Anxiety is common and can have a significant impact on the workplace. You might feel stressed about work-related deadlines, interpersonal relationships, problem-solving and other issues that arise during the workday.
Perhaps you experience the following symptoms:
• Feelings of dread
• Trouble concentrating
• Anticipation of the worst
• Rapid breathing
• Sweating, tremors and twitches
• Headaches, fatigue and insomnia
• Upset stomach
In addition to causing physical distress, workplace anxiety can negatively impact your performance, causing difficulty meeting deadlines, speaking in public or performing other aspects of your job.
Managing Workplace Anxiety
Anxiety affects people differently. What works for your co-workers may not work for you. However, if you’re looking to manage your stress in the workplace, consider the following tips:
• Exercise regularly. Exercise can help divert your attention away from things that trigger your anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association, regular exercise can increase concentration and willpower, which can help alleviate specific symptoms of anxiety.
• Get a good night’s sleep. Sufficient sleep can improve your mental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults sleep seven to nine hours every night.
• Limit your caffeine consumption. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your chances of experiencing anxiety symptoms, such as increased heart rate. People react differently to caffeine, so monitor your response and limit your consumption if it’s triggering any signs of anxiety.
• Eat well-balanced meals. Some people experience negative emotions and mood fluctuations after certain foods, such as artificial flavorings or colorings, preservatives and sugar. Eating well-balanced meals with complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and lean meats can improve physical and mental health.
• Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you be present in the moment. Since anxiety pertains to worrying about the future, practicing mindfulness can help train your brain to refocus those thoughts.
Reach out to your employer for more information if you experience work-related anxiety.