Anxiety within the workplace puts many people under unnecessary pressure, with tension and stress splashing over into other areas of life. Long-term anxiety issues can result in a loss of productivity, while ramping up stress levels consistently for as long as the anxiety is not properly managed.
Stress, depression and anxiety need to be confronted from a calm state, allowing you to develop actionable strategies to alleviate any pressure felt.
Here we’ll be taking a look at how to deal with anxiety at work, giving you key advice to make your work-day a pleasure, while allowing yourself the freedom to return home relaxed.
The Far Reaching Effects of Stress
An imbalance of stress and anxiety can lead to a breakdown of the body’s internal balance, otherwise known as homeostasis. Once one has allowed stress to become chronic, treating it as a normal way of life and adapting to anxiety rather than remedying it, the stress hormones slowly but surely wreak havoc on the entire body.
What began as feeling as a bit of mental fatigue or slight pressure from a deadline, can lead to chronic fatigue, aggressive tendencies, poor habits to deal with the anxiety such as excessive drinking and smoking, and a string of physiological responses such as inflammation, headaches, worsened allergies and gastro-intestinal distress.
All of the above causes a severe drop in productivity, turning nuances of the workplace into seemingly insurmountable problems.
Yet countless professionals have found healthy ways of dealing with anxiety and stress. For example, one need just look at the daily life of a surgeon to see how it is possible to deal with crisis after crisis without having mental acuity, reasoning and energy levels impacted negatively.
Worry, Pessimism and Complaining
There is nothing more self-defeating that developing a tendency to worry, resorting to complaining and a pessimistic outlook on life.
In order to manage stress in the workplace, you need to adopt an attitude which embodies a positive point of reasoning at all times, seeking solutions rather than focusing upon apprehensive thoughts.
When you worry you do nothing more than create more obstacles preventing you from dealing with work positively, while complaining will increase aggression, feeding the tension that gives rise to pessimism.
No situation is hopeless and resorting to any of these behaviors or attitudes while believing that you are adapting to stress is nothing more than an elaborate lie you tell yourself.
Handling Mild to Moderate Anxiety at Work
Fortunately, there are far better processes to resort to than worrying, complaining and stressing. Whenever stress arises, it best to detach yourself from the source. Either change what you are doing, thinking or where in the workplace you are, and resort to an action which will bring you toward a positive frame of mind.
Anxiety is not something which is healthy to suppress. Instead stay mindful of the root of your worry while actively taking steps to improve your mood. If the situation cannot be approached in a way that feels good, then step away from it.
Sometimes all that it takes is distance and distraction to put you in a frame of mind which will allow you to address your underlying anxiety in a healthy manner. Phone a friend or family member as a source of emotional support, or step out of the office to take some time alone.
Similarly, once you find yourself feeling positive, look back at situations which lead to anxiety and then show yourself that you can succeed despite your nerves.
If you have trouble with public speaking, then push yourself to communicate with your co-workers more frequently. The key to resolving anxiety is to put yourself in a positive state before approaching the apprehensive trigger.
Physiological Influences of Anxiety at Work
Your lifestyle, habits and diet have a great effect on your response to anxiety. Most people are quite accustomed to getting through the day with the help of far too many cups of coffee.
While four to five cups maximum will help lift your level of alertness, while also benefiting the body’s detoxification, too much coffee can wreak havoc on the central nervous system.
A little caffeine will up your concentration levels, but too much of everyone’s favorite safe stimulant can lead to symptoms which are very similar to the side effects of anxiety. From unfounded worries to jitteriness, a tendency to feel the pressure of nerves more, it can obscure your focus allowing your mind to run.
In a similar manner, energy drinks and medications sold over-the-counter to help with fatigue will give you quick results which fade fast, leaving you more anxious than before you took them. The crash is not worth it.
Healthy Habits to Combat Stress
Do your best to become accustomed to never making decisions when you feel anxious. No positive outcome can be reached from a negative state of mind.
With your reasoning and judgement clouded by apprehension and fear, rational choices are hard to make. It is often highly beneficial to make a few changes to your office and office habits to lessen anxiety. Here are a few great ways to help you deal with anxiety at work:
Set Out a Schedule and Stick to It
Procrastination is at the core of workplace related anxiety. By setting out a schedule and training yourself to follow it, you will leave no room for worry. You don’t need to plan out your entire day, but be sure that you set out a list of goals for at least a few hours.
Most people find that a two to three-hour schedule is easy to follow and maintain, while significantly lowering stress in the process.
When you are working, don’t allow yourself the liberty to multitask. All that splitting your focus does is increase the chance of a worrisome thought arising, due to having too much on your plate. I
n a similar manner, when you take time to relax, alone time, do not allow anything to diverge you away from your moment of peace.
Keep Your Breaks Short
Many people fool themselves into allowing extended breaks, wasting time and dawdling instead of taking just the time needed to replenish your mental acuity. All that you brain needs in most cases is just five minutes of relaxation, anything more is procrastination.
Set Out Boundaries
Work is intended for working hours only. Do not allow yourself to be tempted to take work home, or to work more hours than you have allocated to yourself.
You may feel pressured to work or be available for a full twenty-four hours each day. This leads to burnout and adrenal fatigue over a long period of time. Inform your colleagues and family of your schedule, limits and working hours and stick to it.
Use Relaxation Techniques
Meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises are quick and easy enough to be used to alleviate stress and anxiety in the workplace. During your mental refresher, exercise deep breathing or basic yoga to melt away worry within no time.
Get More Sleep
If you do not allow yourself a healthy night’s rest then you will inadvertently feel the pressure of fatigue during your workday, leading to unnecessary anxiety.
Seven to nine hours is the recommendation for most adults; just make sure that you sleep peacefully, doing whatever is needed to get yourself to a complete state of calm before resting your head.
Cut Out Sugar
Most people who feel the craving for a snack during the day, resulting from stress, opt for high-sugar foods. The crash is simply not worth it.
Sugar is not a sustainable, long-release energy source. Go for lean protein and slow-release complex carbohydrates such as whole grains for sustained energy throughout the day without the crash.
Resolving Unnecessary Anxiety for Good
You don’t “put up with stress,” and you don’t “sweep it under the carpet.” Doing so will do nothing other than affect your long-term health and worsen your response to anxiety. If you are struggling with an emotional disorder and are worried over your position at work, then it is best to discuss the issue with a superior.
In most cases, this will not only grant you peace of mind, but also give you a far better vantage point to begin planning how to manage stressful triggers. Stress and anxiety is a problem which we can all relate to. You don’t need to suffer the burden alone.