Work anxiety is a common problem you will most likely experience at some point in your life.
These anxieties include work-related stress such as a difficult and incompatible boss, a tough deadline, the pressure to outstand in your workplace, or an unfriendly colleague.
Such stress can affect your mental and physical health, overall performance, and relationships with workmates.
This article shares amazing tips from experienced and prestigious experts who are ready to help you beat your work anxieties. Note that there is no rank or position awarded, all experts are equal.
1. Ted Rubin
Here is Mr. Ted Rubin’s Reply:
Work anxiety occurs for many on a regular basis and very often it is caused by distractions. The task-positive network is active when you’re focused on a specific task and engaged in it without distraction. The task-negative network, on the other hand, is active when your mind is wandering or daydreaming. That’s where inspiration and creativity come from. Then there’s a third component, an attention filter, which acts like a switch between the task-positive and task-negative networks. The filter helps orient us and tells us what to pay attention to, and what to ignore at any given moment.
Over the years, we’ve developed shorter attention spans because we’re constantly being bombarded by incoming information, which, in effect, activates that switch. So if you’re constantly getting notifications for email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., you’re constantly see-sawing back and forth too often between what’s critical and what’s not.
Segmenting our daily activities:
We need to lay off that switch by segmenting our daily activities into time slots and immersing ourselves in a single task for a sustained period, like 30 to 50 minutes without distractions. The same goes for immersing ourselves in task-negative activities like exercise, walking in the woods or listening to music, which all help trigger the mind-wandering, daydreaming mode that leads to creativity and resets our brain to provide perspective on what we’re doing.
Engage yourself in positive activities:
Chances are, you’ll have to train yourself to do this; however, regular bouts of downtime where you’re not constantly plugged into task-positive activities is not only good for the brain, it’s good for your body, too. The same can be said for taking real vacations (not working during your holidays). I know that taking frequent breaks and putting myself in the moment when I’m on a holiday really helps me focus and also creates a more positive frame of mind when I’m back at work.
Does this mean you should chuck work and “Zen” your way to success? Of course not. But there’s a critical balance that seems to be missing from our lives, especially if we have a tendency to be workaholics.
The human brain is a marvel of creation. When we treat it right and stop abusing it, wonderful things can happen. If we all hit our “reset” button more deliberately and more often, just think of what we could accomplish together.
Attitude, Perspective… Mindset.
2. Melanated Momma (Mani)
Here is Ms. Mani’s Reply:
In order to alleviate work anxiety, it’s essential to allow for leisure time. It’s also important to practice mindfulness. While most of the work is stepping in front of the anxiety, sometimes the anxiety gets the best of us regardless. When this happens, it’s important to honor, not only the body, but the mind.
Deadlines often create anxiety:
Feeling restricted and confined creates tension, because naturally people wish to be free. Anxiety builds as people anticipate what is to come. Anxiety rises when there’s simply too much on one’s plate or the idea of something is daunting. This means people must take time and make room for their freedom. Sometimes it means putting self before the requirement. Sometimes it means taking frequent breaks. Other times it means staying focused on what’s at hand rather than what is to come. Breaks prevent burnout.
Practice doing daily activities:
Practice doing daily activities that honor self before even starting work. Take the time and space you need before jumping into anything, including work. By putting oneself first, it’s easier to feel valued and uplifted in and outside of work. It makes the job more enjoyable and gives you the energy you need to remain calm and motivated.
3. Gordon Tredgold
Here is Mr. Gordon Tredgold’s Reply:
“In my experience anxiety comes from a combination of worrying about the unknown and a feeling of powerlessness. So for my teams I always try to keep them informed and give them options, which then gives them some actions they can take which gives them an improved feeling of control which can help reduce anxiety. People always imagine things are worse than they are, so if you have information it’s best to share it rather than withhold it, no matter how you feel it might be received, especially if it will come out anyway.”
4. Ariaa Jaeger
Here is Ms. Ariaa Jaeger’s Reply:
Whether working from home or at your business location, work can be stressful particularly during the challenging days of coronavirus.
Here are just a few suggestions which will help:
A deep breath or take 15 mins to meditate and still the mind. Affirmations are a great way to calm the body too; keep it simple and succinct.
