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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp


It is important to learn how to deal with anxiety at work.

Anxiety can interrupt your chain of thoughts and speech. It can cause you to stumble or even stammer while giving important presentations or discussing project details with the clients.

Getting anxious can also result in mistakes as your thinking is not entirely focused on the work you are doing. Ignoring the impact of anxiety can make employees short-tempered. They may even avoid participating in social gatherings and meetings.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a psychological disorder that is characterized by excessive and persistent worries about different things.

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, one in four employees experiences persistent anxiety, which can impair his or her ability to function optimally at the workplace.

Some factors that have been identified as triggers for anxiety include excess work responsibilities, meeting deadlines and relationships with the people at work.

You can follow the tips mentioned beneath to learn how to deal with anxiety at work and reduce its effect on your efficiency.

 

Executive Summary:

how to deal with anxiety at work

1. Notice Your Disturbing Thoughts And Identify Triggers

Occasional anxiety is a part of life and is considered natural. For example, feeling anxious thinking about the deal you plan to crack with a new partner is bound to make you anxious and excited both at the same time.

Similarly, feeling anxious when you switch the job is also common as there is an uncertainty involved in the work environment and the new colleagues you have to work with.

But, when anxiety becomes too frequent and begins to interfere with your routine work, it can affect your work performance severely.

This form of anxiety is called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and involves feeling extremely worried or nervous over trifles. According to the Anxiety And Depression Association Of America, about 40 million adults in the US suffer from anxiety.

When anxiety becomes too frequent and begins to interfere with your routine work, it can affect your work performance severely.

According to a research published in the Medical News Today, a group of brain cells plays a role in creating these anxious feelings. It can cause you to get stuck with a repetitive feeling of worry.

This may result in some form of repetitive behavior such as turning in everything to your boss because you fear that if it’s not perfect, it would prove you don’t deserve the role.

This tendency to worry over trifles can reduce your self-confidence and even affect your overall impression during important meetings.

These feeling can be avoided by making conscious efforts to notice them when they come up and identifying the triggers for such disturbing thought.

Writing in a journal what you were doing when the feeling started will help you identify the preceding triggers.

Keeping a diary of your emotions will help you locate a pattern that correlates different situations that trigger anxiety. You can also have a look at our best books on stress, anxiety, and sleep and free yourself from anxieties right now!

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2. Declutter Your Mind And Clean Worries

Take steps to declutter your mind and clean the worries that are not based on any objective truths or cannot be changed.

Research at the Behaviour Research and Therapy has proven that acceptance can help you avoid anxiety more easily than fighting the disturbing thoughts.

There are certain things about your job that you cannot change such as the attitude of your colleagues. You must realize that worrying about uncooperative colleagues will not help the situation get any better.

When you know you cannot change the attitude of your colleagues, accept them as they are or simply ignore their behavior when it doesn’t directly impact your work.

There are certain things about your job that you cannot change. Acceptance can help you avoid anxiety.

You also need you to identify the factors that create a sense of uncertainty or fear in your mind. Such feelings can make you more nervous.

For example, the fear of experiencing a mental block while delivering a speech can make you more anxious even though it may not actually happen. Just thinking that it might happen can make you more nervous and cause you to stumble while giving the speech. Such causes of fear and anxiety can be managed tactfully by making notes before the speech so that you know you can refer to them in case you have a mental block.

Similarly, most executives are anxious thinking they may be fired even after working hard and being successful at work. Analyzing such causes of anxiety will help you realize how unfounded your fears are.

When you notice these kinds of worries, be confident of your work and capabilities, and clean the anxious thoughts out of your mind.

Such causes of fear and anxiety can be managed tactfully by making notes before the speech so that you know you can refer to them in case you have a mental block.

Similarly, most executives are anxious thinking they may be fired even after working hard and being successful at work. Analyzing such causes of anxiety will help you realize how unfounded your fears are.

When you notice these kinds of worries, be confident of your work and capabilities, and clean the anxious thoughts out of your mind.

S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport can also help you declutter your mind.

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3. Schedule Worry Time

Once you have cleaned your unreal worries and accepted worries that cannot be changed, the rest of the causes of anxiety, which are based on factual circumstances that you can change, need to be tackled more carefully.

If anxiety due to such causes has become a routine activity for you, you can as well include it in your other daily tasks and schedule a specific time for worrying.

The idea is when you designate a specific day and time of a week for pondering or worrying over what’s happening in your life, you are less likely to think about them the rest of the time.

 

When you encounter a negative thought interrupting you while working on a project, write it down and tell yourself you can think over it during your next scheduled slot of ‘worry time.’

It is an effective way for how to deal with anxiety at work as it allows you to put aside your disturbing thoughts and focus on productive activities.

 

4. Relaxation Techniques

When you have just a few minutes left before an important meeting with a client and anxiety has taken over your mind, try relaxation techniques to deal with it.

Relaxation techniques such as diaphragm breathing that involves pushing out your abdomen, instead of chest, when you breathe is a great way to relax your mind and avoid anxiety.

To practice, place your hand on your belly and feel how the stomach moves while breathing.

Counting while breathing, meditation, and circular breathing that involves breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth are also great ways to calm the anxious mind.

These techniques work instantly and ease your senses thus allowing you to face the client with a greater confidence.

You can also use the Meditation headband to keep yourself calm and relaxed and avoid anxiety.

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5. Control Your Mind With Your Body

Your body has the power to control what’s going on in your mind. When you find it difficult to shrug off any nagging thought that has been interfering with your work, you can use the power of your body to control your mind.

When the anxiety-provoking thought refuses to go away, take a few seconds to identify your posture or body language.

Most often, you will realize you have been fidgeting your fingers, moving your legs, or rocking the chair in a restless manner. These movements occur at a subconscious level and reflect the turbulence in your mind.

Make a conscious effort to stop involuntary movements. Control your mind with your body.

Sit straight with your chin up. This posture marks a confident personality. It will instill a sense of confidence in your anxious mind and allow you to think with a positive attitude. Improve your posture while sitting.

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You can also watch the Amy Cuddy’s talk about the power of body language to understand how changing your body language can help you avoid anxiety and be successful at work and in life.

6. Exercise

A study conducted to evaluate the Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Anxiety has proven that exercises can help reduce anxiety.

It was found that the anxiolytic (Anxiety-relieving) effect of exercises tends to last longer by instilling a sense of optimism.

This can be a great way to learn how to deal with anxiety at work while also improving your physical fitness.

BRAIN AFTER EXERCISE

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, physical activities result in the release of chemicals called endorphins in the brain, which act as natural painkillers and reduce anxiety.

You can avoid anxiety by exercising for about 15 to 20 minutes a day. You can opt for simple walking or jogging or even try swimming, playing tennis or any sport to deal with anxiety. We have selected must-read books to exercise step by step.

Your anxiety can become easily evident to your clients, colleagues, and superiors as it causes trembling, affect the tone of your voice and increase sweating.

This may create an unfavorable impression about you at your workplace and reduce your opportunities for handling challenging projects or taking up better responsibilities.

Follow these techniques for how to deal with anxiety at work to feel confident and bag better projects and opportunities.

 

If you have any suggestions to deal with anxiety, leave a comment below to share them with us.

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One Response

  1. Amber says:

    This could not have come at a better time! I found your post here on facebook. A friend of mine shared it. Wow, it spoke to me big time. I have such a hard time with anxiety and work anymore that I was afraid I was going to have to quit my job. I want to first try to manage it before I walk away. These steps and tips are easy and I am going to work them into my life starting next work week.

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