Why Psychology needs more Importance in the Modern World?
Psychology is the scientific study of the cognitive and behavioural ability of human beings, dealing with thoughts, emotions, feelings and actions. It is the scientific cousin of the philosophical ideologies that have existed since centuries. And it has a greater role to play in the modern world- the importance of psychology in the modern world which I am going to discuss here.
Having diverse branches in almost every field, psychology is one of the most respected fields of study today. Some of the most important branches of psychology are-
- Cognitive psychology
- Child psychology
- Social psychology
- Counselling psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Health psychology
- Organizational psychology
- Personality psychology
And many more I may have missed. And we have heard of them quite often too.
In sweet and short, psychology takes account of the human behaviours and their relation with different aspects of life such as career, relationship, personality etc. But, how does that impact the modern world, you ask?
Before I dive into it, let me warn you. It may seem interestingly familiar. But, stay with me. As the blog has the power to open up the right tools for you to implement the psychological awareness within yourselves. That is what I say real bonus knowledge!
A brief History Lesson for All
Before psychology, philosophy was founded and conceptualised during the era of Plato and Aristotle. Their theoretical ideologies were later scientifically experimented and philosophy evolved into its new branch- psychology. However, it was only during the 19th century that psychology branched out as a distinct scientific subject for researchers to explore and students to learn.
By the 20th century, it became a respectable and acknowledged subject. In fact, World War I and World War II had opened doors to more psychological knowledge. During the time, the human race witnessed a huge crisis. A crisis that forced many researchers to contemplate the motivation behind the heinous crimes that were committed during the era.
Those curiosities transpired into famous psychology experiments of all times- Milgram Experiment on Authority, Solomon Asch’s Conformity Experiment, Watson’s Little Albert Experiment on conditioning, Zimbardo’s Stanford experiment on the capacity of doing evil- and many such experiments on social psychology and beyond.
Such researches paved the way to the importance of psychology that it has garnered today. And it has also encouraged future scientific studies on various ideologies both clinical and humanistic. Most importantly, it will keep refining our knowledge and concepts on our consciousness, behaviours, emotions etc.
Now that we are done with the history lesson of psychology (phew that was a lot!), let’s get straight into what psychotherapy means.
Birth of Psychotherapy
Since the dawn of human civilization, we are seeing an increasing trend in people with psychological problems. The problems can be as mild as mood disorders, stress, anxiety to full-blown disorders like schizophrenia, major depression, delusions etc.
Such cognitive community crisis needs help. And fast! The price the society has to suffer due to mental disorders is huge. Interventions and research have been the need of the hour ever since. And thankfully so, it gave rise to Psychotherapy and Counseling. Also, more reforms and awareness led to the formation of proper institutions like APA.
Since its rise, various ideologies have been hypothesized, experimented and studied for better resolutions. From functionalism, psychoanalysis, behaviourism to cognitive psychology, the journey has been very insightful.
Each domain of these mental treatment therapies or more correctly psychotherapy- have shown results and achieved success in relieving people from their emotional distress. Due to it, these therapies are still accepted and followed worldwide.
Different therapy follows different concepts and rules to treat patients. Therapies like CBT believe in changing behaviours and thought patterns to become a better person. Whereas psychoanalysis focuses on the underlying issues related to the unconscious mind for proper diagnosis. And there are many such therapies- some concentrates on behaviours, some on positive thoughts while some include spiritual component too.
Why is Psychology important especially today?
We know that psychology deals with our mind, thoughts, feelings, behaviour, actions- the exact essence of who we are. It allows us to understand ourselves better. Why psychology is important is because of the importance of our cognition to human development- more so in the modern era. More and more psychological distress is reported each year. Why?
The modern era has allowed us to invent mind-boggling technologies. Definitely, it made our lives easier. But our mind more distraught, distracted and dilapidated. Imagine you stop using your left arm for a day.
2 days? A little numbness. A week? Your arm starts feeling agitated. A year? Your arm will be unable to lift objects. It will become useless. Do you know why? The muscle degrades when you don’t work your arm constructively. Same goes for the mind.
Our mind is the epicentre of our thoughts, emotions and feelings. But we let it loose. We have stopped using our brain the way we used to do even a century ago. Today, we don’t need to remember big phone numbers or do critical thinking while finding an address. Our smartphone does it for us.
Biologically, we are not equipped to keep our mind unemployed for long. That is why we find ourselves over-thinking on past and future events on loop.
Victor Frankl in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, he emphasized to find a passion in life which recruits your mind’s power to constructive work than destructive. And voila- your life will transform into a positive, enriching journey. This gave him the inspiration for Logotherapy.
Not only Understanding Self but others too
Apart from understanding ourselves, psychology allows us to accept others around us. It not only improves relationships but also leads a path to a thriving career. Psychology is the torchbearer to different prospects of our life- say it social interactions, developmental guidance or sports guidance, mindfulness. So, if you ask me- should psychology be given more importance in the modern world? My answer is a big yes!
Psychology can help a person in all aspects of life. From children (school psychology and developmental psychology) to the elderly (gerontological counselling), it leaves its mark everywhere.
Apart from the cognitive and behavioural changes psychology can help us with self-diagnosing our mental and cognitive problems.
