Eight Ways to Deal with Workplace Anxiety

There are plenty of reasons why employees may feel anxious at work. From minor things such as doing presentations and meeting deadlines to more serious matters like workplace bullying and excessive workload with inadequate incentives, workplace anxiety can significantly affect your performance on the job.

To manage your stress levels and remain efficient at work, here are eight ways to deal with workplace anxiety that can help improve your mental health and overall well-being.

1. Let a Trusted Colleague Know about What You Are Feeling.

Overcoming anxiety begins with acknowledging that you are experiencing it and that it interferes with how you do your job. Being aware of how it affects you means that you also have the strength to open up about your feelings to people you trust enough at work.

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It may be difficult to share personal matters and be vulnerable to your officemates, but dealing with problems on your own usually only does more harm than good. By telling trusted colleagues about your anxiety, you release some of that pent-up tension inside and slowly put yourself at ease, thereby lessening your chances of having panic attacks at work.

2. Set Realistic Goals within a Realistic Timeframe.

Work can be too overwhelming sometimes, and when your boss asks you to do more tasks on top of the ones you already have, it can be hard to say no. However, trying to do more than what you can handle even though you already have too much on your plate can be more stressful. If you start struggling to meet the deadlines, you will start getting anxious too.

Sure, the idea of saying no to your boss can be nerve-wracking on its own but saying yes all the time despite being aware that your current workload does not allow any more additional tasks will only bring more problems for you in the long run. It can affect the quality of your work and may lead you to compromise on the amount of time you dedicate to each task just so you could accommodate all of them.

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To avoid this, talk to your boss and tell them early on that there are only a certain number of tasks you can do at the moment. By setting realistic goals within a realistic timeframe, you allow yourself to work at a pace you are most comfortable with without sacrificing the quality of your work.

3. Stay Away from Office Drama.

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Some employees live for office drama, but if you are someone who has anxiety, engaging in gossip and non-work-related shenanigans may only trigger you. This will only bring unwanted toxicity and negativity to your life. So try to distance yourself from co-workers whose hobby is to keep sticking their noses into other people’s business.

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4. Maintain Boundaries.

Work-life balance is essential to becoming a fully-functioning individual, so if you still have some unfinished work at the end of your shift, just save it for the next day and dedicate the remaining hours of the day to yourself. In short, learn how to separate your work life from your personal life.

Do not bring your work home, and try to avoid checking your emails and replying to them outside of work hours. If you do, some issues you have at work may spill over at home, which can create tension among the people you live with.

Home is where you should be de-stressing, so bringing something stressful into a place where you should be relaxing after a long day only creates an atmosphere that allows anxiety to creep in.

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5. Celebrate Your Achievements No Matter How Small They Are.

Your small victories at work are worth celebrating, even if you think otherwise. Working non-stop will drain your energy and can make moving on to the next task quite a struggle.

So, take a deep breath, savor your little wins, and reward yourself for accomplishing your responsibilities. This will give you a much-needed energy and mood boost. Most importantly, it will make you feel less anxious at work.

6. Give Yourself a Break.

You are entitled to leave credits for a reason, and they are meant to be used, so use them when you can. Giving yourself a break allows you to clear your head and refresh your soul so that when you are ready to work again, you can start with a clean slate.

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7. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle.

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A healthy lifestyle plays a big part in your mental health. By eating healthy, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly, you can be physically and mentally ready to handle challenging circumstances at work.

8. Take Part in Company-Sponsored Wellness Programs.

Some companies have corporate wellness programs in place as a means to improve the health and well-being of their employees. When an employee is in good shape mentally and physically, they are more productive and perform better at work.

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So if you are experiencing workplace anxiety, it might be a good idea to ask around what type of wellness programs your company offers and participate in them to adopt and hopefully maintain healthy behaviors.

The Most Common Signs of Workplace Anxiety

Before you can effectively deal with workplace anxiety, you first need to recognize the warning signs. Here are the most common symptoms of workplace anxiety that you should watch out for.

  • Consecutive or consistent absences
  • Poor performance
  • Reduced productivity
  • Sudden disinterest in work
  • Avoiding colleagues, friends, and family
  • Feeling nervous, tense, or irritable all the time
  • Obsession with perfection
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Drastic changes in eating habits (eating too much or not eating at all)

Takeaway Points

Workplace anxiety is a serious yet often neglected issue in many corporate settings. Depending on the nature of the job, it can be inevitable sometimes. However, there are a few effective ways to deal with it, so as long as people watch out for the warning signs and offer support to colleagues who need it, workplace anxiety can be manageable.

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