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Mental Health: Using Social Anxiety and Depression as Productivity Tools

Fighting anxiety and depression is an ongoing process. However, it behooves us to find innovative ways to trick our subconscious and direct it more positively, for our own well-being and the greater good.

By Pranay Morarka

Bullying is an integral part of every student’s life. While many manage to cope with these outbursts of oppression, others succumb to bullying and are later stymied by anxiety and depression. These unwarranted bouts of anxiety and depression can then stunt growth, damaging an individual’s overall personality.

However, individuals can positively restructure these emotions with help, in turn evolving into progressive human beings. We must firmly channel the cesspool of negative emotions to do so.

After struggling with anxiety for a while, here I am, writing some thoughts on how I could use depression and anxiety as productivity tools to optimize my professional journey.

During my formative (childhood) years, I got into theater and sports. Despite the pungent levels of interest in almost everything around me, I found myself suffering from a learning disability (dyslexia) that robbed me of my self-confidence. My chubby orientation and dark complexion added to my woes. Social anxiety still hampered my mind. I found myself masking my personality to ‘fit in’ and fit in with society’s overwhelming expectations.

For nearly a decade, I pushed the “real me” under the rug. I was ashamed to express my grievances to anyone. I found myself exploding inside and felt the desperate urge to come out of the closet. I finally spoke to my parents and when I did, I felt ten times lighter. Suddenly, those big issues will feel tiny.

I learned to write down my thoughts and realized that we should never keep secrets from our loved ones. Expressing your issues will help you see those issues in a different light.

Today, from my experience, I would suggest that whenever you find yourself spinning in circles in a different direction, sit down calmly and think about what is causing the friction. Your every thought and action deserves justification, and the premise is best realized when you are calmer. Reasoning gives us time to accept ourselves as we are. If we can’t agree on who they are, no one ever will! Over the years, I have also learned to accept my flaws and work on them every day. I can say yes, aiming to rise above your weaknesses is possible. In fact, accepting your flaws can make you a better person with each passing day.

Communicate to seek comfort

Writing down your thoughts can help immensely; it helped me. In addition, it is better to refrain from hiding secrets from loved ones. It took heartache to realize that my loved ones will always support me in a heartbeat. It is essential to remain open and communicate with our loved ones.

Find your pockets of happiness

On a bad day, always go to the gym or do a yoga session. Just move. Sweating also helps me clear my thoughts. The released endorphins increase the feel-good factor in us. If you have a creative bent like me, I say, get absorbed in drawing, painting or photography. The time invested in cultivating a hobby should be rejuvenating and fulfilling!

Become aware of your thoughts

Coming out of depression and anxiety is the trickiest journey one can take. Just as I did, you will find yourself facing the likelihood of overthinking. There is a thin line that separates rational thinking from overthinking. You have to understand the difference before you get caught in the strange place. For example, stop assuming that people won’t understand you! Your loved ones certainly will, and all you have to do is TRY.

Know that your recovery journey is unique

You also need to understand that the five fingers are not the same. I had to stop comparing myself to my peers or anyone else around me. ‘All that glitters is not gold.’ The adage came to me a bit late. It took me a long time to realize that people have to go through their share of struggles. I also learned that it is imperative to live in the NOW! Change is only constant, and lowering yourself to the old is useless to you!.

Fighting anxiety and depression is an ongoing process. However, it behooves us to find innovative ways to trick our subconscious and direct it more positively, for our own well-being and the greater good. The same is true when you use it as a tool for newfound motivation, productivity, and success.

(The author is the CEO of Morarka Finance Limited. Opinions expressed are personal.)