Inspirational Minds host 3-part series on mental healthIn: Inspirational Minds, Uncategorized
Understanding of our well-being:
This session highlighted the striking statistics that 1 in 6 are going to struggle with some kind of mental illness. 4-10% of people will experience anxiety and depression.
If we have a physical illness – we go to a doctor. But with a mental illness – we often don’t seek help from the relevant professionals. The reasons behind this are manifold ranging from embarrassment to perceiving mental illness as a sign of weak faith.
Our mental health is often the result of the balance (or imbalance) of all aspects of our lives. When one is overwhelmed or stressed this can trigger tendencies that one has which can manifest as depression or anxiety. The importance of self-care was emphasized – eating well, sleeping well, and exercising. The spiritual dimension can be a powerful curative and stabilising factor. Medication may also be necessary and should not be frowned upon. However, seemingly “simple” interventions like opening up to friends and family and seeking counseling can be powerful.
Past, present and projecting forward:
The final session drew on the previous two but also provided much new food for thought. There was a healthy discussion about how we parent our children. It could be argued that as a generation we raise our children in cotton wool and tell them that they are special. We give them whatever they want whenever they want. We either encourage competitiveness or no competition at all. For instance, when it’s sports day all the kids get a prize regardless of performance. Does this devalue winning?
When children move into independent life they realise they are not really special. They can’t get what they want when they want and need to work hard for what they want. This can have a serious impact on a child’s confidence and self-image. Increasingly we are finding that kids are growing up with reduced self-confidence and increased identity issues. Our children can mask their issues just as they do on Facebook and Instagram and only tell us what we want to hear not what we should and need to hear.
Today many of us see life as a problem to be solved rather than a life to be experienced. We postpone life rather than live it. We are juggling more and enjoying less. Instead of enjoying the abundance we tend to focus on what is lacking. We need to acknowledge and fill ourselves with the love around us and open ourselves to experience fully what is already there for us. The life that Allah has gifted us with.
We need to take time out to list the roles we play in life. Work is not just work. Within work we take on many roles, and at home we have many roles. The same applies to our volunteering roles.
Overall, the sessions provided a wonderful impetus to inward reflection as well as exploring ways to maximise our productive contributions to our relationships, families and the wider world.