Social anxiety in the workplace is common and clearly not going anywhere. There are several reasons why you may feel anxious at work, like having to speak to a group or meet new people. Whatever it is, it’s crucial to understand how to manage your social anxiety so you can thrive both in and out of the workplace.
Whether you work in person or remotely, you’re bound to encounter people who are different from you in many ways. They may have different habits or methods of communicating, for example. But what’s important is to learn how to embrace those differences rather than let them affect you.
If you want to overcome the social anxiety you feel at work, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Communicate Your Needs
You can’t stay quiet about what you need and expect people to magically understand you. There needs to be open, honest communication in any relationship so both parties can fully understand each other. Otherwise, it’s difficult to cater to each other and be productive.
It’s important to communicate with your colleagues and managers what you need to succeed in the workplace. You might have too much on your plate and feel overwhelmed with your workload. Instead of worrying about how you’re going to accomplish your tasks, you need to communicate with your managers that you’re falling behind. It’s their job to accommodate you and bring you back up to speed so you can meet your deadlines.
Communicating your needs consistently helps to prevent burnout so you feel motivated to finish your to-do list. Falling behind on your work will leave you feeling more anxious than you when you started, so make sure you’re open about your needs in the workplace.
It’s no secret that physical activity is great for your body, but it can also do wonders for your mind.
Exercise boosts dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that produces feelings of pleasure and happiness. When you feel anxious, working out is a great way to release those negative feelings and make room for positive ones. It relieves stress, boosts your confidence, and puts your focus on your health instead of your colleagues.
You don’t have to do workouts you don’t like either. Many people assume they have to follow certain routines that they don’t enjoy. While it’s great to motivate yourself to do things out of your comfort zone, it doesn’t help to perform exercises you don’t like.
Instead, find workouts you genuinely enjoy. Consider taking a yoga class or riding your bike to get a feel for what you like so you can continue exercising consistently.
Get Adequate Sleep
Getting enough sleep at night is the key to feeling refreshed and ready for the busy day ahead. When you sacrifice sleep time, you’re also giving up feeling energized and being in the proper headspace to go to the office.
According to the American Psychological Association, not getting enough sleep can greatly affect your mood, memory, and judgment, which can easily turn to anxiety in the workplace. You’re better able to process your emotions when you feel well-rested. Ensure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep each night so you’re ready to work the next morning.
Practice Mindful Breathing
Have you considered that the way you breathe day in and day out significantly affects your socially anxious tendencies? Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to breathe properly, which negatively affects their mood and sense of wellbeing.
Mindful breathing is different from regular breathing by practicing awareness. During mindful meditation, you focus on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations and let them come and go. It’s important to acknowledge what you feel and think without trying to control it. It’s one way to practice non-attachment and focus on what matters.
If you’re new to mindful breathing, try listening to podcasts that lead you through it. When someone leads you through the process, it’s called mindful meditation, and can really help you focus on what you need to do.
Over to You
Many people suffer from anxiety in the workplace, so know you’re not the only one. The good news is that there are several ways to work through your social anxiety and continue to succeed on your tasks. What techniques will you use to overcome your anxiety at work?