Dealing with Mental Health in the Workplace
Workplace anxiety is unfortunately not all that uncommon. It can be caused by anything, from workplace harassment and bullying to work-related stress. It can really get in the way of productivity, and can even lead to worse symptoms like depression, or suicidal tendencies. That is a tragedy, and I’m sad to say that I suffered workplace anxiety too. Work was usually pretty stressful to me. I found it difficult to keep up with the work expected of me, and that would lead to a lot of stress. I would just end up collapsing and falling asleep as soon as I got home and touched my bed, but I would just wake up the next morning frantic, burnt out, and rushing to barely make it on time to work. It just wasn’t working. I had to figure out some way to break the slump, and silence the voices in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough ever since I started burning out at the job. I needed help. I plumbed the Internet for answers, but most of the medical sites I found just told me to see a professional psychologist or psychiatrist. Helpful, I know, but I already talked a lot to the company guidance counsellor. I needed other ways to beat those voices. Then I found a site for a company called Paramount Training and Development. Apparently, they’re a company that makes training courses and seminars, and the link led me to one of their courses for Managing Workplace anxiety.
Interesting. I clicked on the link, and it showed me the course description, as well as a number of services that the company would offer to those who would like to take the course. The course was supposed to teach me how to manage workplace anxiety without sacrificing productivity or self-care, and the course was also up for custom services, so I could modify whatever I needed to on it if I thought it would help me learn from the course better. I took some colour changes on the aesthetic of the seminar; I read somewhere that the colour blue helped calm people more, so I hoped it would calm me and the other anxious fellows down. I could also choose to either take the course online, with a personal online assistant, or in a training seminar hosted in person by a professional educator. I wasn’t much for crowds, but I decided that I had to take the regular training seminar. Letting myself be alone at online training would only make me more anxious about how the trainer would view me, compared to the unprofessional opinions of a crowd that I could afford to discard. The company operated in Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, Parramatta, Gold Coast, Darwin, and right where I was, Melbourne. I signed up to the seminar in Melbourne for the 1PM session, and prayed that it would help, and that I had not spent $490 in vain.
I knew that the rest of the fellows there were legitimately workplace anxious too. They kept fidgeting, and would not look at each other, and were definitely uncomfortable in each other’s presence. I gulped down my fear and took a breath, sitting down. I paid money for this. I couldn’t afford to back out. The trainer stepped in shortly after, and her credentials were impressive to say the least. On top of a professional license in education, she was also a highly experienced psychologist, with roughly twelve years of experience. I remember her because her very first move was to listen to the problems each and every one of us had. There were around twenty of us in that session, but she took the time to listen to all of our anxious woes. She spoke to each of us, and addressed our problems, but also found the time to begin the lesson, and show us how to overcome it. Turns out, the way to beat the anxiety was to do things differently. If I wanted to feel differently, I had to do certain things differently. She asked us if we collapsed as soon as we got home from work, and I nodded, stunned, with the others. She said it as if she’d known all along what we did when we got home, and she gave a sympathetic nod, saying it was a common symptom of workplace anxiety to burn out. After all of it, I felt massively improved and cared for, determined to make the change that would beat my anxiety at last.
I turned in early that night. Not 6PM collapse-on-the-bed burnout early, but 9PM, a healthy time to be falling asleep. I woke up much earlier, and much more comfortably, allowing me to cruise to work leisurely and happily. When I got there, my great start to the day helped me feel much better about work, so I was a lot more productive than I would be had I been feeling sorry for myself like I used to all the time. A full day of work later, I noticed a few more smiles around the office, smiles that said they noticed how much more I was smiling. It was a long, tiring day, but I made a decision. I had to do things differently. Instead of burning out, I exercised when I got home, and made a mental challenge to myself to do better than I did today tomorrow. Months later, here I am, in a much higher position in the company, which itself enjoyed a much higher ranking and profit grade. The company awarded me for my hard work, which they said was instrumental in their rising. I couldn’t have been happier or prouder, to know that my anxiety was beaten, thanks to Paramount.
This course, I found, is significantly useful to anyone struggling with workplace anxiety. There will always be time for psychologist sessions, but for those who want to take the next step and beat their anxiety, this is the place to go.