DUB Speak

Healthy Anxiety, Healthy Art

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An account on how sometimes our fears and apprehensions are needed for young artists to push themselves to the limits and get even better than before.

“You think Picasso was happy? You think Hemingway was? Hendrix? They were miserable folks. No art worth a damn was ever created out of happiness. I can tell you that much.” -Ben Ryder, Kodachrome

Anxiety is an interesting term with several interpretations. Some might face anxiety casually, while talking to people, thinking of the future. Some might suffer from anxiety which would manifest in a clinical and cynical condition. And then there are those who might live in a fabricated world of suffering and anxiety while in reality, they have a calm and relaxed life.

Whatever be the case, anxiety has come to represent negative connotations with every passing day. But here’s the deal: anxiety is like Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb, bad but not that bad. A dose of healthy anxiety has become somewhat necessary to survive and thrive in this rapid, hustling, power-hungry world. Anxiety (till the point it doesn’t turn clinical) might lead to the birth of some fears and apprehensions in our heads but instead of just whining, we can channel it into something positive. Sam Smith wrote and performed his hit single Stay with me, followed by the heartbreak and pain when his lover left him. Alessia Cara wrote the chartbuster Here on experiencing fits of social anxiety at teenage parties. Channelling the negative into something positive, that’s the motto behind such great people. It is beautifully expressed in the film Rockstar, where a young Ranbir Kapoor is hogging on samosas in the Hindu College canteen and the canteen owner tells him how he won’t be able to create a perfect song if he does not experience pyaar (love) and a toota hua dil (broken heart).

The world seems perfect when we are kids. Then as we fall in that teenage ‘wimpy kid’ phase, things start getting clearer that the future would not be perfect like the cartoons, that we will never be calm and relaxed. Maybe, it is better that we don’t acquire a calm state of nirvana because then where will the drama be? Especially if you are an artist, you would need this drama in life to add that drama, that emotion, and intensity in whatever you create. And we live in an imperfectly perfect world and Utopia is a far cry from now. Hence, getting anxious on winning a ticket to Utopia will be a futile gesture. Getting eustress on figuring out how to live in the ‘now’ seems like a much better option. You might be the pride of your college music society, the top champ of your DebSoc but that healthy anxiety might keep nagging at the back of your head. If the going is good, embrace the glory but it’s fine to think about what next and have some anxiety on getting better. Even artists in the college circuit might get overconfident at times and would not even take any constructive criticism. Even if others call your magnum opus a piece of trash, accept that and work on it. Lose some sleep, get some headaches but still work on it. It is to be realised that a tinge of pain, a sense of sacrifice are necessary ingredients for cooking up the dish of perfection. Therefore, if you too feel scared and broken while facing anxiety, then face it, feel it, and embrace it. Who knows your next masterpiece would be a product of anxiety?


Feature Image Credits: We Hear It

Shaurya Singh Thapa
[email protected]

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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