February 13, 2020
Anxiety disorders, which include panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), are the most common mental illnesses affecting Americans. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can include the following and more:
- Excessive worry (can be personal or work-related)
- Intense bouts of fear and apprehension
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor memory
- Irritability and emotional reactions
- Physical issues such as headaches, upset stomach and dizziness
These issues are uncontrollable and often debilitating. They can begin to affect all areas of your life — including work. If you need to deal with anxiety at work, here are some positive steps to take.
Share Your Struggles in Your Workplace
While you may feel uncomfortable doing so, sharing your anxiety struggles with your workplace can actually help. Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you won’t have to worry about being discriminated against or fired due to your struggles. In fact, sharing about your anxiety with your boss can help you receive any necessary accommodations. You can also talk about your anxiety struggles with a trusted co-worker. They may be able to offer advice and support on how to manage anxiety at work.
Work Within Your Limits
When dealing with anxiety at work, it is important to work within your limits instead of against them. Don’t jump from one task to another — that will only add to the stress you are feeling. Instead, set small deadlines, create manageable steps and focus on one task at a time. It is also important to take breaks when needed.
Practice Healthy Habits
Healthy habits can have a direct impact on your mood. When dealing with anxiety at work, practicing good health habits is important. To help cope with anxiety at work and take better care of yourself, be sure to:
- Get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night
- Stay hydrated (around eight cups a day)
- Eat fresh and healthy foods (avoid processed and packaged foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine)
- Create a work/life balance
Use Anxiety to Your Benefit
When anxious thoughts begin to creep in, stop what you are doing and follow these three simple steps:
- Acknowledge it
- Welcome it
- Use it
This helps you validate what you are feeling and contributes to self-compassion and acceptance. Once you acknowledge and welcome these feelings, you can then use this new mindset and positive perspective to your benefit.
Getting Professional Help for Coping With Anxiety at Work
While workplace anxiety can feel like it is overwhelming, there is a lot of hope. Anxiety is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. At Advanced Psychiatry Associates, we offer comprehensive testing and evaluations to figure out what is causing your anxiety. Treatment for managing anxiety often includes either medication such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs or psychotherapy such as counseling and cognitive behavior therapy. Sometimes a combination of both helps you find ways to manage anxiety at work or meets your specific needs. If you would like to discuss your anxiety and how you can effectively manage it, schedule an appointment with us today.