Getting a job can give a person a sense of achievement, a daily routine, and a reason for waking up early in the morning. Somehow, it could provide you with those benefits apart from the monetary gains. But although working on a job may be beneficial to a person’s well-being, it can also be detrimental.
Any work can be stressful. If you find yourself becoming anxious at work, note that it occurs to everyone and it’s quite natural. However, if you’re continuously stressed out to the point of being overwhelmed and hindered from getting on with your personal life, it may be a sign of workplace anxiety.
What Is Workplace Anxiety?
Before you ask yourself questions like, ‘Do I need anxiety counseling?’ and many others, get to know everything about the disorder first. Workplace anxiety is an acquired reaction that may be caused by a variety of factors. Some of its cases were more severe and upsetting than others.
Workplace anxiety is thought to occur as a result of generalized worries, fears, workplace harassment, or illness anxiety regarding work circumstances, dealing with co-workers and superiors, and thoughts of inadequacy or judgment. This significantly disrupts a person’s quality of life.
If a person fails to face and handle their anxiousness, they may only get worse and cause more serious problems to both their emotional well-being and work performance.
Besides that, if their supervisors or colleagues were clueless about their condition, their conduct and actions may only be assumed to convey smugness, avoidance, or a lack of concern for the job. This may result in the loss of major opportunities and advancements, frequent absences, a drop in pay, and even loss of employment.
Common Signs Of Workplace Anxiety
A workplace anxiety disorder affects a person’s productivity, quality of work, and relationships with colleagues and superiors. Some people may even shift career because of their condition.
A person with workplace anxiety might experience any of the following:
• Takes an unusually long period off from work
• Overemphasizes the negative aspects of their work
• Terrified at being humiliated in public
• Overreacts to various circumstances on work
• Counts the hours and minutes till their shifts are over
• Struggles in focusing or finishing work by the deadlines set
• Fears speaking in front of many people
• Avoids taking on new and challenging tasks
• Continues to make excuses to attend a company event and the like
• Fears not being able to perform at the maximum level
• Dreads about having adverse reactions or evaluations regarding their performance
• Concerned about how others see them
• Loses their passion for the job
Have you had any of the above experiences? Anyone can experience anxiety from time to time, mainly when there are a lot of things to do. However, you must also know the importance of determining if the tension you’re experiencing is healthy and productive. If it is, then that’s good.
However, if you believe your motivation, contentment, and mental concentration has been compromised, it may be time to see a specialist.
Main Causes Of Workplace Anxiety
A variety of factors may cause anxiety in the workplace, and its underlying reason will vary from person to person. Working long hours, feeling stressed all the time, lacking support from superiors and colleagues, and other factors may all lead to workplace anxiety.
Besides those, other situations that can make a person anxious at work include:
• Delivering presentations
• Meeting and establishing deadlines
• Trying to maintain personal relationships
• Facing problems at work
• Speaking up
Effects Of Having Workplace Anxiety
Oftentimes, colleagues and seniors might not even notice the person they’re working with has a workplace disorder unless they detect any of the red flags listed below:
• A decrease in job performance
• Excessive absences from work
• Noticing effects on the personal life
• Not seeming to be motivated or interested in doing their tasks
• Showing consistent physical claims like perspiring, not sleeping well, and having an indigestion
• Having low productivity and dissatisfaction with their work
• Lack of self-assurance
• Reduces their social skills and ability to collaborate with a team
• Avoiding innovative thoughts
• Taking fewer risks and are more likely to reach a career plateau
• Losing the job
The list above can occur both inside and outside the workplace. If a person suffers from job anxiety, it may have a negative impact on many aspects of their life.
Managing Workplace Anxiety
After knowing what workplace anxiety is as well as its signs and causes, do you think you’re experiencing such a disorder? If you do, you must know how to reduce or prevent it. Understand that stress at work can be contagious, so try to avoid people who make you feel terrible.
Also, avoid harmful coping mechanisms such as binge eating, excessive caffeine consumption, prescription medication abuse, or alcohol abuse.
Instead of engaging in such fruitless techniques, consider the list below for some beneficial ways to deal with workplace anxiety:
1. Stop, Breathe, And Relax
Your job can take your composure away from you. The endless list of things you have to do might force you to work without a moment to stop or breathe. But the good thing is, you can always choose to stop, respite, and relax even if it’s just for a while.
When you’re stressed, don’t wait too long to hit the reset button and take a break! Give yourself a time-out to do a series of breathing exercises and get air into your body. This method works by inciting your nerves, which activates a soothing reaction to your body. Aside from that, reducing your heart rate can help you relieve tension, calm your nerves, and alleviate job anxiety symptoms.
It may be easy to just let the world keep you occupied, but you need to have breaks. Always find time to pause, rest, and take deep breaths, especially if your work is hard on you.