2. Short Naps:
Take a short nap after lunch. You don’t actually have to sleep to benefit. A twenty-minute power nap will calm the nerves, reset the brain chemistry, and lower your blood pressure. The same is true of meditation. Both have amazing and lasting benefits including increasing your energy and production during the day.
3. Use Essential Oils:
Get “Stress Away” essential oil by Young Living. A small bottle in your purse or pocket and one sniff is all you need to calm the brain and nerves.
Wishing you calm, peaceful clarity and higher resolve.
5. Jonny Benjamin MBE
Here is Mr. Jonny Benjamin’s Reply:
My top 3 tips are:
1. Take regular breaks:
Don’t just grab a cup of coffee on your break and return to your desk but try to get some exercise if you can, even if it is just a short 15-minute walk. Studies show that a simple walk in nature can help reduce the impact of anxiety on both body and mind.
2. Have an outlet:
I find that talking often helps to alleviate anxiety but this is not always possible. Therefore I keep a journal and use it as an outlet during my most difficult times. Other people use things like art or sport as an outlet. Whatever works for you is just fine. The most important thing is to have an outlet and use it.
3. Body Scan:
Apps like Insight Timer offer many guided examples of a “Body Scan.” There are also plenty of videos on YouTube as well. I find a Body Scan helpful when I’m dealing with anxiety at work. I’ll often do one first thing in the morning or during lunchtime and it usually helps to take me out of my intense, racing thoughts whilst helping to ground me back into my body.
6. Shawn Murphy
Here is Mr. Shawn Murphy’s Reply:
1. Practice mindfulness meditation:
Practice mindfulness meditation at least 10-minutes a day. Some research shows that mindfulness meditation shrinks the amygdala and prevents it from over-producing cortisol, a stress hormone. Too much cortisol in the body is a cause of anxiety.
2. Use Noting:
Use “noting” to identify when you begin to think about your anxiety or when you feel anxious. Noting is a gentle way of observing when your brain begins to think or feel anxiety. Instead of making yourself feel wrong about anxiety, noting is simply your way of saying, “I’m feeling anxious.” This approach replaces the “Why am I feeling anxious?”This question will lead you down the rabbit hole and could make you feel more anxious.
7. Zahida A. Khan
Here is Ms. Zahida A. Khan’s Reply:
I personally don’t have anxiety, however, many seek my advice when it comes to being overwhelmed, and here’s my simple reply:
The mind control our bodies – to control our body, we must first take control over our mind
Meditate! Calm the mind, get clarity – when overwhelmed, it simply means the current strategy is not working – anxiety is merely your body giving you feedback that something is amiss, time to change!
Realizing what’s causing your anxiety is the 1st step into managing anxiety. Once you pinpoint the cause, design a solution to make you less anxious – if you need assistance, consult with a few trusted friends that have their s#!t together. If you don’t have such peeps in your life, time to enlarge your circle and perhaps upgrade your friends, or seek professional advice
The 3 things we humans need to conquer:
1. Get good sleep:
Get some good, deep, restorative sleep per night, 7-8 for normal adults. Aim for 20% DEEP sleep, invest in a sleep tracker to monitor your sleep until you’ve mastered the art of deep, restorative sleep. IMHO, SLEEP deprivation has become normal and tis no wonder people are stressed and have difficulties with their day-2-day lives.
2. Eat Healthy:
Eat healthy, it’s ok to eat your favorite thing in moderation if you commit to doing.
3. Daily Workout:
Exercise daily – don’t buy into exercising 20 min/day/3 days a week. That’s so delusional!!
IMHO, if you eat 3 meals a day, damn it, exercise min 30 min/day. I’m sure there’s an exercise you love doing, just schedule it into your agenda lest you will NEVER have time for exercise. The peeps who make excuses will ONE day HAVE to make time for sickness.
8. Ali Abdaal
Here is Mr. Ali Abdaal Reply:
Mr. Ali has focused primarily on the work anxiety arising from mean comments and mean behavior at the workplace and how to deal with it.
The Healthy Way to Deal with Negative Comments (at the workplace)
There are things that are within our control. And then there are the things that are outside of our control. What someone thinks of me is very much outside of my control. All I can do is do the stuff that I think is reasonable, and to put out the best work that I can. If someone looks at it and thinks, “Oh my God, this guy is an absolute t**t. Why is he posting this thing on Instagram? No one cares about motivation, mate.” Okay, fine.
