Anxiety And Stress In The Workplace
Having an anxiety disorder can make a major impact in the workplace. People may turn down a promotion or other opportunity because it involves travel or public speaking make excuses to get out of office parties, staff lunches, and other events or meetings with coworkers or be unable to meet deadlines.In a national survey on anxiety in the workplace, people with anxiety disorders commonly cited these as difficult situations: dealing with problems setting and meeting deadlines maintaining personal relationships managing staff participating in meetings, and making presentations.
Tell Your Employer?
Its your decision to tell your employer about your anxiety disorder. Some people do so because they need accommodations, others want to educate people about their condition, and some do not want to hide their illness.If you have a physical or mental disability and are qualified to do a job, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects you from job discrimination. Being qualified means you must satisfy an employers requirements for the job and be able to perform essential functions on your own or with reasonable accommodation. An employer cannot refuse to hire you because your disability prevents you from performing duties that are not essential to the job. Find out more about employment rights.
Tips to Manage Stress and Anxiety at Work
Stay Off Of Social Media As Much As Possible During Work
Constant connection and the interruption of technology can increase your stress levels.
Social media, for example, can make you aware of stressful events happening to other people or in other places. They might not have any bearing on your life, but you allow yourself to feel stressed about them anyway. Itâs called the cost of caring.
As an interruption, social media and text messages can also add to stress. University of California Irvine found that employees who received a lot of emails were more stressed. They stayed in a âhigh alertâ mode all the time. Being constantly connected and going back and forth in response on social media or via text messages does the same thing. Additionally, it distracts you and slows you down and you end up feeling stress as you rush to catch up with the work you didnât do because you were busy on your phone.
Stay off social media and mobile devices as much as possible when on the job. The last thing you need is drama via social media or text messaging while youâre trying to get your work done.
What Causes Work Anxiety
You can experience work anxiety at any job and it can be brought on by several causes:
- Youre without the resources necessary to do your job effectively
- Youre in a toxic work environment that is led by an abusive boss or co-worker
- Youre underemployed and/or underpaid
- You dislike the industry youre working in
- You feel trapped in the very job that is causing you work anxiety
- You lack the skills or knowledge necessary to do your job effectively.
You can also experience new job anxiety. This could stem from a fear you may have about meeting the expectations of a new role or new boss. The unknown can be stressful, particularly if youre under pressure to quickly deliver results.
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What Are The Six Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Here are the six most common types of anxiety disorders:
Tips On How To Deal With Anxiety At Work In The Long
How can you support your team members dealing with workplace anxiety? What should you avoid to stop the situation from getting worse? And what does it take to develop your emotional intelligence and understand your teams feelings to help them thrive?
Knowing how to deal with anxiety at work is a complex issue. Even if your people are hurting, they may not feel comfortable sharing that with you or anyone else.
According to Gostick and Elton, authors of the bestselling book Anxiety at Work, only one in four people who suffer from anxiety say they have talked about it to their boss.
And in an effort to truly quantify this issue, a study by Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School professors has shown workplace stress and anxiety may be a contributing factor in more than 120,000 deaths annually.
That may seem crazy, until you realize that the leading cause of death in America is heart disease with over 659,000 deaths annually.
Now, were not suggesting you need to become a therapist to your team. However, as a leader, you must take responsibility for their well-being at work.
Todays post takes a look at the four potential causes of your teams troubles and ways to help them overcome them to be happier and more productive members of your team.
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Manage Anxiety With Preparation
Part of avoiding “all or nothing” thinking is being prepared so you can adjust your expectations and behavior when returning to the workplace.
For example, how can you prepare yourself to stay safe in public? Think about how you’ll manage your commute what protective gear and cleaning supplies to keep on your person how you’ll manage eating and drinking while at the workplace and how you’ll interact with colleagues or clients. Even habits as simple as laying out your clothes the night before, packing your work bag in advance and bringing your own lunch can help you feel more in control, Tarry says. She also recommends you give yourself ample time in the morning so you don’t feel rushed to get out the door, which can contribute to anxiety.
Similarly, to put your mind at ease, ask your employer what safety precautions they’ll have in place, Benton says.
Your employer should have a plan for how many people will be onsite how people will move throughout the facilities what safety equipment and cleaning supplies will be available whether masks will be required of employees and clients how to maintain proper ventilation and air flow and other precautions to ensure workers won’t be put at-risk when they return.
Getting Professional Help For Coping With Anxiety At Work
While workplace anxiety can feel like it is overwhelming, there is a lot of hope. Anxiety is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. At Advanced Psychiatry Associates, we offer comprehensive testing and evaluations to figure out what is causing your anxiety.
Treatment for managing anxiety often includes either medication such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs or psychotherapy, such as counseling and cognitive behavior therapy. Sometimes a combination of both helps you find ways to manage anxiety at work or meets your specific needs.
If you would like to discuss your anxiety and how you can effectively manage it, schedule an appointment with us today.
