It is no surprise that the pandemic-induced confinement of most of the world’s population led to an increased interest in all forms of health and wellness approaches. We are social beings at the core, and the effects of extraordinarily limited human contact beyond our immediate families, and limited spaces to move around in are expected to have effects through the coming months and years.
As the walls of social and psychological separation went up through masks, social distancing and the fear of getting infected, we looked inwards to find that innate connection that comes from being human.
Philosophers and thinkers through the ages have professed this truth, across civilizations and cultures – All humans are connected, and if a person finds that spark within themselves, physically, mentally and spiritually, they will not need to look for fulfillment in material things, but will realize their connection to all of humanity and the cosmos.
“Why are you so enchanted by this world when a mine of gold lies within you.” Rumi
Through the pandemic, disciplines like meditation, yoga, and mindfulness have found new students and followers as the popularity of online classes and apps allowed easy access to everyone. For those who trust hard facts – the revenue for the top 100 mental wellness apps doubled to $1.1Bn from 2018 to 2020.
e all have read the numerous stories of how people have transformed themselves physically in the last year through focus and moderation. The Quran guides us on this as well:
“Eat and Drink and do not commit excesses; Indeed He does not love those who are excessive (7:31)”
For the followers of Islam, praying five times a day not only keeps the mind focused on God’s bounties, and the human’s place in the universe, but also forces physical cleanliness, and key movements of the body throughout the day.
Let us hope that this renewed and expanded interest on personal well-being is not a temporary event. As we spend moderate amounts of time on our physical well-being, not only do we benefit personally, but we are also able to give more of ourselves to our families, loved ones and friends. As we meditate, practice mindfulness and yoga, or engage in similar activities to quiet our minds and be in the moment, we are likely to find contentment and peace inside ourselves. As for finding our spiritual equilibrium, the experts point to focusing on something much bigger than ourselves – whether it is God, the Universe, or some unseen but not unfelt higher power. As the world collectively moves towards the new normal, we need to be patient, and retain the spirit of the thoughts and actions that got us through the hard times.
Blog and artwork by Zulfiqar Rashid