That’s their opinion.
I’m sure you’re familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk. He comes across as very loud and obnoxious the first few times you watch his stuff, and then you look past that and think, damn, this guy’s a genius.
He says, when it comes to dealing with negative comments, it’s really just about having empathy with the commenter.
Someone has watched 30 seconds of your stuff and has formed a snap judgment, which is fine. There’s nothing you can do about it. But also, they must be in such a bad place that they’re actively writing a comment in order to bring you down, and you can just feel empathy and be like, I understand. I have a love for my fellow man. It’s all good. Just empathizing with the plight of the commenters.
That’s kind of how I view bad comments.
9. Sanjay Pendharkar
Here is Mr. Sanjay Pendharkar’s Reply:
The following are 5 steps to beat stress at the workplace.
1. Don’t try to be too hard on yourself. Nobody’s perfect
2. Try not to procrastinate
3. Communication is the key. Talk to people about your problems
4. When you get stressed out try things like meditation, it’s helpful.
5. Take Breaks every 2 hrs. Have fun once a while.
10. Carole Lieberman M.D.
Here is Carole Lieberman’s Reply:
“The best way to deal with work anxiety is to set aside the last 5 minutes of every hour as ‘worry time’. This way you can stop work anxiety from permeating your whole day and distracting you from your work.”
“Another way to beat work anxiety is to make a daily schedule – not just a ‘To Do’ list. If you schedule when you’re going to do each work task, you will be more likely to get it done.”
“You can also give yourself little rewards throughout the day for finishing each task – such as a snack, or a break to go outside for some air, or a phone call with a friend.”
11. Dr. Edward Mooney, EdD
Here is Mr. Edward Mooney’s Reply:
Three Tips to Reduce Work Anxiety:
Whenever I feel overwhelmed with anxiety about work, I turn to what I call “A.S.K.” The acronym helps me turn inward to inquire into my emotional state. The letters stand for…
A. ACKNOWLEDGE that you are feeling anxious. I ASK myself, “Am I allowing myself to feel my emotions?” I often do not realize I’m feeling anxious.
S. SENSE that you may be “catastrophizing” – making a mountain out of a molehill, so to speak. I ASK myself, “Am I blowing this out of proportion?” I often run to the worst possibility, and I don’t see it may not be as bad as I thought.
K. KNOW that your anxiety is pointing out what is valuable to you. I ASK myself, “Am I working on the right priorities?” I often feel stress when I am not keeping my priorities, and I’m being distracted.
A.S.K. does not “fix” my problems, but it helps me to center my thoughts and start to manage my emotional state.
12. Kerry Alison Wekelo
Here is Kerry Wekelo’s Reply:
13. Steven C. Hayes
Here is Mr. Steven C Hayes Reply:
Anxiety comes in many shapes and forms, and it is one of the most common forms of mental ailments. Nearly 40 million adults struggle with anxiety each year in the U.S. (that’s roughly 20%), and every third person you ever meet is going to suffer from anxiety at some point in their lives.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT in short) and other evidence-based
treatments offer valuable tools and techniques to effectively deal with anxiety.
To change the unhealthy role that anxiety sometimes plays we need to learn how to
address anxiety in day-to-day situations, so instead of running from our fear, we can
face panic situations head-on. And we can learn to do so in three ways.
Way #1 Allow Room for Imperfection
Please try the following exercise:
Stand up and walk across the room, but with every single step think hard about the exact rules of walking. How do you lift your feet? In what order? And which part of your sole touches the ground first?
The more you focus on the “right” rules of walking, the more unstable your walk is going to be. And this is exactly what it’s like dealing with anxiety. Focusing on the “right” thoughts and actions will not help you. In fact, entertaining these thoughts will keep you stuck in your own head and further pull you into your anxiety. Dealing with anxiety is not a matter of following a specific set of rules. Instead, effectively dealing with anxiety requires you to let go of forcing specific thoughts and feelings, and instead allow yourself to have “imperfect” thoughts and actions, so you can put your attention where it matters.
