Chandigarh (The Hawk): NSS. Panjab University organized a Webinar on Covid 19 and Mental Health, today.
Prof. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor and Chief Patron of webinar addressed the audience about the need and relevance of conducting such webinars. In his opening address, he talked about critical times and how we should come together and move forward. Prof. Kumar apprised the audience about the fact that how life process is guided by our mental health and it does not only affect us but our whole society and at the end, encouraged everyone to do such more events in future and invite speakers from various diverse backgrounds.
Dr. Akshay Anand, Professor at Neuroscience Research lab, Department of Neurology, and Prof. in charge, Centre for Mind Body Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh was keynote speaker of the event. He started by thanking everyone for this opportunity. He talked about how for the last 20 years he is working on various animal models for the brain which can mimic a disease and working on various approaches like drug approach, therapeutic approach. Dr. Anand enlightened the participants about how stress is the primary cause behind every disease and talked about preventive approach because as such there are no drugs available for many diseases like for genetic code, Alzheimer, Parkinson etc. which can fully cure these. Discussion unfolded around sister stresses emerging in various categories like in kids, women, men, teachers, professors etc., causing symptoms like loneliness, fearfulness, anxiety, insomnia etc. in turn further leading to chronic stresses like stress for not getting vaccine, constantly checking your pulse rate etc.
Giving evidence and insight from various research studies, he further substantiated his claims using various facts and figures. He also cited one study conducted in the USA with a sample of 82000 people over a period of 8 years and the result showed that 43% of people died who believed they had stress and they could die of it, uncovering the role of positive attitude in dealing with various mental and other health problems. Stress shall be considered as a response of our body like increased heart rate as a way to handle it. Dr. Anand , further cited another interesting study that showed that we have in our heart receptors for oxytocin which is the hormone released in stress which shows that moderate amounts of stress is good and increased heart rate causes increased blood flow to our brain which is again good.
Giving insight about his third study, apprised that unlike animals we are much more conscious and can regulate our stress on our own by doing various things like music, sports, endurance exercise, yoga, social interactions .e.g. in yoga we have 8 fold paths of yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi and also various protocols of yoga. Various coping strategies like Ayush Common Yoga Protocol so as to deal with these mental issues were discussed. Interesting fact is that people recovered from Covid-19 infection have shown more resilience and improved enduranceA fair number of researches have proved that these yoga protocols are helpful in reducing stress. Participants appreciated the learning that moderate amounts of stress are good for the health of individuals, however what matters is how we perceive stress, and the way we train our mind. At the end, he said that we should try to perceive it as a positive attitude towards it.
Earlier, the event was initiated with a briefing of the webinar theme by coordinator of the webinar, Dr. Naveen Kumar. Prof. Ashwani Koul, Patron of the event and Programme Coordinator, NSS-PU welcomed the guests and enlightened the audience about NSS and its various activities during the pandemic. Dr. Naveen Kumar, Programme Officer, NSS, Panjab University along with Dr. Nidhi Gautam introduced the dignitaries among 186 attendees belonging to various parts of Punjab and Chandigarh.
Dr. Arun Singh Thakur, Assistant Professor, UIHTM and Warden, BH-7 handled the questions and queries from participants.
Dr. Vivek kumar, Chairperson, Centre for Medical Physics and Programme Officer, NSS-PU proposed vote of thanks. The support of senior faculty members of Panjab University including Prof. Rakesh Malik, Deputy Director, Directorate of Sports, Prof. Jagat Bhushan, Controller of Examination, PU, Prof. Sanjeev Sharma, UIAMS, Prof. Seema Kapoor, UICET and Dr. Monika Aggarwal, UIAMS in successful conduct of this webinar was appreciated. The efforts of students' coordinator team including Diksha Gautam, Suruchi Rishi, Neha Thakur and Hitesh Gupta were appreciated.