Anxiety disorder is more common than you might think, and workplace anxiety is especially common. There are a lot of triggers for anxiety in the workplace, many of them revolving around deadlines and difficult interpersonal workplace interactions.
Therefore the best approach to reducing workplace stressors that trigger your anxiety disorder is to minimize the things at work that stress you out the most. Here are five tips for reducing anxiety at work.
Set Realistic Deadlines
Deadlines are one of the top causes of anxiety at work. Having to get something done by a certain time is challenging, but particularly so when you feel like the deadline doesn’t provide enough time to do your best work.
Set yourself up for success by making sure you set fair deadlines for yourself, and don’t hesitate to say no when someone tries to push an unrealistic deadline on you. Communicate when this happens and let others know what time you need to complete your tasks.
Speaking of communication, this is possibly one of the most important things you can do to minimize your (and others’) stress in the workplace. This means not only letting people know what time you reasonably need to complete your work and meet your goals, but also letting your team know if you fall behind or need help.
It’s all too easy to get sucked into our own heads and stress about the situation, but sometimes reaching out is all that is needed to get help and relieve your anxiety.
Stay Above the Gossip
While communicating is important, it’s also important not to get dragged down into the gossip and drama that often goes on in the workplace. Remember, difficult interactions with others is another of the main sources of workplace anxiety that people face, and getting involved in all the drama is likely to result in more difficult interactions at some point.
Try to be kind to everyone and avoid making enemies. It won’t always work, but the more successful you are, the less stressful work will be.
Self care is just as important at work as it is at home, if not more so. When you’re working hard, it’s easy to keep pushing through, ignoring your rising anxiety levels. Taking breaks, on the other hand, enables you to take a step back, rest your mind, and resume work in a little bit with a fresh outlook. Go for a cup of coffee, take a walk, or take a long lunch. Look into strategies such as the Pomodoro Technique, which alternate periods of focus with frequent breaks, improving productivity while still enabling you to get the mental breaks you need.
Take Advantage of Workplace Resources
If you practice good workplace habits and still feel like your anxiety disorder is out of control, don’t be afraid to speak up. Most companies have multiple resources available to help you out. Human Resources is a department that is basically devoted to taking care of its employees, so that might be a good place to start.
If you’re experiencing friction with a coworker, they might be able to help mediate; if you need to find out about mental health benefits, HR can provide that information. Your boss might also be able to accommodate a lighter schedule or more relaxed deadlines to help minimize the triggers for your anxiety disorder.
While you try to find a solution for your workplace anxiety, try to remember that you are not alone. Millions of people suffer anxiety disorder, especially work-related anxiety. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and with the right help, it’s totally manageable.