The Pursuit Of Happiness is an initiative by IEEE Travancore Hub 2021 to spread awareness on the importance of mental health and also to extend support to those who find it necessary. We aim to extend our hand in support of the society conveying a message that “We are in this together”.
We believe that with more and more people sharing their experiences and views on mental health, we can develop the collective power that can slowly highlight and create the possibility of breaking these patterns and allow the process of bringing new narratives that address mental health issues.🤍💚
#breakthestigma

~Team, The Pursuit of Happiness

   A wise man once said, “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most” ~Buddha

   So go, grab this day and live the hell out of it. Today, bad things may happen, you might not have a great day. But, that’s okay. Tomorrow, you and your day will begin again. Today is actually a pretty good day. Look at you. You are amazing. Your Smile is beautiful, and you brighten the lives of those around you. There is a fire within you. Always remember to nurture that flame.Laugh. Love. Spread Sunshine. Smile. Be fierce and fearless. Breathe. Be brave. Be strong. And seize the day.
Don’t wake up with the regret of what you couldn’t accomplish yesterday. Wake up while thinking about what will be able to achieve today.

Always stay happy ❤️

– Kavya Praveen”

“I feel blue”

   This has been heard by many of us. Either we have felt it ourselves or we happen to have heard them through our friends, cousins, or someone we know. Have you ever said things like “Do something productive and use your time more efficiently and then you’ll feel better” or “Don’t be silly, you are fine?“ -If you have said something like this please kindly read ahead knowing that you have no idea about mental health issues.

   Mental health is something as vital as oxygen. Like how oxygen helps us to survive biologically mental health helps us to sustain and keep our body and soul together. There are many kinds of mental health issues including Anxiety disorders, Bipolar affective disorder, Depression, Dissociation and dissociative disorders, Eating disorders, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Paranoia, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Psychosis.

    Compulsions are time-consuming and distressing repetitive rituals. Therapy and medication shall provide to be useful to people with OCD.Dissociation is a mental process where a person disconnects from their thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity. Eating disorders can have serious psychological and physical consequences.

    Paranoia is the irrational and persistent feeling that people are ‘out to get you’. Paranoia may be a symptom of conditions including paranoid personality disorder, delusional disorder. PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop as a response to people who have experienced any traumatic event. People affected by psychosis can experience delusions, hallucinations and confused thinking.

   Did you know that untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to significant impairment on people’s daily lives? OCD is an anxiety disorder,obsessions are recurrent thoughts, images or impulses that are intrusive and unwanted.

   I haven’t mentioned a mental health issue that is quite common and yet nobody is paying much attention to it.Something that I’m sure and sorry to is say that more than half of you reading this would have experienced it atleast once in your life. It is none other than depression.


valid feelings
   When someone says they are depressed what do people usually suggest?Take a break,watch something that feels good,spend less time in social media or anyother such home cooked remedies.Well this can be prove to be good sometimes for a person having less struggles. But the situation when it comes to severe depression can be only sorted with a therapy and only with a therapy shall it be done.Also providing them with the maximum support is something that you can do.

   When someone needs help,be there for them so that someone shall be there for you too.The next time when someone tells you they feel lost.. well… you know what to do.   Depression is a mood disorder characterised by lowering of mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy. It is not just feeling sad. There are different types and symptoms of depression. There are varying levels of severity and symptoms related to depression.Severeity in the symptoms can lead to unthinkable events.

– Anagha Rajeev”

“EMOTIONAL FLATLINING (ANHEDONIA)”

   We all feel a little blue at times. Maybe we had a bad day or week and that makes us sad, lacking motivation and having no interest in doing the activities that we would normally enjoy. These feelings of unwillingness to do the things we love, won’t usually last long. Once everything’s settled, we return to our normal selves. Well, most of us. If this feeling lingers around for a longer period of time, it may be anhedonia, or in common terms, emotional flatlining.

