An imminent deadline, a stressful boss, or endless meetings at the office usually triggers work anxiety. Feeling this can drastically affect your work productivity and relationships with colleagues. Not only that, but it may also take a severe toll on your life outside the workplace. The good news is that a total lifestyle overhaul is not necessary. Instead, you only have to apply minor changes in your life to manage your work anxiety.
Set Honest Deadlines
According to clinical psychologist Danielle Forshee, Psy.D, “those who worry — meaning everybody — can control the intensity and duration of their worry thoughts.” Anxious workers often tend to agree to timelines and deadlines set by their bosses even if they know they won’t be able to meet it. Once they’re near the said deadline, their body will trigger their work anxiety. Hence, the best way to address this problem is to set reasonable deadlines. It is better to be honest with your colleagues than to stress out yourself and apologize later on.
This strategy will not only let you meet the due date, but it will also save you countless hours of crying from the anxiety.
Take A Break
If you are feeling blue, take a short break. Changing your scenery or pace once in a while will let you feel peace and relaxation within. Other people with work anxiety take a regular 20-minute break for every 2 to 3 hours of sitting down. You may opt to have a quick chat with your co-workers, eat snacks in the pantry, or walk around outside your office.
Get Enough Sleep
Aside from taking regular breaks, make sure to get enough sleep every day as well. Being well-rested will make you less vulnerable from attacks from stress and will enable you to manage your emotions better. Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist explains that “Sleep can restore your mind and body. The immune system repairs itself and the brain rests and recharges while you sleep. Without enough sleep, you can’t function at your best.” To get a good night’s sleep, you may apply the following practices:
- Sleeping at the same time every night
- Not drinking coffee after 1 p.m. since caffeine will keep your mind and body awake
- Eating food containing magnesium, melatonin, and tryptophan
- Decreasing stimulation at night by taking a bath, reading, or practicing gentle yoga
- Saying and repeating positive affirmations about yourself
Face Your Problems
It is a human instinct to cut off people who are making you uncomfortable. In the workplace, you might try to avoid a bully co-worker, a nagging boss, or a complicated email. The problem with this is that it only serves as a temporary solution. The more you cut off yourself from these situations, the more it will trigger your work anxiety.
Hence, the best way to avoid confusion, disagreement, unwanted emotions, and stress is to face these problems.
Break Bad Habits
Work anxiety might be a result of your behavior. Examples of this include working in a messy table, trying to control the people around you, or always requiring perfection. If you tone down these bad habits slowly, your anxiety levels will go down as well. Make sure to understand that leadership is not equivalent to control, projects, and assignments are never going to be perfect, and cleanliness leads to a relaxed mind.
“These mental health measures included one’s emotional state, mindfulness, resilience, life satisfaction, overall mental well-being, among other characteristics examined.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said. Overcoming your work anxiety requires you to reflect on your work habits. Once you have analyzed your internal and external triggers, then you can tailor your strategy based on your situation.