Studies have shown that while only 9% of individuals have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, 40% experience ongoing stress or anxiety in their daily lives. For many, work can be the source of constant stress.
Signs that you may be feeling anxious at work include excessive or irrational worrying, sweating, increased heart rate, feeling jittery, or tiredness and fatigue.These symptoms can not only make it difficult to focus and excel at work, but can also reduce job satisfaction, affect your relationship with coworkers and managers, and lead you to turn down work opportunities. This is why it is important to make the effort to manage work-based anxiety so that you can get the most out of your experience at work.
The first step is to acknowledge your work-based anxiety. If you have been feeling anxious at work for months or years, it may almost seem like it is a part of the job. However, this is often not the case. Talking to your coworkers or supervisors about how you’re feeling can be helpful to clarify how others in similar roles are managing their stresses and to identify whether you might be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Being mindful of your work anxiety instead of ignoring it can also help you identify what is causing it. From there, you can prioritise tasks or situations that might reduce your anxiety.
Overworking and overthinking is a common source of work-based anxiety. Taking breaks when you feel too busy can seem counterintuitive, however, working for long stretches of time without a break can decrease your ability to properly focus. Allowing yourself to take a break and eat adequate meals throughout the day can refresh your mind and make it easier to concentrate when you return to work.
Another factor that can worsen work anxiety is feeling tired and fatigued. Poor quality sleep can also significantly impact your ability to perform well and make you more susceptible to stress and moodiness, which can contribute to feelings of anxiousness at work.
Individuals who feel like their work stress is no longer manageable should consider working together with coworkers and managers to develop strategies to tackle this stress.