In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive work environment, it is common to feel overwhelmed and stressed out in a workplace. Whether it’s due to heavy workloads, tight deadlines, or difficult bosses/co-workers, or simply due to the pressure to perform, work anxiety can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health in addition to your overall job satisfaction.
ways to manage work anxiety
Fortunately, there are many ways to manage work anxiety and overcome the feelings of being overwhelmed at work. Some of them are presented below:
Prioritise your tasks
One of the main causes of work anxiety is having too many tasks to do and not enough time to do them. To combat this, it’s important to prioritise your tasks and focus on the most important ones first. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete and arrange them sequentially by their importance. Then, tackle the most important tasks first, and work your way down the list. This will help you stay focused and feel more in control of your workload.
Break large tasks into smaller ones
Large tasks can be overwhelming and cause anxiety, especially if they have tight deadlines. To be able to manage them, break them down into subparts and easily manageable tasks. This will help you stay focused and make good progress, without feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the task.
Set realistic goals
It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself at work. This means setting goals that are achievable within the timeframe and resources you have available. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to the feelings of anxiety when you are unable to meet them.
Learn to say no
One of the biggest causes of work anxiety is taking on too much work. To avoid this, learn to say no to tasks that are outside your scope of work or that you don’t have time for. Be assertive and explain why you cannot take on these tasks and offer an alternative solution if possible.
Taking breaks is essential for managing work anxiety. Regular breaks can help you recharge your batteries, refocus your mind, and reduce stress levels. Take a short break every 60 to 90 minutes and use this time to step away from your desk, stretch, or do something you enjoy.
Mindfulness is a good method for dealing with workplace anxiety. It involves focusing your attention on the present, without any distraction or judgment. Mindfulness may help you remain calm, focused, and grounded, even in the midst of a stressful work environment.
Regular exercise is a great way to reduce work anxiety and improve overall well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, and can help to reduce stress levels. You can plan 30 minutes of certain moderate exercise, such as jogging, walking, or cycling, each day.
Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is a simple yet effective way to manage work anxiety. When you feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths, inhaling deeply through nose and exhaling slowly through mouth. This will help to calm your nervous system and reduce the feeling of anxiety.
Focus on your physical health
Taking care of your physical health is essential for managing work anxiety. This means eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption. When your body is healthy, your mind is better equipped to handle stress and anxiety.
Disorganisation can contribute to feeling anxious and overwhelmed at work. To combat this, take time to get organised. Clean your workspace, organise your files, and create a system for managing your tasks and deadlines.
Use time management techniques
Time management techniques can help you manage your workload and reduce your anxiety. One effective technique for time management is the Pomodoro technique, in which one can work in 25-minute interval, followed by a short break. This can help an individual to stay focused and make progress, while also taking regular breaks to recharge.
When you are feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s important to seek support. This may involve talking to a co‑worker or friend, seeking advice from a mentor, or reaching out to a therapist or counsellor. Having someone to talk to can help you gain perspective and find solutions to your problems.
Self-care is essential for managing work anxiety. This means taking time to do things you enjoy, such as reading a book, taking a bath, or practicing a hobby. When you prioritise self-care, you are better equipped to handle stress and anxiety at work.
Take advantage of resources
Many workplaces offer resources to help employees manage stress and anxiety, such as employee assistance programs or wellness programs. Take advantage of these resources to get the support you need.
Practice positive thinking
Positive thinking can help you to refrain your negative thinking and reduce anxiety. When you notice negative self-talk or catastrophic thinking, try to reframe the thought in a more positive way. For example, in place of thinking ‘I’ll never be able to finish this project’, try ‘I’m making progress, and I’ll get it done’.
Focus on what you can control
Anxiety may be induced by feeling like you are not in control. To combat this, focus on what you can control. This may involve setting boundaries, prioritising your tasks, or seeking support. When you focus on what you can control, you feel more empowered and confident.
Finally, taking action is the key to managing work anxiety. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to get stuck in a vicious cycle of worry and inaction. To deal with this, take action on the things you can control. This may involve breaking down tasks into smaller ones, seeking support, or practicing self-care. When you take action, you regain a sense of control and experience a decline in feeling overwhelmed.
Importance of managing work anxiety
Managing work anxiety is crucial for maintaining overall well-being and achieving professional success. A few of the reasons why one should manage work anxiety are listed below:
By effectively managing work anxiety, individuals can improve their focus, concentration, and productivity, which leads to improved job performance.
Health and well-being:
Uncontrolled work anxiety can lead to physical and mental health issues like high blood pressure, insomnia, and burnout. Managing anxiety promotes better health and overall well-being.
Anxiety can impair rational thinking and decision-making skills. By managing anxiety, individuals can make clear, highly logical decisions and avoid hasty or detrimental choices.
Excessive anxiety can strain relationships with colleagues and supervisors. Managing anxiety at work helps foster positive interactions, collaboration, and teamwork.
Reducing work anxiety contributes to an increase in job satisfaction. It enables individuals to enjoy their work, find a better work–life balance, and experience a sense of fulfilment in their careers.
Managing anxiety allows individuals to focus on their professional development, take on challenges, and seize opportunities for growth and advancement.
By effectively managing work anxiety, you can reduce your stress levels, which promotes your mental health, resilience, and positive outlook on life.
Overall, managing anxiety at work is essential for personal well-being, professional success, and maintaining a healthy work–life balance.
Manage Work Anxiety: FAQs:
How to cope with work anxiety?
You can follow some easy steps to cope with work anxiety; these steps may include practicing deep breathing exercises, prioritising self-care, setting realistic goals, breaking tasks into manageable steps, communicating openly, seeking support from colleagues, taking regular breaks, and engaging in activities outside of work that bring you joy.
How to manage anxiety at work and deal with over-thinking?
To deal with anxiety and over-thinking at work:
i. Practice deep breathing exercises.
ii. Take short breaks to clear your mind.
iii. Prioritise and break tasks into manageable steps.
iv. Challenge negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
v. Seek support from colleagues or consider professional help if needed.
Why does work give me anxiety?
Work can cause anxiety due to various factors, such as high expectations, fear of failure, excessive workload, lack of control, interpersonal conflicts, or a mismatch between personal values and organisational culture. Additionally, pressure to perform, job insecurity, and work-life imbalance can further contribute to work-related anxiety.
When should I stop working with anxiety?
It is important to prioritise your mental health. If anxiety is significantly impacting your well-being and daily functioning, it may be beneficial to seek professional help or take a break from work to focus on self-care and recovery.