Seven Strategies for Overcoming Anxiety at Work
Having an anxiety disorder can impact one’s work and social life in a major way. Getting stressed out at work is perfectly normal. But when the anxiety is irrational, and you’re stuck feeling overwhelmed on the job, it may be time to make some changes. The difficulties can come from many areas, but we see these things most often in our practice:
- Meeting deadlines and staying productive
- Interpersonal relationships (fitting in)
- Conflicts with management
- Sudden problem solving
While the challenges are real, the good news is there are strategies that can help you stay productive, stay engaged, and work through anxiety. Here are seven strategies for overcoming anxiety at work.
1. Talk It Out
Most people don’t feel safe or comfortable discussing stress with their employers and coworkers. They fear if they do, they would either not be taken seriously or they would get passed over for promotions. So many people keep things hidden instead of looking for help. As we all know, that just doesn’t work.
If you find a trusted coworker, just ask for help. You can always return the favor. Sometimes, simply knowing that there is someone with you who accepts you and your condition can be all the comfort you need. Just knowing there’s “Jan in accounting” may be enough to get you through that panic moment of anxiety. If you simply have too much to handle, speak up; they may not realize you’re overextended and need support.
2. Be Realistic About What You Can Handle
Some people can fit a lot on their plate, some can fit less, and others don’t have a plate – they have a platter! If you have a more realistic awareness of what you can do well, it will help you prioritize and set the pitch for your workload. If you can only do three things really well in a day, then do those to your best ability. Multitasking is overrated.
3. Set Healthy Boundaries
Does your work stay at work or does it get in the car come home? Emails will still be there in the morning and most can wait until you’re back at the office to be answered. Start small if you need, but put in place boundaries that will give you the space to decompress after the workday.
4. Celebrate Success, No Matter How Small
Small victories are victories, so take a moment to celebrate your personal development! Oftentimes it’s easy to move past things done well, but taking a moment to realize that you handled that stressful situation really well can make all the difference in an otherwise hectic day. Sometimes it helps to think to yourself, “I would have handled that completely differently before.”
5. Fight for Organization
Everyone knows it’s good to be organized and manage one’s time well, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone. Simplifying your workspace can not only save you time in the long run but may prevent a crisis later.
6. Know Yourself
The biggest hindrance to working through anxiety at work is not acknowledging how you are feeling in the moment. Jumping to action doesn’t always help, because those actions may not be the right choice. When you learn to recognize the symptoms of your anxiety, you can then move toward working through it, and then make clearer decisions. Overcoming anxiety begins with understanding and working with the symptoms you’re feeling, not against them.
7. Find the Right Strategies
Sometimes, the tools we think should work end up not working at all. If you ever think, “The harder I work, the worse it gets,” then maybe you’re using the wrong tools. Anxiety at work can be combated and overcome, but it does require intentional steps toward a healthier living. This is where it might be helpful to sit down with a professional who can provide both clarity and strategies that make sense for you.
Our clinicians specialize in treatment of anxiety and career concerns. If you would like support with anxiety or feeling overwhelmed at work, contact our office today to see if counseling could be helpful. Call (970) 889-8204 or email: email@example.com