A, A, A? What Are The Three A’s Ruining Your Mental Health?

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By Shweta Lohia:

“A healthy mind resides in a healthy body”

We all are familiar with and agree with the above saying but in reality an unhealthy mind resides in many healthy bodies which further affects the latter as we often take our health at “face value”. For instance we make sure to get our self treated once a disease is detected, be it a skin rash, cold, fever, wounds or other minor and as well major diseases. Seldom do we give attention to our inner health – our mental health. It is sad to see many people dying every year because of mental disorders. And out of these, the major portion consists of students. Our biggest misconception that a healthy man equals to a man free from diseases is in fact the cause of such tragedies. First of all we need to acknowledge that health is not defined simply as a physical noun, but as a high–level wellness of the entire individual. And the same is attained when we explore health from mental and spiritual perspectives as well.

Mental health is simply deteriorated by 3A’s: Anxiety, Anger and Anguish. Our tendency to take stress at every seemingly negative situation leads to anger which further leads to anguish. Thus, Anxiety is the root cause of unhealthy state of mind. Let us take a look at a simple example of a teenager which is enough to comprehend the aforementioned vicious lineage: a teenager is anxious about a crush asking him/her to date and when the crush doesn’t, anger rushes in her veins which is soon converted into anguish. This process affects the healthy state of mind and body of the teenager.

These villains (anxiety, anger and anguish) of the healthy mind can be taken care of with the following steps:

First we need check our stress-taking level. When you feel anxious take paper and a pencil and jot down the causes of your anxiety. You will notice that many of your problems can be solved easily, many are not in your hand but in God’s, so you need not to worry about them and lastly, the rest of them turn out to be anything but problems.

Second we need to manage our anger. Our emotions run hot or cold due to how we think, not by outside forces or other people. It is not the events in our lives which cause us to feel in a certain way (such as depressed, anxious, guilty or angry) but much more importantly it is how we perceive these events, which drive all human emotions. Whenever you feel the ground has shifted below your feet, just ask yourself, is there a wiser way to look at this seemingly negative situation? After all there is a silver lining to every cloud. We often let comments by people break us, in such a scenario we should remember that we are control of our self; he /she is not the captain of our emotions. For instance, the aforementioned teenager can consol him/herself by saying that the crush “cannot make me angry, I am the captain of my emotions”.

Third we need to keep our mind healthfully active and uncluttered from troubling thoughts and the same is done by the art of doing nothing, in other words, meditation. Meditation is not easy and it takes months of practice. It is done in stages. Starting with Pratyahara, which is withdrawal of the senses and directing your attention inward. Next Dharana involves teaching the mind to focus on one point or image, followed by Dhyana which is uninterrupted meditation without an object. Lastly Samadhi, or absolute bliss. The ultimate goal of the eightfold path to yoga is Samadhi. Meditation relaxes you from the fast paced life and aids in knocking out the three villains of healthy mind.

So everyone, “Hum mein hai hero!” and we can be strong enough to rid our souls and minds of these three villains.

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