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Generational Conditioning and Its Impact on Mental Health

For centuries human beings have, knowingly or unknowingly, passed on beliefs and ways of life to future generations. These include traditional, cultural, racial, economic, social, educational and religious beliefs. Although we have evolved tremendously over time, there are many aspects of our life that were ingrained in our DNA aeons ago; things we continue to perpetuate. Some of these beliefs and ways are out of date and damaging; its time we identified, examined and questioned them. 

Why is it necessary or important that we detangle this huge web of our individual inner existence? Because a lot of these old worn-out ways of life affect our mental health as well as our wellbeing. Let’s make this tangibly understood with a few examples:

Example 1: Educational conditioning:

A family consists of high academic achievers as this was a requirement for over 5 generations. This one child cannot get her head into studying as she is naturally attracted to artistic expression. What is going to happen to this child as she grows up? She is going to be made to feel there’s something wrong with her. That she is not good enough for the family. That she is letting the family down. Ultimately, she will end up with mental health issues.

Example 2: Racial conditioning:

Due to our deeply ingrained belief (emanating from colonialism) that white is more powerful, smarter, better etc when a person of colour marries a white person, that belief will show up inevitably within the relationship. Unless these beliefs are examined, worked through and discussed openly there will be a sense of inferiority and could again affect mental health.

Example 3: Religious, traditional and cultural conditioning:

The belief that the only type of beings God created are a man and woman and they can only have a relationship with each other. The truth is, gays, lesbians – the LGBTIQ community have existed since time began. And yet, this is still a huge topic of contention in our world; having a different sexual orientation will, therefore, cause one to carry deep guilt, shame and a sense that there’s something wrong with them. Many people do not admit their preference due to all these taboos and end up living very dissatisfied unhappy lives.  

With these examples, it is clear how so many of our old outdated beliefs take away one’s self-expression, dignity, humanity and self-worth Let’s make 2021 the year the journey from within begins for us to become who we really are.

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