A Dilemma relating to Mental Health

Inevitability of miseries and sufferings: There is no such thing as exclusive happiness or sorrow; because there never is one without the other, even though people pretend as if the opposite is true, and that a constant state of happiness is the way to be. There is a dilemma in the form of a statement by ayurveda, that, in human life, miseries and illnesses are inevitable and unavoidable. 

The fact of inevitability of miseries and sufferings has a couple of interesting aspects.

  • First, every person’s life is a living proof of this fact.
  • Second, people cherish an ideal to lead a symptom-free and difficulty-free life, and even think of it as their birthright.
 If hardships, miseries and illnesses are inevitable in human life, what then is mental health?  Do you know anyone who has had only perfect circumstances and perfect people in their life, with no misery, no hardship, no illness? And still we somehow expect this perfection to happen to us and think that it should happen without any specific effort on our part. We get angry, upset, frustrated, sad, stressed or resentful when it does not happen. The only logical way of effectively solving this conceptual dilemma is to accept that,
  • dilemma relating to mental health
    State of mental health should not be dependent on the presence or absence of illnesses or difficulties, and should go beyond both. So, it should be possible for a person to be mentally healthy in spite of difficulties and/or illnesses.
  • State of mental health is a set of attitudes and skills that can be learnt with time and effort.
  • It should also involve sincere managing of illnesses and/or difficulties to the best of one’s circumstances and abilities.
 Ayurveda offers strategies, tools and techniques for supporting mental health through diet & nutrition, lifestyle, including yoga and meditation, herbs, ayurvedic treatments like panchakarma for “detox” and rejuvenation
Neerja Ahuja
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