In a perfect world, everyone would feel happy and comfortable within their workplace and actively enjoy doing their job – but unfortunately, this is not the case for a large number of workers. Emotional distress at work can have a significant impact on the affected individual – and if your boss or working environment needlessly causes such distress, this can make both your working hours and downtime highly unpleasant and have a significant impact on your emotional health.
In this article, I will explain what constitutes emotional distress at work and cover some of its common causes, as well as sharing some tips on handling emotional distress and advice on what to do if your workplace is causing you emotional distress.
What Is Emotional Distress At Work In San Diego?
Emotional distress may be caused to an employee if they are subjected to acute mental or physical harm (also known as workplace harassment). This may lead to a wide range of effects on the employee in question, including depression and anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, panic, and in extreme cases, severe mental distress that can lead to suicidal or harmful thoughts and actions.
Under federal law, two different types of work-related emotional distress are recognized, being intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and negligently inflicted emotional distress respectively.
Intentionally inflicted emotional distress is, as the term implies, deliberate, whilst negligently inflicted emotional distress occurs if your boss or employer fails to take reasonable steps to avoid causing emotional distress to their workforce or individual members of the workforce.
Common Causes Of Emotional Distress At Work
While many jobs are by their very nature potentially highly stressful or likely to lead to periods of distress or unhappiness in their workers – such as often the case for law enforcement officers, healthcare workers and others who work in highly pressured and often difficult situations – your working environment and treatment by your boss or colleagues should not in and of itself lead to emotional distress.
Being bullied, victimized or attacked (emotionally or physically) in the workplace can cause emotional distress, as can working in an environment that is negligently dangerous, frightening, or that otherwise places you at risk of physical or mental harm.
Tips For Handling Emotional Distress At Work
Everyone experiences stress at work from time to time, but a stressful job should not result in emotional distress. Managing your stress levels and safeguarding your mental health can help to ensure that workplace stress and the effects of your working environment don’t tip over into the realms of emotional distress.
Here are some tips for handling and reducing the impact of emotional distress at work:
- Remember that you cannot always control your wider environment or the behavior of other people within it – but you can control your own reactions to provocations and difficult situations. Concentrate on keeping yourself calm and avoiding negative reactions and thought patterns that can exacerbate distress, and try to develop tools and coping mechanisms to help you to manage your responses and emotions.
- Learn to recognize emotions and situations that upset you, and try to analyze your feelings and reactions to develop new thought patterns and coping behaviors that will help you to manage and minimize emotional distress.
- Try to disengage from work problems outside of your working hours – proactively separating your work life from your personal life and where possible, not taking work problems and baggage home with you.
- If you feel that your boss or workplace are causing or failing to prevent emotional distress, raise a formal grievance with the appropriate person within your chain of command, or with the company’s HR department. Ensure that your grievance is formally registered in case you need to refer back to it in the future.
Getting Support For Emotional Distress At Work In San Diego
If you feel that your boss or employer is causing you emotional distress and you have attempted to raise the issue formally within the company – or if you feel unable to do so for fear of worsening the issue or falling victim to retaliation – contact Walker Law for professional advice from a specialist firm of employment law attorneys in San Diego.