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How can I help a friend who is stressed out at work?

Q: My close friend is having problems at work, which is hampering him mentally and physically. He takes his work very seriously and always has deadlines to meet. At the same time, he likes his job and is a workaholic. But he is not good at management and interacting with people. He is bringing this pressure in his personal life and suffering from low self-esteem. These days he's losing patience and has no social interaction. He never opens up his thoughts and does not share them with any one. He is losing the confidence in himself. I am worried about him. Where is he heading? How can I bring him back to normal life?

A:I can really appreciate your concern for your friend. Although you have said that you need to get your friend back to normal life, you have also said that your friend likes his job and he is a workaholic. There is a strong possibility of executive stress in your report. This usually can be dealt with slowing down the pace of work and taking regular frequent breaks, engaging in stress relaxation techniques like yoga, relaxation, or enjoyable pastimes. You need to also appreciate your depth of worry for this friend, which may be excessive and spoiling your own quality of life. It may also be that display of excessive concern may alienate your friend more from you. Also you may in your concern (which may well be very real) treat him/ her, as a child in a paternalistic way, which may make matters worse. I suggest that to be able to do justice you should be able to approach your friend in a more realistic way, give him adequate space and understand and do as any mature individual would do for another individual.

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