who can also easily feel other’s emotions and energies. For empaths, the experience goes even further as they can even experience others’ feelings and pain as their own, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense.
All empaths are sensitive people but not all sensitive people are empaths.
Before we dive into the world of an empath and a sensitive person you need to understand that this is a normal trait. It is found in about 15 to 20% of the people around the world. It is not a disorder. Sensitivity, if anything is a cultural issue, because every culture deals with sensitivity in a different way. Most of the sensitive people and empaths suffer from low self-esteem because sensitivity is not considered a “desirable” quality.
Being sensitive simply means that you process the world in a very different way, you are much more aware of the subtleties and you are perceptive about the energy around you.
Kim Egel, a San Diego-based therapist, expands this further: “Empaths have a higher sensitivity to outside stimuli such as sounds, big personalities, and hectic environments. They bring a lot of heart and care to the world and feel things very deeply.”
Here are a few things that will help you understand yourself or your loved ones who are sensitive, better.
From being “too sensitive” to “using my sensitivity as a gift” - A glimpse into my journey of healing
There used to be a time when I could not bear to be social because it was draining and exhausting. I would feel lonely and alone in my struggles.
I would struggle with feelings and pain that were not even mine to begin with. It was more painful because no one understood me or what I was going through.
I would feel so much that most of the time it was painful like physical pain searing through my body. I was called “too sensitive” or “ajeeb (weird)” because I would talk about feelings and intuition and dreams like they were real because they were real to me. I could feel emotions so strongly like you would feel a person or an object.
I gradually learnt that it was unacceptable to most people, that its not okay to talk about your feelings. So I shut down and with time it created a huge split within me. I would be a completely different person socially but I knew deep down that wasn’t me.
With time, I began to lose touch with the real me. The emotions kept affecting me, I kept ignoring them and they kept growing like poison in my body which led to physical pain and illness later.
On the surface, I started to feel like an “imposter” and I could no longer fathom why.
I couldn’t make genuine connections with people because I no longer had any connection with myself. I didn’t know what being connected felt like because you need emotions to feel connected and I had shut that box down.
India is on a 21 day lockdown to fight with corona virus along with many other countries of the world. Below are a few things for self care that you can practice everyday for a healthy mind, body and soul.
1. Practice Healing
This is a good time to spend this lockdown period doing the 21 days healing cycle.
If you are trained in any healing modality, please practice it for self healing for 21 days.
If you are not trained in any healing technique, follow my guided meditation for self healing. (link given below).
2. Send healing to Mother Earth everyday for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
You have been tough on yourself and been giving a lot of your energy to the external world. It is time today to reward yourself. Be gentle and kind to yourself, take some rest, give yourself that treat you had been thinking of. Make time for yourself today. A balance between giving and receiving is needed so that you can keep giving unconditionally. Do things that inspire and motivate you. Most importantly, treat yourself with kindness just like you would treat a child. And remember to have fun.
We are in as good health as we can imagine for ourself. There is an ancient Indian proverb which says -
Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.
We often tend to focus on the physical aspect but never really talk about emotional, mental and spiritual health. Energy healing techniques like Reiki, Pranic Healing etc. focus on healing and harmonising the energy in the body and being.
We are beings made of energy. When this energy is not freely flowing, we experience problems in our life and/or health. When this flow is harmonised and balanced, we experience a state of holistic health.
An important aspect of energy healing is self healing. If you are not in good health, you cannot serve optimally. If you are initiated into any of the healing modalities, use it to clear your energies and energy centres.
However, if you are not initiated into any healing technique, you can still heal yourself using the Chakra Meditation mentioned below.
A note about energy centres:
Energy centres are called Chakras in Sanskrit. Their function in simple terms is that they are the places from where body breathes in the energy from the universe. They then circulate the energy into various parts and organs of the body. A healthy chakra means a healthy body. Most alternative healings involve healing and clearing the chakras.
Aries (21 March – 20 April)
The year 2020 will start with a bang brining you opportunities for success and fame. The trend is likely to continue through the year. But the year also will bring situations that will force you to move out of your comfort zone to grow and evolve. Find your uniqueness and strengths rather than comparing with others. Don’t let that comparison dull your shine. First half of the year will be focussed on career and growth. The second half will bring your focus to your relationships. This is an area that you need to pay attention this year. If there have been relationships that have been exhausting and draining you, it is time to create some distance from them so that you can breathe and relax. There is no need to take any decisions, just a need to have some space. Good time will be spent with friends. Avoid overindulgence in food and lifestyle.
One of the components of healing is creating healthy boundaries for yourself. If you have never heard of this idea or think that boundaries are not needed in close relationships, you are not alone. Many people have no idea about boundaries, how to create them or assert them. For them boundaries mean huge walls of alienation, aloneness and telling people to *%&# off.
Boundaries are you defining your space, asserting yourself and your existence. Boundary is about what you accept and what you won’t accept and tolerate. People who have often found themselves as being treated like doormats don’t have any boundaries in place. They are in dysfunctional relationships where the balance of giving and taking is highly skewed. They don’t have any idea of what they like, dislike, how they want to be treated or how to express their desires, they may not even have the idea that they are allowed to express their desires and have them fulfilled.
If you come from a family where you have been abused as a child (I am not talking of just physical and/or sexual abuse that is visible, but also of verbal and emotional abuse which by its very nature is covert and hidden and leave deep emotional scars,) you will have impaired boundaries or no boundaries at all. Your desires, feelings and thoughts did not matter, were often put down or mocked.
This could have been explicit by making fun of you or shouting and yelling at you, it could have been implicit or hidden by making fun of you and calling you too sensitive, criticizing you, shaming you for having such thoughts in the name of “improving you” or “for your own good”.
If you were engulfed and not allowed to make decisions, think for yourself, not allowed any privacy, you were not simply allowed to have any boundaries where you could exert your individuality or even understand your preferences.