Way #2 Embrace Opportunities to Practice
When we are struggling there is often an “oh no” quality to the flow of events. “Not now”, “not again”, “this is too much”, “why me”, or “when will this end”. It’s as if some moments belong and others don’t, and we are winning when we get the “good” ones, and we are losing when we get the “bad” ones.
In actuality, however, all moments belong. All moments are opportunities for growth, especially hard ones. We can practice the skill of dealing with anxiety through meditation, therapy, or workbooks. But ultimately, the best place to practice these skills is in the context of anxiety itself.
We can practice inside anxiety storms, and slowly, but gradually, we can learn what to do inside these storms. Bring on “not now” or “not again” or “this is too much”.
They are just thoughts to notice. Bring on sensations. They are but your body
reacting. And bring on life. Successfully dealing with anxiety comes down to practice,
and whenever difficult thoughts and feelings come along, you find yourself in an ideal opportunity to practice.
Way#3: Meet Your Anxiety With Curiosity
You can learn to explore your anxiety, without having to run from it. You can even set limits on the time and situation, by making a commitment like this:
“I am going to go to do _____ where I will likely feel anxiety, and I will stay there for _____ amount of time.”
And then go there with no secret outcome in mind. None. Your goal is NOT to have
any less anxiety. Your goal is NOT to feel it so often that something different will happen.
Instead, go there out of genuine interest in what this anxiety even IS. Stay present with yourself and look carefully, with an attitude of genuine interest, curiosity, and openness at your own experience. Like a scientist discovering a new planet … or when you were a small child looking at the clouds.
Exactly what thoughts show up? Note them. Name them. Watch them. What bodily sensations? Where do they begin and end? How do they ebb and flow? What emotions to feel (watch closely and name each – there are far more than “anxiety”!) What are you pulled to do?
If you are not sure you can do this, set the timer so short that you are 100% sure. One minute. Or even just ten seconds. You can evaluate how you did by this standard: Are you now more or less willing to do it again? If you can do it for ten seconds, can you do it for one minute? If you can do it for one minute, can you do it for ten minutes? If you can do it at the drugstore, can you do it in the mall?
Painful emotions, difficult thoughts, odd sensations, unwelcome urges — none of these are 100% under your control. Sufficient force can take away your behavioral control. You can lose your freedom; you can lose your comfort. Only a few things are under your absolute control. What do you care about and will you choose to be present or not to your own experience? Those are things no one can take away, so long as you are conscious.
Don’t give it away. Don’t let your anxiety fool you into thinking that you have to give away your presence and caring. Only you get to choose those parts. The anxiety may go away or it may not. What matters is whether you will show up to your own experience and restart doing the things you care about but stopped doing because of anxiety. Walking that walk is how you regain your ability to say “yes” to life. When you learn how to do that, your anxiety is no longer in charge. You are.
14. Ross Swan
Here is Mr. Ross Swan’s Reply:
Anxiety can be caused by many different challenges that employees face on a day to day basis. In the end we deal with those challenges and move on. When we don’t, that quite often fuels anxiety in some people.We all face some form of anxiety at different times during our work life. The key is, how we deal with it. Three ways to control your anxious feelings and in no particular order as that may vary with individuals.
1. Firstly, focus on what you can control and draw confidence from that.
2. Secondly, plan your day and stick to that as much as you can. If something happens to disrupt your plan, don’t let it upset you, adjust your plan to suit.
3. The third thing is don’t focus on the total and what’s needed to be done today, work off your plan and complete one step at a time. It’s always better to take small steps and have achievements along the way then worrying about what you still need to do. For example, if you are running a marathon, it’s best to focus on the 5k that lays ahead rather than the next 32K.
So in summary if you work your plan on what you can control in bite size chunks you feel less anxious about your day ahead.
15. Jessica Holmes
Here is Ms. Jessica Holmes’s Reply:
1. Deep breathing:
It’s so simple no one even needs to know you’re doing it. When we’re stressed or anxious, our fight or flight response is triggered and adrenaline surges. The quickest way to stop that reaction is deep belly breathing. Breathe in for 7 seconds till you see your stomach is fully expanded, then slowly breathe out. Do five of these breaths and it helps reset your system.
