A Scientific and Spiritual Analysis on Mental Health

For the First time in 1873  Isaac Ray, one of the co-founders of the  American Psychiatric Association defined Mental hygiene as “the art of preserving the mind against all incidents and influences calculated to deteriorate its qualities, impair its energies, or derange its movements”. In other words, mental health is an individual’s capacity to feel, think, and act in ways to achieve a better living standard whilst respecting personal, social, and cultural boundaries. Impairment of these become a potential risk factor  for mental health.

Mental Health stands for  stability of mind, which helps a person to behave well, helps in character development and an ability to  scrutinize different situations that will lead to good decision-making and shape into a successful  and peaceful  life. If you have an unstable or disturbed mind it will affect  mental health. Therefore, regular people point out disparagement in their composure and speculate their upcoming failures in leading a healthy, normal life. 

Therefore, an internally and physically successful life requires a stable mental health. Having discussed stability of mind we can move on with the ‘mind’ itself.

MIND, What is it?

Mind is nothing but a flow of thoughts

The  objective mind and subjective mind are the two types. The first category is based on  agitative thoughts that focus on objects. The second one is based on our intellect, Which means a person must enhance his subjective  mind for a good state of mind.

THOUGHTS, What does it mean?  

 Thoughts are nothing but what we think.

In our day-to-day life, what we observe through our senses form our thoughts. Therefore, what we see through our eyes or what we hear through our ears, will become thoughts.

The actual source of thoughts has remained ambiguous till now.

 Astonishingly, in a day, nearly  seventy thousand thoughts cross a Human brain. These though can be regarding one’s ambition, it can be innovative, spiritual, sexual etc. If a person knows how to channelize these thoughts, then he can be considered as a mentally healthy person. A healthy mind always generates optimistic thoughts, which can lead to a peaceful life.

A war begins from a thought, A peace treaty begins from a thought, Which means thoughts are both constructive and destructive in nature

SRIMAD BHAGAVAT GITA (Chapter 6) say’s

               uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ nātmānam avasādayet
            ātmaiva hyātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ

It means, elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self. So, one needs to develop a powerful mind. Too much expectation for a particular goal or thing have severe chances of winding up  in an anxiety disorder or a phase of clinical depression. The best way to overcome it is Nishkama Karma, which means doing everything without expecting anything in return. 

The best method to develop Mental Health is meditation, One can practise focused meditation, mantras meditation, body scan meditation etc. Apart from that, one can practice one’s hobbies like dancing, gardening, reading, sports etc.. Anyone without a hobby should try to learn new skills. It will relax the mind, enhance positive and creative thoughts, will wipe out negative thoughts. One can try to develop a spiritual mind, good friends to share problems and feelings. An individual should visit a psychologist for counselling at least once in six months, and stay away from pessimistic people. An empty mind is the devil’s house so, it should be kept engaged  in creative and positive works. Ultimately one has to develop one’s own mental power.

The World Health Organization stated that “without mental health there can be no true physical health”. One study found mental health literacy among adolescents to be very low, i.e. depression was identified by 29.04%. Anxiety disorders were seen in all age groups, even successful people were found depressed due to lack of awareness and education on mental health. The ministry of health and educational institutions must take initiative to spread mental health awareness among children and young adults.

SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA (chapter 6.5) says,

                “Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayoho.”

 It means, for Man, mind is the cause of bondage, and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.

Only a peaceful  meditative mind can give  enlightenment, happiness, and good mental health, materialism cannot. Earning money is important, but making it the ultimate goal of life is not. Seeking happiness in material things is the road to unhappiness.

 It must be remembered that mental health is not a destination, but a process. It is about how one drives and not where one is going1

  1. Mental health awareness: The Indian scenario Srivastava K, Chatterjee K, Bhat PS – Ind Psychiatry J.” Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 13 June 2017, https://www.industrialpsychiatry.org/article.aspissn=09726748;year=2016;volume=25;issue=2;spage=131;epage=134;aulast=Srivastava. Accessed 3 December 2021. 

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