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The Missing Tool to our Mental Health Crisis is- Spirituality


One timeless question we forget to ask ourselves is...


How often do you show signs of being 'Morose?'


Defining the word 'Morose' refers to someone who is miserable, bad-tempered, not willing to talk very much to other people and low moods. (Experienced this?)

Now, we are in the twenty-first century. We are improving the material world, while there is still loads of global conflict with poor people not having adequate food and the world generally becoming more highly developed.

The REAL and MAIN problem we face in our world and education remains solely on external, materialistic values.

We are not connected enough with our inner values. I'm talking about the

MIND & HEART


Materialistic values cannot give us peace of mind, we often forget to connect with our inner values, our true humanity. We speak about searching for 'peace of mind' by doing mindfulness practice and scheduling a 30 min yoga session or trying to read a book to calm us and 'zone' out from the chaotic world.

A lot of our problems, we are facing is our own creation, like war and violence, theft, judging others, changing appearances in how we look, how we speak, beauty industry influencing the younger generation to think make-up and products will make you look pretty. All of this is the external materialistic world we are absorbed in with our mind and heart.


Everyone seeks happiness, joyfulness, but from the Outside- Money, Power, Big Cars, Big House is what we aim to seek everyday. The ultimate source of a happy life, is inside not outside. The people around you, the positive words you hear in the news or in a article, the compliments you get from a friend, family or loved one, someone's love language. Your environment, your energy circles around will bring you inner happiness.


Does that mean, what we actually want is not in search for happiness?

Spirituality which may not include religion is been considered as an elusive concept that is difficult to investigate. Spirituality can be defined as an expression of transcendent ways to fulfill human potential and as a synonym for constructs such as finding meaning, hope, wholeness, harmony and tranquillity. Many people use Spirituality as a contributor to improving their life satisfaction and well-being including reducing antisocial behaviour. It involves practices, beliefs, commitments, philosophies and values that influence a person's cognition, emotion and actionable behaviour.


Since COVID-19 Mental Health has had a huge increase globally with 1 in 4 people experiencing Mental Health and 1 billion individuals are facing mental health disorder at any given stage in their life. No matter what stage you are at while reading this from a young adolescent, university student, late 20's, early 40's or retirement stage; we will all experience an episode of mental illness from anxiety, depression, low confidence, social withdrawal, social anxiety or loneliness.


WHAT DO WE DO?

According to research, nearly 1.5 million people showed a strong association between religiosity and wellbeing. They have identified individuals with a strong spiritual or faith commitment have a longer longevity with better health and wellbeing outcomes.


The Spirituality-Wellness Link Is Clear, But Complex


While we hear a lot about how age, gender, geography and race impact provider’s and patient’s decision-making, religiosity remains a taboo subject. Despite most people believing in both science and a form of spirituality there are fundamental differences in how and why people seek the care they do, and how and why they adhere to recommended treatment plans as they do. And much of those decisions is based on belief.


We live in a complex society where ideologies are not often aligned, particularly in high-income countries like the U.S. Religious traditions and teachings are admittedly often at odds with modern day practices of science and health care. If we compare the U.S to Asia you will understand the huge difference between mannerism, culture, respect and valuing life in it's simplest forms. For example, in Thailand, there were Buddha temples in the surrounding towns, when you get welcomed to a hotel they bless you with a necklace of flowers which are same flowers they give to the gods to show purity.

The simplicity and profundity to our human problems is telling ourselves "don't worry, be happy". As a sign of denial of pain and suffering we face inside and outside.


However, if we begin to shift our perspective from oneself and towards others, from anguish to compassion- seeing others suffer can change our perspective internally. We begin to recognise others suffering and realise- we are not alone, our pain becomes lessened. Because... We are NOT alone.

Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. We have no control over our feelings. Emotions are spontaneous which arises on different occasions. How much control do we have over our emotions?


Many would say, very little. However, we are our main controller of our mind, we can control our emotions, react to certain situations differently, if we change our perspective and become less self-centered in ourselves. By extracting yourself from suffering, even in the midst of that pain. You will realise you are not alone. There is someone either looking after you, helping you or watching you from above.

The Buddhist practice of mind training, called Lojong is an important part of discovering your own Joy and to have a happy life. "All dharma teachings agree on one point- lessening one's self-absorption."


The message clarifies when we focus on ourselves we are destined to be unhappy: "Contemplating that, as long as you are too focused on your self-importance, you are caught up in thinking about how you are good or bad, you will experience suffering. Obsessing about getting what you want and avoiding what you don't want does not result in happiness".

Finding desired happiness is in a way, an attempt to rediscover our original state of mind. Finding joy can be cultivated as a skill. By you trying to upskill yourself in a certain area of personal development, can be the same method to you trying to upskill your desire to finding joy; not happiness.


Thank you for reading my article. I wish you the best in seeking joy in life.


"Always maintain only a Joyful Mind."


Chandni Patel, Mental Health Blogger & Advocate for Positive Thinking

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