A positive playbook to ‘Working Happy’ with anxiety
by Jennifer Sigler | November 7, 2017 | Workhappy Blog
Anxiety can halt production and destroy self-confidence…we must conquer it in the workplace.
“Oh, I’m so stressed.”
This is a phrase that we hear often when discussing work culture.
While everyone feels the ups and downs of stress at work every now and then — it’s quite different if you live with anxiety. When you live with anxiety, you can doubt yourself. You can feel weak. When you live with anxiety, your brain never shuts off.
When you live with anxiety, it’s not hard to be happy — but it is hard to believe it.
This is why it is essential to discuss finding work happiness when you live with higher stress levels.
Anxiety can prevent us from attending events, engaging in relationships or taking advantage of new opportunities. And while it isn’t a popular topic of conversation, more than 40 million adults in the United States are affected by an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Whether you need the assistance of medication is a discussion for you and your doctor (the WorkHappy Team supports making healthy choices to live happy lives) but there are proven techniques that you can practice in order to work through your anxiety on the job.
UNDERSTAND YOUR TRIGGERS
Are there particular situations or tasks that heighten your anxiety? New experiences are frequently accompanied by a spike of anxiety.
Often anxieties have nothing to do with the actual work, but in how work is approached. Maybe it is the thought of arriving late to a meeting or engagement, or perhaps feeling as if you don’t have enough time to complete a task.
When you understand what triggers your anxiety, you can take proactive measures to eliminate unnecessary situations.
It is also important to pay attention to your body and notice any physical changes you experience when feeling anxious. If you can recognize early signs of anxiety, you can take steps to work through the feelings before full-blown panic sets in.
TAKE A MEETING — WITH YOURSELF
Blocking off a small portion of your day can be a very useful tool in enhancing your productivity. But it also does wonders for handling anxiety at work.
Schedule a meeting with yourself. Actually write it down. This will help you take it seriously and not put it off, or take other meetings with people who want to “pop in for a quick second.”
Use this time to calm your stress into leaving you alone. Sit, close your eyes and take deep breaths. If you can get over the cheese factor, talk to yourself aloud; and give yourself a break and only say nice things — you need to hear them.
This is also your time to clear your head, to brainstorm, or even organize your workspace. By scheduling a meeting with yourself you are prioritizing you.
PRACTICE TIME MANAGEMENT
Time tends to play a significant role in inducing anxiety for many people. And as much as is in your control to eliminate those uncomfortable situations — leaving much earlier than necessary for a meeting or constantly working ahead — a critical aspect of managing anxiety at work is accepting that you can’t control every situation.
You will find yourself in stressful situations. In these moments, what can help most is the admittance of having no control over it.
“I am going to be 10 minutes late.”
“I am going to need to work late to get this done by tomorrow.”
“That could have gone better.”
Accepting a situation can rob it of its power over you. Also try using time as a tool of measurement. Will this matter tomorrow? Will it matter one week from now?
For those of us who live with anxiety on a daily basis, any situation can become stressful.
Anxiety can make you leave a job you are actually happy with (because it tries to convince you that you’re not), it can make you underperform in a position you normally excel in, and it can make you alienate yourself from lasting professional relationships.
Don’t let it win. You deserve to be happy.
Jennifer Sigler is a Senior Writer with The UpWrite Group. Send a message to services@TheUpWriteGroup.com to see how she can help enhance your corporate or personal brand.