‘If I had no sense of humor; I would long ago have committed suicide’- Mahatma Ghandi
Ghandi was a great man who instilled co-existence to India.He inspired the world through his philosophy and his forward thinking. He went on hunger strikes, putting his life at risk, to stop violence in India. An act of compassion for such a great man who faced death, and a voluntary type of suicide several times in his life.
Many of us touch upon the concept of suicide through different acts of self-directed violence; over eating, self-starvation, smoking, drinking, drugs, destructive emotions and the list goes on and on!!
If most of us are guilty of committing slow suicide, then, can humor save us as it once saved Ghandi?!
Here, I refer to humor in the sense of producing joyful thoughts, and good feelings to oneself and to others away from the humor that can be triggered by sarcasm or implicit negative self-talk.
Mental wellness, indeed, starts by taking small steps towards humor, and positive thinking to absorb any tension, anxiety, or mild depression.
Coming out of oneself to reach for help is the most essential ingredient that saves a life. This can be through engaging with safe people to talk to and a safe home to be in. These are two immediate things to consider. Once well surrounded, then we feel safe to express our feelings rather than eat away our health, or drink away our lives for that matter.
‘Feeling loved can override stress, depression and anxiety’ – Jeanne Segal
In her book Feeling Loved she talks about ways of staying connected even when we feel confronted and vulnerable. The psychological and neurological benefits are too important to ignore to keep us in the right direction.
So how can we stay positive and connected?
Well, communication is key. By initiating meaningful conversations, to listen and be listened to, and to ‘share’ oneself fully are essential ways toward opening up your heart, your mind and your being.
Lori Deschene says ‘change your beliefs about the world and love’, Segal says ‘open yourself to love, to others, and to the world’. They both are talking about the same fundamental rule; tell yourself a different story, open your eyes and your heart and get on with life rather than death.
Seagal, Jeanne (2015). Feeling Loved: The Science of Nurturing Meaningful Connections, and BuildLasting Happiness.
“ Challenge to Change, is an initiative aimed at raising awareness about mental health for women from the Middle East. It is a platform for dialogue and support, enabling women to share their experiences, strengths and hope while being supported by mental health professionals. Through raising awareness and taking on the stigma, Challenge to Change has created safe communication channels and support groups with the objective of providing effective and lasting solutions.
Challenge to Change is THE voice for mental wellness for women from the Middle East.”