   A common misconception is that only people suffering from depression or anxiety experience anhedonia as a symptom. It is true that this anhedonia is closely linked to depression, but it can also be as a result of or in conjugation with other mental health issues. Even stress, burnout, or chronic stress can trigger anhedonia.



   And also, it necessarily doesn’t mean you experience zero pleasure or happiness, it may be experienced fully but briefly, or partially, not long enough to maintain an interest or involvement in the action.

   However, like with any other mental health issue, it is not self diagnosable. It is important to rule out other physical ailments and symptoms. Losing the ability to feel can be horrifying and confusing. However, there are always people and treatments out there to help you. Anhedonia is much more complex than numbness and should be treated as such. The most important takeaway is that it’s always possible to feel again.

– S Neha”

Risen to Heal by Ann Rose Cleetus

Deep maybe broken inside,

shattered into pieces,
wounded so bad,
painful crack
ripping apart the heart,
fallen down onto ground,
with broken wings,
waterfall of tears
gushing through,
two small doors- the eyes,
but this flowing tears
isn’t a sign of weakness,
take the broom of positiveness
and clean the floor of negativeness,
the broken wings doesn’t mean
not to fly again,
take up,
new wings of courage
fly above all the weak moments,
self love- the best glue,
to stick together
all those broken pieces,
wounds take time to heal,
but never let it
get deepen,
pour into it happiness
to overflow the sadness,
Hope – every little thing
Is gonna be alright

“REVISITING AN EXISTENTIAL TRAUMA”

   It took the death of a young actor, fair and rich enough to make you think significantly about mental health and depression. Though we are unsure about the reasons behind whatsoever happened to the above-addressed, I’m pleased by the way humans are reacting.
There are many, who died unable to handle the silence they were forced to maintain. Mothers communing suicide as a result of post partial depression , students ending their lives unable to study ‘enough’, youngsters dying succeeding a breakup. Where are we in the tree of evolution?.
This very day, we are ready to listen to others for they should have someone to talk to, else what if they too ….
But for how many days will that offer persist? And above all, are you mentally fit to listen to someone’s else???

“INTERNAL BLISS”

   There are times when you find the entire point of your existence completely meaningless. Every second you try to make the most out of the moment and convince yourself things aren’t that bad.
People come and leave, you fear of loneliness and in the end realise that solitude is a bliss .
We do take time off when we are physically unfit . But aren’t we ignoring the times when we really do need a break. The times when a cup of tea or a puff of smoke ain’t gonna get rid of your weariness!
It’s unfair when you complain…I’m being ‘lazy’. It’s unfair because you ain’t trying to know why I’m being the way I am. Let me just find the girl who lost her way in the world of delusions. When she returns, I too will!

“GULLIBLE MIND AND PERSUASIVE WORDS”

   I admire the brilliance of the one who stated that a pen is mightier than a sword.
Do you even know that one out every 3 individuals consider themselves in the state of temporary mild depression on a daily basis and thus rely on motivational quotes and inspirational videos to gather themselves out of the pit of darkness?
May the reason be anything…professional, personal , public, physical or psychological ,the reign of motivational videos and the career of several speakers 100℅ depends on your weakness .

   
Remember that the ones who promise to help you out through their powerful words are made of the same elements as you…remember that every quote comes from an ordinary man just like you…
Someone quoted that ” every heart is a reflection of mirror..how soever you try to put the pieces back it would never ever be the same again…” . I appreciate the skill of the creator and his literature excellence .
But isn’t it your decision to decide what your mind is made up of? …it can be the mirror that breaks into hundreds of pieces once it falls….or else it can be the nanites that makes up the armour of the well known ‘Marvel ‘ that has self repairing mechanism. .
A mind under dilemma or sorrow depends on a source of light..a source of inspiration…words deliver the purpose in the form of quotes…a shallow mind easily digests the words in colours …especially when its source of origin is a reknowned happiness expert.
It’s necessary and interesting to see the world through someone else’s eyes. But be confident to deal with a problem in your unique way.Every man is a creation out of the same mould…expertise defines level of wisdom.
Words are creation of mankind and never let words empower you above your own inner voice.

