A parasympathetic lifestyle is the gateway to good mental health
Children undergo several kinds of pressures today and most importantly from social media
Data shows the growing prevalence of mental illnesses, especially among children and adolescents. About 15 million individuals are battling some form of mental health illness in India; another 10% of all children suffer from some form of mental health issue and more than 50% of these go untreated. Many more are undetected. At the same time, the psychosocial stressors experienced by children cannot be ignored either.
Depression is now the single largest illness in the world; suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults; and almost half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14. Some external contributing factors include the growing pressure of academics and competitive entrance examinations, and even exposure to media, which seems to invade almost every aspect of our lives.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Education without strong character is like a ship without a captain. Good education is successful only when it incorporates values which are indispensable for a holistic life. While qualifications and skills are essential for the success of an individual, without values he/she will become incomplete as a person. All children should dedicate one day for value learning. For instance, Monday should be observed as non-violence in words day; Tuesday as ‘sorry and confession’ day; Wednesday as a day of giving everyone non-materialistic gifts; Thursday as a day of creativity and innovations; Friday as the day for being with the nature; and Saturday as the day of offering help to everyone. Sunday is the only day of breaking some laws.”
Schools can be the hotbed for change – healthy change. Habits inculcated at this tender age can shape children into better individuals, both in body and mind.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Quantum physics explains that the mechanism of depression and anxiety can be an imbalance between understanding the way particle duality functions. Balancing this can further help in treating depression and other such mental disorders. The parasympathetic nervous system plays a vital role in maintaining both mental and physical health by helping the body to calm down from stress reactions that elevate blood pressure, dilate the pupils, and divert energy from other body processes to fighting or fleeing.”
Some HCFI tips to practice a parasympathetic lifestyle.
- Include foods that support your system Consume a diet based on whole foods. This includes green leafy vegetables, quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
- Hydrate the body adequately staying hydrated will help the lymphatic system flush out toxins and remove the metabolic waste out of the body. This is essential to detoxify, nourish, and regenerate tissue.
- Include some physical activity Exercise is positive physiological stress for the body. Yoga, for example, is known to accrue great benefits to both the mind and body.
- Practice mindfulness this includes a combination of practices, habits, thoughts, and behaviours to help you get through your daily life. Mindfulness means intentionally and actively seeking to lower the body’s response to stress.