Shehryar Munawar: “We must learn to curb over-thinking and be kind to ourselves”

Shehryar Munawar opened up about his bike incident in 2020 and how it encouraged him to pick up meditation and reading

Mahnoor Jalal

Mahnoor Jalal

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Sheheryar Munawar was a guest at Fuchsia Magazine where he opened up about his motorbike incident last year and how it played an important role in his approach towards mental health. Sheheryar recalled the traumatizing moment when he was riding alone at night and toppled over a mountain:

“I was driving in the mountains late at night. I was travelling to Hunza, and I remember I was only a few minutes away from my destination and it was already late night so I thought about making the complete journey. Then I suddenly hit a ditch and both me and bike toppled over the mountain. I remember a lot of people then came over to help me, and then I was in the hospital . I was lucky I was not in a lot of pain, even while I was undergoing surgery.”

This incident had changed how Sheheryar Munawar approached his mental health because he recalled that previously he was quite a perfectionist and since childhood, he would not let go of a project until he was completely satisfied with the way it was done:

“Ever since I was a child, I was quite a perfectionist in whatever I did because I would completely get stuck on a project and keep working on it until I thought it was good. But now I have learned that it’s good for your mental health to remind yourself to relax and take breaks before completing something.”

Sheheryar Munawar said that one of the most important tools he taught himself after this incident was the ability to be patient, which he said was a tricky concept to learn because previously he use to be quite restless and had compared learning the habit to going to the gym:

“This accident had taught me that people need to learn to evolve to move on. Previously there was a lot of restlessness in me. It was quite tricky to learn something like patience, I’ve learned that its like a muscle which you need to practice daily. It’s like going to the gym, the first day you won’t understand anything, and then slowly you will pick up the pace and become a regular member. This is the same way I learned to practice patience.”

Sheheryar also opened up about how his incident helped him understand the dangers of over thinking and giving himself time to think and reflect on his place in the universe. He said that previously he did not have a lot of time to himself given his hectic schedule as an actor, but during the pandemic he picked up hobbies like meditation and reading to help understand himself:

“I don’t think thinking is easy, it’s useless thinking that is quite easy. However, it is thinking with clarity and understanding which is something quite difficult, and for that you need to understand the way your mind works and how you can come into control of your thoughts. Previously I had not set aside time to focus on myself and my mental health as I had a quite difficult work schedule, but now in this pandemic I’ve picked up some hobbies that helped me in controlling my mental process. Meditation was a wonderful thing that helps you calm down and control your thinking process. I also picked up a lot of books like “The Prince” by Machiavelli which discusses the process of a negative person’s way of thinking. I feel that we need to be aware of the negative side of the human brain and so we are careful not to indulge in to it.”

Overall, the actor said that the experience helped a lot in controlling his over-thinking and perfectionism, and helped himĀ  come out of his previous mindset by thinking about his purpose and the role he has to play in the universe:
” I think it’s very important that we all understand that our work and our ambitions aside, we should all think about our place in this world. Every one must have a purpose in their life in order to keep going. I have not discovered it yet but I am still trying to learn it. But through this process I have learned that I am not alone and I have to be kind to the universe. My dad use to recite this poem to me by Ghalib that I love and read every day. It is:

Na tha kuch to khuda tha, kuch na hota to khuda hota
Duboyaa mujh ko hone ne, na hota main to kya hota‘”

You can watch the complete interview below: