Tips To Handle Anxiety At Work And Beat Stress
We are all familiar with the feeling of anxiety at work. Its far more common than many of us realise. Our office environments are overloaded with technology and distractions and we easily feel overwhelmed and stressed, and this can soon spiral into recurring anxiety at work.
There are so many reasons for anxiety at work from the pressure of securing an important client to the hundred and one small stresses of constant deadlines and meetings. In a study by the University of Otago, high-pressure jobs were linked with increased risk for anxiety and depression. Not only does anxiety impact our productivity and reduce our emotional intelligence, it also can disrupt our health and well-being. Unfortunately, work anxiety is never just work anxiety. It intrudes on the rest of our lives as well. Anxiety at work can manifest in many forms from a feeling of unease to a feeling of severe fear.
However, despite this, there are plenty of ways to handle anxiety at work. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are among the most common and treatable mental disorders. Weve combined a list of tips that you can apply to your life right now and help you reduce it. Whether youre the manager of a large group or experience anxiety at work yourself, there are many ways to combat it.
Listen To Good Mood Music
Music can have a powerful effect on your mood and on anxiety. They key however is to not just choose songs you like. but also make sure that you are listening to music that represents the way you want to feel. Happy or relaxing music can directly impact your mood and the way you feel.
While many people find it soothing to listen to angry music when theyâre angry or sad music when theyâre sad, the truth is that this type of music will only help you get in touch with those negative emotions. That won’t help you feel better. When you’re trying to stop anxiety, you should listen to music that will help you feel the way you want to feel.
Health Anxiety: What It Is And How To Beat It
The illness you fear might not be the illness you have. I recently conducted an online support group for people with all sorts of health fears, from cancer and heart disease to ALS and MS. Each shared their worries about moles on the skin, irregular heart palpitations, and numbness and tingling. Although their specific fears varied, they all had one thing in common none of them had ever been diagnosed with a series illness and they all related to the following scenario:
Dina felt great after getting a clean bill of health from her physician but as she tried to fall asleep, she dwelled on one statement he made, Tumors can grow at any time. Come back in six months if youre concerned. Questions raced through her mind as she tossed and turned, Why did he tell me that? If there was nothing wrong, why would he say come back in six months? What if he missed something? Why do I keep getting headaches and dizziness? Dina felt so anxious she got out of bed and searched the web for answers. As she reread the same articles about symptoms of brain cancer, she began to feel lightheaded. Why do I keep feeling this way? Do I really have brain cancer? Is this really happening?
Why does health anxiety persist despite reassurance from doctors?
The False Alarm
Car alarms are set off when a criminal breaks in but imagine how problematic it would be if the siren blared each time a pedestrian walked by. The car alarm would be misinterpreting innocent people as dangerous criminals.
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The Effects Of Anxiety In The Workplace
If you find your job stressful, returning can be even more difficult – particularly after a relaxing break. “If someone doesn’t enjoy their work or finds that they have lost motivation, it can be hard to get a positive perspective on returning to work. Anxiety is often triggered by our negative thoughts and how we perceive an outcome or situation,” Crowe explains.
“Workplace bullying or difficult working relationships can also add huge amounts of stress and may cause anxiety regarding facing colleagues when the time comes to get back to work.”
The way we spend our holidays and time off can also affect our mood too, as overdoing it with alcohol can impact the way we feel.
Back to work anxiety can be a particular problem for people who already struggle with clinical anxiety too. “Individuals who struggle with generalised or social anxiety may become overwhelmed with just the thought of getting back into a routine the energy that it takes to be fully present at work can take its toll,” Crowe says.
One of the key issues is that people with anxiety tend to experience ‘what if’ thoughts, which can lead to worry over future scenarios that may or may not happen.
How to deal with back to work anxiety
How To Avoid Bringing Your Work Stress Home
There are many things that cause us to feel stress with workplace stress one of the more common. Lessen the impact of workplace stress on your home life with these helpful tips.
There are many things that cause us to feel stress, including worries about money, relationships, health, and our friends and family. A common contributor to our worries is workplace stress. Many of us spend eight hours a day working, so its important to find ways to stop issues at work, or the pressure created by too much work, impacting on our precious personal time.
In the Australian Psychological Society Stress and wellbeing report, workplace stress was seen as a leading cause of stress by 31% of people, with 92% of all serious work-related mental health condition claims attributed to mental stress. While we will never eliminate workplace stress entirely, there are some steps we can take to minimise its impact on you, or your family, at home.
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How Do You Talk To Your Employer About Your Anxiety
It can be super daunting if you decide you to talk to you employer about your anxieties at work, either to make a change or take a leave of absence for your mental health.
Its important that youre open and honest with them about your issues, so that they can be fully aware of what youre struggling with, and to know how to help you. Set up a meeting and preface what you need to talk to them about beforehand.
