07 April 2010
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
There needs to be a holistic approach to the system
In days of yore, there was no CT scan, no MRI, yet the benchmark was much higher. People lived longer, they were healthier and more importantly they were happier.
We need to look at urban healthcare in a holistic manner. Just creating healthcare infrastructure will not build a healthy society. Today, there is hatred in society, there is greed, fear and because of this depression and stress has set in. Stress is the one of the biggest causes of urban health problems. It is appalling to hear that in the coming decades depression will be the number one disease in the world.
So what is being healthy? If you are feeling rough inside, then you are not healthy; if your mind is stiff and not calm, you are not mentally healthy. When your emotions are rough, you are emotionally not healthy.
We have heard about dental hygiene, physical hygiene but we have forgotten the most important of all and that is mental hygiene. Mental wellbeing is improved perception, improved observation and improved expression. Our mind is like a container. We are simply dumping things into it and not attending to its cleanliness thus accumulating stress and in–turn ruining our health.
There are two ways to manage our stress levels. One, we can cut down our mental and physical workload. That seems quite impossible. Alternatively, we can increase our energy level. Mind–body activities such as breathing techniques, meditation and yoga work wonders in keeping our energy or prana level high.
Yoga is a very simple way to keep our system free from stress. Practice of yoga can release the tensions, negative emotions and help one to live in the present moment. In this age of technology, we care very little for our emotional and spiritual needs. Neither at home nor in school, do we learn how to release negative emotions. Yoga and meditation can help one get rid of it.
Meditation is food for our soul and it brings forth the inner wealth. Meditation removes fixed and preconceived impressions and removes the stresses of day–to–day living. It is hundred times more refreshing than sleep because it helps you live in the present moment and frees you from anger of the past and worry of the future. Practices such as yoga, pranayama and meditation not only give you physical but also mental and emotional health and this is true wealth.