Do you dread having to go to work each day? Is workplace anxiety threatening to spill over to every area of your life?
A recent research study in Australia by Medibank revealed that nearly 4.9 million Australians were affected due to work-related stress. Work stress not only impacts quality of work but also spills over to every aspect of our personal lives. In fact, it would be fair to say that anxiety affects performance at work, relationships with colleagues and supervisors, sleep, health and peace of mind. The condition keeps us mentally chained to the office even when we are miles away.
Workplace anxieties can be traced to a number of causes including personality clashes, lapses in communication, unrealistic deadlines, overwork, hostile colleagues, or a toxic environment. Thanks to all this, most people will experience work stress at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, changing jobs may not always be a practical solution. However, if your workplace forces you to feel stressed regularly, you may need to implement effective strategies to manage workplace anxiety.
5 Simple and Effective Ways to Overcome Workplace Anxiety
- Take Regular Breaks
As a first step, get away from the computer. Most of our workdays are spent sitting in front of a computer, barely blinking at the screen. Take a break (set a timer if you need to) and walk around the building or at least around the office. Stand up and stretch your arms in front of you and roll around your head gently a few times in clockwise and anticlockwise directions.
- Participate in a Daily Activity Outside of Work
You may want to incorporate a daily activity that’s completely unrelated to work. For example, you can go cycling, jogging, walking or play with your pet. Alternately, if you have hobbies, set aside sometime everyday when you practice singing, playing an instrument, gardening, painting or cooking. Unplug yourself from work responsibilities by chatting with a friend or reading a book quietly.
- Incorporate a Healthy Work-Life Balance
It’s very important to maintain a healthy work-life balance for alleviating anxiety. Creating a work-life balance is about diverting your emotional and mental resources to other areas of your lives aside from work. For example, you may want to refrain from reading work related messages or emails after work hours. Studies show that long hours of work lead to depression; learn to leave work on time. Setting healthy work boundaries translates into a healthy lifestyle.
- Mindfulness Practices
It’s very important to avoid being in denial about feelings of anxiety. Acknowledge your emotions and try to understand what your mind and body is trying to tell you. Meditating regularly can help you get in touch with your inner self and help you establish clear connections between your mind and body.
- Learn to Say ‘No’ At Work
Taking on excessive work commitments can leave you burnt out out stressed. In today’s competitive work environment, most companies expect employees to do more work in less time. Consider the repercussions of accepting new responsibilities and additional work in terms of time and commitment. Learn to put your mental health before the company’s bottom line.
The very first key step involved in countering workplace anxiety is building a wellness plan for yourself. Each one of us is a unique individual with our own sets of beliefs and perceptions. Making it a point to get adequate nutrition, sleep and exercise reduces the odds of suffering from workplace anxiety. You can beat the problem but it involves acknowledging inner truths, incorporating major changes in your life and making a lasting commitment to your wellbeing. If you find yourself unable to cope, it’s a good idea to seek professional intervention from a certified therapist.
Greg Redmond, Director Counselling In Melbourne, 2018
**This article is for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need help for an emotional or behavioural problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.**