– dhara_madhav”

“BURNOUT”

   Picture someone who spends most of their time in bed, lying down and not doing much, someone who easily gets tired and doesn’t feel like doing anything. Now, while most of us would label this kind of behaviour as mere laziness and nothing more, there’s actually a lot of overlap between laziness and burnout that can make it difficult to differentiate between the two.
A term often misused and thrown around by a lot of people, burnout is defined as “a negative state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive stress and an inability to cope with it.”

   If you’re suffering from burnout, one of the things you might be experiencing but don’t quite realize or understand is depersonalization, the persistent feeling of being detached from oneself. It basically means you’re living life in an “auto-pilot” mode, and emotionally numb, and you constantly struggle with an overwhelming sense of helplessness and inability to take back control of your life.

    You used to be self-motivated and high-achieving, often excelling in various fields, but recently, you are struggling to find interest in things you were passionate about before. Be it a talent, a sport, or your academic/professional performance, burnout can make it hard to do things you were passionate about, or even make you hate it, because of how much you pushed yourself to the brink for it. You may also find yourself irritable, out of control of your emotions, and neglecting self-care.
It is also to be noted that burnout occurs in phases, and so, these changes just do not occur overnight, it happens gradually, over a period of time.
Remember it’s completely okay to feel so, and it’s possible to get out of this. Here are some ways to overcome burnout, restore your wellbeing, and prevent detachment from work.

    Watch yourself, so you don’t fall twice. It requires observation to recognize why you’re feeling what you’re feeling. Knowing what caused the distress and what doesn’t work for you helps with restarting with an enthusiastic attitude. Is it a work-no-break schedule, reduced sleep hours, isolating yourself from people you’re close with to get things done, or anything else, think and find the cause, so you don’t repeat it. Once you know what the cause is, either change or add to your schedule.
There is no better feeling than being in touch with your close friends and family. So, if you are avoiding your close set of people, get together. It’ll make a great difference. Also, have a time period where you will not spend time on your electronic devices if it is a cause preventing you from focusing more on your self-care and having a good time in general, doing things you like.
Finally, it is important to reframe your views on work, especially as you have just got out of the rut of overworking yourself.
Remember, don’t be afraid to seek help. You are not alone in this.

– S Neha”



   

– By Vignesh R

main
   

– By Sherhin P P

IMPOSTER SYNDROME AND PERFECTIONISM

   I write an assignment. Just because a couple of lines are slanted, I rewrite the whole page. I want to submit an article for a competition. But I don’t, because I don’t think it’s good enough. Ever been in a similar situation? This is basically what perfectionism and imposter syndrome is.

   Perfectionism, though a positive trait, can really hinder our day to day activities, even slowing them down, when it crosses a healthy boundary. When we want everything to be flawless, even trivial tasks end up being more time-consuming. For instance, we all know that the corresponding faculty is just going to glance through our assignment and toss it away, still, we tend to waste a lot of time by making it “the perfect one”. That doesn’t mean you have to submit a shabby one, but you know what I’m trying to say, just don’t overwork yourself. When you’re unable to decide on your own, ask your friend or a trusted colleague to proofread your work in the initial stage and once done, what they think about the assignment before you redo it. Chances are, this itself will be great!.

WhatsApp Image 2021-06-10 at 2.58.21 PM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2021-06-10 at 2.58.20 PM (2)
   Most of the times, perfectionism and imposter syndrome go hand-in-hand. Imposter syndrome is when an individual constantly doubts their skills and achievements, despite external evidence of their competence, and tends to think that they do not deserve all they have achieved. They attribute their success to sheer luck. While humility is an appreciable quality, in the case of imposter syndrome, it has a negative effect, since it cripples their capability and performance. When not dealt with early on, this self-doubt can turn into a rigid belief system that can interfere with hope and scope for improvement. As in the case of perfectionism, when your close set of people tell that you are talented at something, instead of just brushing it off and assuming it is flattery, do take a moment to think about those and develop the skills. Because your close set of people gain nothing by flattering you.

– S Neha”

Taking the First Step.

   In anything and everything we do, the hardest part is to take the first step. To start something new is always difficult.

   Even a blade of grass struggles and pushes as it sprouts out of the Earth. It can be anything, as simple as striking up a conversation or starting a new project, they all feel equally difficult. This feeling that we lightly call “Starting Trouble” often stops us from taking the initiative or expressing ourselves as we want to, when we want to. While people try to overlook it or not consider it very serious, this is something that can end up with bigger consequences than we imagine. To force yourself to start things anyway is how many people deal with it. However it’s important that this feeling be dealt with carefully and healthily.

Fear of Failure
   
This fear could be due to a lack of confidance, in yourself or the idea. We need to remember- There’s an equal probability of Success and Failure, in anything we do.
However if we don’t try, there will never be a chance of success! So believe in your chances and the potential of success that you have. Try to overcome your fear and take the first step. “What’s the worst that can happen? ” “What’s the best outcome possible? ” These are the questions you need to ask yourself and make a decision based on your priorities and what is important to you. And if you do fail, then it’s another lesson learned, another step closer to success. Failing is okay, just don’t fail to try again!

Feeling Overwhelmed
   
Often the things to do turn into a pile and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You can’t start not because you are afraid, but because you don’t know where to begin. The best way to deal with this, is to take small steps. Break down the task at hand into smaller and easier tasks and go through them at your own pace. After all, small water drops make the Ocean and you will soon find the task completed, that you were struggling to just start.

Fear of the Future
   
It’s human nature to fear the unknown and the future is the biggest unknown factor. Every minute, every choice we make, the future keeps changing in ways we can’t understand. It’s natural to worry that you are making a wrong choice, or to fear where you might end up. However we can’t live in the present, if we try to foresee the future. Focus on what you can do something about- the now, the today. Be aware of your decisions and think them through. Deal with today and you will be able to believe in yourself. You will then realize that you can deal with whatever tomorrow brings, the way you are dealing with today.

Lack of Motivation
This is the most difficult reason as what motivates and inspires each person is different. One small thing we can do is to try to remember ‘the why’. Why you wanted to do something in the first place, why it’s important to you. You can always ask for help from others or try to help yourself by setting up a self-reward system. Taking breaks and enough rest is important. Do not force yourself to act. Do not stress over approaching deadlines. Do things at your own pace while staying positive. Create a routine if it helps you, but make sure your goals are simple and achievable.
   To find the solution to any problem, first we need to figure out the root causes. The most common reasons for this feeling in an individual are the Fear of failure, Feeling overwhelmed, Fear of the Future, and Lack of motivation.

– Anagha S Menon”

Finding Hope by Anagha S Menon

I don’t know what the time is..
but I guess it’s pretty late.
It’s dark on the outside
it’s dark on the inside too.

All I hear is the clock, the minutes ticking away.. and I wait in the silence for the alarm to ring,
signalling a new start,
a new day.. and I hope against hope
that it will be different.
Another chance, for me to get it right.

But it never works out that way
It will pass just like any other day
And I sigh
And I wonder why
I wonder why I cant even cry.

I wonder why its hard to breathe
I wonder why it’s hard to love..
No.. not love. Just like..
to just like myself.
Why I can’t look in the mirror
and smile
like I once used to
Why I can’t get rid of all these voices
that follow me
Voices I dont know
Telling me, yelling
that I can never be..

Everything that I have always
wanted to be, so badly.
Voices that stab at me..
Exactly where it hurts.
They insult me and taunt me,
pointing out all my faults.
Telling me that noone cares and there’s nothing I can do.
And somehow I can’t help but wonder..
What if it is right?
And now it’s so bad.. that I am..
I am starting to hate myself.

Days passed and I don’t know what the time is, I think it’s still early
it is a little lighter outside
it is a little lighter inside.

On the days when I couldn’t love myself
I was lucky I had others
to route for me and support me
and to tell me all my virtues,
when all I could find were faults.