Set Goals And Work Towards Them
Its easy to get overwhelmed with how much you need to do every day and then let anxiety at work take over. An effective way to deal with this is by setting goals for what are the most important work objectives and how you will achieve them. Often, just seeing your to-do list and a plan written down can greatly reduce your anxiety at work. Instead of the struggling with a perceived mass of work and no real plan of how to achieve it, you can see what needs to be done. Then you can begin to tick things off. Start straight away. When you achieve a goal, you can reward yourself.
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Make Stress Your Friend
Along similar lines, health psychologist and world-renowned speaker Kelly McGonigal makes the case for a positive rethinking of stress. In this talk, she explains, its not so much the stress itself that is harmful, as the way in which we think about it.
Instead of seeing stress as your enemy, you can make it work for you. Stress and anxiety are nothing but a sign that you care about something, and this care can be molded into something that wildly improves your performance instead of inhibiting it.
But isnt this just wishy-washy, think positive, smile-at-yourself-in-the-mirror-and-your-depression-will-go-away kind of pseudo-science?
Not really. McGonigal grounds her beliefs in pretty solid scientific evidence, ranging from observational studies to randomized trials, and her book The Upside of Stress, is studded with references to numerous studies which showed actual results.
One such study tested out a simple three-step process for dealing with stress and anxiety in the workplace, and yielded positive results. Here it is, as laid out by McGonigal:
The first step is to acknowledge stress when you experience it. Simply allow yourself to notice the stress, including how it affects your body.
The second step is to welcome the stress by recognizing that its a response to something you care about. Can you connect to the positive motivation behind the stress? What is at stake here, and why does it matter to you?
Your Rights And The Law
Some people worry that when they apply for a job, they will be discriminated against if they admit that they have, or have had, mental or emotional health problems.
But it’s illegal for employers to ask health or health-related questions before making a job offer.
It’s also illegal to discriminate against people with any kind of health condition or disability, including mental health issues.
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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.
How To Deal With Anxiety At Work
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Not everyone is able to effectively manage and cope with their anxiety at work. Many people struggle with excessive worry about a variety of everyday problems related to work or their personal lives while trying to get their job done.
This type of anxiety typically disproportionate to the situation and can be debilitating. It often also results in physical symptoms like fatigue and muscle tension that can cause problems in your professional and personal life.
This article will offer tips to help you learn how to deal with workplace anxiety and discuss the common causes and symptoms.
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Remind Yourself That Your Mind Is Not Always The Best Advisor
Sometimes, you can’t trust yourself.
“Our minds like to constantly tell stories, analyze, judge, give advice, and criticize,” Deibler says. “Sometimes these thoughts are supremely unhelpful to us. Observe what your mind does. Notice the thoughts. Note that they are not objective truths. You get to decide whether the thoughts are worthy of your attention.”
Do Some Shopping For Your New Workspace
Anxiety and excitement can sometimes blur together, making it difficult to recognize what youre feeling. Use this to your advantage by choosing to view your nervousness as excitement. After all, those butterflies could very well stem, at least partially, from eager anticipation.
One aspect of a new job that many people find exciting? The chance to decorate a new office or workspace.
If your work has agreed to furnish your workspace and purchase any needed supplies, list some things youll need: a calendar, planner, that office chair youve had your eye on, your favorite brand of writing utensil.
Choosing mementos or photos to infuse your unique personality into the new environment can help ease anxiety by adding a sense of familiarity to your new space.
Even finding a new outfit for your first days or selecting other important items like a water bottle or travel mug can fuel some excitement and put a positive spin on your feelings.
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Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
Talk With A Professional
If youre feeling stuck in your anxiety, it can be helpful to talk with a mental health professional. They can often help you determine the root of your anxiety and work with you to make changes to manage it.
If your anxiety is due to an anxiety disorder, some mental health professionals may also recommend medication or other treatments to help you manage anxiety.
Some workplaces offer benefits that include mental health care. You can check your benefits package or speak with someone in your organizations human resources office to see if resources are available to you through your employer or health insurance.
The Longer Its Left To Manifest The Worse It Gets Fortunately There Are Options Heres Three Of Them:
1. Address the issue with your boss to see if you can come to a resolution that ensures you dont dread every day ahead. Sure, this will be scary, but if you go in there with some suggestions and solutions, you might just find yourself leaving with a big fat smile on your face. I know lots of people that have done this, and it has completely transformed their working lives, because, contrary to popular belief, many employers actually care. If you managed to end up with a bad one, fear not because you can always move on to option two.
2. Quit. Just do it, but be strategic about it. Theres a narrative in the world right now being sold all over social media telling you to do what you love. Ideologies are lovely, but this one just might be setting your expectations too high. This is not to say you cant drastically improve the quality of your life its merely a reminder that your options span beyond something you love 24/7 or bust! Your options are endless.
Setting up your own gig will bring with it many challenges. Its marketed as simple, but in reality, its not. It requires a healthy dose of madness, passion, and obsession to name a few. But if thats something you desire – go for it!
A slightly less stressful option would be to get a job doing something similar, or slightly different to your current role using the many skills youve acquired over the years for a company that actually appreciates you.