Go Easy On The Caffeine
Theres just something about starting the morning with a habitual cup of coffee, hot steam rising from the top. While the caffeine certainly helps energy levels, its effects mimic anxiety symptoms: racing heart, upset stomach, shaky hands. Its rarely a symptom or actual cause of anxiety, Walker says. Its just that if youre already in a sensitized state, you might feel more vulnerable to the physiological effects coffee produces, and your mind may misinterpret those effects. Rest assured, you dont have to kick the coffee habit, but know your bodys cues, and if youre already feeling tense, consume in moderation.
The Importance Of Stress Management Strategies In The Workplace
Frequent stimulation of the stress response can affect the body physically and mentally and lead to short-term and long-term effects. These effects dont just affect your health they can also affect your relationships, productivity, and overall ability to function . Having strategies to manage and reduce stress in the workplace can offset some of these problems and help you learn to manage stress levels and cope with day-to-day issues.
A Diagnosed Anxiety Disorder
If you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, work anxiety may be more prevalent.
You may find the symptoms from your anxiety disorder are increased by work issues, and may cause more irrational worries such as losing your job, having a poor work performance or becoming paranoid that your colleagues dislike you.
There are many methods to help you deal with anxiety that you can practice on your own. But, when your work anxiety is stemming from the workplace, heres what might help.
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Maintain Contact With Your Loved Ones:
It is not difficult to lose our standard social schedules during the control. Without the association with companions, partners, and family that permits us to take off from the house, ordinarily, we disregard our standard interpersonal organizations without acknowledging it
Hence, you genuinely should find ways to speak with companions, family, or colleagues. While this ought not to be constrained, it is essential to keep in contact with the rest of the world however much as could reasonably be expected.
We could unintentionally go days or even a long time without conversing with anybody and not, in any event, taking notes. Yet, this mainly serves to build our degrees of stress and nervousness.
Remember To Go Easy On Yourself
Forgive yourself, if necessary. And remember that productivity doesnt always equal performance.
None of the techniques above will have an impact unless youre ready to stop punishing yourself today for how your anxiety affects productivity. Its unlikely youll ever completely stop those stomach knots appearing from nowhere, so dont waste precious energy trying.
Instead, use that energy to achieve small wins and incremental gains that feed a sense of accomplishment and progress.
The spectrum of anxiety, including the vast range of clinical anxiety diagnoses, is varied and complex. People may experience anxiety in mild to moderate or occasional forms, or may live full-time with a serious anxiety disorder. If you feel, at any time, that your anxious feelings or mental health are negatively affecting your day-to-day life, please don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
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What Causes Work Anxiety In The First Place
While your anxiety could stem from the workplace itself, it could also be caused by issues outside of work and increased stress. A 2015 study of 129 men and women found job insecurity and home stress were strongly associated with depression and anxiety symptoms.
Heres what could be causing your work anxiety.
Look At The Bigger Picture Regarding Work
Every work environment comes with its share of stress. It may arise from long working hours or unsocial colleagues. You may also be dealing with difficult clients who push you to the limits every day. Learn the environment and what it will take to deliver to your mandate. Work your way around these stress conditions until you can successfully meet your goals.
It is impossible to find a stress-free work environment. Leaving a position because it is stressful is a waste of time. While colleagues might not bother you at the new station, you might not like the clients. Work hours or the setting could also be stressful. Train your mind to adapt to the changes in the environment.
Look at the bigger picture of going to work or holding a position. You need to earn a livelihood by going to work. The people or situations causing stress are a part of the work environment. There is no perfect environment where you will earn a livelihood without one kind of stress or the other. Find a creative way to deal with the stress to continue earning your livelihood even as you look for a better environment.
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What Causes Workplace Stress
Many factors can cause employees to become stressed. So you may have to dig deeper to find the culprit.
