Reducing Anxiety in the Workplace

Workplace anxiety is something that just about everybody experiences. That doesn’t mean that it is “okay” to feel that way. Work shouldn’t cause you to feel stressed, anxious, or depressed whenever you are there. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to manage this problem. If you are suffering from anxiety and stress in the workplace just know that you are not alone! 1000s of others have been down the same road and have learned effective and healthy ways to cope with their anxiety and stress at work.  These include processes like assessing your anxiety, avoiding gossip, and getting online treatment, if necessary.

Know What Causes the Anxiety

Workplace anxiety typically has a particular cause for each person. For example, you may have fights with your boss or your coworkers about how to handle specific workloads. Or you may feel overworked and unable to finish all of your duties. Others have a dread of work that they cannot explain and which makes it hard for them to focus on their tasks every day.

This problem is one that can be quite a challenge to understand correctly. Thankfully, you can take this simple online survey to get great results.  By taking this survey, you can better understand why you are anxious at work and pinpoint ways to help yourself out. Don’t hide your anxiety or try to explain it away – it is real, and it deserves to be treated like any other health problem that you may experience.

Stay Away From Gossip Triangles

Socializing is an inevitable part of any workplace environment and can be very rewarding if done correctly. However, you may also run into what psychological experts call “gossip triangles.” These occur when you and others vent and gossip about coworkers as a way of “venting.” Often, people build up relationships and social connections with this kind of trash talk problem.

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Though this type of activity can seem refreshing and relaxing, it ultimately does little to help with anxiety. That’s because you’re not dealing with the source of your stress – problems with a coworker – but only making them worse by gossiping. And if you get caught venting about multiple coworkers, you’re likely to alienate yourself from those involved. So avoid gossiping and deal directly with the individual who is causing your anxiety.

Know How to Work With Anxiety

When fear strikes you at work, you likely want to find ways to “fight” it and try to calm your body and mind. But a compelling new theory about stress may make this approach less effective. Known as acceptance commitment therapy (or ACT), this concept advocates the idea of acceptance and non-judgmental understanding related to your negative thoughts and behaviors. The idea is to bring you into a better understanding of your life and those moments that cause anxiety to worsen.

As advocated by Doctor Steven Hayes of the University of Nevada, the idea here is to avoid seeing stress and anxiety as an enemy that you have to fight. Hayes believes that such an approach will only worsen these feelings by forcing you to fight against yourself. Instead, he believes that understanding the source of these concerns is a more effective way to manage this problem.

Trying this approach in the workplace may be tough for many to handle. It will require standing back and examining your anxiety in a detached and objective way. However, Hayes believes that this method helps in workplace environments by giving you an accurate understanding of your emotions that pull back from the depression and emotional involvement you may otherwise feel.

Ask for Help From Your Employees and Boss

If you have anxiety caused by your workload or other employees, don’t hesitate to reach out to your boss or other employees for help.  Though this may seem like you are admitting defeat, it is better than letting anxiety take over your life by forcing you to fail. Many times people who try to deal with anxiety on their own, end up with unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking, abusing anxiety medications, bad eating patterns and much more.  If you are suffering from an addiction to anxiety medication due to work place stress you may need to consider treatment options before the issues gets worse.

Remember: your employees and boss are there to support you. This isn’t a competition, and they aren’t out to “get” you. Instead, they can serve as a great support group that provides you with the help that you need to finish your work and defeat your anxiety. Take the time to go on-line and learn new tools. There are plenty of online rehab treatment options and therapy/counseling options today that work wonders.

Master Self-Motivation Techniques

People suffering from anxiety at work may find it hard to stay motivated and on task. As a result, you need to master a few ways to stay focused. These include creating task lists that break down what you need to do every day and watching motivational videos when you get the chance.

One great way to motivate yourself is to get up and stretch your body. This step helps blood flow through your body more effectively. Even better, it breaks up the stress-related tension in your muscles that can worsen your anxiety and make it even worse.

Learn Office-Based Meditation

Lastly, if you have a few moments of free time and need to get your mind calm right away, you should consider office-based meditation. This process allows you to calm your mind, eliminate negative thoughts, and retain a balance of positivity. A large number of people have mastered these methods over the years and found them to be very helpful for office anxiety.

Thankfully, office-based meditation isn’t that hard if you practice a few simple techniques. For example, you can sit at your desk and meditate during a calm moment at work or during a break. Make sure that you sit upright in your chair with a straight back and keep your feet on the floor. Create a 90-degree angle with your knees and scoot to the edge of the chair, as necessary. Place your hands on your knees, close your eyes, and try to clear your mind and calm your anxiety.

Remember: you don’t need to be a yogi, here, and try to meditate for hours at a time. Instead, a good 5-10 minutes may be all that you need. And don’t try to “fight” thoughts as they enter your head. They are inevitable, and trying to force them out only distracts you. Instead, let them float away like steam on the wind. In this way, you can meditate and achieve a calmer state of mind more quickly and effectively.

Don’t Neglect Professional Help

If you find that these techniques don’t work for you, it may be time to seek out professional help. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. Professionals can find the source of your anxiety and teach you coping mechanisms and prescribe medications that help.

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Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.