A recent study found depression was the #1 obstacle to professional success. At any one time one worker in six will be experiencing depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress. It’s a normal part of working life. Many people find it difficult dealing with depression and anxiety in the workplace; you are not alone. It is hard to keep a good positive balance, as work is often very demanding. Some pressure at work can be motivating, but when it becomes excessive it can eventually lead to work-related stress.
However, workers feel unable to disclose mental health problems to colleagues or bosses because discrimination is rife and openness discouraged.
Click through for tips on staying positive at work.
Below some useful tips on how to get motivated when you’re feeling depressed.
Classic symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Poor concentration
- Loss of energy and fatigue
- Thoughts of suicide or preoccupation with death
- Loss or increase of appetite and weight
- A disturbed sleep pattern (Insomnia)
- Slowing down (both mentally and physically)
- Agitation (restlessness or anxiety).
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, you could be depressed. If your feelings aren’t getting any better, you should go to see your GP.
Live a Balanced Life
In life we need to make room for different aspects. If we focus all our time and energy on work then we will have no time for relaxation and cultivating other aspects of our life. If we pursue unbalanced life unhappiness is more likely to occur.
Learn Some Calming Techniques
- Meditate – A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety.
- Breathe Deeply – Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.
Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure
- Be Present – Slow down. Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behaviour with awareness.
- Visualization meditation for stress relief – Visualization, or guided imagery, is a variation on traditional meditation that requires you to employ not only your visual sense, but also your sense of taste, touch, smell, and sound. When used as a relaxation technique, visualization involves imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go of all tension and anxiety.
Tip: There are lots of wellbeing podcasts that help you to relax your mind and relax the body.
One third of people struggle to cope at work because of depression, stress or burn out – By the charity Depression Alliance as part of Depression Awareness Week.
Exercise in the Morning
To feel more energized all day, and it frees up your evenings for plans with friends. Plus, exercise releases endorphins, which improve your mood.
Do the worst thing first
If you have a list of things to do, do the one you least want to do first. Once you get it out of the way, the rest of the tasks will seem easier to cope with. If you keep putting it off, it will prey on your mind and may seem a lot worse than it really is. Tie this in with your priority list above.
Research indicates that taking breaks can decrease stress hormones, increase dopamine and other feel-good chemicals, and strengthen the neural connections that aid memory and executive functions. In other words, breaks make us more productive.
Don’t set yourself up by expecting perfection
You will face disappointments, make mistakes, and encounter obstacles at work – everyone does. Adjust your attitude and expectations about yourself and your work, knowing that problems are inevitable in any job.
Create a Positive Social Life
Work to make your social interactions more positive by showing warmth toward other people, taking an interest in them, developing and sharing interests and activities, etc.
Watch your thinking!
Anti-rumination strategy is vital to breaking out of depression and other emotional ruts. Become aware of those times you dwell on the negatives in your life – either real or imagined – and stop them. It takes work and persistence but if you constantly tell yourself to ‘stop it’ when you start to go over and over the negatives, then you are building a positive habit that will change your life for the better.
Would you ever tell your boss you have depression? Share your experiences in the comments area below.