If you do feel anxious at work, acknowledge how you feel and pay attention to your work environment …
A small amount of anxiety helps your body to perform at its best. An adrenaline kick starts you every morning and keeps you alert throughout the day. However, too much of this stress hormone can exhaust you.
Plus anxiety can easily turn into ‘running anxiety’ whereby you feel anxious all or a lot of the time. When you’re in this ‘heightened state’ of alertness, it can be quite difficult to concentrate at work and keep things in perspective. It’s very easy to start to run things forward or catastrophise things. And once you start to think like this, you’ll likely feel distressed and overwhelmed and start taking things personally, especially if things don’t pan out as you planned or expected.
What can you do?
To avoid this, the first step is to acknowledge how you feel and pay attention to your work environment, your colleagues and how you spend your time at work. If you’re totally conscious of all three elements at all times, it’s easier to nip anxiety in the bud. Maintaining a sense of humour and not taking things too seriously helps you release any stress hormones as does doing regular exercise. Reducing anxiety is all about being willing to explore what, when and who is triggering your senses at work so you don’t become a victim of circumstances or events. Sometimes it may be necessary to take medication provided by your health care provider if your anxiety is too high. But that is best reserved as a last resort. Instead, first try and surround yourself with supportive, caring and understanding people and where possible try and explore any herbal calm down remedies which may help reduce any anxiety and tension.
Focus on the Meaning behind the Anxiety
By looking back over history, we see working practices involving long hours at an accelerating pace to generate as much profit as possible are a relatively recent phenomenon. The introduction of machines during the industrial revolution started the process of systemisation and fast work movement.
But in today’s work world, the pressures seem to be more about the individual’s ability to cope rather than the machinery itself. Can workers consistently deliver more tasks in a shorter time span and still remain fresh, healthy and productive? No longer do workers tend to worry so much about losing fingers operating machines but instead they worry about losing their mind doing rote, repetitive and sometimes even unethical tasks.
The Price you Pay
The price for doing a job that you don’t really ENJOY any more is that you may lose touch with your career purpose. You may say you no longer feel happy about the job you’re currently performing but at the same time, you may also not know what would make you feel fulfilled or connected job wise. This situation is often described as feeling lost, trapped or disillusioned by the work system. You know what’s wrong but you no longer know how to fix it or change things.
However, the anxiety itself, may actually be helping you sort things out. Sometimes there’s a deeper and more meaningful purpose to anxiety – it’s the wake-up call you need to understand and address what’s actually going on inside so you can make necessary career changes. For example, anxiety can be a sign that you need to stand up for yourself, make some behavioural changes at work or realise you’re heading in the wrong career direction.
- When – Notice when you feel anxious. Is it first thing in the morning, on Sunday night or when you’re asked to do something you don’t feel you have the skills or experience to do?
- What – Notice what your internal dialogue is all about. Do you feel the need to argue, complain or say something you may later regret? Or do you say nothing but ruminate over what you should or could have said for hours, days or even years on end?
- Who – Notice who’s triggering your anxiety. How do you really feel about this person? Do you feel that this person is taking advantage of you and using you to boost their own career? Or else trying to blame you for something they should have done themselves?
- How – Notice how you normally respond and feel. Are you thinking the same old thoughts and feelings? Are you struggling to know how to change an all too familiar pattern?
If you feel constantly anxious then something may not be quite right. However, change is often not as tricky or uncomfortable as you may initially fear. Changing things in your work environment often leads to more peaceful and internal happiness.
Do you need to off load any concerns or do you need to talk to someone about what you’re going through? Do reach out as we are here to help you to put the vitality and zest back into your work life.