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Workplace Anxiety

by Dhawala Shree

Can anxiety pop-up in a workplace? Ain’t a cliche, but anxiety is everywhere. A research found out that about 40% of the employees feel stressed during workdays. While some say this stress is productive, anxiety is not. Anxiety in a workplace can lead to many negative consequences.

Workplace anxiety can be because of anything ranging from dealing with deadlines, talking to managers, problems with presentations to just a thought about the workplace. And the most important thing before diagnosing it as workplace anxiety is that your anxiety is limited to work. If this ain’t true, then it can be a symptom of anxiety disorder.

So as anxiety is a response to stress, workplace anxiety can be defined as a response to the stress at work.

Do I have workplace Anxiety?

The signs or symptoms of workplace anxiety can be observed during work situations which include –

  1.  Interacting with colleagues: If you have workplace anxiety, you’ll have trouble making the first move with your colleagues.
  2.  Dry mouth, sweating, a pounding/racing heart are a few physical symptoms that can be observed.
  3.  Participating in meetings: You might have the best of ideas, but you feel drawn aback by your fears of being misjudged.
  4.  Excessive or irrational worrying: Worrying about every single little thing, and becoming anxious about getting anxious.
  5.  Feeling like you need to be perfect: Your fear of being misjudged may want you to be the perfect person for the job.
  6.  Performance reviews: Appraisals or not, you might hear your own heartbeat when HR calls you.
  7.  Overeating or undereating: This is mostly like a strategy that people use to not give attention to the anxiety, in a way repressing it.
  8.  Giving presentations: This is where you feel evaluated the most. And it’s a legit reason to feel stressed. But if the anxiety stops you from giving the best you can, it’s workplace anxiety.
  9.  Losing interest in your work: This happens eventually, when you can no longer deal with that anxiety.
  10.  Having trouble concentrating or remembering things: Your anxiety might take all over you, and have difficulties concentrating on the task at hand.
  11.  Meeting deadlines: This can be herculean task sometimes. But you having self-doubt and thinking of the negative consequences they might lead to, will only add-up to the anxiety levels.
  12.  Other work-related tasks: Anything about work startles you and the anxiety creeps in.
  13.  Having trouble sleeping: This is a complementary package that anxiety brings in. Workplace anxiety comes with a lot of stress, and this leads to sleep disturbances.
  14.  Feeling irritable, tired, or tense: Workplace anxiety makes you feel overwhelmed with feelings of tiredness.

What should be done when you have Workplace Anxiety

As an Employee:

Workplace anxiety can be really difficult for an employee to cope up with. Here are a few techniques one can use to lower their anxiety, or even prevent that.

  1.   Make time for yourself: You should start making time for yourself away from your work.
  2.   Is it an irrational fear?: Ask yourself this question once you identify the trigger
  3.   Healthy diet, vacation, yoga: Taking a vacation can make your mind free from the overwhelming anxious thoughts for a while. And a healthy diet can help your physical body to stay healthy. Do yoga and meditation to relax your body and mind.
  4.   Laugh and smile: Engage in activities that bring happiness to you.
  5.   Time management: Good time management skills are very important in setting up boundaries between work and personal life.
  6.   Life outside of work: Focus on your personal life such as hobbies and friends.
  7.   Take breaks: That can be a lunch break and you can share a meal with others outside of your work area.
  8.   Talk to your friends & employer: Talking with your colleagues and employer can help them understand what you’re going through. They can help you in dealing with it.
  9.   Set boundaries: One should set boundaries for their own work-life balance. Work is not your life, it is a part of your life. And so it should not consume all your time nor energy.
  10.   Go for walks: A walk outdoors/change of scenery in your break times helps to get rid of anxious thoughts.
  11.   Good things: Try to reflect on the good things in your life.
  12.   Micro-breaks: Taking small breaks can help you get rid of anxious thoughts, and helps you create a space for yourself apart from work.

As an Employer:

Workplace anxiety is a problem of an employee, but it not only affects the employee, but brings unwanted consequences to the company too. But a company cannot fire every employee that has been burnt out. Instead they can prevent their employees from getting workplace anxiety.

An organizational culture plays a very important role in the lives of the employees. Every company cannot provide amenities like those which MNCs can afford. But small changes that make the employee feel safe, will create a good perception towards the company they’re working with. Employees will feel connected to the company and thus, will also become intrinsically motivated to work.

An employee should know their task’s significance. When they know it, they understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. This helps them to provide better services. When they understand their task’s significance, they feel involved in the company, rather than working for it.

Feedback is one of the most important things in a workplace. It has the power to increase or decrease the performance. Thus employers should be careful with the words they use, and point out at the best first. Feedback should also include the task identity of an employee. This gives the employee meaningfulness in the work they do.

Lastly, we’d recommend you to try Snealth’s Webinars and our SnealthCare at the Workplace packages beginning from INR 79 / employee / month! These make sure your employees are being taken care of by the best mental healthcare provider out there. Do reach out to [email protected]

*Note: If you have workplace anxiety, don’t think twice to seek professional help.

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