BUSINESS: Workplace Anxiety and Women: Why Businesses Need to Take Notice and Act

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By Tina Dietz
September 25th, 2013 Edition

Anxiety is a natural feeling experienced by most people, and it gives rise to an adrenaline rush that propels increased vigilance in times of potential danger. But since we’re not ‘usually’ fighting off saber toothed tigers these days, persistent anxiety is a well-known social and health problem that must be carefully addressed to prevent its escalation into other problems, like depression, social anxiety or panic attacks.

A work environment has a great deal of factors that contribute heavily to one’s anxiety, which includes the anxiety of hardworking women, businesses owners, and even entry-level female employees. Having a harsh or abusive boss can also be a sure cause of anxiety; while it has also been observed that anxiety is quite prevalent amongst new and expectant mothers. This could be due to changes in hormones or the added pressures due to adding a whole new identity to your psyche (think maybe that has an impact, hmmmm?).

Anxiety is often misunderstood, and it definitely has its adverse effect on women in high-stress working conditions-whether it is an office setting or an entrepreneurial one. An anxious person experiencing a substantial amount of stress becomes unfocused and more prone to workplace accidents. This will greatly affect both the individual and company negatively, so the effects of anxiety can be devastating to a corporation if not addressed as a serious issue by human resources. It also needs to be addressed compassionately.

Of the total number of women in the work place, research from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America revealed that 72% with daily stress and anxiety have it interfere with their normal lives on a moderate level. The ADAA had also found that 40% of women working in high stress environments, like busy law firms or manufacturing companies, have persistent stress or high anxiety in their daily lives. Statistics also reveal that 30% of women have reverted to medical means to reduce the effect of anxiety, so they can improve their overall work performance, which causes more stress in and of itself. So yes, at LEAST 30% of the US workforce right now is medicated. Let that sink in for a minute.

Of the total number of women in the work place, 28% have had episodes of panic attacks due to skyrocketing stress levels. When the causes and symptoms of anxiety are not addressed, reduced or eliminated entirely, they will continuously result in such panic episodes and even more troublesome scenarios. Simply from a cost/benefit perspective the effects of anxiety are far worse and more expensive in the long run than the cost of putting measures in place to reduce the problem; therefore, businesses should definitely consider investing resources in more measures to address and reduce the presence of anxiety in their employees.

But let’s not leave it solely to the corporations, HR, the government, etc. to solve the issues, shall we? That’s more giving power away for women. There is no better investment than you. Nothing pays off more, nothing gives you more back than you being true to your essence and creating and living the life of your dreams. Take action, be proactive, and seek out those resources and solutions that are going to support an emotionally and physically healthy lifestyle.

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