Here’s a look at the most common work stressors:
Excessive overtime wearing them down
Pressure to work top-level at all times
Demand for high-performance increases
No control over job performance
Management style is poor
Wearing too many hats
Environmental conditions are unfavorable
Not using their skills to perform duties
When you look at recent reports, you’ll find numbers back some of these claims. For instance, the most common cause of workplace stress in the U.K. is workload . Other factors include lack of support and changes at work .
In America, 60% of adults say money and work are significant sources of stress. And there’s also a leadership issue â 33% say their boss thinks they should prioritize work over family life. Then another 33% say their employer thinks workers should be available 24-hours a day.
In 2020, we still saw similar work-related stresses. This includes low salaries, unrealistic job expectations, no opportunity for growth, and extensive hours and workload.
The Best Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety At Work
There are certain things in life that are almost expected to cause stress, and work often tops the list. Sometimes its the expectation from your boss and coworkers regarding your punctuality and the quality of your work. Often, the expectations are your own, and the stress comes from not seeing them met. Maybe you arent stressed about work itself, but are dealing with anxiety from something else altogether, and your job makes it worse. Regardless of the source, it is always important to reduce stress and anxiety at work. Knowing how to manage your work stress can go a long way to making you happier at your job and in your life.
On its own, stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a normal response to the world around us, and is often an indication that we care about something. On the other hand, jobs themselves can be stressful. A lack of control over your time and workload, a lack of support from your peers or management, or feeling like you arent doing good enough can all contribute to workplace stress.1
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Are Your Best Employees Leaving
Employers can often feel that their best employees are continually leaving them, and that may be related to your organization. HR experts have spotted some reasons why good employees quit their jobs.
Among them, the lack of confidence and autonomy, lack of appreciation or recognition, lack of respect, few or no opportunities for growth and development, feeling underutilized, having a bad manager who discharges frustrations and resentment over the team, poor
management, poor communication, excessive workload, lack of support, not finding a balance between work and personal life, lack of inspiration or unhealthy environment, seeing that the other good employees leave, lack of coincidence with the values of the company, and changes in their personal life.
Thus, feeling undervalued is among the main reasons for leaving jobs. You spend many hours at work, sharing time with your colleagues and of course, you want to feel comfortable. Nobody enjoys spending eight or ten hours a day in a place that make them feel unhappy. When you work hard and nobody notices it, or your ideas are not even considered, frustration and unhappiness levels increase.
So What Is Anxiety At Work
Anxiety is a fear, apprehension or worry that makes people feel uneasy or nervous. It could be so bad that you dread going to work or get panic attacks and develop aches pains and pick up infections more. Anxiety at work is about getting anxiety symptoms while you are at work or with thoughts about going to work.
Work-related stress and anxiety is fine in small amounts if it helps you to get motivated and meet deadlines however too much stress and anxiety can lead to ill health and feeling miserable. Unfortunately, everyones acceptable level of stress can vary so anxiety at work is different for different people. As most people work for a substantial part of their day, too much work stress and anxiety arent good.
What contributes to or causes anxiety at work?
- Conflict with work colleagues
- Too much work that is difficult to do.
- Lack of training and direction so that you are not sure as to what you should be doing.
- Micromanagement. This is where every tiny detail of your work is being monitored or watched or criticised.
- Bullying from other work colleagues or managers.
- Too many deadlines that arent achievable.
- Monotonous jobs.
- Discrimination, harassment, and unfair practices.
- Personal problems that are overwhelming and have influenced your thoughts and feeling while at work.
- Exams and other assessments.
- Doing a job that you hate.
What can you do to reduce anxiety at work?
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Accept Failure Keep Comments Constructive
Generally speaking, a large workplace stressor is the fear of failure. Let employees know that everyone makes mistakes and help managers develop strategies to find logical solutions for problems. When too much time is spent playing the blame game, nothing gets done and those who have slipped up feel hesitant to participate in the future.
How Can Employers Help Reduce Stress For Employees
Employers can also do their bit to help their employees with work anxiety:
- Treat all employees with respect.
- Encourage transparent, open communication.
- Reserve time for each employee regularly to discuss any difficulties they may be facing.
