Table of Contents
Around 10% of people in the developed world are on antidepressant pills, and around 40,000 Kodokushi happen in Japan every year. Kodokushi is lonely death when the body is discovered rotting several days after the death. According to WHO, about 25% of the global population suffers from emotional and mental illnesses. Talking about India, every year over 2 lakh people commit suicide. However, if we keep these numbers aside and ask ourselves – am I happy? the answer would probably not be a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Because we are living in the age of manufactured happiness, wherein we are taught: if I drink Coke, I am happy; if I wear Armani, I am happy; if I stood first in the class, I am happy; if my spouse is wealthy and good-looking and loyal, I am happy...
|A) At Sehatvan(Forest Protocol)||+ B) Home Protocol|
|15 to 20 days||3 to 4 weeks (1 to 2 follow-up calls)|
(All inclusive of module fees, boarding and lodging)
|Indian Participants:||International Participants:|
|INR 40,000||USD 600|
About the Module
Okay, let's not ask this difficult question.
Let’s try to understand – what are we looking for? Psychologists and philosophers have burned their midnight oil trying to figure this out. One simple answer could be that we are looking for three things: Freedom, Togetherness, and some High.
'Freedom' and 'togetherness' often exist in contradiction– we seek one and we lose the other. As far as ‘high’ is concerned, we often slip from the need to feel ‘high from within’ to look ‘higher than others’. This desire to be ‘higher than others’ makes us competitive, and we slowly become competitive in all the aspects of life, including relationships. and hence, you lose ‘togetherness’. This way these elements look quite opposing to each other, and it is for this reason why finding happiness is so difficult and why almost all of us are emotionally compromised. And perhaps, this is what we keep doing our whole lives – searching happiness and fulfillment, in simple words - being emotionally good or healthy. Hence, boosting emotional health is a quest for everyone, and remains for a lifetime. Different approaches work with different people, in different situations, and with some of you, Sehatvan’s this fitness module might work, or at least take you ahead from where you are.
You could be having an army of people around you, millions of followers, a large joint family, living in one of the most populated cities, traveling in a train with not even a square inch of emptiness - you may still feel lonely! You might have looked for completeness, having full freedom and self-reliance, and you may feel lost, and see a sense of worthlessness creeping in. So these are the things, the attributes, that may enable us to assess one’s emotional health. It could be difficult to quantify these things as the measurement is very subjective, still, individuals may make their own 1 to 10 or minus 3 to plus 3 scales.
Let’s now look at some of the sources that might fill the needs for freedom, togetherness, and high. The need for freedom comes because of our ‘self’ or ‘ego’ element and from the quest to become complete. And it could fulfill not by getting separated from others, as it comes in the mind first; we often find a person or a condition to blame for our lack of freedom, the freedom actually could come by gelling with people, places, and the habitat as a whole. It is also through togetherness that one can reach freedom. As you increase your connectedness you start feeling oneness with more and more things, and as the ‘other’ disappears you feel free. Of course, to feel the bond of togetherness one needs to get into relationships, become part of a community in a non-competitive set-up; because, if set-up remains competitive one may never feel togetherness despite all the physical and legal arrangements. And, if we could expand togetherness beyond the family, beyond the city, country, or humanity, take it to the entire environment; the existence might give us a sense of freedom. You feel free when there is no other. Freedom could also be obtained by practicing minimalism because as you keep becoming minimalist, you start feeling liberated or freed from many things.
To feel high you need to have proper nourishment – physical and emotional - and your basic needs met. Apart from this, there should also be intermittent glimpses of excitement or a continued baseline of solidarity. Togetherness ultimately comes by keeping good relationships and freedom or libration by becoming self-sufficient and well infused in nature. Separation from basic elements and nature is also a substantial cause of loneliness.
Two widely used practices to address emotional issues are – psychotropic and psychological; whereas, we are herewith proposing an altogether different approach and calling it ‘physiological’.
In the psychotropic approach, you take the help of some substance and you end up dealing with the brain or nervous system, rather than dealing with the mind. One could take as innocent-looking substance as tea or coffee, or move on to something more substantial like smoking or alcohol, or may further venture into illicit drugs through traffickers or prescription medicines through doctors. This approach is good to show some immediate effect, and it does meet the crisis at hand; however, it utterly fails in resolving the issues. Moreover, the substance being addictive they push people towards overdosing and complicating not only the emotional health but whole health in general. Some estimates suggest that 75% of drug addicts in the US weren’t initiated by drug dealers, it was by prescription pills.
The psychological approach somehow looks harmless and soothing. A comedy show, a football match, some pornography lift people’s minds, likewise, online games may provide a lot of high, the adrenalin rush. Similarly religious and spiritual practices – chanting mantras, meditation, etc. look helping. In India, there are some gods like Tirupati Balaji or Vaishno Devi, or some so-called gurus that can make one’s all wishes fulfilled. And of course, there are many forms of counseling, including elders' advice, which is available. The biggest limitation with psychological approaches is: they create a ‘pseudo sense of well being’; and hence, become a trap, and later a pain, in themselves.
We are herewith proposing an altogether different approach that neither involves psychotropic substances nor any kind of brainwashing, cleaning, or engagement of psychological approaches. This approach is based on the law of Nature and Wild. In the wild, it is hard to find depression or loneliness because three biochemicals - Calciferol (or vitamin D), Serotonin, and Oxytocin remain fine tuned. Although we are using these chemical names, taking those things as chemicals from outside isn’t effective, they must get fine-tuned and boosted from within. Hence, for the time being, we are using the names of these biochemicals, in the real sense, there could be something else, and we might change our terminology as we discover that.
When you take enough sunshine you feel a kind of fulfillment and solidarity, and this sense of fulfillment and solidarity, and strength (you feel strong in your bones and muscles), actually liberates you. You feel a sense of completeness. You drop the desire of accumulations, of carrying too many supports; because you have that kind of fulfillment from within.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and has many functions, including creating a sense of ‘reward’ or feeling of ‘high’. We have found that after 2 hrs of strenuous physical labor enough serotonin is released to take one to the state of feeling high, periods of less than 2 hrs aren’t effective. Serotonin is also a precursor for dopamine, which is also responsible for feeling high; and for melatonin, the sleep hormone. Because of dopamine your high sustains, and because of melatonin you get high-quality sleep, which eventually improves mental clarity.
Oxytocin is a hormone of kindness, of giving. It is because of this hormone that mothers breastfeed, and cows give milk. We feel that if this is maintained at a good level, you don’t feel alone. When you do something by heart, and selflessly, in the interest of others, it becomes an act of kindness and your oxytocin boosts up; and boosted oxytocin takes away the feeling of loneliness. Also, the act of kindness doesn’t need to be done to fellow human beings, doing it to any plant or animal species works.
Sehatvan’s protocol for boosting emotional health doesn’t have multiple phases as are in other protocols. The whole protocol goes in the same manner. Calciferol is boosted by sunshine, serotonin by hard physical labor, and the oxytocin by an act of kindness or selfless service to others. Herein we also include the use of mud and cow dung for their anti-depressant properties, and some emotional catharsis techniques.
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