India

For our friends in India: Environmental Stress is serious

I am proud of the fact that per my word press statistics a large portion of the people who view my content reside in (or have a VPN in) India. As many of my readers know I am based on the U.S. the New England region. Most of my pieces are things that pertain to the U.S. situation. Sure many of them translate and generally you can apply most of the context to any part of the world with some tweaks.

The environment impacts everyone, locally and globally. The fact is the drum beat of climate change and pending environmental calamity has been beating for decades now. So it’s not a stretch to say that environmental concerns add to and inflame anxiety in individuals. Our friends in India are no exception. I found a good article here that discusses some of what’s going on.

From the article: “The overall assessment is that our air and water quality is all trends show that pollution is increasing and this has massive impacts on our health. Even during the lockdown, data shows that river pollution did not reduce. Clearly, we need to do much more to improve the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Sunita Narain, director general, CSE and editor, Down to Earth, while releasing the annual publication.”

Plastic destroys the environment
The world is overrun with pollution.

The article itself states some interesting statistic that to be blunt I can verify myself, I don’t live there but the overall sentiment is important. A clean environment producers healthier living conditions. I don’t think I am going out on a limb by stating that, I think we can all agree there. Just like here in the states it seems daunting for one individual to measure what impact they can have on the overall problem with the environment.

As people with anxiety, it’s just one more thing to worry about and its tangible you can see pollution and feel it. What can you do? You can change one thing. You know your habits better than I do, what are you doing now that has a negative impact on the environment? Using too much water? Throwing trash in street? Using too much plastic? I’m sure you can find something and that one thing DOES HELP. Me? I purchased a reusable straw. I get a coffee almost every day a cold brew and I use a straw. Over the years I must have thrown away hundreds if not thousands of straws. For 5 bucks I got 2 reusable straws and I have thrown one away in 6 months.

That’s 1 straw a day for 182 days, it’s not much but imagine if everyone did something small like this? That would be a big deal. It’s not late to start, no one is saying go crazy but find one small thing you can do to help the environment, where ever you live.

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India

Indian Workers seek Robots?

Once again we visit with our friends in India on the subject of Anxiety and Mental Health. For those of us in the West we sometimes forget that our friends in India, over a billion actually have very similar mental health issues that we do. Sure societal norms are different but at the end of the day we all have social, economic and political pressures we deal with that affect our mental health.

I found an interesting article here That discusses a recent poll that asked Indian workers if they thought robots were better suited to help with mental health issues then humans. A whopping 91% said they would rather talk to a robot then their boss about stress at work. I don’t have the complete statistics on the study, the number of people, the control etc. but I thought it was interested and worthy of a post.

From the article: “Nearly 93 per cent people said their mental health issues at work negatively affect their home life while 95 per cent of those surveyed believed companies should be doing more to support the mental health of their workforce. For the Indian workforce, 65 per cent feel that they are working more than 40 hours per week and 32 per cent feel the burnout from overwork. “There is a lot that can be done to support the mental health of the global workforce and there are so many ways that technology like AI can help. But first, organizations need to add mental health to their agenda,” said Emily He, senior vice president, Oracle Cloud HCM.”

stressed-out-woman
Anxiety doesn’t care about your ethnicity.

The context of the article delved deeper into the work place and work place culture in India. Clearly it’s a very stressful environment. Add Covid to the mix and PRESTO you have what was stressful now is toxic. Work isn’t meant to be a bed of roses and simplicity, I think we can all agree on that. However when you have over 90% of your workforce saying the work environment is negatively impacting their home life that is very alarming.

My Indian readers certainly don’t need me to tell them how bad their work environment is, it has to be toxic with those numbers. It’s no wonder they would rather talk to a robot, they would likely get more empathy then from their boss. I’ve been in bad work situations before, I’m in a great spot now and super thankful for it. Regardless of what culture you are in when there are aspects of your life that negatively impact your home life, your sanctuary if you will, that’s critical and has to be addressed ASAP.

What do you do though? You need money so you have to work. Human Resource Dept.? Ya right they have never dealt with a pandemic and these kind of conditions either, they are winging it too. I’d love to say “hey things will get better hang in there”, ya they will but I don’t know when. I can tell you in the States things are still crap here. We won’t get back on the right track socially anyway until the presidential election is over.

I wish I had some great advice for my Indian friends. If talking to a Robot helps, do it. If you are one of my Indian readers just know that this blogger gets it, and so do many others in the west. We understand that stress levels around the globe are spiking. We are rooting for you, just take it one day at a time and enjoy the small pleasures when you can.

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India

Stress in India, Stress everywhere

Once again we are going to lean on our friends from India for some wisdom. In the states we hear plenty about China, on and on sometimes. Right next store is one of the oldest countries in the world and one of our most important allies. It’s prudent to take the best practices you can from any source you have. India, while not perfect is working to address stress and anxiety in their society. We could learn a thing or two from them.

