Roughly 25-percent of surveyed employees reveal that they regularly experience work-related stress. Resultantly, they miss deadlines, clash with peers and have other professional problems.
Your work experience can dramatically affect the quality of your life. What’s worse, unhappiness and stress at work can have you counting the minutes to quitting time from the moment you walk in the door. With a plan, however, you can avoid the negative outcomes of workplace anxiety and stress.
Approximately 75-percent of surveyed adults report that anxiety or stress interfere with their quality of life, according to mental health expert Doctor Kathleen Smith. Unfortunately, according to Smith, work is no escape from symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Anxiety and stress can also negatively affect work performance. What’s worse is that these symptoms can lead to poor relationships with colleagues, peers and superiors.
There are, however, things that you can do to prevent this from happening. Check out the following 5 tips to learn how to lessen workplace anxiety.
Tip 1: Find Inner Calm
According to Doctor Jennifer Rogers, nearly everyone has heard about the benefits of meditation for managing stress and reducing anxiety. Doctor Rogers codirects the Department of Counseling graduate program at Wake Forest University.
The most practical thing to do when experiencing anxiety or feeling overwhelmed, states the professor, is to acknowledge it internally. Then, identify it and focus on your breathing for a few minutes.
The counseling expert also states that it’s important to remember to breathe when feeling a strong emotion. As simple as it sounds, you’d be surprised how often you stop breathing when faced with an extreme emotion.
Tip 2: Focus on the Present
You can feel pulled in countless directions when under duress. This typically happens when you feel overburdened, underappreciated or misjudged.
When this happens, the best thing that you can do is to control the narrative – literally. In other words, try to verbalize exactly what’s causing your anxiety. It may help to get the input of a trusted peer or friend. Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, you must express how you’d like it addressed.
Tip 3: Unplug Once in a While
Today, most people are digitally engaged 24 hours a day. Innovations such as social media and smart devices have led to a relentless, irksome intrusion on our daily lives.
There is no doubt that smartphones have greatly improved communication. Unfortunately, they’re also a constant tether to the workplace.
Professionals who never fully disengage from work risk mental degradation over time. By taking an occasional break from technology, you can maintain your mental health and long-term well-being.
Tip 4: Stay Fit to Promote Your Emotional Well-Being
By exercising before or after work, you can give your mental health a huge boost. Everyone should exercise, but this is especially so for people who have stressful jobs.
Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are a natural painkiller and they also improve mood and comfort.
Working out also wears you out, which in turns weakens symptoms of anxiety. When completed before work, exercise can reduce your stress level for the whole day. After work, exercise can help you blow all steam and relieve stress that you’ve accumulated.
Tip 5: Gamify Your Workday
Sometimes, work can be – well – boring. One technique to overcome boredom is to turn tasks into challenges.
Your options are only limited by your imagination. Whatever you decide, gamifying your work will help you accomplish more and make boring tasks more pleasant. In fact, gamification is a great way to tackle your most stressful work responsibilities.
Anxiety and stress are unpleasant. At the same time, they’re opportunities for growth.
Sometimes anxiety and stress are difficult to manage alone. When this happens, it’s a good idea to seek help from a professional counselor.
Many employers offer employee assistance programs that workers can use to seek counseling. The programs link employees with community mental health resources.
Anxiety and stress are normal. Everyone has difficulties and challenges that they must face. It’s a part of life. How you deal with those challenges, however, is what matters.
If your stress and anxiety have become so severe that you need to seek help, you may feel intimidated by the idea of speaking to someone else about your problem. Don’t.
If you need help with work-related stress, speak with a human resource professional. That’s what they do. They’ll help you find the resources you need to perform at your best.
What’s more, when you do what you must to manage workplace stress and anxiety, you serve as a role model for peers who may suffer from the same problems. In more ways than one, by taking care of your mental well-being, you’re doing a service for yourself, your peers and your organization.