Feeling anxious at work? Here’s how you can manage it according to the Advanced Psychiatry Associates.
Know your triggers
Coping with workplace anxiety means learning what sets off your symptoms. When you know what will lead to periods of acute anxiety, you can take appropriate steps to mitigate the stress or possibly avoid the trigger altogether.
One technique for identifying anxiety triggers is to keep a journal and document when you start to feel anxious. Over time, you’ll spot patterns and be able to figure out what triggers you.
Develop go-to grounding rules
One key concern is how to work with anxiety, as you can’t simply drop everything every time symptoms strike. Anxiety is a fight or flight response that produces physical symptoms that you can address by bringing yourself back into the present moment. Many people find that having a plan for what to do when they’re anxious at work helps minimize symptoms. Things like short meditation sessions, a walk around the office, or a quick call to a friend are all excellent techniques for learning how to overcome anxiety at work.
Create the right conditions
It’s essential to view your well-being as a built-in element of your work environment and conditions, rather than as an extra task. You may find that small changes, like moving to a desk with better natural light, working with noise-cancelling headphones, and avoiding too much caffeine accumulate to create an environment where anxiety is less likely to arise.
Share your struggles in the workplace
While you may feel uncomfortable doing so, sharing your anxiety struggles with your workplace can actually help.
Sharing about your anxiety with your boss can help you receive any necessary accommodations. You can also talk about your anxiety struggles with a trusted co-worker. They may be able to offer advice and support on how to handle anxiety at work.
Managing anxiety at work is significantly easier when you break your goals down into bite-sized pieces, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. If you’re trying to do more networking, for example, it’s much more reasonable to commit to attending one industry event per month rather than trying to fit one in per week. Be realistic and honest with yourself about what you can achieve, and you’ll find yourself gaining momentum without pushing yourself too hard.
Work within your limits
When dealing with anxiety at work, it is crucial to work within your limits instead of against them. Don’t jump from one task to another — that will only add to the stress you are feeling. Instead, set small deadlines, create manageable steps and focus on one task at a time. It is also important to take breaks when needed. Trying to push through anxiety often makes the symptoms worse and may extend their duration unduly.
Practice healthy habits
Healthy habits can have a direct impact on your mood. When dealing with anxiety at work, practicing good health habits is essential. To help cope with anxiety at work and take better care of yourself, be sure to:
- Get seven or more hours of sleep each night.
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat fresh and healthy foods — avoid processed and packaged foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine.
- Create a work/life balance.