The Council of EU Chambers of Commerce in India organized a webinar on ‘How to Vitalize your Mental Well-Being” in collaboration with the ICICI Bank. on 11th February 2021. 

Dr Renu Shome, Director welcomed all the speakers and participants at the webinar. She introduced the speakers and briefed about the activities of the Chamber.

The speakers were Dr. Aditya Gait, Spiritual Director at Ananda Pune City Centre, Trained Rural Surgeon, Yoga Allianz certified Yoga Teacher, Dr. Amit Aggarwal , Physician & Researcher Associate Professor at SNK Medical College, Pune and Dr. Supriya Iyer , Clinical Psychologist at Chaitanyam Advisor India Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Santosh Pai, Senior Client Banker & Zonal Head Multi National Clients Group, ICICI Bank Ltd. India after thanking the host, talked about as how the Covid-19 has affected a person’s mental health and problems such as anxiety, insomnia and depression have become very common. That is why it is important to keep organizing webinars on mental health. A Report by WHO states that because of the pandemic the cases of anxiety and stress has risen by 30%, which was earlier only 5%. So, adopting meditation and yoga are some of the ways to mental well-being.

He also welcomed all present and said I am hoping all to be revitalized after the session.

Excerpts from the speech of  Dr. Supriya Iyer:

She initiated her talk by thanking the organizers and said health is not about what is to be eaten and doing some exercises. It is also, about how you feel. Her main idea is how to achieve Positive Mental Health and for this, she discusses 10 different ways.

  1. Talking to people: Sharing your feelings with others lightens you up and makes us feel free.
  2. Thinking Errors: By writing down the feelings and identifying the errors. Cognitive Distortion, the idea of guessing the future is developed.
  3. Mindfulness: Engaging in activities, which involves both body and mind, be completely involved in what you are doing, rather than thinking of the past or future. Some of the things includes walking, spending time with the nature and guided meditation.
  4. Challenging thoughts: Never think negative about yourself. Replace them with positive thoughts.
  5. Connecting: Connecting with family and friends help to boost you emotional health.
  6. Relaxation: Scheduling a time for yourself, what is called as the me-time. Here you focus on yourself and relax your mind, body and soul. Have this time every day.
  7. Strengths: recognize the individuality, work towards your strength, and boost your confidence.
  8. Values: Connect to the values you are carrying like discipline, punctuality and stay connected to that. This will make your life meaningful.
  9. Exercise: Any kind of exercise with positive thoughts which enhance you rationality and awakens you up from within. Power yoga, gyming, jogging etc.
  10. Solve Problem: Solving your problem would reduce your anxiety and gives you a practical aspect to your life.

Taking care of yourself is a form of self-respect. Therefore, everyone should find time for themselves and love himself or herself.

Excerpts from the speech of  Dr. Aditya Gait:

At first, he thanked the host and the organizers and congratulated Dr. Iyer for the amazing presentation.

He gave an analogy where in if a doctor gives a prescription and we put a frame and are happy, this will not work.

He narrated a story where he and his friend were travelling in Rajasthan and they saw a tiger and a python. There are many triggers when we see dangers, which are challenges to our mental health. We can prepare our nervous system for them. Now he metaphorically says that the tigers are everywhere. For every little thing in our life, we become so tensed as if we saw a tiger.

All the cultures have emphasized on ancient technologies that can bring a change in the brain and the body cells and neural system and control them and be adaptable. Then we will feel wonderful all the time. The footing of our life is very important that no matters what life throws at you, you can very smoothly get out of it.

Excerpts from the speech of Dr. Amit Aggarwal:

He said that the scientists have proved that when we meditate there is a significant change in the structure of the brain. He showed these changes through the slides as to what exactly are the changes.

He shared two images on the screen during presentation. The one on the left was that of a meditative person and the other one on the right side was of an ordinary person. The left image was full of red glow in the front and back part of the brain whereas the other did not have at all. Left image showed that it was more active.

The front part of the brain is called the pre frontal cortex. Amygdala starts firing when you are anxious. It prepares your body for the situation. The whole machines become active. This is fine occasionally.

However, today this is happening very frequently. Stress affects the whole body.

The more and more your pre frontal cortex becomes active, the more conscious you are. Once it is active, you become more active and you can take better decisions.

You also become creative, foresight increases and you become happy.

Some of the things that were discussed were:

  1. Upright posture.
  2. Energizing Techniques.
  3. Breathing Techniques.
  4. Uplifted Gaze.
  5. Visualization
  6. Meditation

Then, he began with the workshop.

At first, he asked the participants to close the eyes and score the mental wellness in a 0-10 scale. Score the same for your body.

Then, he started some exercises.

  1. Double Breathe: A short and a long inhalation from the nose, and a short and long exhalation through the mouth.  Do it for three times.

Now, once you do the double inhalation, flex the body and along with double exhalation, relax your body. Do it five times.

This could be done in single breathe also.

  1. Now start walking on the place and tell yourself that “I am Positive, Energetic and Enthusiastic”

Now, bring your hands and tap on all over your body and say to yourself  “ I am master of the body and master of my mind”.

Brush your body and say aloud “Awake, Rejoice my brain cells ” and “Be glad my brain, be wise and strong” “Awake my sleeping children awake”.

Relax the area around the abdomen, and take a few relaxing breathes.

  1. Full yogic Breathe:

Note: Spine surgery, pregnancy, eye surgery, very high BP should avoid doing this.

Inhale and go up and exhale and go down.

As we inhale, expand your belly taking in all the positive energy.

And exhale all the negativity throughout the body.

Inhale optimism, vitality and joy.

Do it thrice.

  1. Try to sit away from the back of the chair. Most of the nerves originate from the spinal cord so try to sit straight.
  2. Uplifting the gaze: Sitting up straight Keep the chin parallel, close your eyes lift your eyes by 15 degree. The attention shifts to the area between the eyebrows.
  3. Even Count Breathing: Inhale through the nose, hold the breathe and breathe out through the nose. Do it five times.

We can add one more point. After exhalation, hold it for some time and then inhale.

Do it 6 times.

Now observe your breathe, the incoming air is cooler and full of positivity. The air that goes out is warmer and full of negativity. It is helpful in increasing your concentration. If the mind gets distracted, bring back to the breathing again.

Become aware of the deep stillness in your head and enjoy the peace. And be quiet for about 2 minutes.

  1. Affirmation: Slowly decreasing the sound say to yourself “Within me lies the energy to accomplish all that I will to do”.

First, say it aloud and then whisper and then in your mind.

  1. Inhale through the nose and breathe out through the mouth. Do it 3 times.
  2. Now score your mind and body again. Great things come out of profound stillness.

You will definitely see a change in yourself.

Ms. Richa Lekhi, Senior Client Banker and Zonal Head Multinational Clients Group, ICICI Bank proposed vote of thanks. She thanked all the speakers for such an insightful presentation. She concluded by urging all the attendees to religiously follow the exercises given to combat mental stress and welcome a joyful life.