Anxiety is a condition that nearly every employee can relate to. Whether it’s a big monthly meeting you have to speak at or a co-worker with whom you disagree, confronting these situations can often cause workers a lot of stress. While anxiety is difficult to deal with, it is important to understand that it is not something that you should just let run your day, your mood, and your mental health. Anxiety can actually be helpful if you accept it rather than run from it!
To start, let’s take a look at the main forms of anxiety disorders and their associated symptoms:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is when you get anxious about common situations and are unable to remember the last time you were in a relaxed mental state. This state of anxiety is caused by an imbalance in the brain chemicals that are involved in the regulation of a person’s moods, serotonin, and noradrenaline. The combination of past traumas, chronic pain conditions, or hereditary factors can also contribute.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can cause a person to have obsessive, intrusive thoughts that can be distressing or an overwhelming desire or compulsion to perform a routine repeatedly. This could be reflected in his or her habits, be it cleaning or washing hands unnecessarily, arranging items in a drawer in a certain way, etc.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is caused after a particularly stressful period such as being in a war zone, surviving an attack or a tragic accident, or experiencing sudden death and loss of a family member.
Lightheadedness, dizziness, and an impending sense of doom are also physiological reactions of long-term anxiety. Chronic anxiety, however, can lead to severe damages to your body and mind.
Why Anxiety Is Bad For Your Health
Anxiety causes a myriad of physical effects in the body. When you are feeling anxious about something, your body will react with the following:
- Heart palpitations
- Sweaty palms
- Altered hormone levels
- Rapid breathing rate
All of these symptoms lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and an increased risk of a disrupted hormonal system. These problems are all a result of the activation of the two main nervous systems in the body. Prolonged anxiety can overwork this natural system and lead to mental distress, oversensitivity to stimuli, and cause you to become more naturally anxious about more things over time.
So, as you can tell, it is important to do the things necessary in order to cultivate more healthy habits that lead to more mental health, calmness, and positivity. Some of these include:
Deep breathing is an age-old technique that is proven to help you instantly slow you heart rate and gently remove you from anxiety and stress when it gets to be just a little too much. For starters, when you are feeling a bit too buried under anxiety, try to just close your eyes and focus on your breath for a few minutes. With this deep breathing, you can take yourself away from anxiety and come back to the present. Practicing this regularly can help you to think more clearly and focus on the tasks at hand.
Practice Confronting Hardship
This is much easier said than done, but working on being present with challenges rather than avoiding them can help you to calm anxiety and focus on what you can control in the moment. Many of the stressful situations employees encounter at work are caused by a fear of confronting the issue directly. This point ties in with our other points regarding being honest as well as talking to a trusted fellow employee, friend, or supervisor/HR representative about your anxiety as well as the main causes of it during your workday.
Nothing is more important for your mental health than the health of your body. If you want to be in control of your mind and better able to cope with stress and adversity, you need to take care of your body! The health of your gut and the foods you eat make all the difference for how your brain functions and the moods you experience. Try to either lift weights a few times a week or get in a small run here and there to keep your heart healthy and your mind well.
Be Kind To Yourself
One of the most surefire ways to reduce anxiety at work is to practice being mindful of how you feel and how these thoughts and feelings affect you. If you are placing way too much pressure on yourself and feel constantly under stress, try to remind yourself that you can only do so much before it begins to negatively affect your mental and physical health. Be sure to just focus on what you can control while realizing the negative effects anxiety has on your health.
Integrating all of these small steps into your routine can be invaluable for improving your ability to calm the anxiety you may be experiencing at work. With a more level head and willingness to be bold and confront your fears, you will notice your anxiety gradually start to recede and be replaced with confidence.
While this is no easy task, it is made much easier by regularly practicing meditation, eating healthy, and staying active. If you are confronted with a difficult situation at work, understand that your HR department and supervisors have resources available to help you ease your anxiety and feel more comfortable in your role at work.
HR Search and Rescue strives to provide compassionate and professional HR consulting services to employers and employees alike. For more information, reach out to the HR experts at HR Search and Rescue today at 844-934-3293 or visit their website.