The rapid changes and uncertainty in our world bring every person and every family in constant struggle with reality as is and expectation of what should be.
There is a global mental wellness pandemic , it is bigger than the COVID pandemic . Yet is is not in news and ignored because it is not defined as an medical emergency and not reported.
People don’t report this challenge because one they don’t think it is a problem second it is considered as a sign of weakness.
In times of change industries are disrupted , jobs are lost , relationships get strained , health issues are on the rise , wars , economic downturns, job expectations , ideology divide , all contribute to mental wellness challenge.
With climate and lifestyle changes chronic disease like diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease and critical illness like cancer which are on the rise globally also have an element of associated psychological problems.
Organisations are now waking up to mental wellness challenge . Unfortunately the interventions are not well crafted . Tick mark initiatives which are sporadic don’t work .
One cannot have employees go through extended work stress and talk of wellness at the same time.
Parallel to global changes we also see an explosion of the psychiatric drug consumption , to handle issues like depression and anxiety.
There are not enough trained psychologist to deal with the scale of the challenge.
That is why we see a rise in spiritual content on social platforms. There is a rise in spiritual influencers. Meditation, meditation apps , yoga , healing , wellness retreats are on the rise.
Spiritual gurus take the place of psychologist as they can create mass followers and seem to have answers to the issues of the mind.
The west is looking at eastern traditions which has more understanding of the working of the mind. Holistic wellness is a term that appeals to most people as it does not carry the side effects of psychiatric drugs.
Are there approaches to deal with this problem on a scale ? Here are my thoughts.
1. Mental wellness , meditation, mindfulness must be essential subjects thought in schools and colleges.
2. Meditation ( non religious) as a practice for mental well-being must be made a way of life for global citizens.
3. Spiritual practices from all traditions ( non religious) that build resilience must be spread globally.
4. Non profit organisations must take up mental wellness as one of the key challenges globally, specially so in war torn regions of the world. Special focus must be put on children and women .
We have no control of events that happen outside. What is happening outside is reality. In our heads we run a story contrary to reality.
This should have happened. Why did this happen. This should not be so. Our stories are all contrary to reality.
Arguing with reality is what makes us suffer in our minds . Reality cannot be changed, it has already occurred.
Individuals must be exposed to deep spiritual practices of acceptance , surrender, non attachment to face some of the toughest life challenges .
I see mental wellness as one of the biggest medical challenge we are going to face in the coming years and decades , we need to put in our best efforts to deal with these challenges.