Welcome back to One Good Thing, Stylist’s Sunday series that asks experts in mental health for the one good thing we can all do to boost our wellbeing.
This week, we asked Gaur Gopal Das, the author of the new book Energize Your Mind: A Monk’s Guide To Mindful Living for his One Good Thing.
Hello Gaur! If you could recommend one good thing everyone can do to improve their mental health, what would it be?
My One Good Thing would definitely be the ‘feel, deal, heal’ technique.
The first step towards dealing effectively with our emotions is to understand what they are. Psychologists call this labelling, which is the process of identifying exactly what we are feeling. Then, after we have correctly identified our emotions, we need to find appropriate ways to deal with them.
Of course, many times we leave a situation understanding our feelings and thinking we have dealt with them appropriately only to realise that there are some long-term effects. Just as physical injuries to our skin can leave scars, emotional injuries to our mind – trauma, regret, grudges, resentment –can also leave scars that then need to heal.
How does thinking about our emotions this way help?
Because it requires one to be honest and conscientious with oneself. On self-reflection, if we find that there are some internal issues that we aredealing with, we can then seek help. We can employ self-help methods or seek professional help based on the intensity of the issue we are dealing with.
Why is thinking about our emotions this way helpful?
Because the ‘feel, deal, heal’ technique helps us to go deeper under the surface of our superficial feelings and emotions and helps us tap into and address subtler nuancesof our mental and emotional issues.
Interesting! So what are the benefits of this technique?
It shifts me from the passenger seat of my life, where I can afford to be distracted, to the driver seat, where I take complete charge of my feelings and emotions and with focus lead my life in the direction I want.
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Are there any pitfalls of the ‘feel, deal, heal’ technique we should try to avoid?
Self-help can sometimes make us forget that certain issues may be beyond our ability to solve. In those cases, we need to be honest and seek professional help.
How has doing your One Good Thing changed your life?
It has made me come out of the autopilot mode of life, where we just live from one day to another, one event to another, in a routine manner. It has made me more mindful and has helped me live in awareness of my inner self.
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