India’s Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu brings back the Miss Universe 2021 crown after 21 years and addressed the mental pressure youth suffer nowadays

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On December 13, Indian Model and beauty pageant titleholder Miss Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu won the crown of Miss Universe at 70th Miss Universe Pageant held in Israel. 21 years old Harnaaz represented India at International platform with utmost confidence and brought the pride back after 21 years. Earlier Harnaaz has been crowned as Miss Diva Universe 2021, and after winning the pageant, becomes third Indian participant to be crowned after Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta.

Harnaaz in one of the rounds of pageant, roared like a tigress, calling herself from India and indicated, that she is here to stay and win the crown. Now her winning response is swirling around the internet and is clearly drawing an impact on youth. The question she was asked, what advice she would give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressure they face today? ‘The biggest pressure youth is facing today is to believe in themselves. Stop comparing yourself with others. Come Out, Speak for yourselves. You are the leader of your own life. I believed in myself and that’s why I am standing here today.’ Her answer was applauded and the crowd cheered her and supported her belief, while she gracefully took a confident stance after she finished her round.

As a 21 years old girl, Harnaaz passed an issue of lack of self confidence youth face nowadays. She cleared, if she can do it with confidence by her side, so can each one of us. Dr. Seema is a psychiatrist and affirmed the idea of having belief in yourself. She said, ‘Yes, every word Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu said on that stage is true. one should always believe in oneself to move forward. You have to take that one step yourself. No one is going to do it for you, you should be the one standing with you. You are your own voice and you should always be proud of it.’    

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Dr. Seema conducts counselling sessions thrice a week and have encounter such issues very commonly in her patients. She said, ‘Todays generation has this peculiar drive of comparing themselves with others. Financially, romantically, socially, academically, they tend to compare each aspect of their life with others for lot of reasons. And one major reason is lack of confidence. People believe that they are inferior than others and keep their morale down, because of it.’ She further added, that it is very important for youth to understand this mentality and to come over it. On asking, why this comparing drive is being followed in a large number, Dr. Seema told Eat News, ‘Let me tell you this, one of the biggest reasons is social media platforms. People posting fancy pictures, giving insights of their luxury lifestyles, vacations, work is influencing mass. It has become a pattern where you follow your influencers and keep a track on their routines. Then you try to adapt the same kind of lifestyle till whatever extent you can. This is contributing in comparison drive and is building lack of confidence in majority of youth. But including mental health questions in beauty pageant and getting a confident and an exact answer from a youth itself is a progressive change. ’

According to Dr. Seema, why thousands of youths is suffering from depression and going through stress is because of overthinking and loading too much on their brain. She said, ‘The pressure one is building is due to overthinking. Today everybody overestimates a simple situation and dig deeper into it until the brain gets tired. I know it is not possible for people to stay positive all the time but to create the positive environment and stay in it for a while could be one’s priority.’ While giving an average number of her patients, Dr. Seema attends approximately 29 to 30 different patients in a month. Due to work from home criteria, her lot of patients avoid therapy sessions in person and opt for either zoom calls or telephonic sessions, which has been introduced because of Covid times.

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In one of the surveys, around 14 per cent of youth within 15 to 24 years old in India is depressed. That suggests one in every group of seven people is going through stress and finds little interest in doing anything. ‘Not only depression, anxiety attacks are also a noticeable issue among today’s youth which should not be taken lightly. Mental illness can cause health issues and deteriorate the body from core. One has to take care of their body and mental peace by start being self-aware about these topics and educate others similarly,’ said Dr. Seema. Adding to, what one can do to cope up from depression and such mental pressure, Dr. Seema advice to start meditate. She said, ‘Meditation will give peace and rest to your mind which is an immediate requirement. Other than that, one should start indulge themselves in any sort of activities or hobbies, something that makes you happy and freshen up your mind from daily routine tiredness.’

Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu proved, that self-confidence helped her to win this crown and by standing up for yourself, you can achieve your dreams too.

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Shefali Ranawat is an Eat News correspondent in India. She want to be the voice of people. Also, she aim to be a war correspondent.

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