How to Help Men Manage Anxiety at Work

Anxiety is a state of intense fear, worry, or nerves that can cause the world to feel like it is happening at a fast or slow pace. A lot of anxiety usually revolves around work-related stressors, such as working overtime, lack of support from colleagues, time management pressures, job insecurity and more. 

Anxiety can affect anyone, but men’s experiences and coping styles are unique due to differing social and biological factors. Furthermore, men are less likely to seek help for their anxiety. 

However, avoiding help can prolong and worsen your battle with these internal feelings. Therefore, seeking help from your friends, family, and health professionals is the best way to manage the symptoms. With help, you can overcome and manage the symptoms of anxiety. 

Gender Roles and Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions, but the symptoms can vary from person to person. Studies have shown that there are even striking differences in how anxiety looks in the brains of men and women. Beyond the biological aspect, how anxiety is triggered is also influenced by factors like gender roles that have been assigned by society. 

Societal Expectations 

Gender roles are expectations that society has placed on how men and women should behave and think. The unfortunate thing about gender roles is that they are expectations and not rules that each gender has to partake in throughout their lives. Some strict gender roles and expectations that are often associated with men include:

  • Strength and power

  • Financial responsibility

  • Showing emotions and affection is a sign of weakness

  • Aggression and dominance

Such roles are difficult for one human being to take on. It’s even more difficult when these are set as society’s standards; therefore, more pressure is placed on men to achieve success.

Newer Generations Looking To Erase Stigma

However, with each generation, these gender roles are starting to become eradicated, and openness in how one acts and expresses themselves is becoming more accepted. Yet, as a man, you may still find tension between these societal expectations and being more open to fluidity of behaviors. The stress of not adhering to traditional gender roles or the struggle of navigating modern ones can become a constant source of stress and anxiety.

Work Anxiety and How to Handle It

Traditional gender roles say that men should be reliable breadwinners. While this expectation is slowly changing, it still places a lot of pressure on men to provide for their families. According to surveys like this one, men are twice as likely to feel the economic burden in a relationship. That’s why financial worry has such an impact on men’s mental health.

The stress of earning a good wage can cause anxiety over your work situation. Whether it’s pleasing your boss and colleagues, stressing about money, meeting deadlines or facing job insecurity, these are all factors that can provoke anxious feelings. Ironically, work-related stress can lead to lower productivity and burnout, making it harder to stay on top of things.

Some signs you can start looking out for if you think you are suffering from work anxiety are:

  • Consumption of alcohol or drugs to cope

  • Changes in sleep or appetite, such as insomnia or weight gain/loss

  • Physical reactions such as a fast heart rate or a tense or nervous feeling 

  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about things other than the present moment

Thankfully, anxiety is something that can be treated and there are many resources with multiple options you can try to relieve or completely eliminate your symptoms. Below are a few options.

Talk About It

Studies show that men tend to be problem solvers and less likely to be open about their feelings, which changes how they cope with difficulties like depression or anxiety. However, talking about your emotions can be incredibly healing. Whether this is to a family member, friend, or health professional, discussing your feelings can help you feel better physically and mentally. You also will receive advice that you may find beneficial in your work life to address your physical and mental health.

Taking Care of Your Needs

Your physical activity, sleep, and diet play a crucial role in treating anxiety. Factors such as sleep deprivation, too much sugar, processed foods, and little movement throughout the day can affect your brain chemicals to make you more susceptible to feelings of anxiety. Thus, having an overall balanced life is key to making sure your brain is functioning properly to minimize anxiety.

Steer Clear of Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and other drugs are often used as a way to cope with work-related stresses. However, substances only temporarily relieve symptoms of anxiety. Any prolonged use can worsen symptoms and negatively impact other parts of your health. Instead of looking at such substances for aid, consider finding a hobby, playing a sport, or spending time with family and friends to receive a healthier alternative that will improve more than your anxiety symptoms.

Men and Mental Health

Rather than seeking help, men have a tendency to try and resolve issues on their own, which can result in self-destructive behavior, making the situation worse. As a society, there is work to be done to get rid of strict gender roles and, ultimately, the mental health stigma placed upon men. 

This will result in making it easier to seek out help when needed and prioritize men’s well-being over society’s standards. We can start moving toward this goal by creating a safe space for men to be open about their anxiety struggles with family, friends, and professionals. The stigma placed upon men and mental health has no room for rejection, only acceptance.

Work-related anxiety is a real thing that many people experience in their everyday life. However, with help, they can successfully overcome the symptoms. At SokyaHealth, we recognize that anxiety may feel like an emotional battle that is never-ending. Fortunately, there are resources and people here to help. We understand that for men, this becomes difficult when living in a society that has a past of labeling what expectations genders should have. However, we work to eradicate the stigma and provide a safe online space to allow for more acceptance and understanding. A great place for men to start seeking help and support is with therapy and coaching that offer services directed toward their specific needs. Whether you are experiencing anxiety from work, relationships, or any other life stressors, the team at SokyaHealth comprises licensed health professionals who can help. To learn more, call us at 866-932-1767.

More than 50% of Americans struggle with mental health.

Headlight is now collaborating with health plans and companies to make therapy more accessible and affordable. Speak to a Care Coordinator today.