8 Strategies For Fighting Depression, Stress & Anxiety In Workspace

As per the World Health Organization, mental illness is the biggest cause of disability and it directly affects your brain and life cycle.

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By Priyadarshini Patwa • Oct 23, 2018


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Opening your own venture is no walk in the garden. With new SMEs arising every single day, the competition is unstoppable. While we often talk about business, today, let's first talk about mental health issues in the workplace.

Sweating one's brow comes along with the territory and so does plenty of health issues.

As per the World Health Organization, mental illness is the biggest cause of disability and it directly affects our brain and life cycle. We all have bumpy days but there is a thin line between being stressed at times and luring yourself into isolation.

CEO's, founders, and entrepreneurs constantly live on the edge, Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions explained this with an analogy: a man riding a lion. "People look at him and think, this guy's really got it together! He's brave!" but " the man riding the lion is thinking, How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?."

Nothing can better explain the correlation between work and mental health.

The Co-Relation Between Depression, Stress & Anxiety:

"Anxiety and depression might look different, but they co-exist, each triggering symptoms in the other, almost like a vicious circle that is difficult to break out of. They attack your appetite, sleep, and productivity. Depression often makes you feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless. While anxiety is related to uncertainty. The two affect your cognitive functioning, making it difficult for you to recall events and details. Stress at times is good. Some perform better under stress. Nevertheless, excess stress, affects your output," explains Priyanka Kartari, a clinical psychologist and founder of the Thought Company.


There is no one single factor that gives rise to these symptoms it is often a combination of multiple things and situations.

"At times founders have experienced panic attacks which are characterised by the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. The symptoms include sweating, palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or abdominal distress, fear of losing control. Successive failures in one's venture can also lead to depression which typically is characterized by a more brooding thought cycle and negative self-talk which is difficult to break. Symptoms range from feeling sad, hopeless or empty, loss of interest in things you tend to enjoy, making decisions, thoughts of death or suicide," said Atika Shukla, consulting psychologist and founder of Breaking Barriers.

8 Simple Strategies:

Clinical psychologist, Priyanka Kartari suggests exercising, setting goals, talk therapy to fight these mental issues. While Atika Shukla, consulting psychologist talks about digital detox, accepting failure, self-love and success management as the key to battle these intense problems.

1. Exercise releases endorphins that help us feel happier, manage anxiety better and cope with stress effectively.

2. Accepting failure is a must! Founders have very high standards for themselves and their teams. However, failures are inevitable in an entrepreneurial journey. Understanding the fall gives you a clearer picture and chance to grow.

3. Smart goals, make a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals. Have a vision of where you want to see your company in next 1, 6 or 12 months. With time your vision will change. However, having a plan ensures you remain on your chosen path.

4. Digital detox is as important as breathing. Entrepreneurship is a fast-paced journey with a never-ending list. However, founders need to take a break and switch off from their electric mode. Take a weekend getaways or a long vacation.

5. Mindfulness, a type of meditation – it simply means focusing only on one thing at a given time, the here and now.

6. Nurturing yourself and build a life for yourself beyond your company. Giving quality time to your friends, relatives, family. Pursue what you love. Prioritizing yourself is important in building your mental health and avoiding a complete meltdown or burnout.

7. Talk therapy is something many swear by. Build a support system. Regularly spend time talking to someone about how you "feel" even if things are going great. Taking professional help can make a huge difference.

8. Managing success should be on top. Success can easily breed isolation and self-neglect. When a business venture really takes off, it requires a lot more of the founder's bandwidth as the stakes are high. That can push aside many of the social connections and centering moments that would otherwise support our mental health. If left unchecked, the balance between success and mental health may tip from stress and burnout to a full-blown mental illness.

Priyadarshini Patwa

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Editor, Entrepreneur India

Priyadarshini Patwa is the Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosts an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handles the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and also is responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle. 

She’s @Priyanka_Patwa on Twitter and @priyadarshinipatwa on Instagram.

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