Maybe it’s true what they say,
that time helps, because today
I look at the mirror and I can smile
I know I am not perfect, but I know
I am not that bad.
I know I can improve, I can survive
I can learn and I can grow.

You don’t know the time,
but it’s never too late.
Look outside, look inside,
you will find a light, if you can find hope.
And one day, you will start,
to love yourself. Flaws and all.

OK Google, Does COVID affect our mind?


   
When the pandemic forced all of us into our homes, I am pretty sure that
everyone got to have a one-on-one session with the weird part of your own
mind. I think the biggest weird thing that my mind wanted me to do was to
gather an army and go around the world liberating each and every animal from
the zoos and cages, because somehow my mind started drawing similarities
between our current lifestyle and theirs. But this was not the only thing my
mind whispered to me…

   Being an average student, my life was already somewhat filled with
anxiousness and fear thinking about the future. The only thing that kept me
tethered to hope was being with my friends and spending time with people
closest to me. When Mr. -19 took that away from me, I was trapped in a room
where the walls kept shrinking day by day. Thinking about it now, I can actually
map my pandemic life into several phases. Phase one would be the beginning,
where all I could think about was me being there in the dream come true: No
college, no classes, full on chilling. Boy, was I wrong! Phase 2 would the
hyperactive phase when I found time to do everything! Games, courses, web
series… to be honest, I am lucky that my eyes still work.

   
Then came Phase 3 which was after being stuck in phase 2 for almost 3
months. During this period, slowly my mind found it hard to find the reason to
continue Phase 2 or simply to do anything and gradually slipped into panicking.
Concerns about the future, online classes, exams everything started to flood
inside my head but I still found strength to lock and bury all of them
somewhere.

   This was followed by a series of phases. Thinking back, I am surprised how my
parents still kept me inside the house. Anger issues, anxiety, fear, everything
got amplified. Some emotions didn’t work anymore while some others where
out of control. When I went out to get supplies or anything, I couldn’t stand
seeing a couple of friends together or a group of people because I didn’t have
an option to have that. Some nights I cried myself to sleep. Some nights I didn’t
sleep at all. Worst of all, I didn’t know why this was happening or how to stop
this.

   Then the night came. After having a quarrel with a friend of mine (Anger
issues, you know), I just couldn’t take it anymore. I called another friend and
just exploded. I let out all the things that I had buried inside and that person
luckily had the patience to sit through 4 hours listening to me go crazy.
After that night, after listening to the things that person told me, I understood
that almost everybody was facing issues similar to this. Everyone is fighting
their own battles. The only thing to keep in mind, is to find an anchor, and
instead of burying your emotions, let it out into the air once in a while. You’ll
be surprised how much of a difference it would make.

– Niranjan K Variyar”

Society’s Puppet wants Out by Anagha S Menon

All her dreams came true..
What about mine, what about mine?

I don’t wanna do this anymore
watching from afar
I wanna live my life too
holding it tight with both arms.
I am tired of holding it all in
the jealousy, the sadness, the anger
all these dark feelings
that just need to go out now.
They need to go out and
NEVER come back.
They’ve been poisoning me,
killing me from inside.. stealing all my real smiles

Making me feel all fake.

I am tired of not knowing things

not doing things and just sitting here

Thinking and thinking and

maybe overthinking.

I think I got too easy, felt too fine

just sitting here, wasting all my time

Waiting for her to say I am good
and just “Whoosh!” change my life.

But I got it all wrong..

And I know that now.

The one I was changing for

was her, who did nothing but judge me,

blame me and pull me down.

Don’t wanna be a puppet anymore

Don’t wanna listen to her anymore

No thank you.

I’ll make my own choices

Live my own life.

All her dreams came true..

Now it’s time to see dreams, that’re mine

Taking the First Step is always hard.
However ways to deal with it are quite simple.
Do what works for you, but let nothing stop you.
Because though the first step is hard, it needs to be taken.

A Proud Presentation by IEEE Travancore Hub