Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects people from all aspects of life. From experience, it seems to be especially prevalent in the workplace. While experts argue about the root causes of this condition, everyone agrees that anxiety can be a debilitating force throughout a person’s professional and personal life if left unchecked.
It impedes healthy work habits and daily functioning, causes stress to build over time, wreaks havoc on your relationships with colleagues and friends, and clouds your judgement when performing tasks you otherwise feel confident in.
The challenge of helping those around you who suffers from anxiety as you deal with it and struggle to manage its effects in your life is a great one.
How to provide support to an anxious worker in a workplace
Employers who wants to support an employee experiencing anxiety in the workplace could benefit from consulting with an Occupational Health provider to help facilitate a healthy working environment where stress-related physical ailments are reduced. An Occupational Health provider could also help identify whether this condition interferes with any aspect of your employee’s job performance. Below are ways by which you can provide support to an anxious worker.
Encourage Communication with Your Co-workers
While speaking with someone who has anxiety can initially feel like an uncomfortable experience, it’s important to remember that they may not feel comfortable talking about any of their problems at the moment. There are many people with anxiety who responds to the situation with avoidance or silence. This can be hard to understand.
Be Aware of the Help That is Available
The medical profession is already trained in identifying symptoms of anxiety, so when you are struggling with an anxious co-worker, you should feel comfortable seeking out help for them. Alternatively, you may talk with a professional who specializes in helping people with anxiety. If it seems that your co-worker has outgrown their initial form of treatment or will not seek further help, then it may be time for you to reach out to one yourself.
Assess the Situation
Assessing the circumstances for an anxious employee is important. If someone avoids talking about how they feel or is struggling with discomfort in a particular situation, it’s essential to assess the situation. It’s unreasonable to assume that a friend in a bad mood will be in a good one the next day if you do not ask them about it. Also, don’t assume that someone is struggling with anxiety because they have been hostile or quiet for a few days.
Explore Your Coping Strategies
Though anxiety can feel overwhelming, it mustn’t stop us from living our best lives. Whether you are struggling with your anxiety or know someone who has, knowing how you manage it can make all the difference. For example, people with anxiety are less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, which can help them feel better about themselves and achieve their goals without extra stress.
Anxiety can be a dangerous condition for those who suffer from it. However, with the proper support from family and friends, anxiety can be managed and even treated with relative ease. By recognizing the severity of anxiety, offering support for it, and learning how to provide that support, you can help keep your anxious co-worker on the path towards better mental health.