Do you have anxious feelings that pop up out of nowhere when you’re at work? Do you become jittery just thinking about your work? Do you notice a difference in your mood on Monday morning or even Sunday evening?
If your anxiety is related to your job, you may suffer from workplace anxiety, sometimes called work stress. And you’re not alone; there are many more people. According to the 2021 Mind the Workplace survey from Mental Health America, nearly 83 per cent of respondents felt emotionally exhausted at work. And 85 per cent of workers, or nearly nine out of ten, said stress harmed their mental health.
Of course, you don’t have to work in an office or on a construction site to be anxious at work. When working from home, you can have these sentiments.
According to Mental Health America’s Mind the Workplace poll from 2021, approximately 83 per cent of respondents felt emotionally exhausted at work. According to 85 per cent of workers (almost nine out of ten), stress harms their mental health.
Of course, being worried at work does not need working in an office or on a construction site. These feelings are expected when working from home too.
What are the telltale signs?
Anxiety at work can manifest itself in a variety of ways.
You could, according to Palacios: “Feeling physically unwell when thinking about work or receiving work emails or calls feels better at night but worse in the morning, have trouble concentrating on work-related duties, notice your motivation dwindling frequently, procrastinate on work-related chores avoid meetings, new initiatives, or workplace events.”
According to Boone Christianson, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and author of the book “101 Therapy Talks,” you might feel dreadful when you think about going to work and overwhelmed once you get.
Physical symptoms of workplace anxiety are also possible. These could include the following:
- sweaty hands, the tension in your body
- stomach pain or nausea regularly.
What can you do to deal with anxiety at work?
Anxiety at work can be crushing and unending. However, you may successfully conquer or control your work stress by taking a few modest actions.
What are your triggers?
Workplace stress might have a variety of causes that aren’t always visible. “Writing down occasions during the day when you feel worried will help you identify trends or triggers,” Smith explains.
Perhaps you become worried and nauseated before weekly team meetings or have difficulties concentrating on anything after interacting with one coworker.
Identifying specific situations that cause you to become stressed will assist you in determining the best plan for dealing with them in the future.
Concentrate on the source of your apprehension
“Workplace anxiety in the form of ‘what-ifs’ is a prevalent type of worry,” says Max Maisel, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist specialising in anxiety disorders and OCD in Los Angeles.
You can try asking yourself questions about those “what-ifs” until you’ve found your fundamental fear to understand better what’s going on and explore possible remedies. “Why is that a terrible thing?” and “What does this imply about me?” are two good questions, according to Maisel.
When you’ve arrived, he recommends accepting the tale without presuming it’s genuine and appreciating your mind for attempting to protect you.
You can then gently question the fear by asking yourself:
- What am I afraid of?
- What evidence is there for and against this?
- What would I say if a loved one told me something along those lines?
- What would I do if the worst-case situation occurred?
- What is the most likely scenario?
Be kind to yourself
When you’re anxious and your high-stress levels, it’s natural to react with self-criticism.
Instead, practise patience and understanding when it comes to your reactions.
How? Starting with naming and leaning into your feelings. “I’m feeling frazzled right now, and that’s fine,” you could say.
Similarly, Maisel suggests treating yourself as if you were treating a close friend or family member. You may say something along the lines of, “It’s OK to be overwhelmed. You’re putting in a lot of effort. However, you’re doing your best.”
Take frequent micro-breaks
According to Palacios, you may re-calibrate your emotions by taking short pauses throughout the day. She suggests, for example: Walking away from your desk or task to practice box breathing involves inhaling for a count of 4, holding for a count of 4, and exhaling for a count of 4.
Get your feet moving
According to Karlene Kerfoot, a chief nursing officer at symplr, the body releases calming neurotransmitters during and after exercise, which creates an overall feeling of well-being.
“Exercising before work can help your body manage workplace conditions that may induce anxiety,” she explains, “and exercising after work can help position you in a different mentality where you can better cope with such feelings.”
Make a plan
According to Finkel, organising might help lessen feelings of overload when massive projects and presentations cause anxiety.
She proposes: Dividing massive activities into smaller steps and setting a completion date and time for each step. In other words, try to use your worry to motivate you to complete things rather than put off things.
Laugh it out loud
According to Kerfoot, finding something to chuckle about can relieve tension, change your viewpoint, and trigger good neurotransmitters. Humour can also assist you in taking yourself and your work less seriously.
To make oneself chuckle, do the following:
- Make a phone call or send a text message to your funniest pal.
- see a comedy special or a humorous movie
- go to a stand-up comedy show in person
- reflect on amusing experiences
Anxiety at work is frequent, but it’s also reasonably manageable. Understanding your triggers, setting limits, and taking refreshing pauses are small measures that can make a big difference.
However, if work stress becomes too much for you to handle, don’t be afraid to seek expert help. A therapist can always assist you in identifying potential causes and exploring your alternatives for dealing with them.
Above all, remember that you are entitled to work in a secure and reasonable atmosphere.
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