I found an interesting article here that talks about managing stress and the importance of parents in the mini cultures of each of our homes.

From the article: “It is essential that parents have a healthy mental life as they are a direct influence on their child. With everyone confined to their houses, it is essential to take the necessary steps to make sure that your mental health is in good shape. Parents usually tend to focus more on their child’s health than themselves, but sometimes, their state might have a drastic effect on the child. Keeping yourself healthy- physically and mentally, as a parent, is critical now more than ever.”

Great words of wisdom. Kids look to their parents or immediate relatives first for guidance on how to act. They emulate the adults close to them, they don’t know what else to do. They haven’t been alive long enough to develop their own unique coping mechanisms so they look to adults for guidance. The article is an excellent piece on the impact of family life and stress.

The emphasis in the article is on the importance of everyone accepting and recognizing the importance of mental health within the family unit. Its not imperative to be emotional outwardly, meaning we don’t need to have daily discussions on why someone feels bad. That said its important for the family leaders, normally the parents to be aware of how their mood affects everyone in the house. Mental health is a challenge for all of us, it doesn’t care where you live, what gods you worship etc.

We need to have honest discussions about mental health, that starts at home with the immediate family. Sterotypes often hinder this process. Men especially are prone to feeling shame over stress and anxiety due to social stigmas. This isn’t to say women don’t face this as well but in nearly every culture I have been exposed to in my travels women often are able to confide in one another with intimate details of their internal thoughts and feelings. Men simply don’t have this in most societies.

That said, this article does a good job of pulling the family unit together as the primary support system for all involved. Children look to adults to see how to act and how to cope with adversity. It’s important, regardless of your role in the home or gender that you work to understand your own anxiety so that you may be better equipped to help your children. It’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to not be perfect, it’s okay to struggle. You are doing great, one day at a time.

Interested in more posts like this? Check out my post here.

India

Where you live often dictates outcomes

I am patriotic, I admit it. That doesn’t make me a nationalist, it doesn’t make me right wing, it doesn’t make me a bad person. I love my country, and I feel fortunate to have been born here and live here. I also recognize that other people feel the same way I do about their home country. Our friends in India are no exception.

India continues to interest me as a content creator. Full disclosure, I get many hits on my blog from India. I suspect its because I do a fair amount of my content on stress and anxiety related issues. Indian citizens have their plate full when it comes to stress. Its not only the common ones we know in the west, but they have a far more involved family structure which we have largely unraveled here in the west.

I found an interesting article here.

From the article: “A report by the World Health Organization in 2017 found there were fewer than two mental health professionals for every 100,000 people, drastically lower than the global average of nine.

The crisis is expected to worsen, and many experts say it could have serious economic, social and cultural consequences. Between 2012-2030, WHO estimates that India’s mental health emergency will cost the economy more than $1tn in lost productivity (as measured in 2010 US dollars).”

Its not only the proportion of mental health professionals to population but proximity. In the west we have this image if India as being super populated, their cities overflowing. They may or may not be true, but India is a huge country, 70% of the population live in rural areas where there is only 25% of health infrastructure.

So, its not only an issue of availability in terms of ratios of health professionals but you then actually have to get to them to attain services. Not to mention payment, social stigmas on and on. India is an emerging super power, and I only use the term emerging because it’s full potential is still fairly untapped. While its history is remarkable, we know it as its current state post WWII.

If India were able to do more for its citizens with less, via improving the social net I think it would quickly emerge as one of if not thee top economy in the world. We are entering a period by which the world is becoming more bi-polar. The U.S. bloc and China. Russia continues to stagnate, but India is the country many don’t seem to bring into the conversation.

I see more and more articles about Indian culture and how there is a concerted effort by young people to modernize the social structure to afford more health care outcomes for more of the population. WHO claims there is a “mental health emergency in India” (per the article) and that might very well be but sounding the alarm doesn’t illuminate the full potential of this future super power.

The world in 2050 may look a lot different, specifically if India keeps investing in its people.  

Some good news for our friends in India?

svāgat haiṅ !

Several of the consumers of my blog reside in India. The more I read about India the more I realize how similar it is to the U.S. It’s a really interesting and diverse culture, and many suffer from anxiety (just like your western friends). I stumbled on a great article pertaining to the Indian government trying to address mental disorders.

As it turns out India has a serious issue with their younger population and anxiety. From the article: “Each day, about six students commit suicide due to academic failure. India has the highest student suicide rate with nearly 38,000 students committing suicide since 2015”

Wow….

Now further in the article I found that IIT’s (Indian Institute of Technology) in Delhi, Mumbai and Madras have campus wellness centers that work to help and assist students with anxiety and stress. I am unclear culturally if its -normal- to seek help. We are encouraged here in the west but there is still a social stigma attached to getting mental health services. Its less now, but you still feel it.

Anyway, its very good news that the Indian government is taking the mental health of its population seriously. In a global, competitive environment everyone has stress. My self, I did 6 years of college for my masters it was hard but, in the end,  I was rewarded with good jobs.