2. Talk To Someone You Trust
When you’re worried, scared, or unhappy at work, it can help if you talk about your feelings. Speaking with someone about what’s troubling you can make a significant difference in how you feel.
Your friend or a loved one can help you look at things from a different perspective and help you discover solutions. You can’t expect them to know instantly what you’re going through. It could be because they haven’t noticed, or maybe they don’t want to intervene, so they’re just waiting for you to open up.
If you express your worries and concerns to someone you trust, they’d be willing to listen. Whenever you’re ready, choose the appropriate time to confide. You may find it difficult to open up to others about your experiences and emotions or may feel uneasy about how people respond. However, if you tell someone you need their help, they’ll likely feel relieved about the thought of you trusting them.
3. Practice Self-Compassion
Be kind to yourself and cultivate self-compassion as it’s a practice of goodwill. Even though the pleasant, sympathetic stance of self-love is focused on relieving suffering, this is important to do so you’d realize your value is beyond your circumstances.
If you’re compassionate toward yourself, you’re mindfully acknowledging the fact that your work can be stressful. Instead of resisting it, embrace yourself with tenderness and care, and realize that error is a natural part of life. By doing so, you’re holding on to love and connection and providing yourself with the support and comfort you need to face your anxieties.
4. Eat Healthily
When it comes to dealing with workplace anxiety, your nutrition is crucial. Instead of eating too little or too much, have a healthy diet. Recognize the significance of food in maintaining your body since it supplies you with energy.
There are a few nutritional strategies for reducing anxiety such as eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and minimizing your consumption of alcohol and caffeine. For example, since complex carbohydrates seem to get digested more slowly, they could help maintain your blood sugar levels, resulting in a calmer mood.
Furthermore, a diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is a healthier choice than consuming a lot of carbs from processed foods. Also, think about how much time you have for meals. Never skip a meal because this could result in a decreased blood sugar level, making you more nervous.
5. Have Moments Of Mindfulness Into Your Routine
Instead of being stuck in your negative thoughts, anxieties, and what-ifs, live fully in your tangible reality. Do you have mindful moments in your daily routines? Mindfulness is a means of living your life to the fullest, regardless of the circumstances. It entails paying attention to what you’re doing, genuinely perceiving things, and being engaged in your life.
If you think it involves meditating, you’re right. Meditation is one technique to practice mindfulness, but it’s not the only way. Mindfulness can also be cultivated through activities like mild exercises, breathing exercises, as well as not criticizing your thoughts to unite your body and mind.
Mindfulness can help counteract the overthinking and irritability that comes with workplace anxiety. When you’re anxious, your mind is filled with meanderings about the past and concerns about the future. The more stress tries to pull you away from the current moment, the more agitated and dissatisfied you become.
6. Practice Thinking Positively
There could be instances where you spend hours thinking about the negative sides of your job. You may even be spending too much energy worrying about what might go wrong. Instead of doing these things, why not invest yourself more in sensible, attractive, and positive things?
Train your mind to concentrate on moving forward in the righteous path because if you focus too much on the darkness, you may never have the opportunity to see the light. Start by feeling a sense of contentment with what you have now. A contented individual is fully immersed at the moment and is not preoccupied with the past or the future. Believe that today can be a fantastic day because it can.
There’s so much in life that’s out of your control, but it’s up to you if you choose to be happy regardless of your circumstances at work. Your happiness won’t only come if you get promoted or if you finished your presentation. Happiness will instead come if you delve into your inner peace. After all, it’s the result of a conscious decision to be contented.
7. Write Your Thoughts
Your thoughts are quite powerful. One of the most beneficial ways to counter stress and anxiety at work is to keep a record of your thoughts in a personal journal. Even if it appears like you’re talking to a piece of paper, getting things off your chest can benefit both your emotional and physical health.
You can write about your fears as well as your good thoughts. When you do this, you’re naming your concerns to give them some space, you’re processing your feelings, you’re acquiring new insights, and you’re opening up yourself and communicating with sincerity. Be honest in what you write because it’s how you get to know the real you.
8. Make Time For Yourself
Have there been times where you want to do something yet your job can’t give you time for it? Most people spend so much doing what they think they have to do that they don’t have enough time to do what they love. Are you one of those people?
The ability to make time for yourself amidst a busy schedule is essential for maintaining balance. If you make time for the things you love to do, you might as well explore your creative thinking, develop your interests, loosen up, and learn more. And the more stressed you are, the more time you need for yourself.
Work can cause anxieties. When there’s a toxic workplace culture, constant unhealthy pressure, and high expectations, you could experience work-related anxiety and stress. If you’re living with workplace anxiety, you can try to seek help. Consider the simple steps listed above and strive to live your life to the fullest.