Work-related stress and anxiety is a significant problem in the United States. Anxiety disorders can lead to various mental health issues, including depression, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress. Job stress is also a significant trigger for substance abuse. It is estimated that work-related anxiety contributes to substance abuse in 10-20% of the workforce.
Workplace Anxiety Is on the Rise
A recent study found that work-related anxiety is rising, with statistics showing a sharp increase in reported cases over the past three years. The study surveyed employees across various industries and found that nearly one-third of respondents reported feeling more anxious about their work than they did three years ago. Respondents cited several reasons for their increased anxiety, including worries about job security, long hours, and increasing pressure to perform.
The findings suggest that workplace anxiety is becoming a more pervasive problem, and employers need to take steps to address the issue. One way to do this is to provide employees with more support and resources to help them manage their anxiety. This can include offering flexible work arrangements, increasing communication channels, and providing access to mental health resources.
Why Is Work So Stressful?
Some reasons for the sharp increase in job stress are obvious-COVID, lockdown, isolation, lost wages, and increased living costs. However, the following factors, while not as pronounced three years ago, were already emerging issues pre-pandemic.
- Long hours. One of the reasons for this increase is that workers are now working longer hours than ever before. You might be eating lunch at your desk or skipping meals altogether. Additionally, when you do not take regular breaks, you are more likely to experience work-related anxiety.
- Tight deadlines. In today’s fast-paced business world, it is not unusual to be asked to complete tasks with unrealistic deadlines. Unfortunately, this can often lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
- Toxic management. A toxic boss is defined as a person who creates a work environment characterized by fear, uncertainty, and doubt. This type of work environment harms your mental and physical health. For example, while working for a toxic boss, you are more likely to have difficulty sleeping, experience gastrointestinal issues, and have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition, toxic bosses undermine your morale and can negatively impact your physical and mental health. Sometimes, they may be responsible for creating a hostile work environment.
If you think you may be working for a toxic boss, you can do a few things to help improve the situation. First, try to get a sense of what specific behaviors are causing problems for you. Second, communicate your concerns directly to your boss constructively and professionally. Finally, if the situation does not improve, you may want to consider finding a new position entirely.
The Number One Cause of Workplace Anxiety
The number one cause of workplace anxiety is the feeling of not being valued or appreciated. It can lead to insecurity and isolation if you do not feel like your work is respected or that your contributions are recognized. This can be especially true if you are new to a job or have recently been passed over for a promotion.
If you are feeling workplace anxiety due to not feeling appreciated, you can do a few things to ease your stress. First, try proactively communicating your accomplishments and successes to your boss or supervisor. Keep a running list of things you have done that have added value to the company or helped move projects forward.
Make sure they know about the great work you are doing. Additionally, try to build positive relationships with co-workers and create a support network at the physical or virtual office. These people can provide reassurance and encouragement when you are feeling down about your job.
Finally, remember that it is okay to advocate for yourself and ask for what you need. If you feel you are not appreciated, have a candid conversation with your supervisor about your concerns. They may be completely unaware of what you are experiencing and will take steps to rectify the situation.
Work Stress Can Lead to Substance Abuse
The pressure of meeting deadlines, juggling multiple projects, or dealing with difficult bosses and co-workers can be overwhelming for many people. As a result, they may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope. But, unfortunately, having poor mental health and substance abuse only leads to more problems.
Not only does substance abuse lead to job dissatisfaction and absenteeism, but it can also lead to addiction and health problems. If left unchecked, stress and addiction can have a severe impact on both your personal and professional life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address the problem. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional if you struggle with work-related anxiety. They can help you develop a plan to manage your stress and improve your overall well-being.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, reach out today. Treatment centers like the Phoenix can treat both stress and addiction with a dual diagnosis. Always remember you are not alone, and help is available.
Seek Professional Help
Work-related anxiety is a significant and growing problem in the United States. Research shows that work-related anxiety can lead to a host of mental health issues, including depression, insomnia, and compulsive disorders. When work consumes you, the anxiety from it can take over your life and lead you to use substances to cope. Substances such as alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes are used by many people to manage the overwhelming demands of often multiple workplaces. The problem with using substances to cope with anxiety is that they only provide temporary relief and can lead to addiction.
If you are struggling with work-related anxiety, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. For more information, call The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.