In Search of Sanity

Sanity means to think and behave in a normal and rational manner. It reflects a sound mental health. This is a very subjective definition and everyone has their own way of being normal and rational. Understanding of sanity has changed over a period of time, thanks to rapid advancement in technology. Somehow I feel that we are seeing lots of mental illness because of considering few behaviors as normal, and may be they are not. This mental imbalance also results into physical illness. We feel getting back our sanity when we are out of our current lifestyle and when we are close to nature. This itself gives us a strong message which we are ignoring.

Let us first try to understand with few examples as how we have changed the definition of what should be our normal and rational behavior. Few years back it was considered normal when we used to say prayer before eating our food with family. We used to have a conversation on how our day went and what all things we did. Nowadays it is normal to have food alone while having cell phone in one hand and checking Facebook or WhatsApp. Not sure if we are really enjoying the food.

Another very serious example is sharing our feelings and emotions with our close friends and relatives. I remember that if I had any problems or if I was excited about anything, then either I would call my best friend or will go to his place to share my feelings. I felt very light and refreshing once I shared my problem with my best friend. However, nowadays it is rational to share your secrets, your feelings and emotions on social media and we expect hundreds of people to react on the same. I assume it is quite normal and rational behavior now.

I have so many examples on the same, but I will end it with this one. I recently went to attend a talk given by a very famous speaker. There were thousands of people present at the venue. The speaker told everyone to sit down and asked to stop the recording through cell phone so that they can focus on what she was about to say. She continued her talk and explained something very meaningful. She said that instead of enjoying particular scene that is in front of our eyes, we want to capture it in our camera. So instead of enjoying that moment we feel that it is more important to have it stored somewhere in your cell phone. Irony is that, then we share it with hundreds of people through social media to get as many like as possible. So it is normal that we don’t enjoy the scene, but we want other people to give us like on the same. I guess living the life through social media and not in real world is the new rational for us.

We do not have to accept something just because the entire world agrees to it. How many of our daily activities actually gives us the peace of mind? I do not feel peace when I am scrolling through Facebook or while reading Whatsapp. I also do not feel better by sharing my personal feelings with the world. I find sanity when I find peace of mind. If I take a step back and try to analyze all these situations, then I feel that we are not only losing our sanity, but we are also becoming weak.

First we need to redefine our sanity and take control of our life. We need to structure our daily life in such a way that it includes all conscious and meaningful activities. We might still have some things which really do not add any value, but they should take our minimum time. I am not saying that every day you go to temple or to forest to find sanity. If we do everything with consciousness, then we can find peace even in this concrete jungle.

When I go on vacation, I try to analyze as what makes vacation different from my normal life. Definitely the places have their own energy and we are relaxed as do not have to go to work. But, apart from that I also noticed that the main attraction is that I am enjoying everything including every bite of food I consume. Suddenly I am enjoying being in the garden because I notice beautiful flowers. I enjoy because I get into deep conversation with my family. I enjoy because I notice their happiness and it gives me the best feeling in the world. It gives me feeling that I have accomplished something. That analysis made me realize that it is how much focused we are or how much detail we notice and how much conscious we are that gives me my sanity back. When you are conscious, you only chose happiness.

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