According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce: 2022 Report, 41% of North American workers said they felt worried daily for most of the day. Every year, more and more of the workforce is facing anxiety while “on the clock” at their place of work. You likely have people on your team or that you work with in some capacity that are struggling with worry, fear, and anxiety, and it is important to determine how you will approach this to usher in the peace and love of Jesus. Even as a Christian executive, you might face anxiety as well, and working through it biblically will make all the difference.
Anxious at Work
It’s been a stressful few years for the workforce as we’ve faced a global pandemic and a challenging economic climate. These events on top of everyday life stressors and trials that arise have led many to feel overwhelmed about the realties they face at work and in their personal life. Whether workers are anxious about something work related or something outside of work, data is showing they are feeling the weight of their worry while in the office. It’s inevitable that this anxiety will show itself in some form, and it’s important that you recognize some of the signs.
Know the Signs
It can be easy to confuse the signs of anxiety with laziness: showing up late, underperforming, and seemingly unengaged from their work and the mission of the company. When you recognize that these things can suggest someone on your team is struggling, you can take a supportive stance instead of being frustrated with their performance. You can ask questions to get to the heart of the issue instead of making assumptions. Then, help connect them to the resources they need to find relief. As a Christian business leader, supporting your team members when they are in difficult seasons is showing the love of Jesus in your workplace. You can do this by helping them find the tools they need, or providing them the tools when possible, and extending mercy and grace as they navigate through their situation.
At War With Fear and Anxiety
What do you do when you are the one experiencing anxiety? It’s easy to fall into the trap of turning to things that are mindless or self-medicating. However, as Christ followers we have instructions for a better way to challenge fear and anxiety. The Bible references fear, worry, and anxiety hundreds of times. In summary, these verses say that troublesome emotions and thoughts can be combatted with prayer, thanksgiving, and remembering God’s promises and who He is in every circumstance. These are the weapons He gives us to fight the lies we are believing and the fear of things outside of our control. Identify verses about God’s promises, write them down or commit them to memory, and repeat these to yourself when you are experiencing anxious thoughts that contradict these verses. Shifting our focus to things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) can bring stability to our thoughts and restore peace where it is lacking, even when our circumstances don’t change. Encourage your loved ones to do the same. More and more kids are struggling with anxiety, according to studies including the Annie E. Casey Foundation. If you have children in your home, encourage open communication about what they are thinking and feeling, and talk to them about how you approach your anxious thoughts.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
As a leader in your company, it’s important to address anxiety in the ways that work best for you so you can shepherd your team as a healthy leader. Sometimes that may include seeking help from others. Seeking professional help can be a tool to getting our thoughts back on track. Knowing resources that are available to you and those around you, at work and at home, is a great place to begin. We’ve included a few links below, but there are others that are available uniquely to your community. Talk to peers and other faith leaders in your community to find your local resources.
- Corporate Chaplains of America
- Mental Health Screening
- Anxiety & Depression Association of America
- Give an Hour
- Calming the Storm Within: How to Find Peace in This Chaotic World by Jim Lange
Fear and anxiety are challenging, but we trust in a powerful and loving God who has already overcome this world. As a Christian business leader, He has commissioned you to be salt and light in your workplace. The God of peace has given you weapons not of this world for you to go to war with the fear and anxiety in your life and help those around you to do the same.