Is it Workplace Stress or Workplace Anxiety?
Stress is common in the workplace. In fact a report by the American Institute of Stress found that 80% of workers feel stressed on the job, and nearly half say they need help learning how to manage it. Furthermore, 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful, and 25% viewed their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.1
But is it just workplace stress? Could you have workplace anxiety?
Identifying Workplace Anxiety
According to a medically reviewed article on WebMD, workplace anxiety isn’t uncommon. While stress is commonplace, if it’s constant and overwhelming, and prevents you from living your life, it’s possible you actually have an anxiety disorder.2 Below are a few signs (within the workplace) that a person may be struggling with an anxiety disorder.
- Appearing unengaged in their work
- Decreased or poor job productivity
- A drop in job performance
- Missing a high number of days of work
- Complaining of physical symptoms such as sweating, not sleeping well, or stomach upset without an additional explanation (such as a hot office, a wrong food choice at lunch, etc.)
Clinical psychologist Debra Kissen, PhD, also notes that looking at how a person feels throughout the weekday can be helpful.3 “’[Evaluate your anxiety] in terms of how severe it is and how disabling,” Dr. Kissen says. ‘Maybe it’s showing up and you’re still operating pretty effectively or when you’re feeling that way, maybe you’re only 10% as effective as you would be otherwise.’”
The Negative Impact of Workplace Anxiety
Having anxiety at work can significantly impact both you and your career. You may struggle to connect or collaborate with coworkers. You may feel like projects are harder to handle or complete. You may even start making decisions based on your anxiety like turning down a great promotion because the thought of more responsibility, traveling or public speaking makes your anxiety ramp up.4
The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) 2006 Stress & Anxiety Disorders Survey found some key findings as well that show a strong negative correlation between anxiety in the workplace and its impact on a person’s professional and personal lives.5
- On the job, employees said stress and anxiety most often impact their workplace performance, relationship with coworkers and peers, quality of work, and relationships with superiors.
- More than three-fourths said that workplace stress and anxiety carried over into their personal lives, especially for men.
- One in four reported persistent stress or excessive anxiety that impaired their ability to function
- 73% said anxiety caused them to avoid social situations at work while 43% said it caused them to avoid participating in meetings
- Only one-fourth of those with an anxiety disorder have told their employer, while the other three-fourths feared doing so would affect promotion opportunities, result in a negative note in their employee file, and that their boss would interpret it as a lack or unwillingness to do the specific activity.
And with more than 40 million U.S. adults (19.1% of the population) having an anxiety disorder, and 301 million globally (4% of the population), this is likely impacting productivity more than employers may realize. It’s also one more reason why supporting employee’s mental health and wellness is so critical.
How to Identify if You Have Anxiety
Understanding the difference between workplace stress and workplace anxiety could help you manage your symptoms. The following symptoms may indicate that you may have workplace anxiety:
- Losing interest in work
- Overeating or undereating
- Difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or remembering things
- Feeling like you need to be perfect all the time
- Worrying constantly and crying
- Avoiding friends, family, and colleagues
- Feeling tense, irritable, tired, and unengaged
Treating Workplace Anxiety
There are a lot of options for treating anxiety today. Medications, mediation, mobile apps, and therapy. But one that you may not know about is Alpha-Stim®. A non-invasive, non-drug cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device, Alpha-Stim is FDA-cleared to safely and effectively treat anxiety. (It also is FDA-cleared for insomnia, which is a common coexisting condition with anxiety.)
Why should employees consider Alpha-Stim?
One of the biggest benefits for working professionals with anxiety who use Alpha-Stim is they can use it at the office. A session with Alpha-Stim can be done in about 20 minutes, so it’s easy to do during a quick screen break or even while someone works away on their computer.
In fact one study found that Alpha-Stim recipients reported significantly less anxiety after one 20-minute session.7
Moreover, because the results of Alpha-Stim are cumulative, users often see increased relief over time. In clinical trials, patients reported an average of 94% less anxiety after using Alpha-Stim for 5 weeks.8
Employers also need to help employees with anxiety
Another critical element to treating workplace anxiety is the way an employer decides to support its workforce’s needs. This can be anything from offering mental health resources such as virtual or in-person therapy, offering educational resources or a discounted subscription to a meditation or calming app, creating quiet spaces for desensitizing or reducing stress around the office, or even considering a program that could allow employees to check-out Alpha-Stim devices in the office for a session so long as they have a recorded prescription.
See if Alpha-Stim AID is Right for You.
Give Alpha-Stim AID a try for anxiety relief today. Schedule a telehealth consult below with a licensed health care provider to get started.
Lee S-H, Kim W-Y, Lee C-H, et al. Effects of cranial electrotherapy stimulation on preoperative anxiety, pain and endocrine response. Journal of International Medical Research. 2013; 41(6) 1788–1795.
Barclay TH, Barclay RD. A clinical Trial of cranial electrotherapy stimulation for anxiety and comorbid depression. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2014;164:171-177. Presented at the American Psychological Association National Conference, Honolulu, July 2013.
Source note: The information provided is not an official diagnosis and should therefore not be used for diagnosing or treating a medical condition. Those seeking medical advice should consult with a licensed physician.