When you hesitate in taking the stairs to climb up a few floors or a quick run to the supermarket leaves you panting; is the time you are advised to start hitting the gym. Has it ever occurred to you though that strength and immunity are not only based on how physically fit you are, but also largely depends on your state of mind? Despite globalisation, talking about mental fitness continues to remain a taboo in the country with it being primarily dealt with, at homes in secrecy. Nobody wants to visit a medical practitioner mostly because of their unavailability as well as apprehensions of being declared mentally unwell.
In a situation where inhibitions and scarcity both prevail; Calm India brings a four-week online course on building mental resilience and immunity. It is not based on the traditional client-therapy model thus leaving you in-charge of your ‘medication’. The fact that you do not have to take any efforts in opening up to a therapist and risk the fear of being judged is a sigh of relief to the many silent sufferers of anxiety and depression. The key to the path of any recovery lies in its self-realisation and identification; the course aims at making the user self-aware of the causes which compel him in leading a depressed lifestyle through a short quiz called the Burn’s inventory. What follows is a no-nonsense, practical path to training your mind into becoming a fortress which is impenetrable by the malice of anxiety and depression.
The course is a combination of video series, audio books and PDFs that employ humour and science to help you combat depression, anxiety and stress almost as efficiently as prescribed medication. This also includes a course in sleep therapy; which while educating the users about the available pharmaceutical drugs in the market tries to provide efficacious results without medical intervention.
For instance, in order to relay the real issue behind depression, he fills a plastic glass with water till its halfway mark. The water symbolises our stress, and up to a certain level of stress units, we’re still able to operate, without overflowing with data. Then, he proceeds to fill the glass with more water than the previous midway point. Owing to a slightly heightened stress level, we begin to experience pangs of stress and anxiety. It’s progressively harder to move around with spilling, i.e. facing a mental breakdown. Finally, the entire glass is overflowing, the slightest of movements hindered at the risk of spillage. This condition is referred to as depression, where one is unable to complete the simplest of tasks and believes they have nothing to look forward to. Through sheer mental-grit and self-awareness, Faraz sheds light on the art of achieving mindfulness and bringing the water/stress levels down to normal.
The ebb and flow of the entire course are encountered upon step by step so that you have a process that you can follow easily. As with every recommendation that has been made in this course, they delve into all of the homework and research that has been done. Additionally, links have been provided for the users themselves to go and examine. It’s all about setting a rhythm your mind can get used to.
The last few episodes explore the effect of therapeutic music – a genre known as ambient, known to considerably reduce anxiety and stress levels. One such band would be Carbon based Lifeforms, who released an album known as twenty-three featuring a wide spread of soothing music to calm one down.
The course features an impressive range of everything from the right kind of dietary supplements to meditation and breathing exercises.
We all suffer from anxiety and depression from time to time just like the common cold or viral fever. They might be the signs of something much more fatal if not detected and treated at the earliest; talking about mental health thus should be an inclusive part of our daily life. It should be incorporated into our system to be treated like any other illness instead of being looked at as a fundamental fault in existence. Calm India strives to bring the discussion of mental health to our dinner tables and into mainstream culture; it draws simple examples from the things we see around us on a regular basis to eradicate the taboo that mental illness has been considered till date.
We’re privy to a world where we’re all slaves to the hustle, and there’s barely any time to care for our mental faculties. India has about one million patients with all sorts of mental illnesses and only about 3500 psychologists across the nation. Calm India brings in a fresh brand of rejuvenating your mental resilience equipped with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), audiobooks, reference manuals and so much more.
This holiday season, spare some time to care for your mind and body. Leave it to Calm India to re-train your mind in a matter of four weeks. Here’s to a calmer, less reactive and more focused you.
Abhishek Mishra and Ananya Roy for MTTN