We can speak about workplace anxiety when a person, coming to work, starts to feel uptight, gets overwhelmed by stress, and is unable to shake off nervousness throughout the day. It may be because the individual is worried about their performance, about relationships with other members of the department, about the necessity to defend their opinions… So many things can cause anxiety. What can one do about it?
Sadly, this kind of worry is fairly widespread; approximately 40% of Americans own to experiencing anxiety when at work. Naturally, working does bring on a level of stress which stimulates the worker, but if it gets overwhelming, it begins to tell on the person’s general health and throw shadows on their personal life, too, if it is allowed to run unchecked.
Signs of Work Anxiety
Work anxiety doesn’t amount to a formal mental disorder, but it has its distinct symptoms that can be detected and are similar to those of problems with anxiety. You can find them outlined below:
- They lose contact with their relatives and friends
- They can break down and cry
- They are often uptight, peevish, feel spent
- They cling to the belief they ought to be perfect
- Work doesn’t seem to them inspiring any longer
- They are inclined to eat too much or too little
- They worry even when they have no good reason for worrying
- They regularly have troubled sleep
- Many things cause a startled reaction in them
- They are often on pins and needles
- They get tired very quickly
- They often feel tenseness in the throat
- Incontrollable fits of trembling occur
- The mouth often gets dry
- Sweat breaks out often
- The heart can start to race suddenly
Besides the abovementioned anxiety symptoms, you must keep in mind a few additional signs that are also telling about a serious level of work anxiety. Signs to keep an eye for can include the following:
- They tend to stay off work for much longer periods
- They overreact to everything that happens at work
- They tend to brood on negative happenings
- When they have to answer a work-related call or think about work they may feel an attack of sickness
- Deadlines and achieving objectives in time become a struggle
- They begin to shun work-related activities, new tasks, skip meetings
Acute work anxiety may manifest itself through physical conditions as well. The commonest of them are:
- headaches, ache in the neck
- the body is always tense
- excessive sweating, palms are often wet
- recurring pain in the stomach, bouts of sickness
How to tackle the issue
If you have discovered that your anxiety at your workplace has grown really severe, you can take several measures to keep your mental and physical symptoms in check.
Pinpoint the triggers and lay your plans
Once you’ve succeeded in defining what exactly can cause your concern, you can generate ideas on how to tackle the issue. Begin with mastering “defensive pessimism” – a method of working out your reactions to the worst possible turn of events. It serves to alleviate anxiety.
Approach it with punctiliousness. Having learned what your point of acutest anxiety is, you can anticipate contingencies and map put a plan. Picture yourself in a quandary and ponder on what you would do then. Formulate a detailed plan including your sources of support, embracing the monetary angle, the health angle, and professional repercussions.
While concocting your plan, you will be getting the feeling of control over your life – and that goes a long way towards soothing your anxiety.
Discuss your feelings with someone at work
It’s a moot question whether it is worth your while to speak with someone about your concerns. But in case your anxiety interferes with your performance, it may be a good idea to be open about it to a superior manager. If you are not sure about a positive outcome of your openness, you can try to talk to somebody in the human resources department.
Try progressive muscle relaxation
When you have a pause during work, be sure you move about to stretch your muscles. Also, you can try diaphragmatic breathing, which is relaxing. As your muscles lose tension, your mind will lose some of the anxiety too.
Don’t consider your work totally equal to your personality
According to a study from the Frontiers of Psychology, some individuals concentrate on their jobs to the extent that it grows to become their sole attribute. After a while, such people may begin to feel dehumanized because they get the notion of being a kind of a human machine. They are more susceptible to disengagement, developing a negative attitude, and, finally, burnout.
It means that a person’s self-perception out to be far more diverse. If you feel like being eaten up by your job, get more interested in other aspects of your life.
Make your workplace a pleasant and safe spot
Those with an area of their own can try and create a nice place to which they can retreat if something unexpected or stressful turns up.
To achieve a strong positive effect, you can:
- bring in pictures of your loved ones
- invest in a diffuser filled with toning essential oil.
Laugh worries away
If you feel the tension mount, look around for something to laugh at. Merriment stimulates positive neurotransmitters, your outlook undergoes a change, and the strain eases up. This attitude serves to lighten work experiences in general.
Discuss and compare your previous jobs
You may well be carrying grudges from your previous jobs; it is advisable to unearth them and talk them over with a therapist – or with a friendly co-worker. If you had prior workplace PTSD now that it’s history you can try and eliminate it from your system. So your current job won’t suffer from any old trauma that can still rankle.
Be on the move
One of the benefits of workouts is that you get neurotransmitters in the body that infuse you with a feeling of calmness and well-being. If you have an opportunity to do some sport before each work day, it will make you more stress resilient physically and mentally; workouts after work can make you erase job-related worries and return to a normal state of mind.
Benefit from better organization
Some of the sure-fire sources of anxiety are new massive projects and important presentations. These need a punctilious organization which can make things easier. Below are some helpful hints:
- split complex tasks into smaller and simpler ones
- fitting simple tasks into a schedule with deadlines
This way, you will put your anxiety to good use by letting it drive you on to step-by-step achievements.
Make after-work life brighter and more active
As soon as you are through with work, why not turn on the heat in your evenings? Think of activities that will make your free time lively, scintillating, and energizing. If you enjoy your after-work time, it can:
- make you forget work problems and work stress
- make you more impervious to work-related pressure
- put work concerns on a pause
So why not begin with making a list of places you can go to to feel fine, the company you would prefer, and text your friends and family to support you in your having-fun prospects?
Set your limits and observe them
Make a point of working within your own limits. You may need to draw your boundaries and set certain rules, like:
- concentrate on the task in hand to the total exclusion of other tasks that amount to worries and anxiety
- let your immediate superior help you prioritize your projects so you make sure you do everything in good time and no urgent surprises are sprung on you
- if you have this opportunity, play some good music while you are working
- schedule a string of easy-reached, evenly-spaced deadlines that mark your progress
- insert short breaks for deep breathing, meditations, physical jerks, if it is possible
- be sure you take pauses to relax when it gets too nervous
- take a walk before or after lunch
A therapist may help
When a job carries too much anxiety, it should be addressed from two sides – creating a more productive schedule for managing work tasks and tackling anxiety. The latter is really a job for a therapist (or maybe a good life coach). Triggers and anxiety pattern must be defined, professional strategies designed to strengthen your work performance.
Don’t forget about days off
When you feel that your anxiety gets the better of you, call in and ask for a day off. Worries can be quite medical, so make it a medical day and address your condition. Arrange for a period of caring and making sure you relax, feel your concerns slipping away from you.
Consider fixing an appointment with a therapist. Mind that you organized your sleeping and eating habits properly. If you know that you are trying to get your anxiety down and your personal life is well organized and healthy, you are well on the way to stifling anxiety and live free.