That’s not always the case though, and for my friends in India I would say that as overwhelming as the present is now, the future is always the wild card. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you “things will get better” they may not. That said the chance for things to get better reside in the future. Invest in the notion that hard work and perseverance will pay off for you, if not economically at least spiritually.

The world seems to be looking more and more into Mental Health issues. In the states we have a robust discourse now over fire arms and mental health, its long overdue. In your world it appears from what I am reading your government acknowledges there is an issue with the young people of India and the stress of success.

This is a positive thing, take heart and don’t give in to fear. Remember you aren’t alone, there are millions of us all over the world who deal with Anxiety at different levels every day. I live a world away from you and while I will not tell you my anxiety is the same is yours I have had very dark periods in my life, I survived and so can you.

You are doing fantastic, one day at a time.

India

For my friends in India

Like many bloggers who are new I look at my analytics daily. I have a lot of “traffic” from India. I was curious as to why and after rummaging around a little bit I found this article that might explain it.

From the article: “According to Money control, the survey further revealed that 95 per cent of Indian millennials between the age group of 18-34 are stressed compared to the global average of 86 per cent. Making matters worse, one in eight Indians have serious trouble in dealing with stress but nearly 75 per cent of the Indian respondents said they don’t feel comfortable talking to a medical professional about their stress. Consultation cost was cited as one of the biggest barriers to seeking professional help.”

Now this data I believe is from 2015, I can’t imagine it changed dramatically so wow. I’m not going to profess to understand the nuances of India culture or the daily life of people many miles away from me. That said I’m hopeful that my blog offers something in the way of hope. I am a Gen Xer I’m almost 50 now. I have been where you are (to my millennial friends) and I can say absolutely that things only get better when you make them better.

I know that’s probably not exactly what you wanted to hear. Age doesn’t always translate into wisdom, and wisdom often translates to peace of mind. So how do you obtain wisdom? Through experience. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what culture you are in, the more you do something the more you get comfortable with it. The bottom line? Hang in there. Life happens and while there is no guarantee that things are going to get better, there is no guarantee that things will get worse either.

Here are 3 things I have done throughout my life that have always had a positive effect on my stress.

  1. Sleep: get as much sleep as you can. A rested body and a rested mind are paramount to spiritual health. Take a nap, go to bed early, sleep late. Squeeze as much sleep as you can out of your day.
  2. Save money: I don’t care if it’s a rupee a week, save what you can. When you do this, you create the financial conditions by which recovery from mistakes or problems becomes easier. You also create the conditions of financial security which is critical for relieving stress. When you have money in the bank, you will be more at ease.
  3. Remembering You are not alone: There are people all over the world with crap lives, stress, and just general problems that make the day to day very stressful. Russians, Americans, Indians South Africans…. You are not alone, and you are not a bad person because you have stress and anxiety.

I am honored that a large segment of the people that come to my blog are from India. You are welcome here. I hope you get some measure of relief from my work. You are doing great! Remember, one day at a time.

India is getting it right.

When we blog on word press we have a world-wide audience. I read news from around the world and I recently found an article from India.

The bottom line is at universities in India you will soon be able to study happiness. From the article:

According to the university’s vice chancellor Himanshu Pandy . “It is high time we taught people how to deal with this stress and not give up the challenge of bringing back a rhythm to life” 

Great news! Also, India is ahead of the curve (IMHO) from a government perspective. In Madhya Pradesh (a state/province) in India they have a Minster of Happiness. The bottom line is they are taking happiness seriously.

This is a boon for people with anxiety, increased awareness, increased dialogue and increased access = better outcomes. I am not fluent in Indian social structures, I can’t tell you what its like in the communities there. I can tell you in the states we are just waking up to some of the realities of our cultural pressures.

There are many arguments out there for people to “suck it up” or “put their big boy pants on” yadda yadda you get the gist. In some cases, a dose of that is warranted, but the reality is we have a mental health crisis in the United States. Drug addiction, depression, mass shootings…. Sure, its not an every day bloodbath but the point is we need to do more on mental illness not less.

Perhaps its time to look to some of our friends to the east. We hear in the news daily about china, what about India? India has been a good friend to the United States for a long time. Sure, their system isn’t perfect, but much like us they have a functioning democracy who, according to the article above, is investing in the mental health of its citizens.

That’s what we should be doing, and spending less time policing the world. Imagine for a moment if we cut out half our military installations in Germany

How much money would we save the U.S. tax payer? Could that money be used to better serve our population and address mental health? I have no desire to affect Germany negatively, but WWII ended nearly 75 years ago do we really need all those bases there? India is making an investment into the health and well-being of its citizens. Who knows if it will work or not but it’s the kind of program you want government to enact. Services for the citizens how pay taxes, we could learn a lot from them. Maybe its time we turn our gaze to the other giant in the east, India.