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80% Indians stressed at work: Arianna Huffington Townhall in India

Arianna Huffington says why burn out when you can burn bright at the Twitter Townhall on the occasion of Thrive Global's venture into India.

Written by Sandhya Raghavan |Published : January 3, 2018 11:11 PM IST

Millenials have received a bad rap for almost everything. From our laziness to our apathy, no other generation has had such a dismal scorecard than those born between 1983-2000. But probably the worst contention is the generation's fixation with technology and addiction to the smartphone, which unbeknownst to us is costing us our health and well-being. This was also the main thrust of media mogul Arianna Huffington's talk at the Twitter Townhall, where she announced the Indian advent of her wellness and productivity initiative Thrive Global. Present at the occasion was also actress Gul Panag, Indian ambassador to Thrive Global and politician Milind Deora. Here are some symptoms of the millennial burnout.

In the course of her career, Huffington has penned several books, two of which are Thrive and The Sleep Revolution, the latter centred around the theme of sleep deprivation. Taking a leaf from her experiences as a victim of burnout, Arianna spoke about some key points of her address today at Twitter Townhall.

1 Her 3000-year-old connection with India

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In her introduction at the townhall, she described her short stint at India when she was 17 and how the ancient Indian wisdom moved her. Arianna spoke about a 3000-year-old spiritual connection with the country. She names ancient Indian philosophy as the foundation of her life.

2 She suffered from burnout 10 years ago

Just two years into Huffington Post's inception, Arianna suffered from a burnout from sleep deprivation, which ended with her collapsing and injuring her cheekbone. "I used to think I am a superwoman who didn't need any sleep," she revealed. "That was the beginning of my wakeup call." Can sleep deprivation affect the brain?

3 We are living our lives wrong

Arianna said that there was something inherently wrong with the way we are living our lives. She addresses the lack of sleep and extreme mental exhaustion we face and how we prioritise our work above everything else. "Something is very wrong with the way we are living our lives. It goes not just against our ancient traditions and philosophy like the Bhagawat Gita but also modern science," she said.

4 Sleep is the third pillar

She said that along with nutrition and exercise, sleep is the third pillar of a healthy life. But unfortunately, sleep is also one of the most neglected aspects of our health. Do you have nomophobia or the fear of being without your phone?

5 Definition of productivity should change

She pointed towards an inherent irony in our lives. "We think that when we burn the candles at both ends and we work around the clock we are more productive, but we are not. We make the worst decisions, our immune system is suppressed, we get sick more often, which takes us out of work., we get angrier, we are more reactive and our relationships deteriorate," said Arianna.

6 Stress and burnout have become global epidemics

Arianna pointed out that 80 percent of the working population in India are stressed. And one of the main reasons for stress is technology. The FOMO or the fear of missing out has made us forge a rather toxic relationship with technology, where we can't have a meal or go to sleep without our smartphones next to us.

7 Over 25 million Indians are addicted to the internet

She revealed that around 25 million Indians are addicted to the internet. "Because technology is amazing. But if we don't set boundaries, we are sacrificing our humanity," she said.

8 We take better care of our cell phones than we do of us

Since our phone is our connection to the rest of the world, it's no surprise why we are so finicky about it. She rued the fact that modern lives were making us treat our phones better than our bodies. "I bet everybody here knows how much battery remains on your phone," she quips.

9 Disconnect to connect better

" Disconnecting is the only way to connect more deeply with others," she says. This is probably the reason why she proposes developing an app nder Thrive to disconnect from the outside world. The app lets the smart phone user switch off from technology or get into the "Thrive" mode for a short while to recharge. In the meantime, people trying to get in touch with them will be notified through a message.

10 Change what people brag about

There is a pressing need today to change what people brag about. Arianna points towards an interesting fact. She says that people are usually congratulated for being "on" or accessible all the time. People also brag about being online and up to date with everything. But the real change will happen when that notion changes and going off technology as a practice is normalised.

11 How to know if you are 100 percent charged

When she was asked by an audience member whether she can recognised when she is 100 percent charged or well, Arianna answers in the affirmative, saying that it is very easy for her to know when she is recharged. "I love my life when i am 100 charged. I love whatever I am doing, even when it is difficult. No matter what happens no matter the challenges I still find joy..."

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