Coping with Anxiety

There are many external factors that can be causing anxiety e.g. the drama on your daily TV soaps, doom scrolling, etc. But there are some internal reasons that can cause anxiety as well. One such factor is Personality factors like perfectionism. Perfectionists are more than likely to overthink and rework, make tweaks, second-guess, or even do too much. As a result they get overwhelmed which leads to anxiety.

The biggest problem is that we don't know when this manifests into a mental health disorder. Let's understand this better.

Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from trying to control it.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Stay in the present and live it

Worry versus Stress versus Anxiety

A lot of time we are mixing these words “worry,” “stress,” and “anxiety.'' Well, these three words are not synonyms. These are all different. How do you differentiate between those conditions?

Worry is a mental process that includes repetitive, nagging thoughts—usually focused on something like losing a job or worrying about getting sick.

Stress is a biological reaction when changes occur, to which the body responds physically, mentally, or emotionally. Your cortisol level goes up - which is a stress hormone, which slows down your digestive process because that energy is being used to pump blood, to prepare our body to face a situation. It results from a real situation.

Anxiety results from anticipation and leads to avoidance. It is a mental disorder. It is a combination of both stress and worry in ways that interfere with life. The problems seem huge and you might find it hard to cope with it or at least you start feeling that you can’t cope.

Identify symptoms of Anxiety

  • Physical symptoms like breathing difficulty, heart racing, sweaty palms.

  • Behaviorally there is avoidance (skipping presentation, not going for work), there is irritability, sleeping difficulty and all these interfere with your functioning.

  • What is happening in thoughts? Brain seems to become too active. We assume the worst. “Something bad is going to happen to my family, I will not perform well, I will get fired from work”, constant worry leading to poor concentration.

  • Other symptoms include aches and pains, tightness, choking, difficulty swallowing, chest discomfort, gastrointestinal (IBS, diarrhoea).

Anxiety requires attention - either therapy, medicine or both. It is important to get it diagnosed before it affects your health.

Measure using GAD7

GAD-7 is the most widely used scale by psychiatrists and psychologists around the world for measuring anxiety levels. It’s a quick test with 7 questions that shows your anxiety level.

Score 0-4: Minimal Anxiety

Score 5-9: Mild Anxiety

Score 10-14: Moderate Anxiety

Score greater than 15: Severe Anxiety

For a score above 9, please reach out to a psychologist or psychiatrist for an initial consultation. If left untreated even mild anxiety can become more severe or lead to other mental health issues like depression, substance use disorders. It can significantly impact your job performance, relationships and other aspects of your life. A lot of you may not know this, and hence you may sweep it under the rug. Please reach out to a mental health professional if you are experiencing anxiety, especially moderate or severe. I am going to tell you what you can do. But if you don’t benefit then please reach out for help.

Help yourself

Identify triggers: What is causing anxiety?

Talking in front of others or making a presentation? Awareness is the first step. Only then you can individually work on these things. Also through Mannki app, you can objectively monitor your mental health using the various assessment scales and monitor your behaviors like sleeping, eating etc, . These are strongly related to anxiety and other mental health issues.

Relaxation: remember that our mind and body are connected.

One way of dealing is by relaxing our body. How to do it? Try a deep breathing exercise that we already did in the beginning. Then there is guided imagery, which requires you to imagine a peaceful place and activate your sensations. Well, it won’t solve the problem but it will help you prepare to face it.

Sometimes we do things that add on to our anxiety. We don’t let our body relax. We spoke about social media usage. It has a strong relation with depression and anxiety. So, reduce social media usage. Have a specified time for watching news. Avoid watching it before going to bed.

Challenge your thoughts

We spoke about the body. What about mind? Anxiety makes you feel like you have no control over life. Understand that it is a false statement that your anxiety is making you think. So challenge it. If you fear that outcome may not be positive then just remember the quote by a poet and writer G. K Chesterton “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly the first time.” It speeds up your decision making and puts you to action instead of just worrying about hows and whys and the consequences. This way when you face the situation or act on you realize that it’s not as bad as you imagined.


For some of you, challenging thought leads you to a chain of thoughts. So, you can practice mindfulness which means adopting a non-judgmental approach to your thoughts. Just observe thoughts instead of getting carried away by it. “It's just a thought. It will go.” The difference between challenging and mindfulness is in challenging your modify your thought whereas in mindfulness you do not accept it or reject it, you just let the thought pass.

Some of you with mild and moderate anxiety may benefit from these strategies but those with severe anxiety may need additional help. So do not hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional.

Help others

Listen with empathy

Let them share what they are going through. Validate their feelings. “It must be so tough to be in that situation. I can’t imagine what you are going through.” If you have been in that situation only then tell “I understand what you are going through. I have been through that”

Share your story - Open up about your anxiety.

Courage is the best way to deal with anxiety and you can do this by owning your story. Share concerns with friends and family. Tell them what you went through. Open up about a “not so good” presentation that you made, tell how you embarrassed yourself in public etc.

Provide support: Ask them how you can help them.

Or share any strategy that has helped you in the past. “Breathing exercise helped me.” “I reached out to a mental health professional and learned new strategies which helped me handle my anxiety.”

Coping with Anxiety using MANNKI

Mannki Apps provide you with a GAD7 questionnaires and reminds your to attempt it every 15 days. Keeping a regular track of your mental health is important. Also, there are a set of positive thoughts, called Affirmations, which are available on the apps. You will find our complete feed of Affirmations on the home screen. If you like one and want to remember it for rest of the day, just PIN it. If you want to see it more often, LIKE it.

In case your scores are alarming, Mannki's care associate will reach out to you for planning a clinician session.
Please do not ignore any early warning signs and take preventive action.

Take Care!

Join Mannki

Mannki is a mental health app available in the google play store for android phones. We at Mannki are trying to improve the screening and diagnosis of mental health in India by continuously tracking the user's mental wellness journey. As with other apps, there are concerns related to informational privacy and data security (Maher et al., 2019), we at Mannki take privacy issues seriously which ensures that there is no data leakage. The app uses clinician-recommended diagnostic tests alongside passive sensing through a user's smartphone to help them understand their mental health better.

Mannki aims to overcome many of the challenges like imprecise user inputs, lack of diagnostic markers, stigma, and poor access. We are trying to bring transparency and care for undiagnosed problems with precise and measurable inputs. Currently, we are in a research phase where we are trying to collaborate with institutes to understand behavioral markers and build algorithms for various psychiatric disorders.

Join us and support us on this endeavour. Write to us at