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Coronavirus outbreak: Staying happy and healthy during trying times 

Forget Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is now your own inherent intelligence that is going to give you the toughest competition.

Published: 23rd March 2020 08:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2020 12:54 PM   |  A+A-

Passengers wearing masks in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi

Passengers wearing masks in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. (Photo | Ashish kumar Kataria, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: How fast scenarios change is evident from the fact that when barely three months ago I wrote in an article that the biggest threat to humans in the next decade is the human mind, little did I know that we still have to deal with the risk to our physical body first.

With the arrival of a new villain on the scene, the deadly COVID-19, the whole world is going nuts trying to ward off, contain or treat this endemic disease.

Though of course, our mind still remains to be trained to make our body strong enough to face this latest global challenge of the coronavirus.

Forget Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is now your own inherent intelligence that is going to give you the toughest competition.

Till sometime back, depression was the main baddie in a human’s life and the World Health Organisation, too, had reported depression to be the single biggest cause of ill health by 2030.

But with the sudden arrival of the coronavirus on the scene, the situation may get worse with us having two major villains to deal with. One mental, the other physical! But on a higher level it is still our mind that we need to tame to emerge a winner over self.

It is all about countering negatives. You invariably have a propensity to feel depressed whenever a negative event happens in your life. Quite normal! No one ever can or will feel good about some terrible occurrence.

But the catch lies is in encashing these unfavourable incidents in life. Just as friction is an opposing force but still a requisite for us to be able to carry out most essential acts, a vital being walking/running, so are other negative forces. The endemic coronavirus is the latest.

You will surely agree that pleasant or positive happenings in your life make you happy and contented and therefore, in some ways, complacent.

So I wouldn’t be too off the mark if I state that adverse circumstances are as necessary in life as friction is in walking. You cannot walk or run on a zero friction, smooth surface.

Therefore the greater the opposing forces or disadvantageous situations, the more it propels you forward. Take the case of the COVID-19 global outbreak.

We were all just not prepared for such an occurrence. Nor had we any idea of how we would deal with such a phenomenon, if it ever happened. But once it happened, be it any region, country, government, ministry, hospital, organisation, society, health system or people, we are all up on our feet, striving tirelessly to fight this epidemic.

We are realising the lacuna in our health systems, the dearth of medical facilities and staff, if and where they exist, the lack of sufficient expertise or preventive medication or vaccination for the novel coronavirus and several other things required to contain its spread.

Suddenly with this pandemic, we have become alert to our health and that of others. Before this disease hit the planet, we seldom strove to do the little things necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Whether it is hygiene standards, healthy living, cleanliness at home, office, public places, transport vehicles, cinema halls, restaurants, malls/shopping-centres we were a bit callous.

Now, we are consciously making every effort to step up the standards and incorporate a healthy and hygienic lifestyle into our daily routine.

We suddenly realise the importance of simple little habits to lead a healthy life. Regular exercise, soaking in the sunshine each morning, eating natural fruits, vegetables and dried fruits that have a positive effect on our immunity, turning to herbal remedies such as turmeric, ginger, tulsi, black pepper, amla and gilloy is suddenly becoming a conscious choice for all of us. There lies the catch. All these are excellent not only for our physical health but also for our mental health. Therefore we are inadvertently moving towards a ‘Happiness regime’, thanks to villain virus.

In adverse and tough circumstances such as the current times, you unknowingly try much harder, put in much more effort and bring out all the hidden strength of the body, mind and inner self. You need to go to back your very basics.

Be it natural modes of exercise such as walking, jogging, running or cycling, what with all gymnasiums and sports facilities shut down, or herbal preventions, what with there being absolutely no cure for COVID-19 in the world.

Naturally raise your immunity by increasing your vital vitamins such as C, D, E, eating citrus fruits or dry fruits or sitting in the morning sun. Mind you, this drastic change in lifestyle is for the better because to cure major depression too, all these habits and diets are the surest means.

All it requires is to convince your mind and tame it to follow this ‘Happiness Exercise’ and you will then be able to boost your physical immunity as well as mental strength. Following such beneficial regimens will actually propel your brain to secrete more of serotonin, the  hormone responsible for your happiness.

So, in these distressing times of the fast-spreading COVID-19 disease, don’t sit back and become lax and lazy, working from home but go for that long-postponed jog or run, sit in the sun while the sun shines and eat healthy and increase the production of your “Happy Hormone”!

Manisha Gupta
International Award Winning Screenwriter & Filmmaker and Founder-MwD of LOGIHQ, a HAPPINESS start-up

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