How to Calm Anxiety at Work

Having an anxiety disorder can have a major impact on the workplace. People may turn down a promotion or other opportunity because it involves anxiety-producing behaviors such as traveling or speaking in public; making excuses to leave office parties, staff lunches, and other events or meetings with coworkers; or being unable to meet deadlines. Does work create anxiety? In this psychology article we tell you how to overcome anxiety at work.

Symptoms of anxiety at work

Work makes me anxious, what can I do? Before taking action on it, let's look at the symptoms and consequences of anxiety at work. The main symptoms of anxiety at work usually coincide with the diagnostic picture of a Generalized Anxiety Disorder :

  • Constant nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty falling asleep...

In a national survey on anxiety in the workplace, people with anxiety disorders commonly cited these situations as difficult:

  • Deal with problems
  • Set and meet deadlines
  • Maintain personal relationships
  • Direct staff
  • Participate in meetings
  • Make presentations

Identify the triggers of your symptoms

Although it is easy to identify the trigger for a specific work phobia , such as speaking in public or socializing at an event, in the case of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) it is not so easy. You may not be aware of what makes you feel anxious at work and this can intensify those stressful feelings and leave you worried that there is no solution; therefore, it is important to seek expert help to help you identify these triggers and find ways to control them.

Work makes me anxious: what do I do?

If the work produces any of the effects that we are going to list below, it is important that you go to a specialist or follow the advice that you will see in the next section.

Consequences of job anxiety and stress

  1. Memory problems: You have trouble remembering names, especially right after someone has been introduced to you. You go to meetings where you know you should remember people's names, but you can't. You have a hard time staying focused and forgetting what was just said.
  2. Nervousness : This can lead to difficulties speaking with a person who is in a superior position than you. Or when you have to speak in a meeting or on a program. It may appear when you have to take on a new project or a leadership role.
  3. Anger : That quick temper or sharp response could actually be a sign of anxiety or fear. If you find yourself in a bad temper, ask yourself: What is it that makes him like this?
  4. Need to escape : You just want to get away from your office, from the situation, from your work. This can show up in online escapism, where you get lost on Twitter or other social media at work. Or you get obsessed with the news of the day by constantly refreshing online news sources. You can also go home and vegetate in front of the TV because his brain is exhausted. Exhausted, that is, until you try to fall asleep and then ...
  5. Insomnia / constant fatigue : Anxiety is exhausting. Yes, it can be the source of good energy, but after a while the energy wears off and you are physically, emotionally and mentally fatigued. So you go to bed, only for your brain to wake up and decide to torture you with all the thoughts of what you should, should, should, could, and should do.

7 Tips to Calm Anxiety at Work

Regardless of whether you are able to identify a specific cause of anxiety at work or if you have generalized anxiety disorder, the following tips can help you increase your sense of control and reduce your anxiety levels.

1. Changes in lifestyle

Many people find that small alterations in your lifestyle can help reduce your anxiety at work, such as introducing a regular exercise routine. Yoga is another good way to exercise and relax at the same time.

2. Replace stimulants

Limiting or restricting our intake of stimulants like caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and sugar can help reduce our anxiety levels.

3. Meditation

Doing 10 to 20 minutes of meditation a day will help you slow down your breathing, which in turn will restore a calm state to your mind. The slow breathing and concentration that meditation produces relaxes the vagus nerve in our body , which is linked to our heart, lungs, and digestive system. Calming this system reduces our heart rate and our adrenal system, helping us to manage and recover from stressful experiences in a much more effective and relaxed way. Discover here more benefits of meditation for the brain.

4. Take regular breaks

Sitting in one place for most of the day can cause lethargy, poor concentration, and is bad for your eyesight. Get some fresh air with a short walk around the office building if you're feeling pressed for time, or join a lunchtime workout or yoga class if there's one nearby. You will find that disconnecting from work will give you a renewed focus and you will be more productive when you return.

5. Don't take work home

With new technologies, we are living in a time where we are always "connected", but if you have an anxiety problem, it is vitally important to make time to disconnect and relax. This has been recognized as a global problem with many companies and indeed governments are beginning to take notice of the stressful effect this is having on their job performance.

6. Take a self-help course

If lifestyle changes have only addressed part of the problem, the next natural step is to take a self-help course. Most people prefer the less intrusive and more private approach of taking an online course as a first step in treating their anxiety, rather than consulting one person face-to-face. There are a wide variety of courses available, and some will include options such as meditation or hypnotherapy.

7. Communicate with others

Some managers now offer staff access to free and confidential advice through an in-house service. Share your insecurities or anxieties at work with someone you trust, whether it's your coworkers, your manager, or HR.