Third year Graphic Design student Krupa Maisuria from De Montfort University (Leicester) describes how a #DMUglobal trip changed her life forever, helping her to take the final steps towards mental health recovery.
Taking a year out to recover from crippling anxiety between her second and third years, Krupa bravely joined the student-led trip to Belgium with De Montfort Students’ Union Krishna Consciousness Society, supported by #DMUglobal.
#DMUglobal is the university’s programme which gives students the chance to enjoy valuable international experience during their degree.
Krupa said: “It changed my life forever. Truly. And anxiety? It can be controlled. My #DMUglobal experience proved it.”
She continued: “I will be able to show employers that I am able to step out of my comfort zone and take risks when faced with a challenge and also that I have interests outside of my design life which is spirituality. They will be able to look at this trip as a great example of going through a journey to get the best out of a bad situation.”
During the first few days of her trip, she experienced a terrifying panic attack, but not letting this stop her, Krupa said: “This was actually the biggest and most fulfilling moment, as I realised that it was purely my body reacting to something harmless and it was possible for me to achieve what I wanted.”
Fellow students on the trip were understanding and helpful. She continued: “The students really looked after me and allowed me to progress at my own pace.”
Read Krupa's own blog about her experience
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While in Belgium, the group stayed at Radhadesh Castle, a Hare Krishna Temple, where they experienced a daily schedule of activities including painting, drama and music sessions, as well as spiritual classes and mantra meditation known as Kirtan.
Using the mantra to help overcome her anxiety, Krupa said: “I remember feeling so utterly free to be who I was.”
She added: “It is okay to live a life with mental health effects and it is possible to achieve the unimaginable.”
On one of the days, the group spent 12 hours dedicated to mantra, during which she was able stay calm and healthy.
She reflected: “I remembered having a permanent smile on my face for the whole 12 hours as I looked back on how worthwhile it was to take the risk to come to Belgium.”
Not only did she use the trip to recover, she also was able to apply learning to her degree, saying: “It has allowed me to be more empathetic towards different target audiences that Graphic Design would engage, as I now take design briefs carefully by placing myself in the consumer’s position to allow me to think of a suitable solution.”
Krupa is currently helping to run fortnightly youth events called Leicester Jammin', alongside her studies, using the energy from Krishna Consciousness principles to help others.
Also referred to as bhakti yoga, Krishna Consciousness is based on 500-year-old philosophies which promote spiritual happiness.
Posted on Monday 4th January 2016