Begin typing your search...
New Year resolutions a sign of good mental health
Positive resolutions at the end of a planetary revolution are expected this time of the year, with ideals of five days at the gym and six days on a diet flooding the senses on January 1. Just keep them specific and attainable, said mental health experts in the city.
“Many people have external and internal locus of control -- meaning they base their success or failure on an external or internal events. New Year is an external event, and many are motivated to make resolutions at this time,” said psychiatrist Dr Mohan Raj. Those who have external loci of control are driven by the need for external validation, which is why they are public with their resolutions for the year.
Dr Ennapadam S Krishnamoorthy, the founder of Buddhi Clinic, chalks up the tendency to make a resolution on New Year’s Day to the ‘anniversary effect’, or the tendency to remember and honour an event based on a calendar date. As the New Year signifies a new beginning, many are enamoured towards making resolutions, he said.
Most resolutions are positive and aspirational, said psychiatrist Dr Lakshmi Vijayalakshmi. “It shows a sense of self-awareness and the ability to look within yourself. They let you know what needs to be done in your life to reach the destination of your choice. Resolutions are self-affirmations for where you want to go,” she said.
Resolutions go hand-in-hand with personal and behavioural changes, and for many, it is difficult to form the habit of their choice, she said. “I have noticed that the issue with many resolutions is that they are not realistic. You have to set attainable goals for yourself that can be worked on,” saidDr Krishnamoorthy.
Failure to meet resolutions may cause feelings of guilt or regret, said Dr Raj. “The reason is that many share their resolutions with society and so there is accountability attached to it. This can cause stress or feelings of failure,” he said.
Yet setting resolutions is a good sign overall, said Dr Krishnamoorthy. “It shows that people are looking forward to tomorrow. Many people suffering from mental health issues like depression do not look forward to the future. So, showing this kind of positivity is a sign of good mental health,” he said.
However, not all set resolutions, said Dr Raj, and that is not a bad thing. “Resolutions can be set at any time of the year. What matters is the resolve and persistence to carry it out constantly to reach your goal,” he said.