How Does Anxiety in the Workplace Affect You?Lindsay Chambers
Many aspects of work can be anxiety-inducing: deadlines, presentations, the undercurrents of office politics, living up to your team members’ expectations for you and many more. Since most workplaces are an environment where anxiety can flourish, it’s essential to get a handle on it before it affects your ability to execute your job responsibilities.
Signs Workplace Anxiety Is Getting out of Control
Most people who hold down a job will experience occasional anxiety related to their duties, whether it’s because of their co-workers, a work/life imbalance or some other factor. But if you’re finding yourself dreading going to work each day, anxiety may be intruding on your ability to get your job done. Here are some ways to determine whether your work-related anxiety has become a problem.
- Frequent anxiety dreams about work that cause you to toss and turn all night
- Calling in sick because you feel overwhelmed
- Having trouble focusing on tasks
- Avoiding specific co-workers because they trigger your anxiety
- Finding excuses to miss meetings, teambuilding activities and other workplace events
Strategies for Managing Workplace Anxiety
Anxiety can sneak up on anyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it control your life. If your workplace is anxiety-inducing and you frequently find yourself struggling with anxiety attacks related to your job, there are ways to get it under control.
- Keep a journal: By writing down the details of your work-related anxiety issues, you might be able to discover a pattern that will help you get to the root of why your job makes you feel so nervous. For example, maybe you once gave a presentation that didn’t go as well as you’d hoped, and now the meeting room where that happened has unconsciously become an anxiety trigger for you.
- Take frequent mental health days: If your stress has started to reach unmanageable levels, a mental health day could help you avoid burnout and feel more refreshed and able to take on the challenges ahead. Taking time specifically to focus on self-care and mental wellness is not selfish if it allows you to be a better employee. On your mental health day, disconnect from work as much as possible and focus on being in the moment.
- Ask for help: If your workload is overwhelming and you’re having trouble meeting your deadlines, don’t be embarrassed to reach out to your colleagues for help. It’s likely they’ll need you to return the favor someday.
- See a therapist: Workplace anxiety can start to creep into other aspects of your life, and affect your relationships with loved ones. A trained counselor can listen to your concerns and offer healthy coping strategies for managing stress. Talking through your problems with a sympathetic person can be enormously beneficial in the long run.
Your Anxiety Doesn’t Control You
Everyone experiences stress and anxiety about their jobs. But for those who regularly go through spikes of anxiety that disrupt your life, don’t ignore the need to manage your symptoms. As essential as your job is, it isn’t worth sacrificing your mental well-being over it.
If you’re finding you need help to keep up with the challenges of your daily life, Serene Behavioral Health is here for you. We work with adults who are struggling with complex mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and PTSD. Reach out today to get help, and know you’re not alone.