Anxiety Disorder at Work
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Steps to Overcome Anxiety Disorder at Work

Do you normally feel anxious while in the office? Well, it is pretty much okay to feel anxious from time to time. Anxiety helps to keep you alert.  However, anxiety ceases to be healthy if it starts interfering with your day-to-day life and work activities.

If your anxiety has been getting out of control, you’re probably dealing with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder is a common mental health problem that affects everyone across the globe. Many people tend to attribute their anxiety to stressful work conditions.

However, it is important to note that anxiety caused by problems in your personal life may spill over to your work life, which might significantly affect your work performance.

| What is an Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a mental health problem that manifests as worry, fear, and unease, particularly if these feelings interfere with your ability to perform your work or day-to-day activities. In essence, if you have an anxiety disorder, you are likely to be more anxious than most people would be in similar circumstances.

Examples of anxiety disorders include panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, just to mention a few.

| Signs of Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms include:

  • Panic
  • Prolonged intense worry
  • Fear
  • Nervousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Shaking
  • Sweating profusely
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Nausea

| Characteristics of Work Anxiety

They include:

  • Poor or reduced job productivity
  • Absenteeism
  • Worrying about how you perform your work duties
  • Feeling inadequate, particularly when you compare yourself to colleagues in similar roles
  • Getting intimidated by tasks that your peers are performing confidently
  • Fear of been perceived as lazy or incompetent
  • Difficulty communicating with colleagues
  • Inability to solve problems or manage negotiations
  • Inability to meet deadlines
  • Loss of job security
  • Social withdrawal, and demotivation
  • Failing to apply for promotions or showcasing your talents
  • Constantly feeling like you need to quit your job
  • Depression

| How to Overcome Work Anxiety

  • Seek counseling

An anxiety disorder can impair your ability to function optimally in the office. That said, talking to a qualified psychotherapist can be particularly helpful in working through your work anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly very effective for anxiety disorders. Using CBT, your therapist will help you identify, understand, and change your behavior and thought patterns.

  • Learn to say No

At times saying “Yes” may seem like the only option, but it is okay to ask for help or say “No” if you can’t do something. This can decrease anxiety, particularly work anxiety related to the inability to handle certain responsibilities.

  • Talk to your boss

It is important that you share with your boss your anxiety triggers. For example, if you tend to get anxious when asked to give a speech, particularly without prior preparation, let your boss know about it.

  • Don’t use drugs and other harmful substances

Alcohol, smoking, and caffeine may seem like a quick fix because they will help you relax, but they may aggravate your anxiety disorder. Chamomile tea, lemon tea, or your smoothie of choice may be a better alternative because of their ability to stabilize your glucose levels.

  • Plan your weekly activities

The benefits of a to-do-list and a diary cannot be overemphasized. Be sure to plan your daily activities so that you can be able to manage your time well.

  • Set realistic deadlines

Deadlines are often a source of work anxiety.  What’s more,  your anxiety disorder may make you agree to deadlines or timelines that you might not be able to meet. With that in mind, it is better to be upfront and honest with yourself by setting realistic deadlines.

  • Mindfulness exercises

Meditation exercises and yoga are another great way of reducing work anxiety. Therefore, when you get back home, be sure to spare 15 to 20 minutes for meditation or yoga.

  • Talk about your anxiety

Many people tend to think that expressing their emotions and thoughts is a sign of weakness. On the contrary, sharing your fears or worries with your significant others can help you cope with work anxiety more effectively.