Unrealistic cut-offs and stiff competition make the Delhi University admission season a cause for immense stress among students.
Living in a society with the constant pressure to become a better version of us, performing to the best of our capabilities, and thriving to succeed all the time — all this becomes burdensome. A student who managed 91 per cent in the board examinations is not happy with her grades, since the competition is so high that she may not get into a good Delhi University college. Many students and parents consider even coming second in the class a defeat, since everyone wants to be on the top and, when they cannot achieve this, they might suffer through stress, anxiety and depression.
According to the 2015 data from National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), one student commits suicide in India every hour. In 2015, the number of student suicides stood at 8,934. In the five years leading to 2015, 39,775 students killed themselves. The number of attempted suicides, many unreported, is likely to be much higher. Out of 2,543 students, 1,360 below the age of 18 years (school students) and 1,183 in the 18-30 age bracket (pursuing higher education) — committed suicide in 2015.
In 2016, the number rose again with 9,474 students ending their lives, shows NCRB data. But this is not only the case with students but even adults, working late hours at their jobs that they are not even happy doing, which causes a lot of stress in their lives. This all seems a part and parcel of life but what we cannot see is that the stress and burden of achieving targets in the office, working hard to get increments, is causing many problems like depression, insomnia, backaches, ADHD. Apart from going for medications as a solution, people are also opting for yoga, therapy and healing modalities as an alternative.
Harneet Kaur, ex-banker, talks about her experience, “I have worked for more than a decade in a private sector bank and became a branch head when I was only thirty years old. I have always been very ambitious and constantly lived in the mental state of proving myself as a girl to my grandparents who adopted me from my biological parents when I was only one year old. With the constant pressure of achieving targets and running a whole branch was causing me a lot of stress and I wasn’t even aware of it.” Harneet was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, an auto-immune disorder in her thirties and, at that time, there was no cure for this disease.
“I was born with a faulty gene, which was diagnosed in 2004. My doctors had said that I may not survive for a long time and then, after my grandparents’ death, I went into depression. With no hope from medications, I started looking for other options to heal my body. Not only for myself but also for my young children,” she further adds.
Ayushi Jain, a tuition tutor says, “There are students who come to me under a lot of pressure. I have seen that either parents are putting pressure on children for good marks, or students are stressing themselves out because the level of competition has sky rocketed in schools.”
“Parents must support their children and they must never pass on their anxiety to their children. It’s a competitive world, there can be failures in life which does not mean it’s the end of everything. Children give in all and try to get in. But there are limited seats. Parents must never impose their choices of career on kids, children must be free to choose their own subjects and college choice,” says Guntasha Sangla, a school counselor.
“One should start believing in themselves, choose the subjects they are interested in, more than the college name. Think clearly and apply. One be mindful during choosing, even if they don’t get into the college of their dreams, it’s not the end of the world. There are multiple options. Children must have courses or colleges in mind. And not corner themselves to one area. This is no time for peer competition and bragging,” Guntasha added.
No matter how Herculean the problems and stress of children may seem, stress can be minimised by Yoga, meditation, music, dance, among other techniques.
One can also combat stress with Theta Healing. This was what came to Harneet's rescue after all hope seemed lost. It is an energy healing modality founded by Vianna Stibal, based in Idaho, USA. It is a self-help guide to a person's ability to heal using the Theta brainwave. “Theta Healing is a meditational process that creates physical, psychological and spiritual healing with focussed prayer through the Creator” says Vianna.