Managing Anxiety at Work: Tips for Better Mental Health

Written by: Tanvi Vinay Gangavali – MA
(Psychology)

Last updated date : March 29, 2022

Getting stressed at work for some time happens to everyone. It is also normal if it happens for shorter durations. But if you notice that stress is constant and overwhelming then it could be because your anxiety is too high. It can also disturb your work and personal life. It can also lead to chronic pain due to anxiety. Managing anxiety at work is needed.

Having anxiety at work can also have a huge impact on your career. You will also notice that you might make career decisions based on your anxiety. For example, not taking a promotion because you feel anxious to take more responsibility.

Chapter 1:
Symptoms of Anxiety at Work

Listed below are symptoms that also make it difficult to manage anxiety at work:

  • Crying spells
  • Not talking or avoiding friends or family
  • Constant worry
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling tired
  • Taking lot of tension
  • Feeling like you need to be perfect
  • Sleep issues
  • Cannot concentrate on tasks
  • Memory issues
  • Losing interest in your work
  • Eating issues
  • Chronic pain due to anxiety.

If you notice you have any of these issues and you might need support for chronic pain and anxiety.

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Chapter 2:
What Causes Workplace Anxiety?

Lots of things can cause anxiety in the workplace. It is natural to feel nervous when you need to meet clients or even for a big presentation. Having high anxiety means you have a high level of fear and even worry. Many people do not know that another person where they work have an anxiety disorder. If you notice these red flags then it means the person may have an anxiety disorder such as:

  • Low performance
  • Lot of leaves or missed days.
  • Looking lost at work.
  • Chronic pain
  • Physical health issues.
  • Low job productivity

Managing anxiety at work can be helpful to take a look at how you felt the entire day at work. You can also note how anxious you feel and how it is affecting you or certain tasks. Also, the main reason for anxiety at work also depends on the person. For some people, it could be high stress or long working hours. Even stressful personal life can affect your work and body.

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Chapter 3:
Situations at Work That Make You Feel Anxious

There are many situations at work that can make you feel anxious such as:

  • Having issues at work
  • Giving presentations
  • Talking to colleagues.
  • Being part of meetings.
  • Participating in staff lunches or parties.
  • Meeting and setting deadlines.
  • Speaking up during meetings.
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Chapter 4:
Managing Anxiety at Work

Managing anxiety at work is possible. Luckily, there are many things you can do to manage anxiety and also chronic pain due to anxiety. Such as:

Tips to manage anxiety at work
  • Anxiety Tracker: Keeping a log to figure out what type of anxiety you have. You can start by writing moments where you felt uncomfortable or anxious during the workday. You might also notice that there are trends. For example, in the morning it is high and while going home it is better.
  • Listen: Many a times our body and mind is trying to tell us we are anxious. But, we tend to ignore it. Hence, it is important to listen to your inner voice and notice the anxious thoughts. Later, you can even try to debate on the thoughts that came to your mind and if they are true. This can also help in managing anxiety.
  • Sleep: Sleep helps you relax your body and mind Getting a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep is needed.
  • Food: Eating healthy food and not drinking too much of alcohol or cafeeing can keep your body and mind in shape.
  • Be Active: Regular exercise or walking helps to reduce anxiety. It also helps your body to release the strained muscles which helps you to feel stress-free.
  • Stay Organized: Keeping yourself organised and clearing the clutter helps you feel better.
  • Be truthful to yourself. It is okay if you say “No” to a task or project if you do not have the time to handle. Taking on too much work can add to your anxiety.
  • Communicate. Many a times asking for help when we need helps us. If you feel you have too much work, then you need to speak up and talk to your manager.
  • Get it right the first time. Spend a little extra time to get it right in the first go. This also helps in the long run. Also, because redoing your hard work is stressful.
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Chapter 5:
Managing Anxiety at Work: Some More Tips

  • Enjoy your successes. Whenever you have completed your work or task, pause to celebrate your work. You can thank people who helped you and also appreciate how well you did.
  • Educate yourself. Having the right information about anxiety helps. Learn to spot signs of anxiety. Also, learn how managing anxiety at work can be practised.
  • Create a plan. Prepare and plan your day and also month based on the major projects you have. You can also start with certain tasks by setting mini deadlines. This also helps you to feel more in control and reduce stress.
  • Set clear boundaries. The rule is- Don’t bring work home with you. For example, when you are at home no checking work mails.
  • Stay away from toxic co-workers. Be with people who lighten your mood. Avoid staying with people who like to gossip or spread negativity in your workplace.
  • Take need- based breaks. You can take mini breaks between your work rather than taking a long break after finishing a big task. You can do some deep-breathing or take a walk to clear your head. Vacations are also needed.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Having someone at work or outside who knows about your anxiety can be comforting. This will also help to reduce stress and fear.
  • Practise time management. Managing your time helps you to manage anxiety too. You can use to-do lists to prioritize your tasks.
  • Seek Help. If you notice that managing anxiety at work is harder. Then, it is important to seek help from experts. A counselor can help you with your mental health issues. Similarly, a medical expert can help you to manage chronic pain and anxiety.
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Chapter 6:
Managing Anxiety at Work: What Can Your Employer Do?

Every organisation might have people with mental health issues. It is important that certain policies are in place so that they feel more comfortable. This can also help to manage anxiety at work.
  • Every employee should have access to mental health services and support.
  • Educate the workforce and managers.The more information about mental health issues are talked about, the more likely emplotees will feel safe to seek help.
  • Encourage employees to use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Giving employees mental health benefits available can help. Supporting employees with mental health issues when they need help is a good idea.
  • Support managers in supporting employees with anxiety.  This means training managers to have more empathy and compassion. This can help in employees also feeling comfortable and less stressed.
To know more about how to manage anxiety at work, enrol for a course on our website