On the occasion of the World Mental Health Day, the Psychological Counselling Unit at the O/o DSW, in collaboration with the Centre for Health Psychology, School of Medical Sciences, has organized an online webinar titled “BE HEALTHY: Perspectives from Indian Vision”, The webinar talk was delivered by Prof. Girishwar Misra, renowned Psychologist ranked among the top most influential psychologists of the world, on October 11, 2021. Honourable Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B.J. Rao inaugurated the webinar and gave the inaugural speech.

Vice Chancellor in his inaugural address pointed out that being healthy at the body level is very commonly known to one and all. But beyond body, the mind and the awareness also have to be balanced and being healthy happens only with such a balance. From a holistic sense, the Indian context explain the content of the ‘wholeness’ of the system. He said that living is an every second process, and we have to transcend the living as a body process and going beyond.

Prof. Girishwar Misra in his talk, appreciated the university and Vice Chancellor for initiatives to reach out to the student community through the much needed programs. He congratulated the counseling unit, O/o DSW as well as the Centre for Health Psychology for the initiative. He appreciated the teaching, research and outreach activities under taken by the Centre for Health Psychology.

He said Health and well-being are dynamic processes based on our relationship with environment. Whatever happens at the level of microcosm has its influence on others. There is an interdependency and relationship. Vasudaika Kutumbakam is a notion that talks about the whole universe being one. He emphasized on the fact that those who have relational model will be happy. Many challenges pertaining to health are related to the concept of self. The egocentric health or the self-centered people cannot be models. The concept of having and wanting, more and more, indicates greediness (Lobha). Consequences are conflict and frustration. Hence the balancing of self and others is important. The solution to such situations is developing a shared identity with others as indicated by our ancestors.

Body is not self. If only physical level of existence is focused, it is in reality a very transitory existence. The desires cannot be satisfied to the extent of ‘no desire’. One needs a control over desires by self-regulation and emotional regulation, which decides whether we are healthy and happy. Bhagavad-Gita says if a person can regulate himself/ herself, the self becomes a friend. If he/she cannot, then the self becomes the enemy.

Contemporary health psychology studies emotion and brain function in the contexts of neuroplasticity. Through meditation the structure of brain can be changed says Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin, who studied the structure of brain and the effect of meditation. Many scientific methods of meditation are discussed today. Brain may affect the processes but also can be affected by thoughts, emotions and behavior. Interdependency between physiology and psychology, the body and mind is undeniable too. Hence a holistic notion about issues pertaining to body and mind need to be paid attention to.

Modern day gadgets provide several options to realize and fulfill our desires. Advertising business contributes to nurturing of desires. He talked about means and methods to control mind such as vairagya – Detachment, Abhyasa – Meditation (regulating mind and thoughts).  Yoga is useful regulating the fluctuations of mind. The concept of Swastha, indicates being located in self. If we have self-regulation and control, we enjoy the freedom. Moksha refers to detachment to objects, people and everything. Hence an inner engineering is required, where we observe within, what is temporary and what is permanent.

Bhagavad Gita gives us a direction and path to healthy life. The first counselling was done by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. Bhagavad-Gita allows one to understand certain pathways to live life. One can strive through yoga and try to reach the state of sthitha pragya or steady wisdom, if we follow words of wisdom of Gita. When we get rid of desires and attributes that pull us down, we will be able to be healthy and happy. If religion and spirituality are followed properly, they make us free persons, they deconstruct one’s ego, make us free from desires.

Concept of healthy life refers to our understanding and following proper life style. Life style and illnesses are taking their toll across the world. Psychological vaccination and immunization are important, in the current contexts we need to develop resilience in our personality, to deal with challenges without being perturbed.

In summary, he said that, Self-analysis, attitude of detachment, exercising self-regulation, all these contribute to being healthy and happy. He concluded saying that simple principle preached by ancient wisdom is that if you want to be happy make others happy and contribute to wellbeing of the others.

On the occasion of the world mental health day, a poster making competition was conducted by the psychological counseling unit, for the student community at UoH and the winners’ names were announced. For English language – Anindita Neog, MSc Biotechnology, and for Telugu language Kodaparti Mounika, IMA Telugu, were announced as winners in the poster making completion.

The program ended with the Vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Padmaja Gadiraju.

Watch the full video of the webinar below: