Is Mental Health a Taboo? Why?

Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time for changes in life. Changing schools, changing friends, leaving home, starting university or even a new job. Many many things can occur. For some or many, these are exciting times. But, for some, they can also bring out stress and anxiety. In some cases,  these feelings can build up and affect your mental health.

And we constantly contribute to that even without noticing. Some “small” things can have a big impact. When you call a person fat or skinny, even though you aren’t serious about it.

That might be unknowingly hurtful to them, this bad feeling could result in increasing their anxiety levels.

Mental Health should not be a taboo.

You may think that mental health is something far from you, or it’s “an exaggeration”, but it’s more common than you think. A mental illness causes disturbances in thinking, behavior, energy or emotion that make it difficult to cope with the ordinary demands of life.

And there’s no right answer to what lead someone to become mentally ill. It can come from many things.

Research is starting to uncover the complicated causes of these diseases. It can include genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, experiencing trauma and/or having another medical condition, like heart disease.

mental health - depression is a disorder not a decision

These are the most common mental health conditions, which you probably heard about before:

1. Anxiety Disorders – More than 18% of adults each year struggle with some type of anxiety disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (panic attacks), generalized anxiety disorder and specific phobias.

2. Mood Disorders – Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar depression, affect nearly 10% of adults each year and are characterized by difficulties in regulating one’s mood.

How can we look after it?

It’s important to take care of ourselves and others, to get the most from life. Here are some of the ways that you can start from today itself:

1. Talk and Listen

Talk about your feelings, it helps you to stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Don’t forget to listen to others as well 🙂

2. Exercise

Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy and is very important towards improving your mental health.

3. Take a break

A change of environment is good for your mental health. Take a break and do something you feel good about. For instance: Volunteer, when you feel very unproductive about yourself.

4. Ask for help

We are humans, we all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go according to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.

5. Do something you’re good at

What activities do you lose yourself in? Play a loud music, bang your head to the beats, jump to reach the top of the world, enjoying yourself helps you to beat the stress 🙂

Even after trying a certain number of things, you still feel mentally tired or ill. You should go to a counselor. Yes, some people make fun about it and might call you crazy, but, that’s not true.

Imagine when you have flu, all you need is some dosage of medicines, and you’re back to healthy living. The same way our brain needs counseling sometimes and it’s back to the track, in fact sometimes we do better then we were doing initially.

We pick ourselves up, only after falling.

Mental Health Awareness is something much needed in today’s generation. It’s a delicate yet much-needed topic to be talked about. Sometimes the best we can do to help people going through a mental illness is listening and letting them know how to get some support. Do you know other ways that we can all do our part, breaking up the “taboo” status of Mental Health? Share your thoughts with us.

If you also want to get closer and more involved in supporting actions like these, check out our Volunteer Exchanges options.

If you liked this blog, you may also like: Why gender equality is still not achieved, and how can you help it.


Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.

5 Myths About Being An Introvert

A few months ago I attended the most beautiful conference in 20 years of my life.

A conference full of the most passionate and energetic youth from all over the country, and some foreigners too. We danced, we shouted, we played and we worked. We were sleepless for 6 days straight, yet we were full of energy.

However, there is one thing that I heard there that really bothered me, and I wanted to talk about it ever since. “I was an introvert before I joined the organization, and now I am an extrovert. I love how I am able to communicate with people now.”

The responses came flooding in with appreciations. I sat myself down, thinking that it might put somebody’s energy and confidence down. But inside, I kept asking myself: “Why? What’s wrong with being an introvert?”.

Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Marissa Mayer are all remarkable leaders – and introverts. Being an introvert is not a bad thing.

Although we tend to think of leaders as loud, extroverted and confident, the opposite might be true.

What is introversion?

An introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. These people like spending time alone and they get drained by enough socializing.

The opposite of an Introvert is an Extrovert.

An extrovert is a person concerned more with the socializing and physical environment than with inner thoughts and feelings. These people love making new friends and parties.

Yet, there is so much more to introversion than this.

So, let’s break some misconceptions about introversion 🙂

1. Being an introvert is not the same as being shy

People say that “shyness” is the trait that helps us recognize whether a person is an introvert.

No, there’s a difference.

Shyness means getting nervous and self-conscious in social situations. Even extroverts can have this trait. It’s not like extroverts just run around chatting with strangers all the time.

Introversion is when socializing wears you out. You might not be nervous or shy at all. In fact, many introverts like meaningful socializing, but it just tires them out. That’s why they avoid extra socializing.

You can be an introvert and shy, or you can be an extrovert and shy. One thing is not directly connected to the other 😉

If we compare socializing to running, then extroverts are marathon runners, and introverts are sprinters. Does it mean they don’t like running? No! It just makes them really tired after a while, and they need to conserve their energy.

2. Introverts don’t dislike people

They hate spending all their time around people, they don’t hate people. They just need a good amount of time to recharge themselves after some socialization.

Everyone is born with an innate temperament — a way that you gain energy and prefer to interact with the world. Introversion and extroversion are temperaments.

Introverts just need alone time to gain their energy and go back to interaction.

3. Introverts are not poor public speakers

Introverts generally spend more time preparing for their presentations and speeches, rather than just flying by the seat of their pants.  

Many introverts are naturally gifted speakers. They have excellent communication because of their amazing listening abilitiesBut anyone can work on communication skills, either being an introvert or an extrovert.

4. Introverts don’t need to “get better” just for being an introvert

Yes, if an introvert is completely out of social energy, they start getting a little crabby or simply zoned out. It doesn’t mean that they’re trying to be rude.

In fact, they’re a lot more friendly if you give them some time to recharge themselves.

Being an introvert is part of who they are, and it can be a source of excellence. We are at our best when we embrace our nature and use it as a source of strength.

5. Introverts can’t become an extrovert

There are plenty of introverts out there who wish they could be more outgoing, but this isn’t the same thing as becoming an extrovert.

First, there are no drawbacks to being an introvert.

Introverts, like everyone, can improve their social skills like communication and become more capable in social situations. But it won’t change the fact that those interactions, after some time, will start to drain them.

Many people falsely believe that introverts can (or want to) “unlearn” their quiet and silent tendencies.

Introversion is an inborn personality type, it cannot be altered. Therefore, an introvert can’t become an extrovert.

In fact, when it comes to leadership, introverts are confident leaders who are particularly effective at managing a lot of extroverts because of their listening abilities 😉

Being an Introvert is a gift. Today the world is in need of people who go deeper, think before they act, and look at things in new ways.

The world wants people who value meaningful relationships over meaningless small talks. And the world is welcoming thoughtful and contemplative people, who bring calm and wisdom to a room.

If you think you are an introvert, here are two easy methods that can help you with better socializing 🙂

  • Stretch the limits of your comfort zone:

It is always said that great things come out from your comfort zone. So, gather guts and talk to people.

Start with introducing yourself to everyone. Most important is, to start with the low key. Talk about things you’ve already experienced. Don’t hesitate to say yes to the outing plans.

It doesn’t happen in one day, but working on it helps you a lot.

My personally experienced method is volunteering. When I volunteered, I met a lot of like-minded people. We all were there to work for the same cause and improve our own selves by stepping out of our comfort zones.

Which made it easy for all of us to communicate with each other.

  • Learn to get involved in a conversation

By being involved I don’t only mean is to listen. your skills should be balanced in both the ways.

Sometimes, mere listening creates an awkward silence. It can be interrupted only by your talking. Thus, it is very important to develop conversation skills.

Being able to talk gives you confidence in various social situations. With practicing, you can definitely overcome your fears. You may also check 4 ways to improve your communication skills 🙂

Let us know how you feel about it. We’d love to know your views and what skills would you like to develop in yourself 🙂

We at AIESEC have many projects around the world which helps you to overcome your fears and gain confidence, apart from contributing towards world issues.

Check them out at www.aiesec.in/students

 


Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.

4 Leadership Lessons from Captain America

For more than 60 years, Captain America was one of Marvel Comics’ flagship characters, representing truth, strength, liberty, and justice.

Captain America, aka Steve Rogers, was a squirt from Brooklyn who just wanted to lend a hand against the Nazis. He never intended on being the best, just aimed at being able to do his part.

He had the guts and the passion to do what other big and strong guys did not, and so was chosen to be the test subject to become the first super soldier. The only thing experiment did was to make his exterior match his interior.

Captain America is a hero and not merely heroic. Even after gaining super strength, super speed, and super immunity he stuck to his values. He empowered his team in times of difficulties, miscommunications and looked forward to making an impact.

Among The Avengers, he’s the one who goes around with the police and helps get people to safety. While Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk break, smash and blow stuff up, Cap’s the one on the ground making sure there are no casualties. It’s the thankless role, but he does it and that’s why he’s the leader.

Now, why does he do and feel these things? Is it because he’s from an older, simpler time?

No!

Steve believes in what’s right and will fight to the death to make his dream a reality. He believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for every person throughout the world (unless you’re a Hydra or a Super Villain, then he has a few things to say to you).

Yes, he’s a superhero but it’s his human qualities that make him great.

Here are 4 leadership lessons we can learn from Captain America.

 

1. STEVE HAS STRONG VALUES, WHICH HE’LL DEFEND NO MATTER WHAT

One of the best things about Steve Rogers is his moral code. He has integrity and strong convictions, and he doesn’t compromise them.

Having integrity sounds like a boring personality trait for a movie character, but it’s exactly what draws other characters to him and inspires them to follow his lead. He never made excuses or complained when he was weak, and he always stood up because of his moral beliefs, and those beliefs kept him going.  

He had the guts and courage to stand amidst the odds and decide what’s best for his team. His convictions about freedom and justice help guide his decision-making and provide direction for his leadership.

How you can be like Steve:

Having integrity as a leader builds trust between you and your team. Interact and communicate honestly with your team members, even in difficult situations. If you have a vision for your team or organization, share it with them and make sure that your words and actions are in line with your vision.

2. HE EMPOWERS THROUGH ACTIONS, NOT JUST THROUGH WORDS

Leaders are often accused of talking but not doing. But the best way to empower your team is for you to do what you’re asking them to do.

That’s not to say that Cap never used a good rousing speech to fire up the team. You can use words to empower, but follow it up with action to show that you mean it.

Steve saw potential in Black Widow from the day he met her. Even though she came to the U.S. as a Russian spy, she deflected to team up with Hawkeye. Cap saw the greatness inside of her and supported her when she applied to join the Avengers, where she became a critical team member and they have been thick as thieves ever since.

How you can be like Steve:

Walk your talk. If you’re already shared your vision and goals with your team, then lead by example and act in ways that push you towards that vision.

The best leaders lead from the front and what they do empowers their team. If you show your passion for a project, that energy will transfer itself to your teammates. Get to know them.

Learn what motivates them, what their strengths are, and what makes them happy at work. The key is to grow with them, every step of the way.

3. HE BELIEVES IN TAKING RESPONSIBILITY AND HIS ABILITY TO MAKE CHANGE.

Regardless of how Cap may feel about political issues, he makes it clear that he does not, and will not, serve the demands of the government. Rather he’s interested in serving the people and the nation’s dream.

He has is own principles of justice, ideals, and morals from which his beliefs are unshakable. He will not compromise anything he believes in.

He enforces this time and again he’s not interested in signing over their ability to help people according to the needs of the society. He will stand up to anything and everything for the sake of protecting people.

Steve fights for what he believes is right and wants to help the world find peace. This makes Steve a hero through decades of change and turmoil. He can’t and won’t be bought, and he most certainly won’t be bullied by anyone or pushed around, especially for false gains.

Cap will always fight for the little guy because he was the little guy, and he understands what it’s like to feel helpless.

How you can be like Steve

Don’t be a leader who shifts the blame or avoids responsibility. If you’ve made a decision and it turned out to be a wrong one, acknowledge your mistake and learn from it. Use your experience and best judgment to make difficult decisions.

Your team will look to you for guidance and direction when things are tough so don’t shy away from taking responsibility. Believe in your ability to make this world a better place. Be a world citizen.

4. HE MAKES TOUGH CALLS WHEN IT’S REQUIRED OF HIM

One of the most difficult things a leader has to do is make tough decisions. Cap doesn’t shy away from that. He takes responsibility for a number of difficult decisions in the different movies.

Like when he tells Black Widow to close the portal at the end of The Avengers. You can see the regret and sadness about losing a teammate when making that decision, but he has weighed the situation and decided to do what was right in a tough situation.

He focuses on the good part and knows there’s nothing they can’t achieve if they work together as a team.

He makes his team feel positive and guides them to find a solution even in the darkest of time. He focuses on the fact that uncertainties will stay but there dream is bigger than these uncertainties.

How you can be like Steve

The most important lesson to all leaders that losing a tool or resource in your team doesn’t necessarily mean game over. It is important to never bank your strategy on a single skill/tool/person and learn to be adaptable when anticipating the unknown. Captain America believes in people and his ability, even when it looks like there is no hope.

Heroism and being a superhero is so much more than simply throwing punches, taking out the bad guys, and then having victory celebrations.

Being a hero means having empathy and kindness. And so does being a leader.

The real secret to Captain America’s success as a leader is that he is himself.

Take away the shield, take away the uniform, take away his title and at his core, he’s still the same scrawny Steven G. Rogers from Brooklyn. As already said, the experiment merely amplified what was already inside of him.

Hence, be as real, as authentic as you are. Don’t let your title of ‘leader’ change you, but let it magnify your strengths.

If you liked this you may also like “How to be a Harry Potter in a world of muggles”.


Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.

Are we human enough?

Another day, another year and time just pass by. It’s the same people, same routine and same habits. The days end for the resting ones to begin.

But among all the hustle, the commotion to different places, dealing with responsibilities and surviving the restrictions by the society, do we stop to see if we’re really doing fine?

Are we living the life we want to live? Are we adding value to anyone around us?

Damn.

kid say his mind is blowed

It’s hard to ignore the fact that thoughts like these, being the most crucial ones to define the structure of our real purpose or goals, become neglected by the end of the day.

And now that you’re back to being questioned on the real questions, let’s dwell in them and seek answers.

It’s often believed that no human is good or bad, but it’s their habits and circumstances that define their responses to different conditions. And it’s the choices they decide to make in those conditions that differentiate a philanthropist to a culprit in them.

So then, how do you ensure you bring out ‘more of the good in you’?

1. Be vulnerable

     human blindfolded

Starting with home, you can make it a practice to not suppress your inner voice and express the love and concern you feel for your family.

This helps in not only improving your relations with them but also in getting closer as a team and understanding each other’s needs. We’re always better when we’re loved.

2. Be aware of your surroundings

butterfly landing on dirty hand

Remember that you’re not living in an ideal society where everything is flowery and right. People tend to have varied mindsets and preconceived notions on matters, which may create issues.

Be knowledgeable about the ongoings in your neighbourhood, institute or workplace and take a stand for the suppressed.

It can be as basic as asking your siblings if they’re doing okay, helping out your mother at home, helping out a stressed colleague or supporting someone who’s being bullied. Or you can go further and feed the animals and homeless around you and the goodness just doesn’t stop.

3. Be empathetic

“Empathy is understanding their problems and knowing that it’s only luck that separates you from them.”- Unknown

Empathy is something that cannot be taught or instilled, but rather be thought upon and practised. It fuels connection and relates to ‘feeling with people’.

There’s no chance that you don’t see the underprivileged or the injustice around you, but it comes down to you being observant and taking the initiative to sort the issues out.

4. Take actions that actually make a difference

It’s never enough if it isn’t inviting changes. One must know that optimistic views invite contradictions, criticisms and intolerance from the opposite. But in the end, it’s the challenge you’ve taken and you have to get through.

Once a decision is taken, there’s never looking back.

human saying she wants to put an end to that

The more you treat it as a responsibility than an option or obligation, the more you enjoy the process of change, the more you spread happiness and the more changes you bring!

5. Being kind is not an option

Let’s encourage the idea of being a human as a human being and be generous and righteous. Let’s set the trend of being the cool that cares.

Be considerate and treat this trait as a strength.

This can be the true way of leading the odds. What sets you apart from other is the degree of how much you’re own self, and there’s kindness in everyone.

If we want to live in a better world, we should be the ones to take the first steps.

The Humanitarian Day revolves less around acknowledging the ones who made a difference, and more about how we can be better every day, for ourselves and for our world.

So now, it’s all up to you: will you be more human every day?

If this article interested you, you may also like to read this beautiful story about humanity and love.

And if you want to know how you can make a difference you can check our volunteer opportunities here.


Written by

Vanyashree Chaudhary is a light-hearted Journalism student from Delhi. She’s crazy about her love for graphic designing, Oreo shakes and Daft Punk. Find her the happiest while she’s traveling!

How self-aware are you?

Once in a while, we find ourselves completely lost. We follow the way that has been designed for us, similar to a manikin or a puppet, and still locate ourselves in the middle of nowhere without a map or compass to manage the way, or a cell phone to call home.

That is the thing that life is: an incomprehensible Bermuda Triangle.

You have nobody but yourself as a resource to remain above water. We spend the greatest years of our lives going to class to figure out how to be something.

We’re not generally beyond any doubt of what that something is, but despite everything we go to class, do homework and concentrate for tests. Some invest more energy than others, but we all try.

In reality, books won’t lead you out of the forested areas. You can’t search for answers in the dictionary, and a map will never lead you where you should go. All the training and knowledge on the planet can’t make you whole.

Qualifications don’t come with a purpose. You can have straight A’s forever, however, they will never lead you to your identity. Schools don’t teach you much about yourself. The discovery of the self is the most significant lesson you were never taught.

Finding out about yourself ensures you a route past money and achievement. When you are self-aware, you are a power to be figured within this world since then you are ahead of everything.

A majority of people have no clue about who they are, and you can easily tell by their mentality and life-decisions. Being self-aware means winding up more beyond any doubt of yourself by setting benchmarks and seeing precisely what you need.

What helped me get self-awareness was my volunteering experience.

Here are 3 things my volunteering experience helped me boost:

Becoming self-aware

Being by myself, helping other people for 6 weeks gave me a lot of time to think about me. It made me realize how I can do much more than I ever thought. The need to interact with people from all around the world made me reflect a lot on my own beliefs and habits.

I can honestly say that I came out of this experience knowing much more about myself that I ever thought I would, and I take this knowledge for life.

Confidence

During my exchange, every day there was a new challenge, and I had to overcome it alone. And this made me realize strengths that I never knew I had.

Before, I would tremble and question my ability on doing a lot of things. Now I know that, even if I’m not able to do something yet, I can always learn it.

Life fulfilment

Of course, being out there helping an NGO is extremely rewarding!  Seeing the smile on people’s face, know that I actually made a difference, it’s priceless. We have the horrible habit of taking care only about ourselves and focusing on our own lives, but there’s so much we can do, even with small actions, to make the world a little better.

These three elements made me more prone to have an uplifting point of view towards my life and objectives.

One of the advantages of volunteering is that it gives you a nearby look at how your activities are affecting people around you. Besides, being a piece of a volunteer program can influence you to feel glad and give you a sense of purpose.

Volunteering can fill voids in individuals.  

Helping other people may enable you to conquer individual battles and give your life new significance and a sense of purpose. It takes your mind off of your stresses and makes you meet new experiences and individuals that may even influence you to land at new answers for them.

Moreover, volunteering keeps you mentally empowered and as said by Wharton educator Cassie Mogilner, it influences you to feel like you have additional time.

Stepping out of your comfort range of familiarity is among the advantages of volunteering abroad. This encourages you to accomplish your personal objectives and set new ones and be in a steady condition of self-change. Volunteering additionally makes you more self-aware and making you a better version of yourself, it improves your own quality in your eyes.

Do you have a fantasy? Do you have an objective? What moves you to attempt an idea?

These are the start-up devices for executing your fantasy. Where does one discover such devices? For many people, finding these devices resembles searching for a buried treasure. Not knowing where to look, the vast majority acknowledge life as it is given to them; what could be possible?

People who have discovered achievement can help make conditions where others discover the instruments for progress.

Tall boats have a demonstrated achievement record for helping individuals discover their basic purpose for existing. 6 weeks on board a tall ship, as a crew member, will change an existence until the end of time, it’s your marathon, it’s your hustle.

Most tall boats are preparing vessels to build character, confidence, and self-assurance. To put it plainly, it changes lives. So let’s become a Global Volunteer today and board this tall ship!

Blog by- Anisha Bhawnani