Speaker: Mrs. Mamta Sharma - Life coach Director, ICHARS Support Foundation
Facilitator: Madira Popat, Digital Enterpreneur
Compiled by: Somya Jain
Date: 10th May 2020
ANXIETY – a vague feeling that either lets people do their task with a high degree of performance or does not even let them utilize their actual potential. It usually takes over our mind and restricts it from thinking positivity. This feeling of anxiety fills a person with more negative thoughts and does not let him/her carry out his daily tasks. An individual continues to feel low on motivation and self-confidence which interrupts the normal functioning of the body. If the feeling of being anxious is present for a prolonged time then the person could be suffering from anxiety disorder and might want to seek professional help. People who feel anxious show symptoms of restlessness, rapid breathing or increased heart rate, sleeplessness, lack of concentration, frequent painful thoughts and even nightmares. This can be treated both medically or naturally. The discussion further elaborated on anxiety and gave much needed information regarding the same, especially in the light of the ongoing situation of a global pandemic. Everyone remains anxious about the future repercussions of COVID-19 on their lifestyle, career, academics and savings etc.
Our honourable guest Mrs. Mamta gave a clearer picture of what anxiety actually is. She stated that anxiety comprises a fear of “what if”. She mentioned that anticipation of the future can and does make us anxious. People also feel anxious when they face some problems. She divided the problems on the basis of time i.e. the problems in present or past and problems in future. Problems related to the future or questions that arise in one’s mind about the future start with what if?, like what if I lose my job after the lockdown? or what if I fall sick if I go out even when the lockdown gets over? Such thoughts about the coming days trigger stress and we end up being filled with anxiety. The question of how to keep morale high in such situation and how to get rid of this anxiety about the career, jobs, college, lockdown due to the virus while staying inside of the houses even when everything around is undergoing major changes and no one can do anything about it was answered with the two most useful tips. They are:
- Planning and Preparation
- Managing Mental Health
The former stresses that we must be prepared for any difficulty ahead and talking to the right people will surely clear our confusion to some extent. The most emphasised point that Mrs. Mamta made while discussing this was that one should start working towards their resumes if they plan to look out for new jobs in case they lose their previous one. There is a whole lot of time to learn and acquire a new skill required in your field, about which you don’t know and that would add a greater value to your resumes. Planning could be done in the terms of health as well by taking necessary precautions in future. The latter point which talks of managing your mental health explains that if we do not have our mental peace, we won’t be able to think efficiently and might skip important information which would have been useful. If we work with clear heads, it would be easy to do the task much effectively. We should not exert ourselves with our own thoughts of the future. Maintaining our mental wellbeing is as important as our physical well being to go through the complications that we are facing in the face of the pandemic.
Every other person has become a prey of an animal living inside us called anxiety and it is important to keep ourselves away from its sudden attacks. Mrs. Mamta helped many of us in tackling the issue of anxiety by giving some valuable tips and explaining the process through which we can divert our mind towards more favourable and less anxiety triggering thoughts. She explained that no thought stays with us 24/7. To overcome such troubling thoughts, she explained the restructuring process which states that we should replace our anxiety triggering thoughts with a new thought and feel the emotions attached with it. To do this one must know the answers of 5 most important questions, which are:
- When does anxiety happen the whole day?
- What does it do?
- What is the story in one’s head?
- What do you want to replace the emotion with?
- What will give you that emotion?
Having the answers of all the 5 questions will make it clear as to how we can replace our thoughts and emotions and how they have to be replaced when they occur. It says that as soon as the thought comes, it should be replaced with the more powerful thought. For this, our guest recommended a breathing exercise to everyone. Inhaling while thinking of a new thought and exhaling the anxiety causing thought will help to fight with it. For this, she also recommended to do sheer repetition of the new thought as sheer repetition of any thought or any habit replaces the old and this has proven effective for many.
There were a lot of questions related to the ongoing stress and anxiety because of the outbreak of the virus that were asked by Ms Mandira. The questions were about how to go back to the routine when all of this gets over, how to not feel guilty about not being productive like others, how to keep students away from anxiety who are at the threshold of the admissions, about work from home, dealing with in-laws and household chores. All these questions had the same answer of being prepared, managing mental health, self-love and care. She advised that everyone should do anything that provides them immense joy and spend time with themselves for at least an hour or so, as it is important to make some time for oneself and one must give space and time to oneself to introspect.
A beautiful message given in the discussion was that ‘in the right environment, everyone can discover the specialness that lies within them which makes them different from others.’ The discussion ended with the encouraging words of our guest to step up and start helping others in these tough times by joining hands with I-CAN as it might help some people to discover a new passion and helping somebody can give immense joy.