Five Tips to Manage Work Anxiety

by Sakina Kheriwala last updated -

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Dealing with work anxiety is an exhausting experience. It leads to irrational thoughts, depression, social withdrawal, and mood swings. According to a study in the Professional Case Management journal, work stress appears to precipitate diagnosable depression and work anxiety in young workers. It also leads to performance anxiety which leads to a constant state of worry and fear. With such a negative sphere existent, how can one deal with the complexity faced at work that eliminates work anxiety? Let us find out.

How to Deal with Work Anxiety?

In the quest of reaching on top, one always wants to excel at everything they do. This is often considered as normal human behavior and the trait of being a successful person. But, what could be the flipside of achieving this success? For some, it might mean losing out on friends, having social anxiety at work, or experiencing a complete burnout. Everything is at a standstill due to work anxiety as cortisol levels climb up the ladder. Here, we show you a few signs and symptoms of work anxiety in general:

  • Excessive or irrational worrying
  • Taking an unusual amount of time off work
  • Overreacting to trivial work situations
  • Focusing too much on negative aspects of the job
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Inability to complete tasks or meet deadlines

In such cases, what can we do? How can we manage this crippling anxiety? Let us give you some tips.

A close up of an upset man who is rubbing his eyes and has pushed up his reading glasses

People with chronic fatigue are more likely to face work anxiety. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Communicate With A Trusted Individual

When you are struggling with anxiety, it is a general reflex to hide it from those around you – especially at work. But it is important to talk it out with your boss or coworkers if you are feeling anxious. Talking it out makes you feel lighter and gives you a sense of comfort. While you may fear that sharing how you feel will lead to you being labeled as weak or treated poorly, that might not be the case. You could receive warm responses and comfort instead.

On the contrary, if it makes you uncomfortable, then it is all right to not talk about it with everyone – find those one or two trusted friends/people and talk to them. Telling a trusted individual about your state of mind helps ease the situation. Sometimes, hearing just the simple reassurance of, “I am there for you” from someone can help relieve the pressure you are experiencing and get you through the day.

Take Regular Breaks

You will always have some tasks marked as a priority. Most people succumb to this temptation and avoid moving away from their desks so that their work is completed on time. In such a case, it is necessary to take small breaks and give oneself a time-out to rejuvenate and refill. As per a study in the Ergonomics research paper, frequent short rest breaks from continuous work can benefit worker productivity and well-being. Taking short breaks during long tasks increases productivity and boosts concentration.

Exercise Regularly

Try exercising for 30-60 minutes every day. This helps you declutter your mind and get rid of the negative thoughts associated with work. As per research in the Journal of Occupational Health, the practice of active rest by workplace units is important for improving personal relationships, mental health, and physical activity among workers. At the workplace, indulge in some soft exercises like stretching, pushups, or neck exercises to cool you down a bit. Also, try to maintain a good fitness regime – activities such as brisk walking, dancing, swimming, or even a bike ride can create wonders. However, talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program that requires intense workouts.

Practice Positive Thinking

Positive thinking requires practice, but when done right, it helps change everything, from the way you look at things to the direction your day and life takes. Try waking up in the morning and start your day by reciting positive affirmations. Instead of looking out of the window and saying, “What a grey day”, try saying “Today will be a good day”.

Maintain A Diary

Record your thoughts and feelings. Add anything that you did to overcome a challenging situation. Jot down positive ideas or thoughts you can think of. Add to the diary list of things that need your attention, and then prioritize. As you get things done, tick them off. This gives a feeling of accomplishment and keeps your thought process in check.

Things to Remember

If you feel that your workload is unreasonable or your deadlines are rushed, talk to your supervisor or manager. Engage them in the process and explain the concerns you may have. Informing your boss about your stress and anxiety is a personal decision and one you can make. Always seek professional guidance if you are experiencing an anxiety disorder that seems to aggravate day-by-day. Consultation with a medical expert helps to identify the key problems to eliminate mental health issues.

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About the Author

A journalism postgraduate from Macquarie University, Sydney, Sakina Kheriwala is a content writer at Organic Facts and an avid blogger who is passionate about health and wellness. Her blog “One in A Millennial” portrays her incomparable passion for writing, particularly on mental health. She believes that reading and writing is free and useful therapy. In her spare time, she is to be found reading books, socializing, and listening to soulful music. Sakina has completed an online e-certificate course on “Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health” from The University of Sydney, Australia.

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