Anxiety at Work and How to Deal with It
Chronic stress and anxiety are often associated with the workplace. High-pressure environments, unrealistic expectations, and unfriendly timeframes for the completion of tasks can cause the workplace and relationships within it to become toxic. This can drive anxiety levels up in an employee.
Here is some useful advice if you are experiencing anxiety at work:
Examine the reasons you are feeling anxious
Look at your situation and try to get to the root of your anxiety. Is it caused by general unhappiness at work? Do you feel you’re not performing well? Are you worried about competition from colleagues? Do you feel that you don’t fit in? Does the environment (such as cubicles and other confined spaces) make you feel anxious?
There are so many reasons that a person could feel anxious about work. It is up to you to sift through your feelings to find out what is driving your anxiety. Once you know the reason, you can start working on a solution.
Don’t underestimate the importance of exercise
Exercise is a great outlet for anxiety. Make sure that you include some exercise in your daily routine. Determine which time of day is best for you. You may prefer to exercise before work, or you may find after work more suitable.
Find something that you enjoy doing. Exercise will not reduce anxiety if you hate every minute of it! Team sports are a good idea as it gives you a chance to focus on a common goal and takes your mind off your problems.
Stay busy after hours
When you are experiencing anxiety, you might feel that at the end of a long day all you want to do is go home and rest. This can actually drive your anxiety levels further up as doing nothing leaves you with the thoughts and tensions of the day lingering in your mind.
If you keep busy after hours with social activities, sports, hobbies, and spending time with friends and family, your mind will be on more pleasant things, and you won’t be allowing the negatives to follow you home from work.
Care for yourself
Stay away from substances such as coffee as caffeine can drive anxiety levels up. Follow a healthy diet and get enough sleep. Learn breathing techniques that help to get your anxiety under control and stave off a panic attack. Know what your triggers are and try to avoid them.
Speak to friends and family about the anxiety you experience and allow them to support you. It is not advisable to tell your colleagues about your anxiety as it can become a matter of office gossip which is the last thing you need.
There is a school of thought that feels that if you fake it, you program your brain to adapt to the way you act. This is called cognitive dissonance. Regardless of how you’re feeling, create the appearance of being a calm, confident, happy employee.