While anxiety exists on a spectrum, it can be a serious illness which significantly impacts a person’s quality of life and how they feel in the workplace. Some people use the word anxiety casually and colloquially when referring to high-pressure situations, but people with anxiety know that severe anxiety is more than just feeling stressed in the moment. People with anxiety are plagued with constant worries and concerns that won’t go away. Anxiety can escalate and begin to take over a person’s life when they find themselves constantly worrying about perceived threats that may or may not be based in reality.
Anxiety is common, with an average of 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experiencing anxiety at some point in their lives. At EPIC we believe all people with anxiety have the right to work, and all people with anxiety can work successfully when the right support is in place. If you’re a person with anxiety who would like help in finding a supportive employer, get in touch with EPIC today.
While anxiety is common, it can still be an extremely isolating experience and people with anxiety are often left feeling disconnected from those around them. But once a person with anxiety finds the right support network, they can start to manage their anxiety and work towards better mental health.
People with anxiety must surround themselves with a strong personal and professional support network, in order to thrive at work. Every person with anxiety will find support in different ways, but their network may include loved ones, people at work and medical professionals. A person with anxiety may also find support and comfort in seeking out stories, either online or in-person, from other people with anxiety.
At EPIC, our team is dedicated to helping people with anxiety learn to better manage their anxiety. In addition to our Employment Consultants, we have a dedicated team of Mental Health Consultants who are skilled in supporting people with anxiety. Our team can provide people with anxiety with the tools, tips and practical information they need to flourish personally and professionally. If you need help tapping into a greater support network, contact EPIC today.
At EPIC, we take the time to understand our job seekers. It’s not a matter of just throwing a person with anxiety into a workplace and seeing if they sink or swim. It’s about getting to know each individual person and finding out what they need to succeed. We understand that a person with anxiety will not succeed at work if they have not been equipped to deal with the day-to-day pressures of a workplace. EPIC will run through common anxiety triggers that may occur across different sectors and industries and help people with anxiety control their anxious feelings.
Work experience can be a good way for people to test out the routine and responsibilities of a new workplace. Job seekers can test out strategies for managing their anxiety in a workplace, which will prepare them for paid employment.
When they are ready for the workplace, a person with anxiety can rest assured that they will be matched with a suitable, supportive employer. At EPIC, we work with our job seekers with anxiety to get them job-ready, and we also work with employers to ensure they understand how to best support a person with anxiety on-the-job.
Anxiety management strategies in the workplace
It’s vital for people with anxiety to understand the signs that their anxiety is escalating, and how to manage it. A person may notice that their anxiety is worse in particular situations, in the company of particular people, or even at different times of the day. Keep a record of thoughts and feelings throughout each day can help people with anxiety identify key themes relating to their anxiety, so they are better equipped to manage it.
A number of different tried and tested strategies have helped various people with anxiety, including:
Be ‘in the moment’
When a person with anxiety thinks about all the things that could go wrong in the future, they often become inundated with anxiety. Naming your specific feelings and concerns can help ground you and bring you back to the present. For example, “In this moment, I am feeling anxious about XXX. I will manage this situation by taking these XXX steps, and then this feeling will pass.”
Confront your negative thoughts
People with anxiety tend to jump to the worse-case scenario in any given situation. Recognising that negative thoughts are not necessarily based in reality can help people with anxiety turn around negative thought patterns. When a person with anxiety finds themselves saying, ‘I know this will go terribly’ or ‘I’m not smart enough to do this job’, they should consider follow-up questions which challenge negative self-talk. Questions like ‘What evidence do I have to support these thoughts?’ or statements like ‘I know that is not true, and I will not allow myself to think that way’ can be helpful. Actively challenging negative thoughts and practising positive self-talk can stop anxiety from spiralling out of control.
Tackle issues head-on
While it may seem counter-intuitive for a person with anxiety to face their fears, it is an essential way of moving forward through anxiety. People with anxiety should start with issues that are making them slightly anxious first, before moving onto larger issues. When a person with anxiety tackles an issue, they will most likely realise it was not as bad as they thought, and it will give them the courage to move through larger anxiety-inducing issues.
Give yourself ‘worry time’
A person with anxiety can allot themselves a small window of time (perhaps 10-15 minutes) to unapologetically worry. Using daily ‘worry time’ to write or think about worries can prevent anxiety from taking over all facets of the person’s life.
While the above strategies may be suitable for some people with anxiety, everyone is different. EPIC treat all people with anxiety as individuals, and always take the time to understand what tools will be fitting for each person. Get in touch with EPIC to start your employment journey today.