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Learn To Identify Signs Of Stress
You might not even know youâre feeling stressed. Sounds strange, but itâs possible. Even if you donât know the true level of stress youâre feeling, your body does. The damage that stress does happens whether you are aware itâs bad or not.
There are several signs that stress might be affecting you:
- Feeling anxious, grumpy, or depressed.
- Feeling apathy or disinterest in your job.
- Feeling overwhelming dread about your job.
- Difficulty getting a good nightâs sleep.
- General fatigue and tiredness.
- Socially withdrawing from others .
- Using alcohol, drugs, or other destructive coping mechanisms.
If you see a pattern like this list in your life, you need to take action.
Disconnect And Recharge After Work
When its time to step away from the office and go home, you should do exactly that. Emails and assignments can wait until tomorrow in almost every case. And if you expect to recharge your batteries, you need to stop using them for a few hours.
If you expect to recharge your batteries, you need to stop using them for a few hours.
But its not enough to just disconnect from work-related stress. Stress can show up in our personal lives as wellit just might be wearing a different mask. Like your aunt posting fiery political messages on social media or your friend complaining about their bad day. Engaging with these things isnt bad by itself, but if you jump from one kind of stress during your workday to another kind of stress at home, youre not giving yourself a chance to truly recover.
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Kate Sweeny Professor Of Psychology And Teresa And Byron Pollitt Endowed Term Chair
You can look for the good in returning to work to boost hope and optimism and quiet worry and anxiety. Sweeny
Q: What are some tips for overcoming anxiety as it relates to returning to work post COVID?
A: So much has changed since March 2020. For many of us, one change has involved learning to work from home rather than going to an office every day. Although this change may have been quite stressful initially, the long duration of the pandemic has allowed people to adapt to their new normal, to become comfortable or relatively so, at least being at home most of the time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, many people are feeling anxious as they look ahead to a time when they have to return to the office, returning to once-comfortable but now unfamiliar routines.
My research on the psychology of stressful uncertainty reveals several ways of managing these anxieties. First, it helps to plan ahead to gain a sense of control over the uncertain future perhaps by revisiting your work wardrobe, dusting off your daily planner, or looking up some new recipes for lunch-on-the-go. Second, you can look for the good in returning to work to boost hope and optimism and quiet worry and anxiety. Are there coworkers youve missed? Old routines that will be a welcome relief? Finally, if all else fails, you can find challenging, engaging activities to absorb your attention a process called flow and help pass the time pleasantly while you wait for the old normal to return.
Common Work Anxieties Include Fear Of:
- Public speaking or speaking up in meetings
- Working in groups
- Isolated social life
- Irregular eating habits
If you recognize any of these symptoms, take steps to reduce it by taking care of yourself. When anxiety affects your performance at work, quality of work, rapport with your colleagues, and managers then take action immediately.
By protecting your physical and emotional health, you become strong and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better you manage workplace anxiety.
A very small change will make a big difference and greatly impact your stress levels over time.
It all boils down to this
You have to decide how important work is to you. People who find too much stress at work gives too much value to what happens in the workplace.
Try hard and be ambitious but dont forget that the purpose of work is to have a great living. When you learn and change the priorities, work doesnt bother you much, at that time youll find that work anxiety isnt as severe.
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How To Deal With Stress At Work
How are you feeling right now? Calm? Burned out? Somewhere in between? Unfortunately, many of us go through most of our day in a cloud of work-related stress. In fact, the American Institute of Stress found that 40 percent of employees said their jobs were very or extremely stressful.
But its just been a busy week, right? No job could ever be completely stress-free . While a few stressful days here and there dont pose an incredible threat, those few days can easily turn into weeks or even months. And when work-related stress becomes a permanent part of your day, several other areas of your life suffer as well.
Work Within Your Limits
Get to know your limits and learn to work within them. That may mean:
- Focusing on a single task at a time and trying not to think ahead to everything that needs to get done
- Working with your supervisor to prioritize your tasks so you know that what needs to get done versus what can wait until tomorrow or next week
- Listening to music at work if you are allowed and if it helps you cope
- Setting small, frequent deadlines to keep yourself focused and on track
- Setting aside 5 minutes during the day to do a short guided meditation
- Taking time off to recharge when you need to
- Walking during lunch or a break
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Start Your Day Off Right
After scrambling to get the kids fed and off to school, dodging traffic and combating road rage, and gulping down coffee in lieu of a healthy breakfast, many people arrive to work already stressed. This makes them more reactive to stress in the workplace.
You might be surprised by how affected by workplace stress you are when you have a stressful morning. When you start off the day with planning, good nutrition, and a positive attitude, you might find that the stress of your job rolls off your back more easily.
Why Are We So Anxious
There are many reasons why anxiety is on the rise. Although many of the physical threats our ancestors faced have been reduced or ruled out, more abstract threats have replaced them. These include worries about the economy or environment, and anxieties about our appearance, social standing and professional success.
Many aspects of modern life could also be to blame. Research in the journal “Computers in Human Behavior” highlighted the damaging impact of social media use on anxiety, for example. And a study in the British Medical Journal drew a link between increased air pollution and raised anxiety.
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