Celebrating World Mental Health Day
Life and Mental Health in the Post-Pandemic Era
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze
President of Federation of World Peace and Love
Vice-President of Association of World Citizens
Zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men
Oct. 10, 2021
World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10 every year. It is the 30th year since the first World Mental Health Day was observed in 1992. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) have set different themes and goals each year to promote different facets of mental health education and advocate for joint action to ensure a healthy mental environment for all.
It's been nearly two years since COVID-19 broke out in the end of 2019. Humans are still at risk of infection and death as the virus continues to mutate. People are suffering physically, mentally, and spiritually as a result of the significant changes that occur in their daily lives. The consequences of these mental and spiritual wounds are far more severe than we can fathom. Therefore, as we transition to the post-pandemic era, the general public's need for mental health and psychological support has skyrocketed, and global citizens are in desperate need of positive energy to lead them. I thank you for supporting World Mental Health Day and taking constructive action to improve one another's mental health and promote social health and harmony.
According to the World Health Organization, stress is linked to 90% of diseases. The heart is in charge of emotions. The heart is like a monarch, governing over all of the body's organs and influencing their cooperation. We may experience seven feelings when our hearts are affected by the external environment: excitement, anger, depression, anxiety, sadness, fear, or panic. Our emotions have an impact on our physical well-being. Anger is considered to be bad for the liver, ecstasy is bad for the heart, overthinking is bad for the spleen, grief is bad for the lungs, and fear is bad for the kidneys. This indicates that one's mental state has an impact on one's physical health. Negative emotions, if not addressed, can lead to physical illness in the long run; thus, mental wellness is crucial for physical health.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need a "heart" vaccine to maintain our mental health and avoid pandemic fatigue. The so-called "heart" vaccine is conscience. Everyone should have a kind heart, help others, and help themselves. In terms of personal psychology, we should always be aware of our emotions in order to avoid becoming angry, worried, or nervous. When we encounter difficulties, we should look on the bright side of things, think positively, stay calm, and handle people and things in a peaceful manner.
Mental health is crucial, and prevention is more important than treatment when it comes to improving our overall health. The Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine, an ancient Chinese medical book, says, "If you are calm, you will be full of energy. If you are restless or anxious, your energy will be diminished.” Each person has essence, qi (energy), and spirit, according to Chinese medicine. It is critical to "remain tranquil and nourish one's spirit" in order to stay healthy. Changes in a person's mood have an impact on his or her psychology, which can lead to a range of disorders. As a result, we should focus not only on physical training to enhance our physical health, but also on emotional regulation to improve our mental health. The key to living a long and healthy life is to maintain a healthy body-mind balance. The best way for human beings to obtain physical and mental peace and stability is to act with conscience, do good deeds, trust and love one another, and respect human rights.
Another aspect of health protection in the post-pandemic era is to lessen the dangers faced by an entire population, which reflects a society's and a country's mental health. Poverty, unemployment, human rights violations, religious persecution, fear of war, financial instability, environmental change, and other threats to human security can cause anxiety and worry. Individual uneasiness or worry, as well as family strife, will lead to social conflicts and national unrest. Therefore, just as people need “conscience vaccination” to protect their bodies, a nation requires a “conscience vaccine” to avoid an “epidemic.” A government must govern with conscience, respect human rights, and defend peace. It must administer its policies according to the law, uphold justice and equality, and protect its people to maintain the stability and balance of its society and its people's hearts. The owners of a nation are its people, so a support system to care for their mental health must be in place so that they may be happy, and the nation can be prosperous, strong, healthy, and happy.
To create a psychologically healthy environment, everyone can start by purifying their hearts. I'd like to provide three suggestions:
- We should reflect on ourselves every day, immediately fix our mistakes, as well as purify our hearts and nurture our bodies and minds from the inside out by cultivating our hearts and moral character.
- We should be conscience-oriented from our thoughts to our actions, do more good deeds every day to atone for our faults, and balance our merits and demerits.
- We should open our hearts, broaden our horizons, be mindful of the public, and serve them. Helping others makes us happy.
By applying the three ideas, we can take care of our own mental health and provide support for others. When everyone and every family practice it, a cycle of goodwill will be created, and the butterfly effect of the era of conscience will be achievable.
Love is the driving force of life, and true love flourishes when it is guided by conscience. A nation and community with conscience and compassion will respect human rights and love their citizens. The key to unlocking human kindness and good deeds is conscience. Speaking more good words, doing more good deeds, and helping others will elevate our bodies, minds, and souls to a higher level, allowing us to discover the eternal value and meaning of life. Let us work together to promote a culture of peace with love and conscience, to look after each other's mental health, to restore peace, stability, and joy for global citizens, and to promote the world’s holistic health and sustainable development.
I wish that all conscientious people with the will and power to do good will have their wishes fulfilled.
*Presented at the ICDAY’s virtual event in support of UN World Mental Health Day