Mental Health in the Workplace: How to Deal with Anxiety
It’s a known fact that life these days is incredibly hectic, filled with a multitude of complex stressors which can weigh heavily on one’s mind. Statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health show that in 2010, neuropsychiatric disorders (which include mental, behavioral and neurological disorders) were the leading cause of disability, followed by cardiovascular and circulatory diseases in the United States.
If you are someone suffering from a lot of stress and anxiety in your life, hopefully these tips will provide some assistance on how to deal with it. Although the tips outlined are to help you cope while at work, they are applicable to all areas of life.
Tip 1: Develop self-awareness
Stress is a normal part of life because it occurs when our systems experience any sort of change from “the norm.” Some experiences barely ruffle our feathers, while others might send us totally off-kilter. And what might bother one person, has little-to-no effect on another.
With that being said, it is important for you to develop an understanding of what makes you tick (in both the good and bad way), so that you can begin to put measures in place to help when you encounter things that challenge you. Simply making a note the next time you feel stressed and what is causing it is a great place to start. Over time, patterns will develop, allowing you to better understand yourself, your needs and what causes you to worry.
Tip 2: Develop some good relaxation techniques
The stress response is run by our bodies through a very complex system of neural and hormonal pathways, orchestrated by a part of the brain called the limbic system. This same area also controls the relaxation response. The interesting part is that when your body is firing “fight or flight” stress signals, it is impossible to become relaxed, and vice versa. The brain can’t do both at once.
So, if you’re able to induce a feeling of calm, you naturally take yourself out of stress mode. The following couple of tips are some suggestions of how you can trigger the relaxation response. Practice makes perfect, so don’t give up if they don’t work instantaneously. There are also MANY free online relaxation resources which can guide you through the different tips listed if you need some assistance getting into it.