“Working Hard For Something We Don’t Care About Is Called Stress, Working Hard For Something We Love Is Called Passion.”
Not only did I have to deal with anxiety in the workplace, but anxiety in the build up to getting to the workplace. It’s incredible how many times we talk and imagine ourselves into catastrophic scenarios at our workplaces, only to recognize that the whole build up was useless. It’s never as bad as we make it out to be in our minds (this podcast episode will help you take control of your mind), so below are a few suggestions you can use to counter anxiety in the workplace starting today.
1. Move away from the desk
Most of us tend to sit at our desk staring at computer screens all day long. This can cause stress and anxiety. Getting up and walking around the office every now and then can be really helpful; it can be a mental and physical outlet to burn off anxiety and alleviate the stress. If there is no place to walk around in the office, then walk around in the office building once every few hours.
Sometimes a work day can be hectic and it may not be possible to take a walk. During such days, you can do some hand, neck, and body stretching exercises while sitting at the desk itself. This may not be as good as a walk, but it also helps ease the anxiety.
2. Keep the body hydrated
Drinking plenty of water and ensuring that the body remains hydrated is known to keep away a lot of minor ailments. Consistently hydrating yourself is not going to completely cure your anxiety in the workplace (there may be stored emotional trauma from previous positions stuck within the body, this video explains) but it will help create a mental and physical state of positive health that will ease the burden of increased focus and concentration without sending you into a spiral.
Avoid excess intake of coffee. Caffeine intake can increase your heart beat rate and bring up varied psychological and physiological symptoms associated with anxiety. Anxiety sufferers often tend to forget about taking care of themselves. And this tends to trigger and worsen anxiety. Eat well, drink lots of water, and keep fit to avoid anxiety in the workplace.
3. Keep engaging with your co-workers
It’s important to communicate with workplace buddies about different things about work, home, etc. You don’t have to necessarily gossip or bitch about other colleagues. Normal everyday communication works just fine to build up the bond you have with others, and spread good energy around the workplace.
If you have a friend that you can share your concerns around anxiety with (in the hopes of using their practical advice), then that is an even better thing. Releasing all that anxious energy by talking to a friend can help alleviate the sense of dread and keep you calm. Verbalizing the very thing that is eating you up inside can help alleviate some level of pressure. Just make sure you’re not constantly seeking reassurance and looking for a shoulder to lean on. Instead, share your concerns and progress with the idea of staying on track towards your recovery from generalized anxiety.
4. Create a list of the concerns you have that are in your control, and out of your control
Many times during anxiety in the workplace and other environments we look to control things we really have no control over. Our boss, our co-workers, our reputation, etc. To concern yourself over these and constantly worry may give you a sense of safety in some sense, but it rarely ever makes a real lasting difference. All it really does is waste your time worrying, harm your emotional and physical self. and keep you from seeing the good around you.
Creating a list of things that are in your control (such as your own personal perspectives, breathing patterns, emotional states to some extent, speed in the workplace, etc) and out of your control will give you perspective. When you begin practicing the art of seeing past your worries over things out of your control you’ll begin to act on or against those limiting thoughts. In time your emotional self will thank you greatly, and you’ll have plenty of inner energy left for more important things like your friends and family.