Do You Have Anxiety? How to Deal with Anxiety at Work and Remain Professional
Stress and anxiety are a part of life and happen to everyone. Public speaking, college finals, and flying are all anxiety-inducing experiences for many people. However, what causes anxiety in one person may not affect another person at all.
Some people can deal with the incident that is causing anxiety and move on, while others can’t stop themselves from feeling stressed about everything. Every decision they make in their personal and professional life is dictated by their anxiety level. This type of anxiety can have a significant impact on you and your career.
Worrying about Worry
People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder worry excessively about various everyday problems related to their personal and work life. This often leads to depression and mental fatigue.
Some things you may worry about when you experience anxiety about work include:
- Health concerns
- Family worries
- Ability to do the job
- Money concerns
When these types of thoughts invade your mind, they tend to have a snowball effect. The more you think about them, the bigger they get until suddenly you are immobilized.
This creates its own set of problems that may look like this:
- Slow productivity
- Inability to concentrate
- Excessive sick days
- Physical problems like headaches, dizziness, upset stomach
If you are unsure about what is causing your anxiety, try keeping a daily activity log. When you notice you are beginning to become stressed, jot down the time and what is happening at that moment. Are you in a meeting? Was a big announcement made? Did you get a new deadline or additional work? Is an office party being planned?
Coping With the Worry at Work
Strategies for coping with anxiety are abundant. The key is to find the right combination of tools that work best for you. In addition, some basic life choices can significantly improve your ability to deal with your anxiety.
- Form healthy habits – Getting enough sleep should be number 1 on your priority list. Without enough sleep, the world is complicated for even the most skilled people to navigate. Also, cut back on alcohol and make sure you’re not overloading on caffeine.
- Get Organized – A tidy workspace with everything in its place can be a rejuvenating experience. Your space becomes a place where you are comfortable.
- Don’t overload your workload – If you don’t have enough time to do a task, don’t take it on. Learn to say no to assignments you won’t be able to get to.
- Ask for help – Asking for help is probably the easiest thing a person can do to help with their anxiety. But it is often the very last thing a person will ask. Speak up. Maybe your co-workers aren’t aware you need help.
- Celebrate success – Your success is their success. Take a minute to acknowledge a job well done.
- Avoid the toxic co-worker – Gossip always comes back to bite you, and negative people will bring you down. Instead, surround yourself with positive people. It usually rubs off them and onto you.
- Do your work – The feeling of completion and not having to worry about a deadline when the weekend starts can help you enjoy your time away.
- Utilize your workplace’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – Many businesses offer mental health benefits to their employees through the EAP program. Utilizing these benefits can help you navigate the murky waters of confusion during high-stress times.
- Listen to music.
Another highly successful technique for managing anxiety is to practice being mindful. Take a moment to notice your surroundings and focus on the task at hand. Just 10-minute meditation sessions can help reset your brain and give you an extra burst of energy.
Don’t try to push your anxiety out of your mind. It can lead to a feeling of failure or make you feel even less in control of your life. Instead, practice learning to accept it, which allows you to face it and find solutions.
You don’t have to suffer through anxiety alone. Seek social support when you need it. The connection to friends and family plays a vital role in managing your stress level.
It is possible to manage your stress level and reduce your anxiety. Meeting with a skilled counselor can have a considerable impact on the quality of your life. Seeking help is the key to an (almost) stress-free existence.