Written by Chang Chi Yin | Edited by Zantal Siah
World Health Fest 2019 (WHF ’19) was a new and independent event organized by the IMU Scholars Society on April 6 and 7. Themed ‘Blurred Lines: Chasing Happiness’, WHF ’19 aimed to raise awareness among Malaysians in 4 main areas, namely health, body, mind and spirituality. “Living along societal standards and terms of beauty, personality, and quality has formed blurred lines between health and happiness.” The project leader of the event, Asuka Joy Tobuse, believed that it was paramount for Malaysians to realise this dilemma and resolve it in order to pursue their own happiness.
On the first day of the event, AIA Vitality, KPJ Healthcare and Mercy set up their booths and offered various health services. Simultaneously, a health seminar was held at the Auditorium. It began with a short introduction, where Ms Archana, advisor of IMU Scholars Society, welcomed the audience and thanked the event organisers.
The first speaker was Ms Miyen Low, a clinical psychologist whose speech was titled ‘Loving Others Without Loving Yourself’. She designed a simple activity for the audience; they were asked to send wishes to their loved ones in mind, then to their loved ones and themselves, and finally, only to themselves. From the results, she concluded that 78% of the participants showed more compassion towards others; 16% of them could balance between loving themselves and others; and the remaining 6% were more compassionate towards themselves. She then emphasised on the importance of self-love. “This imbalance of loving others more than the self can leave us with blurred identities. By cultivating self-compassion, it allows us to be more authentically ourselves.”
Next was Ms Ain Nur Liyana binti Othman, a cancer survivor from the National Cancer Society of Malaysia who had battled against and overcome endometrium cancer in the span of 11 months. She stated that any difficulties in life could be resolved when people had positive thoughts. In her case, she was optimistic throughout her chemotherapy treatments and tried her best to be as active as a normal person. She also shared that as the eldest sibling, she believed that it was her responsibility to take care of her family, and that was what kept her going. “Support is really important for cancer patients and as a cancer patient, it is better that outsiders are treating us like normal people rather than patients,” Ms Ain added.
The third and final speaker was Dr Shariful Hasan, a medical doctor and clinical neurophysiologist at KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital as well as a certified hypnotherapist and advisor on stress and weight management at Daily Health Wellness Centre. His topic, ‘Are You Stressed Out?’, focussed on the ways of dealing with stress physiologically and psychologically. According to him, 6 guidelines should be met to cope with stress: getting good nutrition, following a good diet plan, avoiding certain foods, improving the immune system to enhance nutrient absorption, psychologically countering stress and exercising. While the mind and exercise each make up 17% of stress management, the regulations and requirements for food take up 66%, thus signifying the importance of fulfilling the food guidelines to live a better life. He also imparted that “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”, or in other words, the greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another. Besides his speech, Dr Shariful also demonstrated a form of hypnosis to deal with stress.
For the second day of the event, the IMU Scholars Society organised an outdoor hiking activity in collaboration with the IMU Alumni Team. A total of 46 IMU students, alumni and staff visited the Chilling Waterfalls at Kuala Kubu Bharu, which was the perfect place for a bonding session.
All in all, WHF ’19 was a success and many students were made aware of the significance of both physical and mental health in achieving happiness through this event.