The urbanized Indian context is marked by prolific industrial growth, as well as generous doses of anxiety.

Professionals brag about their accomplishments towards making the Indian economy more productive, but what lies behind the smoke and mirrors of a  privileged corporate lifestyle? Is it really all that glamorous? Or is it marked by tell-tale signs of emotional disturbances that need to be brought to the forefront?

Image: Gemma Correll

Image: Gemma Correll

It is pretty clear that the rates of employment and literacy are on the rise in certain states within the Indian subcontinent, including Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and West Bengal. On the surface, this should point towards better lifestyles, higher standards of living, and a general aura of happiness.

A study on anxiety was depicted using a disease chart in a recent issue of The Lancet, and it had some gruesome details to reveal about the emotional profile of corporates within the states of India that we consider as more ‘literate’ than others. The study reveals that the levels of anxiety are on the rise among educated professionals due to the pressures of their lifestyle, and the corporate expectations they are required to meet in order to reach their inner potential, or rather, achieve the image or level of material success they wish for.

Image: The Times of India, based on data from The Lancet

Image: The Times of India, based on data from The Lancet

This reveals that it is indeed, hard to cope with the pressures of an increasing workload. Back in the 90’s, Anxiety Disorders were placed as the 40th most common contributors to the ‘disability-added-life-years’ (DALYS). However, in 2016, they have jumped to the 26th spot on the list. Anxiety and depression are commonly mistaken for one another, and this association doesn’t come without meaning. Anxiety often progresses into depression in some cases, leading to a topsy-turvy cocktail of emotions. It is therefore important to identify and deal with the triggers that cause these anxious emotional patterns to emerge.

Examples of workplace anxiety include being wary about what your peers think about your work. Believing that they aren’t putting their full faith in your work is probably what makes one anxious, quite often. Saying ‘I’ll never be good enough to be fully trusted’ is probably what leads to the butterflies in one’s stomach when they sign in for the day. Understanding that agency and not external judgment, are what lead to productivity at work is probably the key to overcoming this anxiety.

Constant monitoring by superiors also casts a shroud on the work that is completed by employees. They feel that they aren’t trustworthy enough to complete tasks efficiently, warranting a ‘babysitting’ from those higher in the corporate ladder. This often leads to an underestimation of one’s own abilities, in turn leading to the emergence of anxious behavior patterns.

It is clear that the absence of a work-life balance, as well as a perception of material gain being the most important towards success is what leads to increased pressures to excel at work. The desire to surpass the exacting expectations that a institution places on an incoming employee are probably what lead to these pressures on the corporate population.

Image: Gemma Correll

Image: Gemma Correll

Innovative work-spaces and an allowance to have some breathing time during a 9 to 5 stint, along with a healthy balance of work, exercise and a healthy diet will probably do wonders to tackle corporate anxiety. Exerting energy in order to get rid of one’s worries through physical effort not only keep the body, but also the mind healthy. Guided meditation also does wonders towards clearing the mind of worry, and developing the ‘tabula rasa’ state of mind that we are said to be birthed into this world possessing. If things get too severe, avoiding a repression of emotions and going ahead and talking to a qualified professional is probably the best solution.

If you’re a part of the several corporates that succumb to anxiety on a daily basis in the Indian subcontinent, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

 

An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.