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World Mental Health Day: How to deal with anxiety?

According to the National Mental Health Survey 2019, millions of people in India suffer from anxiety disorders, and accessing mental healthcare can be costly. In this context, Sadhguru offers four practical methods to cope with fear and anxiety, says Purvi Asthana

World Mental Health Day: How to deal with anxiety?
First Published Oct 10, 2023, 9:17 PM IST

According to the National Mental Health Survey 2019, around 38 million people in Bharat are estimated to be suffering from anxiety disorders. It is difficult for the average Indian to afford mental health care with sessions costing anywhere between Rs 1000 - Rs 1500 and a minimum of 15-20 sessions being required for diagnosis and treatment of any mental disorder. As such it is imperative that one take necessary steps to ensure their own mental well-being as well as that of those around them.


The following are four methods shared by Sadhguru to deal with fear and anxiety:

1) Do your present well: Most people are suffering events that have happened in the past or which may take place in the future as they lack control over the two most fantastic faculties that human beings have: a fantastic memory and a vivid sense of imagination. Handling the present moment well right now is all that one can do, thereby ensuring that the future naturally blossoms.

2) Pay attention to creation: "Those of you who are too engrossed in your own thoughts and emotions, constantly being maybe on social media or something, […] you must get rid of your phone and take a walk in the forest. […] If you pay enough attention, you will see you will be so enchantingly enamoured by every little thing in the existence […] When your thought and your emotion become more important than the creator's creation, that means you have become a perceptional [sic] tragedy, you have not realized the nature of life at all.” - Sadhguru

3) Don't become dead serious: In the vastness of the universe, our solar system and planet Earth are but a speck of dust and we are mere micro specks in the vast expanse of space and time, yet we give too much importance to our lives and thoughts, approaching everything with dead seriousness. Though we may know and be capable of doing various things, we do not know anything in its entirety. If we truly paid attention to creation, our thoughts and emotions would sink into the background and we would realise how insignificant they truly are. Thus, Sadhguru says that "…if you want to experience the multifarious dimensions of life, you have to be non-serious. You become serious only because you have taken your own existence too seriously, though we exist here for a minuscule amount of time in this cosmos."

4) It is a brief life: "If genuine involvement has to come in your life, for you to give yourself absolutely, you must be doing something that truly, truly matters to you. […] if you involve yourself absolutely, and constantly strive to create what matters to you, what you really care for, then your existence itself will be worthwhile, not necessarily your actions, not necessarily what you achieve and may not achieve, but your very existence will be truly worthwhile because just to breathe and be is a phenomenon.” - Sadhguru

For our lives to be truly worthwhile, we must be absolutely involved in it in a non-serious manner as in a sport and spend it doing something that truly matters to us. This does not necessarily mean trying to find our passion but rather accepting everything in the universe as a part of ourselves and being equally involved in it for “there is no greater phenomenon than life”.

(Please note that the above is not meant to be a substitute for treatment for clinically diagnosed mental disorders. However, the practice of yoga, especially Inner Engineering can prove highly beneficial to those dealing with anxiety. For more information on and to register for Inner Engineering, click here)

An educator and Teach for India Alum, Purvi is a science enthusiast with a master's degree in physics. She enjoys reading and swimming in her free time.

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