Inspiration is crucial for a robust mental health. The mind as a crucial component of human existence gets attacked, assaulted and at times battered through daily interactions with our wives, husbands, siblings, children, colleagues and business partners.
We are vulnerable to negative emotional expenses such as hurt, bitterness, hate and sustained anger that are capable of shutting down the continuous flow of our vital psychic energy. We pay this price for being higher animals and in possession of minds with sophisticated cognitive functions such as intellect, emotion, affection and conscience.
Irrespective of race or colour, every human mind survives on a continuous dose of inspiration. It is the act or power of exercising or stimulating influence upon the intellect or emotions that invariably provide energy for the mind.
Religion is one of the most potent avenues toward achieving this and it explains the upsurge of religious activities in the country. Traditionally, religion is an essential facility deliberately designed to supply inspiration for the mental well-being of the people through sacred instructions, which could be formal or informal.
One of the priceless vehicles of inspiration is the spoken word either in interpersonal or corporate settings. When we interpret written words in our holy scriptures creatively, they are capable of uplifting and energising the mind, especially in moments of discouragement.
Positive words furnish positive energy while negative words drain energy from the mind and perhaps, pre-condition the mind for mental distress. Communication styles as channels of inspiration are very crucial to mental health. Our words can make one sick. It can also heal.
Parents need to ensure that they inspire their children because they are the primarily the socialising agents they see. Children come into life with empty mind slates programmed through the words we speak to them.
Words are capable of activating resilient forces of character like courage, faith, patience, love, fortitude, tolerance, forgiveness, cooperation and trust, just as words can activate negative psychological forces like hatred, bitterness, prejudice, and envy.
Children, who grow in the atmosphere where people speak positive, inspiring words, do better in life than those who grow in the atmosphere where bitter and negative words are predominant. Our educational instructors know the value of positive words hence their preference of negative reinforcement to punishment in correcting children. Negative reinforcement dwells more on getting the child to learn the consequences of misdeeds through experience rather than negative, punitive strategies in words and actions.
The bottom line is the creative use of words to correct without discouraging. Embedded in our religious practices are chants, rituals and recitations that inspire us for different situations and circumstances.
We see music as the food of the soul because it is a rich source of inspiration for the weary soul. Certain brands of music have been associated with the creative thoughts prominent in the lifestyles of our outstanding music legends.
The cinemas need to appreciate their enormous impact on the psyche of their viewers and should produce films that uplift the mind rather than those that induce depression. Even at a personal level, the capacity of an individual to generate inspiration ultimately determines the overall quality of his life, especially as one grows older and the empty nest syndrome sets in when the children have left the house and one is retired.
This capacity comes through daily meditation on sacred scriptures, listening to selective music and contemplative interactions with significant others that can inspire.
Early morning prayers are usually emphasised in all religions as a strategy of infusing the mind with adequate doses of inspiration sufficient for the hassles of the day.
Africans may need to learn more contemplative techniques, which are channels of inspiration rather than orgies, noise-making, emotional dissipation and excitation. This art of extracting inspiration from the activities of our daily living is of utmost importance in guaranteeing mental well-being.