It’s easy to feel stressed about life or work nowadays, especially given the increasingly fast pace at which the world is moving. Whether or not you have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), anxiety can significantly impact your work, regardless of the field you’re in or the job you have. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to combat this feeling.
Signs, Symptoms & Causes of Anxiety
There are many signs and symptoms of anxiety, including:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low productivity or increase in number of sick days taken at work
- Taking longer than usual to finish certain things or failing to meet deadlines
These are all common indications that you’re anxious about work-related things such as interacting with colleagues or superiors (1-on-1 or in meetings), presentations, performance reviews, or meeting deadlines. You may especially feel frequently worried about these things if you (among other reasons):
- Work in a competitive or fast-paced field or environment
- Have low or no job security
- Routinely face unpredictable events, short deadlines or things out of your control
- Have a history of personal conflicts with co-workers
You can also have anxiety due to personal reasons such as financial issues, your mental or physical health or the health of a relative or spouse, or the death of a loved one.
What to Do If Anxiety is Interfering with Work
If anxiety is impacting your work in any way, here are six things you can do to manage this feeling:
Try to be more self-aware
Self-awareness is key to handling anxiety because by practicing this, you can gain a better understanding of the root cause of your emotions. Even if you cannot control or change this cause, (e.g., consistently having a large workload) recognizing it is important. Therefore, self-awareness is an excellent first step toward alleviating stress and serves as a type of roadmap for anxiety management.
Record your thoughts
Another highly effective way of dealing with anxiety is by writing down your thoughts so they’re not simply festering in your mind. Consider keeping a journal to track your daily or weekly thoughts and see if you can notice any patterns. Even if you can’t fully understand all of your thoughts, releasing them can help you feel less mentally exhausted and overwhelmed.
Talk to a coworker
This may seem daunting at first, but if there’s at least one work colleague you’re friendly with (and feel comfortable with), don’t hesitate to share your feelings with them. By doing this, you can potentially better process your feelings and maybe even gain valuable advice on how to mitigate anxiety.
Speak to a professional
If you don’t feel comfortable enough opening up to a coworker, you can also try talking to a family member, partner, or close friend. However, mental health professionals are often best equipped to help people manage anxiety. Therefore, consider speaking to a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you don’t know any therapists near you, ask for recommendations from friends or family.
Recognize when you need help, and ask for it
There’s also no shame in asking for help with work from colleagues or supervisors. If you feel overwhelmed, confused, or stuck with a task, don’t hesitate to ask all the questions you have about it. If you don’t, your anxiety may only grow, and your problem can easily snowball into an even larger issue. Therefore, be sure to always ask for help in these situations so that you can develop a trust-based relationship with your coworkers while simultaneously wasting less time.
Take time off
Sometimes, it’s healthy to just step away from work to focus on yourself. Thus, if anxiety is severely affecting your performance at work, don’t hesitate to take a break, especially if your organization has a generous or flexible time off policy. Fortunately, many companies today place a greater emphasis on mental health than they did 10 or 20 years ago.
Therefore, don’t feel guilty for taking personal time off. You may ultimately find that when you return to work, you’ll be more alert and prepared than before. Ultimately, it’s also important to accept your anxiety but not allow it to define you or paralyze you. If you feel that it’s taking over your personal or professional life, be sure to speak with someone you can confide in.
Speak to the Workplace Anxiety Pros
Reach out to the experts at HR Search & Rescue to learn more about what you can do if anxiety is interfering with your work. We’re an independent HR consulting firm dedicated to helping employers and employees resolve many different types of workplace issues peacefully and effectively. We offer both crowd consultations and 1-on-1 meetings to analyze all these problems.
If you feel like your anxiety has become overwhelming, our team will work closely with you to help mitigate this issue. Call HR Search & Rescue today at (844) 934-3293 or contact us online to request a consultation.