IT’S MENTAL HEALTH WEEK
As one in four people in the UK are said to be suffering with a mental health condition, people are saddled with the looming issues of anxiety, depression and other mental health problems, but struggle to find the help they need.
Often high functioning anxiety is passed off as anxious energy which allows many people to suffer in silence.
Mental Health at Work
Sickness days due to stress, depression and anxiety has risen by 24% in the last six years.
It is estimated that 70 million working days are lost to mental ill health every single year, at a cost of £70 – 100 billion per annum.
Companies across the UK are also experiencing a decrease in productivity as their employees turn up for work unwell.
British people work some of the longest hours in Europe but are among the least productive. Now some companies are shortening their working week to increase efficiency, health and happiness.
HIGH FUNCTIONING ANXIETY OR ANXIOUS ENERGY?
Millennials have been dubbed ‘the generation of anxiety’ – which makes perfect sense, when you consider the fact that everyone is constantly being encouraged to reach the unreachable, smash careers, discover the globe, socialise and look fabulous whilst doing it! In short, everyone MUST succeed in everything!
It is likely that you are sat next to someone at work who seems to ‘have it all’. They seem to be successfully juggling a busy career; bringing up a young family; entertaining friends and their Instagram hashtags hint they are also prioritising their health and fitness – #instafit #fitfam #fitnessmotivation.
A recent study called this behaviour as being ‘worried well’ – an anxiety compounded by desire to hide it. This person is what we call high-functioning and are typically high achievers or function quite well in various aspects of their life.
In private though, it is well documented, that these are the people that we should be most worried about. They may suffer privately with intense panic attacks, follow hours of secret compulsive rituals, or feel paralysed at the thought of meeting new people, public speaking or even simply making mistakes.
Anxiety symptoms differ from person to person, but when it comes to high-functioning anxiety, there is the type that literally keeps you frozen, and anxiety that pushes you through life, forcing you to continually move.
This year, the Mental Health Foundation aimed their campaign on body image and recent statistics show that we feel how our body looks is impacting on our mental health and is affecting how we function both at home and at work.
let's work together to combat stress and anxiety at work
Here are 5 techniques that will help you combat anxiety at work today!
1. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Many of the techniques mentioned involve mindfulness, which is a popular method of combatting anxiety. Mindfulness can stop you worrying by bringing your attention back to the present through acknowledging your worries and letting them go. Mindfulness allows you to get in touch with your emotions and recognise how you feel.
The best way to start practicing mindfulness is to use an app on your phone. Mindful Magazine recently published their Top 5 mindfulness and meditation apps.
2. POSITIVE SELF TALK
Let’s stop being so hard on ourselves. Try and talk positively to yourself rather than putting yourself down. Whatever you are worrying about, by telling yourself ‘this feeling will pass’ and ‘I will be okay’ can only positively help to reassure you and reduce stress or worry.
3. record your thoughts
By writing down your thoughts and feelings including what situations have made your feel the most stressed it puts you in complete control allowing you to re-evaluate how you respond and take responsibility for your emotional state rather than let a sitaution control how you think, feel and react.
4. learn to say no
Are you drowning in paperwork and feel anxious every time you arrive or leave your place of work? The likelihood is that you have taken on too much.
You may want to impress your boss with the amount of work you get through but this will have a detrimental affect on your health and well-being. Speaking to your employer will give them a better understanding of your workload and could allow you to push back deadlines or receive some help with a task.
5. QUESTION HOW YOU FEEL
Feeling anxious can make our thoughts completely spiral out of control and exacerbate irrational fears. Force yourself to think about whether your worry or anxiety is realistic and whether the possible outcome is really as bad as you imagine.
remember, NOBODY IS AS BRILLIANT AS YOU!