These are testing times. While the Covid-19 pandemic is claiming lives on one hand, it’s also affecting the mental health of people around the globe. In order to deal with the dual challenge, we need to build up our emotional resilience, says Sister Shivani, a teacher in the Brahma Kumari spiritual movement in India, in conversation with Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express, and author and senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai in TNIE Expressions, a series of live webcasts with people who matter.
On how to build the emotional resilience, Sister Shivani said we can get there by consuming less information. "Two-three decades ago, there was lesser content consumption. What we consume has a direct impact on our minds. Our emotional diet is what we watch, read and listen to. Earlier we used to consume content from parents, teachers, newspapers, good books — less content, good quality, protected era as far as content consumption is concerned. Now with 24x7 television, social media, digital platforms, even children are consuming content at every click and nobody is checking. Even during COVID-19 and the lockdown, had we consumed less information, it would have been better," she added.
Thinking less is the key, she says. "To make our minds more powerful, we need to think less and think right. Even before Covid-19, we have been living a life of emotional dependence. When the global crisis came, as a society, the message we were giving was that these times are normal, that fear and anxiety is normal. But it is not…With one crisis we cannot handle another."
There has been a significant rise in anxiety but people don’t want to go to the therapist in the fear of stepping out of the house due to the pandemic. Sister Shivani says we need to slow down our thoughts and take one day at a time. "The outer crisis will be managed; we need to take care of our minds first."
Staying on top of our game is all we want but lately it has not been possible. But how do we energies ourselves every single day? "We should not use phones after waking up. Work communication should not be the first thing in the morning. The first hour is the time to energise the mind. One could practise meditation, yoga, read spiritual books. Content consumption of high vibration is good in the mornings; it is termed as a good emotional diet… The last hour is equally important… We should try to sleep by 10 pm and disconnect from work, slow down the mind, two hours before sleeping," she suggested.