New Delhi: The World Mental Health Day is observed every year on October 10. Amid the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic, talking about mental health becomes even more important. It is a global day to create awareness about mental health issues. The day was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health.
Storyteller and life-coach Sudhanshu Rai opens up on importance of mental health.
What habits people can incorporate in day-to-day life to tackle mental health issues and stress?
It is very important to have a purpose in life. We need to ascertain the objective of our life and have clarity about it. The road gets easier when we know how we want to lead our lives and identify hobbies & interests that could be a part of our daily lives. When we imbibe these hobbies as a daily ritual, we eventually head towards a balanced life. Equally important is to take a pause, think about our perspective towards life, and channelize our efforts in the right direction.
What we further need to do is indulge ourselves in knowledge sharing habits like book reading, writing, reading blogs and interact as much as possible with informed individuals. This will leave us motivated, boost our mental health and cut down on stress level.
Do you see the role of nature in improving mental health conditions?
A person should try to be as close to the nature as possible. We are a substance of nature and it is the nature around us that channelizes and enhances the energy within us. We should look at the beautiful twilight when the dawn breaks and Sun is about to appear in sky, we should spend time looking at the stars in the sky. Performing such simple activities regularly will eventually give us inner peace and thereby calm our mind.
Furthermore, we should also pay adequate attention to our physical and mental wellbeing. It might be in the form of performing yoga, doing meditation or regular exercises.
How do sound therapy and breathing help in creating a positive thinking mode?
Sound plays a significant role in ensuring mental wellness. It’s very simple to start with, as all we need to do is observe the sound of our breathing while inhaling and exhaling. This impacts our mental as well as physical status. For instance, when a person is in an aggressive mindset, the sound of breathing is different from that when we are in peace. We can enable some significant changes in ourselves by simply controlling the sound of our respiratory process. Besides, there are a few other tools of sound therapy such as the sound of humming/Bhramari, the sound of music and sound of chanting.
As a storyteller, do you think storytelling affects mental health or acts as stress buster?
Storytelling gives wings to one’s imagination and plays a key role in channelizing our thought process. When we listen to stories, a storyteller takes us to imaginary lands that are full of possibilities and thrills. Or simply, the storyteller creates imagery with words of a land that exists in reality in an unexplored part of the globe. This whole process lets us digress from day-to-day issues that trouble us and cause stress. Even for a few moments, we choose to get drawn into a world created by the storyteller thereby momentarily forgetting our worries.
How do you connect being a storyteller, life-coach as well as motivational speaker?
Be it a life coach, a motivational speaker or a storyteller, they all speak from their own experiences. Therefore in my case, my life experiences act as the connecting factor. One purpose that I fulfill in all the three roles is to act as someone who could remind people time and again of the motivator within them.