Work can sometimes be the worst place to be when you suffer from anxiety – or so it may seem. You aren’t alone in feeling that way either. Stress; office politics; deadlines; and daily challenges all make for a perfect environment for anxiety to creep in. So how do we cope with anxiety at work?
The way to do this isn’t always cut and dried. Rather, it’s about a combination of positive changes you can make to your environment that help keep the anxiety at bay.
Maintain a positive attitude: it sounds simple, yet it is something that most people suffering from anxiety at work do not do! Usually our first thought in the mornings are feelings of dread at having to go to work. Note that sometimes this is your intuition’s way of telling you to find another job (especially if your current job is affecting your emotional and physical health negatively).
Other times, it’s as simple as a mind-set. Is your job really that bad? Are you grateful for your job? Are there certain tasks that you enjoy doing? Do you sometimes find yourself laughing at work, and enjoying the environment and the feeling you get when completing a task?
Chances are there are many positive things about your job, but that your focus is rather on the negatives. The truth is that every job has positives and negatives – and the one you concentrate on will determine your happiness at work.
Good habits: certain bad habits can intensify anxiety in ways we would never imagine. Small changes to diet and activities can produce positive results. An effective way on how to cope with anxiety at work is by packing your own healthy lunches and snacks rather than eating sugary and fatty canteen foods. It improves your overall well being (and saves you some money!).
Leave your desk at lunch to take a walk outside and get some fresh air is another easy but significant trick. Other small things that help includes keeping your work environment clean, being punctual every day (rushing = stress); and leaving work on time.
Set goals for yourself: it’s all too easy to feel like your life is going nowhere at work. Sometimes this is unfortunately true; and then it’s up to you to make the move to something better. Other times, we’ve just fallen into a rut at work. Setting yourself daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals takes your mind off anxiety because now you have your mind set on achieving something that matters to you.
It gives you a sense of purpose, a reason to be enthusiastic again, makes you more productive, and leaves you with a well-deserved feeling of pride when you accomplish what you set out to do.
Be a better communicator: You’ll be surprised how many issues can be resolved by just addressing them in an open and friendly manner. Perhaps you are under pressure to take on more work. Most people feel there is no way out, but if you spoke to your boss about what your current commitments and priorities are, they may realise that you are right! This isn’t about complaining, nor about being confrontational. It’s simply about being open. Thankfully, saying no or asking for help gets easier over time. People will also learn that they can trust you to be honest, which goes a long way.
Identify issues and implement positive solutions: this can sometimes go hand in hand with being a better communicator. Perhaps your work load gives you anxiety because you end up taking work home. Or maybe somebody is deliberately bitter towards you for no good reason. Most of us just helplessly accept these situations. Rather address these issues accordingly by being an effective communicator and setting boundaries for yourself. The result will be so great, you’ll wonder why on earth you took so long to do it!
Now that you know how to cope with anxiety how to cope with anxiety at work, you can start creating a more positive environment for yourself that will surely filter into every aspect of your life.