Conquering Anxiety in the Workplace
Many people suffer from generalised anxiety disorder, however, there is such a thing known as ‘workplace anxiety’, which only occurs when in a professional environment or the workplace.
For those who have suffered a bad experience at work, or have perhaps only just graduated and never had a job before; it’s extremely common.
Unfortunately, this type of anxiety can take hold as early as the application stage and even during interviews, which may prevent you from taking opportunities that are available to you.
If you can resonate with what we’re talking about, we have put together some tips and tricks on how to deal with it:
1. Tell your employer
One of the most common queries many people have is whether they should tell their potential or current employer about their mental health; especially during the interview stage. Essentially, it’s your choice as to whether you feel it’s important to do so, but if there are accommodations that need to be made within your role, you may feel more at ease to get it off your chest.
Mental health is much more widely spoken about now, so essentially, you shouldn’t be discriminated for telling the truth about your situation. Although it’s important to discuss your condition, don’t allow it to define your whole interview and persona, as there’s so much more to you than being a bag of anxiety!
2. Talk to someone at work
Some people have workplace anxiety for the simple fact that they’re unhappy in their jobs. As a result, they bottle up their feelings and aim to push on without any help from others. This is the worst thing you can do. If you feel as though you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to a colleague you can trust. You may feel better that someone is looking out for you and is on hand to help when you’re having an anxious moment and need some back-up.
Even if your employer doesn’t know you have anxiety and finds out later, they won’t fire you. This train of thought is a clear link to catastrophic thinking, in which the ‘what if’ scenario takes over your mind and puts you in a state of panic.
3. Set realistic deadlines
Anxious people often agree to deadlines and targets they know they probably can’t meet and put themselves under unnecessary pressure. If you have recently joined a new company, you may not be clued up on what’s a reasonable amount of work to take on and agree to anything that comes your way, just to be a people-pleaser.
If you have any hesitation about the tasks you’ve been set, be honest and upfront about your feelings and make sure your voice is heard, so you can work at a manageable pace. This should prevent any avoidable stress later on down the line.
4. Stay in contact
When you feel at your most anxious in the workplace, a natural reaction is to cut everyone off around you. The dilemma with avoidance is that you’ll only have to face it at a later stage. That knotted feeling in your stomach will only worsen if you refuse to chat with your colleagues or employer when there is any form of disagreement, confusion or worry. So, keep communication flowing in order to solve issues as soon as they arise.
5. Practice self-talk
Constantly ruminating how bad you are at your job or you’re struggling to handle the situation only amplifies your anxiety and causes you to go into meltdown. Studies have shown that if you’re able to change your thinking patterns, your behaviour will follow.
Remind yourself that the anxiety is only in your mind and that it can go away like a switch as soon, as you turn your attention to something else. You can also talk yourself through tasks when you feel a panic attack coming on, such as ‘I will keep going at this for another 20 minutes and re-evaluate how I’m feeling. Then, if I don’t feel better, I’ll do something about it’.