Adding to the myriad of capes psychology wears today, it has another major contribution to neuroscience and medical domain. Clinical psychology deals with severe mental health patients needing critical assistance to recover and to find a normal life balance. It also has an important role in rehab centres, criminal jails and forensics.
In other words, psychology is required wherever human treads. Hence it is a necessity for a successful society.
But are we giving enough due diligence to mental health as citizens? Hmmm..A question to ponder about.
Since you are sticking till here, something tells me… you are very passionate about psychology and wants to bring a change. So, let’s find out more about how to do it collectively.
Role of Psychology in the fast-changing world
A world that we see today is changing at a rapid speed in front of our eyes. Unable to cope with the rapid change, many have fallen victim to depression and anxiety. And slowly (without awareness) we are normalising the symptoms.
If we keep normalising a world with depression, OCD, ADHD, we are fast digging our grave so to speak. Our face to face social interactions are at an all-time low. Though social media apps keep us connected 24X7, it does little to the process of personal interaction like- sitting, talking, laughing, eating, relaxing. Listening and adjusting to the other person with patience has become a rare sight of communication that hardly few possess anymore.
We naturally tend to stay in groups. Our psychological tendencies to form groups are still intact but due to the lack of communication skills, we are failing big time in relationships. And it is one major cause of rising divorce cases across the globe.
Unfortunately, we are causing our own sadness and stress. We don’t like compromising in our relationship. And yet we blame our significant other for not meeting our own high expectations.
How do we go about it? Become more self-aware. And the best way to start is by doing meditation. Meditation is an effective way to enrich your inner life, infuse positivity and helps you relax.
Work life stress
With time, we have managed to do one thing well. We have found effective ways to work smartly and to achieve higher productivity. But, it does not mean we have reduced our work hours. Working for 60-70 hours a week has a direct impact on our stress levels. And more so, when we are dragging through it.
A work-life balance is important for better mental and physical health. It is important to rejuvenate ourselves from time to time to cope with the stress associated with work.
Well, work is there to stay. So… how to remain stress-free? It is not possible to become stress-free when you are a VP of a company or a financial investor.
But taking a vacation in six months can help you relax. Again meditating daily can have a huge positive impact on your mental health.
Nature has a healing power on us. Somehow we have forgotten our connection with it. And both our out-of-touch lifestyle and the work pressure are creating fancy modern life illnesses of an epidemic nature- blood pressure, thyroid, diabetes, cancer- you name it. So, try to stay in nature as much as possible. Go running or dog-walking at a park near you. I bet, you will feel instant mood-lifting.
Children and Youth
The most vulnerable to our dynamic ever-changing world is the children and the youth. They have to adjust not only to society but for their survival too.
When new discoveries are made and technologies are updated, the academic curriculum also sees a change. The teaching platforms keep upgrading from one mode to other. Adjusting to such changes can have an impact on children’s psychological growth. Even more so to children with developmental disorders like autism.
Also, children with neglectful parents or no friends in the early stages of development can grow as adults with low self-esteem, authority issues or adjustment problems.
Youth, on the other hand, face a huge challenge to understand the market dynamics of the economy and find a role to fit in. Though young people are the most flexible to change and adjust, keeping oneself updated to new inventions, technologies and integrating it in their work project, may not be an easy task for those starting out. It can build a lot of stress to and anxiety to compete in the competitive world.
The Way Forward
We are not used to a fast-paced life. We have learnt to adjust to this lifestyle just a few hundred years ago.
It may seem ironic that we are successfully moving ahead with our new technology and science inventions. But, in contrast, we are going reverse. The glamorous idea of work slavery and a cut-throat lifestyle is impacting our basic needs of social interactions, adjustment and understanding within a community. And the most important thing that we are losing in the process is being self-aware.
The social world as we know it- is disintegrating- slowly and quietly. As a result, counselling and psychotherapy are an urgent need for anyone who is constantly churning and stretching to adjust to a lightning-speed life. Counselling is becoming a necessity. And in the future to come, it will become more prevalent.
To cut long story short- psychotherapy and counselling help people to fight mental health problems and bring happiness back to their life.
And if you find it difficult to contact a psychologist or a counsellor, it is okay too. With a little bit of self-discipline and hope, one can fight psychological issues like stress, anxiety and depression. This can be done with meditation, journaling, reading good books, exercise, deep breathing and a massage a few times a month will add to the relaxation.
However, keep in mind, if someone in your vicinity or yourself has a serious mental health disorder like schizophrenia, delusions, severe depression etc, medical interventions are a must.
Speaking of intervention, have you heard of the way therapy helps in crisis intervention during a crisis?
Since the onset of battles in the past including WWI and WWII, humans have gone through tremendous misery and grief.
Something similar is coming again. The current COVID-19 pandemic is creating a crisis at a global level and the people in the crisis work will fall short. We need to start working on the trauma management program effectively.
School counsellors and organizational counsellors are an urgent need in our society too for saving our future generations from strangling their life to ruins. People are feeling lonely and disconnected from the world in these times of the crisis.
So coming back…
Yes, the importance of Psychology has definitely increased over the years. But, more focus should be given on the better and broader practical implementation of psychological therapies in our daily life. More people should be made aware of it. And normalising it is vital to reduce the parasitic societal issues like depression, suicides, anxieties etc.