September 23, 2021
Workplace Wellness- How to Manage Anxiety at Work
Work anxiety refers to stress caused by work that leads to anxiety. Workplace anxiety can have significant negative effects and impact your quality of life, leaving you counting down the minutes until the end of your shift. Anxiety can impact work performance, such as quality of work, relationships with coworkers, meeting deadlines, managing staff, participating in meetings, and even giving presentations.
You are not alone, people that suffer from stress or anxiety report that it impacts their everyday life, including their workplace. Managing one aspect of you life can assist you with coping with other areas. Here are some ways of reducing anxiety below and please visit our Anxiety page for additional resources on managing anxiety.
Setting Realistic Deadlines
People with anxiety will often commit to deadlines and timetables they know they will not be able to meet. The key is to be realistic, do not over commit yourself or offer to take on projects if you don’t have enough time. In these situations, it is better to be upfront and not commit rather than apologize afterward. Some deadlines are adjustable, but remember not all work responsibilities are, being honest upfront and working at a sustainable pace will save you hours of stress. Consider using the 3 P’s. Process, Plan and Prepare. Process and think about what you need to do. Next develop a plan of action, followed by preparation. Now that you have done that you can work your plan and completing a project on time or ahead of schedule helps with stress levels and managing anxiety.
Keep in Touch
It is human nature to avoid people who make us feel uneasy, this includes negative co-workers or workplace gossip. Avoiding people is only a temporary solution and can increase stress levels and work anxiety. The more you avoid, the worse that twisted feeling in your gut will become. Remember when you avoid you are not dealing with the problem and the underlining problem is still there. Addressing the issues is the only way to find peace. Address the issues head on and speak with the person or ask your employer for tips on how to resolve workplace conflict.
Take an Effective Break
For people that suffer from workplace anxiety, working fulltime can be incredibly stressful. One way of taking care of yourself while working is to take breaks. A break should be just that. It is an interruption from what you are doing. One highly effective way of reducing stress is to break often. This could be a small things such as tankinga walk to the breakroom for a drink of water or having a nutritious snack, using the bathroom, standing and stretching. If you have flexibility in your schedule you could take a walk for a few minutes, using deep breathing to help clear your head. Remember breaks are most useful when they do not involve work related activities or work discussions, the key thing about breaks is to stop working.
We live in a world of many demands and sometimes our responsibilities can be stressful to manage. If left unmanaged stress can present itself in the form of anxiety, which might be present in your life to some degree. It is better to recognize what triggers your anxiety rather than let stressful work situations consume you. Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion but manageable with the right tools such as the examples mentioned above or speaking with a licensed therapist that specializes in anxiety disorders. At the Institute of Modern Recovery our licensed therapists will work with you to identify what specific life situations trigger your stress, we will also help you develop a plan to assist with managing your anxiety.
Creston Davis, MFT
Founder, the Institute of Modern Recovery