This article is part of Hive’s Mental Health Week initiative. To celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10th, we’re hosting a panel all about mental health at work. To compliment that panel, we’re releasing articles throughout the week about mental health in an effort to open and improve dialogue around mental health.
Work is stressful. It’s no secret. Studies have even revealed that 83% of workers are stressed and that 70% of workers fell like they’ve got too much on their plate — those are crazy statistics. But outside of work, people are also just generally anxious. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the US each year, which is just over 18% of the population, and include diagnoses like Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
When you combine an increasingly anxious general population with work stress, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. And one of the big issues here is that no one talks about it. People who speak out about mental illness or anxiety disorders are often labeled as less effective or “weaker,” so employees are more likely to avoid sharing this information about themselves — only 39% of people with a disability have disclosed this information to their manager, and only 4% have disclosed their disability to clients. These disabilities can include mental illnesses like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, depression and ADHD. This lack of dialogue is the reason we’re celebrating World Mental Health day with a week-long initiative — everyone has struggled with anxiety or stress, and we need to talk more openly about it.
But one of the issues with anxiety at work is that you don’t have as much time to actively combat it. Oftentimes we’ve got a meeting or deadline looming and can’t get up from our desks, but that’s where your phone comes in handy. There are tons of available apps made to help assuage anxiety and stress, especially at work. Here are a few of our favorites:
This app is exactly what it sounds like — a white noise app that plays various noises. We love this app because it helps drown out external sounds that could be exacerbating anxiety. Listening to white noise has also been proven to boost memory, and can help preserve focus in loud and distracting environments.
This app is great because you can choose from several white noise sounds, including beach waves, white noise, air conditioner, and blue noise (more of a high pitched sound than white noise). Happy listening!
We’ve written about our love for this meditation app before — it encourages you to make daily meditation a habit in as little as five minutes. You can select a meditation from hundreds of options ranging in style and duration, and studies have shown even a single meditation session can reduce anxiety and help your heart health. It’s hard to argue with that. And to make it even easier, we’ve also created a custom list of our favorite workplace meditations, which you can find here.
This app is great for individuals who are actively panicking or anxious and need to quickly recalibrate and center themselves. This app encourages you to list stressors and things called thought distortions, which are the crazy or abnormal thoughts that your brain starts to spiral towards once your anxious brain is triggered. Using Thought Diary, you can track and provide alternative thoughts to your anxious feelings, which can help you minimize the effects of anxiety.
You’ve probably heard of them because of their great commercial with Michael Phelps, but if you don’t know what TalkSpace does, they’re basically an online therapy provider that helps match you with a licensed professional to address any mental health concerns. There are over 1 million people already using the app, and it’s a great way to address concerns quickly when you’re unable to leave the office or your desk.
This app is another great immediate alternative to therapy — it’s got several guided sessions for anxiety reduction including something called “Guided Journeys,” where they take you through an audio lesson and activities to help you in categories like: Feeling Better, Taking Control, Building Confidence, and Mindfulness. This app also has helpful communities and groups that you can reference if you’d like to talk through your experiences with other people.
Hear us out. If you’re the type of anxious person who deals with rumination or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, this app is actually a great, calming resource. Playing a game like this that is challenging but repetitive helps quiet some of the alarm bells that anxiety rings, and helps divert attention away from the anxious thoughts before they’ve totally consumed your attention.
This app, short for “Self Help For Anxiety Management” helps you learn more about your anxiety, build coping mechanisms, and work to find the right treatment plan for your personal anxiety. It was developed by a team of psychologists alongside students at a University in the UK, and has a variety of features including sections called “Things That Make Me Anxious” and “Anxiety Tracker.” There’s also a great SAM community available through the app which allows you to anonymously share experiences with their community.
Are there any other must-have apps that you’ve found helpful for dealing with anxiety or stress? Please let us know in the comments below, and we’ll add it to the list!