2. Know your anxiety:
Ask yourself whether what you’re anxious about is an actual physical obstacle, or an emotional reaction that’s become exaggerated in your mind. Are you actually in real physical danger? The answer is usually no, and reminding yourself that you’ll be ok is half the battle. As Mark Twain said “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
3. Focus on happiness:
Happiness is lateral, which means if you increase your time in one area of life that brings you pleasure (being in nature, exercise, friends) your happiness will go up across the board. Sometimes we can’t control the stressors at work, but if we focus more on the joy in other areas of life, we’ll feel better in our job.
16. Rob Rutkowski
Here is Mr. Rob Rutkowski’s Reply:
See my 3 recommendations for solving anxiety at work.
1. Start your day on the right foot:
The best way to stop anxiety at work is to prevent it from happening in the first place. I recommend diving into meditation, prayer, or even just doing some exercise before you go to work. This will help better prepare your mind and body to take on any anxiety-inducing situations throughout the day.
2. Learn to form a relationship with anxiety:
Most people have a natural tendency to “push away” anxiety when it starts to come on. This is actually the opposite of what it should be.
Whenever you first notice anxiety starting to come on, pause for a moment, and take a good, close look at it. Just consciously observe what the anxiety feels like without connecting with it.
The more you practice this, the more you’ll begin to notice that anxiety has no control over you. I’ve even found it helpful to start viewing this observed anxiety as a positive thing. Try to start viewing it as your body’s natural way of preparing us for the challenges ahead (physically and mentally). You can also try and start viewing the sensation of anxiety as excitement for what’s ahead. The more you believe it, the more your mind will believe it (Hopefully that makes sense).
3. Give your anxieties to the universe:
I’ve personally found this one to be helpful. Most anxiety arises from us worrying about the future. Understand that no matter how hard you try, you can not know what’s to come. The only thing you can truly change is the present moment.
Therefore, focus more on living in the present moment and less on what COULD happen in the future. Give all of your fears and worries of the future up to the universe.
When I do this, I’ll literally pause for a moment and visualize me letting go of all my fears and worries of the future and allowing the universe (or God if you’re religious) to deal with them. Only the universe (or God) can determine what happens to us in the future. Therefore, we must put our trust in the universe and hope for the best. There’s no point in worrying about what we can’t change (the future).
17. Lucy Watt BACP
Here is Lucy Watt’s Reply:
1. Accepting it, not fighting it:
Yes it’s a horrible place to be, but it doesn’t make you a bad person for feeling anxious, if you can accept that you are feeling this way, sometimes that is half of the battle won.
2. Care for yourself:
Offer yourself the care and reassurance that you would to a small child. What would you say to her/him/them? Would you offer reassurance and care, or attack and shame? Learn to be your own nurturing parent if you can.
Belly breathing – take deep breaths – the sort that makes your belly go out further than your chest. This can help in relaxing you (learn about polyvagal theory for more information about why).
18. Manos Filippou
Here is Mr. Manos Filippou’s reply:
1. Understand the cause of anxiety:
The first tip is to identify the cause of work anxiety. You cannot solve a problem unless you actually know what is causing it. Also, the way you are going to deal with work anxiety depends again on the source. There is never a one-fit-all approach. Causes of work anxiety may be:
a) Issues with a difficult boss
b) Issues with another employee
c) Problems of communication with others
d) Lack of training
e) Personal problems that are transferred to work
f) You are not happy with your job anymore or the money/you are making
g) Too much commute/traveling for work
h) Lack of work/life balance, etc.
2. Deal the problem the right way:
Once you identify the problem, the next step is to deal with it right away. When you postpone dealing with a problem it becomes bigger and bigger. The longer you wait, also the bigger the anxiety will become. Have those difficult conversations with your boss, make those important decisions you are postponing, acquire those skills that maybe are missing and cause you to stress, etc.
3. Positive Attitude:
A positive attitude is very important. Start seeing the glass half full rather than half empty. Appreciate what you already have and what is going very well for you, and focus on the big picture rather than the small details that sometimes frustrates us.
Anxiety is a serious mental health problem that requires professional help. Most of the anxiety patients don’t get much of the help which worsens the condition. So, get your appointment booked with EzCare Clinic’s amazing healthcare professionals to find a permanent solution for your anxiety.