- Try to see things from their perspective and listen to their ideas with an open mind.
You can also check with your Human Resources department. Some HR departments offer Employee Assistance Programs that offer employees therapy free of cost or at concessional rates.
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Taking Action To Manage Your Anxiety
Once you make your way through these three steps, you can start to manage your anxiety daily in ways that allow you to grow as a leader and be more resourceful and productive.
The following tactics can help ground you.
Control what you can
Many faith traditions teach us to accept what we cannot control, without preoccupation or panic. But in the middle of an anxiety attack at work, you probably dont have time for philosophy. So heres what to do when things feel completely off the rails.
Structure your time. A solid body of research shows that improved time management disposition meaning your attitude toward how you organize and value your time has a positive impact on mental health. And its especially crucial when youre gripped by anxiety.
First thing in the morning, create a to-do list and a detailed schedule for your day. I like to do it while having my coffee. You might use 30-minute increments to spell out when youll shower, take a lunch break, make a phone call, or tackle that report that needs to get done. This is what many experts call timeboxing. While youre at it, try to avoid what cognitive behavioral therapy terms cognitive distortions. These are the catastrophic thoughts, self-judgments, and all-or-nothing ideas that often accompany anxiety.
Be careful not to overschedule or overestimate your productivity instead focus on the critical work and leave time to take care of yourself.
Develop techniques for situations you cant control
Remember That Its Ok To Have Bad Days
No matter how perfect someones life looks from the outside, everyone has bad days. Its important to remember that you cant control other people, things that trigger your anxiety, or even anxiety itself. Accept what you cant change, and remember to be gentle with yourself.
Its OK not to feel 100% all the time. When you get caught in an anxious loop where youre thinking negative thoughts about yourself, remember that you deserve grace, patience, and kindness, too.
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When To Get Help
Although employees can manage work stress and anxiety through stress-coping techniques and by creating a healthy work-life balance, sometimes stress becomes too overwhelming and difficult to manage alone. If stress and anxiety become too much to handle, it is important not to ignore symptoms and reach out for help. When symptoms go unaddressed, they can lead to burnout, depression or reduced physical health.
Employees and management should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to reach out to others. Its time for an employee to seek support if they are:
- Experiencing panic attacks at work
- Self-medicating with drugs, alcohol or food
- Not having success with coping skills
- Having suicidal thoughts
- Experiencing stress or anxiety that is significantly impacting their life and relationships
- Being told by friends, family or coworkers they should get help
Helpful resources include:
- Mental health counselors
- Family and friends
An employee may need medication or therapy to help overcome anxiety and stress and to learn stress-management techniques that work for them.
Organize & Plan Ahead
A messy space can be stressful all by itself. Organizing your workspace can induce a more relaxing and productive workday. Plan your day ahead to efficiently tackle your duties and avoid stress caused by unpreparedness. This may come more naturally to personalities like detail-oriented planner C-types. In contrast, more spontaneous and big-picture-oriented personalities, like I-types, may have to work harder to achieve this.
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Understanding How To Manage Work Stress And Anxiety
Owing to its prevalence, a lot of research has gone into effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety at work. The importance of managing work stress has never been clearer. In 2007, a team of researchers determined that the more psychologically demanding your job is, the higher your risk of depression or anxiety up to twice as high than those in lower-stress positions.2 This is a scary statistic and, unfortunately, it makes sense our jobs usually take up a big part of the day, and it can be difficult to avoid bringing your workplace stress home with you.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that reducing stress and anxiety at work means knowing how to manage your work stress and anxiety. Trying to fight off anxieties and stresses is a counterproductive mindset, because those feelings come from your own body and mind, which are not your enemy.3 Instead, try listening to your body and brain, spot the stress triggers, and try to reduce and manage it. For example, you can consider muting or delaying your notifications at work to help you stay focused on your tasks at hand, rather than overloading yourself with things to do. Mindfulness practices can also be key here mental silence practices like meditation are shown to reduce workplace stress and mental turbulence.4