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Anxiety: How should we address it?

Mitakshara Medhi

Team I am government

Simply put, anxiety is the apprehension about the future. It is a natural part of our lives; it is in 'order' up to a certain level. When anxiety becomes so disproportional that it starts impacting our normal functioning, it turns into a disorder. It has various types - generalized anxiety disorder, panic attack, phobias. Symptoms may include irritability, palpitation, breathlessness, etc. But in almost all cases, the anxiety starts from uncertainty, uncontrollability and unpredictability of the future.

According to the CSDS-KAS report (2017), 55% of the Indian youth between the ages of 15-34 years were found to be highly anxious, and another 26% were at moderate level. 18-21 year olds reported the highest anxiety levels. Plausible reasons range from employment, education, relationships to violence, and sexual harassment.

Thus, high level of anxiety is quite prevalent in the country.

Not a cause of 'worry'.

This is not the worthless response of 'calm down'. You can't just 'calm down' when the anxiety hits you. But do not let the label of 'disorder' worry you more. There are solutions for you.

First is to evaluate how much of your life is getting impacted. Some amount of anxiety is inevitable and not unhealthy.

But do you feel it is crippling you? Are you losing sleep over it? Has your appetite changed? Do you get fatigued easily? Have you extensively started avoiding certain important places - going to office becomes difficult, you feel tired to hang out with your friends; or cancel out plans because of apprehension? You may have high anxiety. But there are ways you can manage it.

⇒ Exercising

Other than the recommended regular exercises, some therapeutic exercises help you release your anxiety. One example is -

  1. Hold onto a chair or a pole.
  2. Tighten the grip as hard as you can till you feel your energy getting focused into the rod.
  3. And then, release.
  4. Repeat it for some time.

⇒ Meditating

You can explore the internet and look up some meditation practices. One of the meditation exercises used clinically is called Progressive Muscle Relaxation.

⇒ Reading

There are many self-management books available to curb stress and anxiety. Read the professional reviews online, before buying. Reading fiction also helps as it gives us new insights and shared experiences. This is called biblio-therapy.

⇒ Organizing your Thoughts

Writing down your thoughts, making a checklist of all the things you have to do, forming a lose schedule for the day to give a structure help reduce apprehension.

⇒ Talking to your Family

Our family is a great buffer against anxieties. There would be at least one member you can confide in, who can provide you support when needed. Try and seek that member out.

⇒ Sensitizing your Friends

Try sensitizing your friends to what makes you anxious and why you can't just relax or stay calm in certain situations. You can be vocal about the kind of support and action you need to from them.

⇒ Finding your main triggers

Sometimes certain environments or people tend to make you anxious - say your boss, supervisor, or colleague. Try finding the trigger, and exploring what it is in their behaviour or surrounding that makes you anxious.

Remember! Even if you have to leave a job because of a bad boss, it is still better than the harm prolonged anxiety will cause your body for a lifetime.

Seeking Help

If you still feel that your anxiety is distressing, contact a Psychiatrist. A psychiatrist may prescribe you some medicines to combat the symptoms that arise because of some biological imbalance. He/she may refer you to a clinical psychologist or a counselor for therapy. This is because of the fact that the harmful habits, negative thoughts and apprehensions also arise due to our environment and life. Since one's environment or past experiences are not very easily modifiable, a psychologist would help you adjust and thrive.

You do not have to suffer alone, just because 'everyone goes through it'. Every individual is different. There is a certain kind of bravery to seek help, and try resolving your issues


  1. Iyer, M. (2013, October 6). One of every four Indians affected by anxiety disorders, 10% are depressed. The Times of India. Retrieved from
  2. Lokniti. (2017). Key highlights from the CSDS-KAS report 'attitudes, anxieties and aspirations of India's youth: Changing patterns'.
  3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2018). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from
  4. Shawn, T. (2018). Why Novel Reading Reduces Anxiety. PsychCentral. Retrieved from

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