25+ Best Low-Stress Jobs for People With Anxiety (Social, General, Etc.)
Anxiety is a debilitating mental health disorder that affects nearly 20% of the adult US population. In fact, globally it’s one of the most common psychological conditions that people struggle with.
People who suffer from anxiety may have difficulty completing daily tasks, among other things. Even the easiest and smallest of situations can become stress-inducing and cause anywhere from mild to severe anxiety symptoms. That includes work, making it difficult for anxious people to find a job which meets their low-stress requirements.
The good news is that if you do suffer from anxiety, there are plenty of jobs out there that provide a low-stress work environment while also earning good money. Let’s take a look at a few of the best jobs for people with anxiety below!
Keep Calm and Work: What is Anxiety Disorder?
Before we dive into the best jobs for people with anxiety, let’s take a look at what anxiety disorder actually is. Anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that’s characterized by excessive or lasting worry. These worries interfere with a person’s daily life.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder, also known by its abbreviation GAD, is characterized by persistent or chronic anxiety, elevated levels of tension, and heightened, long-lasting worry, without something necessarily triggering it.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a type of anxiety disorder in which a person has unwanted and obsessive thoughts paired with compulsive behaviors. A person will perform ritual acts, such as hand washing, to relieve the anxiety caused by their obsessive thoughts.
Panic Attack Disorder
People who suffer from panic attack disorder (or just “panic disorder”) are affected by sudden and repeated episodes of intense fear. These usually involve a racing heart, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, and other physical symptoms.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Social anxiety disorder, or SAD, is a type of social phobia that’s marked by overwhelming stress and self-consciousness around others. With a social anxiety disorder, the anxiety is so intense that a person cannot interact with people during their daily lives without feeling some anxiety.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a type of anxiety disorder that develops after a person goes through a traumatic event. This disorder is most commonly associated with military veterans who’ve seen combat, but it can happen to anybody due to terrifying situations. For example, victims of sexual or physical assault may experience PTSD and other mental health issues.
Working With Social Anxiety Disorder
Often your choice of job is dictated by how far along you are in terms of diagnosis and treatment. Being able to manage your SAD symptoms can better equip you for jobs that are socially demanding. At the same time, even after you’ve learned how to cope, you may realize you are better suited to particular types of jobs.
Some people with SAD are extroverts and still crave the company of others even though they are fearful. If this is you, a job with more social interaction might be more appropriate. Others may be more comfortable in low-stress positions with limited social demands.
Your anxiety won’t improve if you isolate yourself. While you don’t have to be the center of attention, occasionally interacting with people will boost your confidence in social environments. Flexible roles that encourage you to interact with others from time to time tend to work best.
Finances can be a top source of stress and anxiety, affecting nearly 2 in 3 adults. A person may want to assess what salary they would require for financial stability. Additionally, a person needs to establish a healthy work-life balance, otherwise, their mental health may worsen.
The proximity of a job can also impact a person’s mental health, especially if a person experiences anxiety commuting to work. Remote and flexible roles may help reduce stress and improve productivity by avoiding potential sources of anxiety such as co-worker interactions, distracting environments, and a lack of personal space.
Research from 2021 shows that promoting remote work can reduce psychological and physical stress responses. However, full-remote work has the risk of worsening presenteeism — the practice of being present at work for more hours than required.
- Lab technician. This job typically involves testing and analyzing various biological and chemical samples. The role can vary depending if a person works at a hospital, university, clinic, or research institute. It may be suitable for a person who enjoys the methodological nature of lab work. People will usually require a Bachelor’s degree and could earn around $54,000.
- Veterinary assistant. This role will involve supporting the veterinarian in their daily tasks and can include handling, feeding, and exercising animals. It might be a calming and suitable role for people who like animals and help reduce anxiety symptoms. People will require a high school diploma and may earn up to $30,000.
- Accountant. Accountancy typically involves collecting and documenting financial data and checking documents for accuracy. This may be a suitable role for someone who enjoys numbers and attention to detail. A person will require a Bachelor’s degree, and an accounting certification can boost prospects. People could earn roughly $74,000.
- Librarian. Librarians can work in a variety of settings, such as museums, universities, and public libraries. As such, this role may be suitable for those who prefer quieter or slower paced environments. The role may involve helping the public find information and resources. A person will often require a Master’s degree and earn up to $61,000.
- Fitness trainer. Staying active can help manage anxious symptoms and maintain mental fitness. If a person is passionate about fitness, they may enjoy helping others to pursue their fitness goals. A person will require a high school diploma and professional certification. People may earn around $41,000.
- Writer. If a person enjoys writing and is seeking a flexible role, they may consider a career as a writer or editor. Many of these roles are freelance and may enable a person to work from home, which is particularly significant for certain people. To become a writer, a person will usually require a Bachelor’s degree and can earn roughly $67,000.
- Software designer. Careers in computing often require people to be meticulous and possess problem solving skills. Many roles may allow people to work by themselves, while others may need them to work in a team. A person in this field will typically require a Bachelor’s degree and can earn up to $110,000.
- Graphic designer. This is a creative role that typically combines illustrations, photo editing, and layout design skills to create visual content. Being creative may help to disconnect from stress. This job may also provide freelance opportunities which is more flexible. A person may require a Bachelor’s degree and can earn roughly $53,000.
- Warehouse worker. If a person would prefer to avoid interacting with others if they experience social anxiety, a warehouse role may be suitable. It typically involves unloading merchandise, organizing stock, and placing items on the sale floor. This work may take place outside store hours, so may be good for people seeking night work. This is an entry level role, and a person could earn up to $30,000.
- Janitor. If a person prefers independent work and routine, cleaning may be a good fit. Carrying out routine tasks reduces stress by making the situation appear more controllable and predictable. The role can provide satisfactory visible results, keep a person active, and allow them to listen to music, a podcast, or audiobook as they work. This is an entry level job and people may earn around $29,000.
Each individual will have different preferences for a role, and a career that is not suitable for one person may be ideal for another. However, it may be advisable for people living with anxiety to avoid stressful careers.
However, people can attempt to reduce their anxiety by choosing a career that supports their mental health and implementing strategies and accommodations to benefit their well-being.