Ever felt buried underneath a seemingly insurmountable stack of work at 4 pm on a Friday? If so, you’ve probably felt the anxiety and restlessness begin to form beneath the surface as that deadline approaches.
If this sounds familiar, it may be relieving to understand that you are by no means alone. Millions of adults in industries of all kinds suffer from anxiety. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, while nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress. Additionally, 42% say their coworkers need the same type of help.
So as we can tell, anxiety at work is a common problem, and it seems workers are lacking the ability to learn how to cope with this stress and channel their anxiety more healthily. As it turns out, there are some actionable steps you can take this week that are proven to help you better manage and cope with anxiety while also picking up some skills and organization tactics along the way.
The Risks Of Consistent Anxiety At Work
Suffering from consistent anxiety is NOT a normal thing to accept and become complacent with. Regular anxious feelings can lead to a plethora of health problems such as heart issues, weight gain, depression, fatigue and much more.
Some of the worst effects of high levels of workplace anxiety include:
- Inability to focus
- Reduced job performance and output
- Development of phobias and performance anxiety
- Reduced job satisfaction
- Less confidence in your ability to contribute
- Reduced social skills
3 Tips For Handling Workplace Anxiety
Constant anxiety can affect your ability to lead a healthy life outside of work as well, which is the cornerstone of any happy, well-adjusted individual. The list goes on and on — and it is clear to see that accepting anxiety as part of the job is nothing to accept as the status quo.
So what can you do?
Learn To Channel Your Anxiety Productively
One of the most undervalued and less-talked-about tactics is to learn to channel your anxiety into action. Many researchers believe that anxiety is a result of diverted energy towards a task. Put simply, this means that the energy you are spending worrying and feeling anxious is actually raw energy you can use to be productive. Rather than drowning in anxiety and trying to take deep breaths to calm you down, try to talk yourself up, and convince yourself you can only do what you can do and that you are only human.
This approach can help you divert the anxious energy to the moment, better enabling you to get work done instead of getting lost in your thoughts and doubts.
Dial Down Your Decision Making
Having too many decisions to make at one time can be overwhelming and is the main cause of anxiety for a lot of employees. Be careful with your decision-making moments, as each of these moments drains your energy. Keep it simple and you’ll be amazed at how much lighter you will feel on your feet! You can put this into action by breaking big tasks down into easier micro tasks and giving yourself plenty of time to finish. This will ease the burden and create a much more sustainable dynamic – and may even improve your output!
From our experience, we have seen that one of the biggest triggers for anxiety is unclear goals and poor communication with coworkers and managers. Try to be assertive and demand clear-cut descriptions of your tasks and what is done. It is unfair for employers to expect you to perform tasks that have not been clearly explained, and this never results in a sustainable workplace. If this sounds familiar, don’t be afraid to speak up and demand more clear communication – your health is begging you!
Discuss Your Performance Anxiety With An HR Professional
At the end of the day, don’t be too hard on yourself. Anxiety, as psychologists will tell you, is a completely self-created phenomenon that you can control if you only put in the effort and consciously try to adapt and re-train your mind. So next time you are feeling buried, try out some of these tips and take some baby steps towards minimizing your anxious tendencies!
HR Search & Rescue is a full-service HR consulting firm. Our team specializes in solving a wide array of challenging workplace issues for employers, managers, and employees alike. To speak 1-on-1 with an independent HR consultant, reach out to HR Search & Rescue today.