How Do You Fight Mental Health Problems? TV Host Anaika’s Life Story

TV Host Anaika Chand Triumphs Over Mental Health Challenges

Today we are in conversation with TV host Anaika Chand who is also the ‘Creator of Master Your Mental Fitness’ podium. Why are we interviewing her? Because she shares her journey how she fought her own darkness and inner chaos to emerge victorious and be the light for others. So here is Anaika Chand in an exclusive conversation with the Founder of The Think Pot. 

Hello Anaika, first things first. Let’s start with asking you how did you initially navigate and recognize the challenges posed by your mental health issues, and what pivotal moment triggered your decision to actively address them?

I was working in the film industry with a renowned director as the job demands really long hours, sleepless nights and a high pressure environment. Besides, I had a really poor nutrition regime. All this led to extreme burnout and mental un-stability. One day , I was on the set and I collapsed. My family came and took care of me. Got me the right doctors and support system. For months I had no awareness of external life, as I was put under high medication to disconnect from the stress and the burn out I had faced. This helped me to heal my body and brain. My family got my nutrition and sleep cycle in place. Slowly when I came back to normal life, I made a decision to take care of myself…to place self-care above my work…And also pave the way ahead for others to showcase how Life, Play  and Work balance is crucial, and in that order…to one’s overall well being.

Coming on to the next discussion, Anaika reflecting on your journey, what specific coping mechanisms or strategies did you discover that played a crucial role in fostering your mental resilience and strength?

I would begin answering this in three crucial steps. First of all, good sleep of 7-8 Hours. Sleep not only helps you heal your brain but it also makes you look beautiful. Secondly one must be having healthy fats that are good for your brain. Omega 3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil, Desi cow ghee, olive oil etc.helps you heal your brain as 70% of your brain is made of liquids that includes fats. And above all, practice self-care every single day; and not just when you go through mental ups and downs when you tend to feel angry frustrated. because if you do not practice self-care daily, you will stay hurt internally and unknowingly you will hurt the people around you via that  hidden anger. This brings a lot of guilt and self criticism. Also, in order  to completely heal yourself you must learn how to forgive yourself and forgive people around you. This is the highest form of self care.

Lastly, accept the reality that you are facing and not be in denial. Sometimes denial is dangerous.Once you accept , it is easy for you to take action towards healing. 

Were there particular support systems, whether personal or professional, that played a significant role in aiding your recovery and growth? How did these relationships contribute to your overall well-being?

Mahima, our family doctor, really supported us to find the right psychiatrist, so that I could heal permanently. They were non judgemental towards my health or my thoughts and helped us in each and every step towards my well being.

Secondly my father, my mother and siblings were always there for me. No matter how hard it got for them. My family saw me go through both the phases. The first phase was when I was extremely over ambitions and second was when I had no awareness for my direction in life post my episodes. It’s not easy as a family when someone goes through mental disorders as you can’t hide this. Once your body is under stress, other diseases take up the body and try to spread like fire. My family knew that I had to be healed and thus they never got bothered about what people thought about them. All they wanted was to get that full of life Anaika back in life. And the best thing that they did was they chose Chinmay as my life partner, who is a very balanced human being; who keeps life and health above everything else. I have learnt a lot from him and I still keep learning.  

Chinmay as my soulmate has always supported me in my thick and thin. There were days when I didn’t want to get out of bed. So for so many days, he used to sing and play guitar to wake me up. There were days when I used to cry for no reason, that’s when he used to hear me out for hours being so receptive and understanding me. He used to cook my favorite dishes and made sure I smiled all day in spite of the side effects that my medicines got me.

So Anaika, in the process of overcoming mental health obstacles, what insights did you gain about self-awareness and self-acceptance, and how did these revelations impact your path to recovery?

When I lost my ambitions and had no clue how to stride ahead, that’s when I realized that my work alone is not my identity. I am not what I do. I am what I choose to become. I also realized that healing completely is a journey, not an overnight process. Seeking help and support is your biggest strength. Alternative medicines along with Allopathy helped a lot. Ayurveda made me find myself again.It made me cope with the side effects of my medicines and gradually reduce them one by one. Ayurvedic practices like panchakarma really worked well for me. 

Anaika, were there any unexpected lessons or silver linings that emerged from your mental health journey, leading to a deeper understanding of yourself and your capacity for resilience?

Mahima, to be very straightforward, I found a deeper meaning of life. How I do that? I did a deep recall of the life I had lived in the past. I went back into the journey of self discovery and around my true self. I was able to contribute my learnings from my journey through a television show as a show host. I was able to come back to normal life with the support of my family members. I wanted to be a model and I did become one but at the cost of my mental health. I realized that when I went through mental breakdown, it was due to my constant focus on my future goals. Because of which I was not able to enjoy my present no matter what I had. I realized the importance of relationships, how happy relationships can help you heal. I found my pet cat who also helped me in the process of healing and being happy. I believe pets are your best healers.

So how did you navigate societal perceptions and stigmas surrounding mental health, and what advice would you offer to others facing similar challenges in dealing with societal expectations and judgments?

So Mahima, I realised my follies and thus I accepted my situation, took charge of it and didn’t blame anyone else. Even though our society is still not fully aware of what a person goes through, I am using my experiences to create that awareness. It’s not people’s fault if they judge you because they don’t know what the issue is. As a matter of fact, most people don’t even know if they themselves are going through any mental health issues. I have come to peace with myself and that’s what matters the most. I have a strong family and support system who don’t judge me and that’s what’s most important to me.

Looking back, what advice would you give to someone currently grappling with mental health issues, and how can they cultivate a mindset that fosters growth, strength, and healing?

I would like to share the same in three steps which may not be simple but are very crucial. First one needs to find a support system in that one human who would listen to your inner demons without judging you. It can be anyone. Your family, friends, your psychiatrist, psycho-therapist. 

Secondly, keep your health at top priority especially your mental well being as it strognly affects your physical well being. Sometimes over imagination of the future through goal charts, vision boards, manifestation, Daydreaming, Lucid Dreaming or any forms of just thought based goal setting will harm you rather than doing good. So stay away from the over imaginative thought world.

Thirdly and not lastly, every single day take care of your nutrition. Have lots of healthy foods and fats. Eat mindfully, which means you give yourself 15 mins per meal uninterrupted from the outside noise, phones, TV, etc. When we feel depressed, we tend to eat unhealthy junk food which is high sugar, spicy and salty foods. The reason behind this is we find happiness only in food. On the contrary, some people stop eating altogether. In both cases, you will worsen your situation. 

Find the right balanced diet with the help of your doctor and nutritionist. Also eating outside food doubles your chances of mental illness because it’s been cooked with loads of unhealthy ingredients. In spirituality, I learnt that the state of the person cooking the food also affects you when you eat. So make sure a happy person is cooking your food. Best is to have homemade food. And lastly every day choose to exercise because that one hour detoxes your body like nothing else will do. Physical activity also helps you release happy hormones which in turn leads to better mental health. Also have regular health checkups, at least every six months. Your Thyroid and hormones play a huge role in your mental health. 

And ANAIKA CHAND‘s final word is: “NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR LIFE, just because you are going through a tough phase. You can still have dreams and hope to achieve it with the right support system.”

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above interview are the personal opinions of the protagonist/protagonists for which The Think Pot is not liable in any manner. To share your views on an apolitical and intense subject like this you can reach out to us at mahimaasharma@thethinkpot.in