When dealing with an anxiety disorder, one of the biggest obstacles you will face is trying to prevent your condition from disrupting your life. This is especially true in the workplace, where it is quite likely that symptoms of your anxiety disorder will crop up rather often. If this describes your work situation, you should know that you are not alone.
It is estimated that at least 40 percent of employees experience excessive anxiety while at work. Around 28 percent of individuals have actually admitted to having a panic attack. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to continue in this manner. If you are constantly battling anxiety during your working hours, there are several steps you can take to improve your situation:
Identify Your Triggers
As you are probably aware, there are a number of problems that can trigger your anxiety. This could be anything from social engagements to stress. However, it is not unusual for each individual to have something specific that sets off their unease or apprehension. The trick, however, is to actually identify what your particular trigger is.
The first thing you will need to do is to start noticing when your anxious feelings actually begin to appear. So, if you begin to feel that you are on edge, are having trouble concentrating, or being restless, make a note of it. Now, think back to the moments preceding these feelings – what happened? If you keep a journal and write down every time your anxiety strikes and why it may be this way, you will begin to notice a pattern and figure out what your triggers are.
Create a Better Working Condition for Yourself
So, now that you know what is most likely to cause you anxiety, the next step is to find a way to stop your mind and body from eliciting such a reaction. For example, let’s imagine that your biggest issue is making a presentation or speaking to a group at work. Well, since this is usually unavoidable, you need to find out how to make this situation more favorable for you.
One such tactic would be to think about and write down all the things you want to say at your presentation. This way, you will not be forced to be spontaneous and can read from your notes instead. It can also help to gather the friends or coworkers that you like and trust and give a mock speech. This, too, will help to alleviate some of your nervousness. In the end, it is about finding ways to deal with the situation head-on rather than ignoring it.
Find a Way to Ground Yourself
Due to the nature of anxiety disorders, it is virtually guaranteed that you will begin to feel apprehensive or fearful during work. Since you may not always be able to prevent your symptoms from occurring, your goal should be to deal with them more effectively. In this sense, you need to come up with a technique that is most useful to you.
If you have trouble staying in the moment, then mindfulness exercises such as meditation and deep breathing can help you focus on the present. This, in turn, will help you deal with your feelings of fear more adequately. On the other hand, if you need to find a way to expend some excess energy, especially during a meeting, look for a subtle way to do this. Small toys and doodling is a good way to work off that extra energy in a professional environment.
Talk to Your Employer or Manager
A lot of people don’t like to talk about their diagnosis, particularly with their boss or superior. However, you may find it helpful in certain instances. This is especially true if you need specific conditions such as short, frequent breaks or a quiet place to work in. Your employer will be better-equipped to approve such requests. If you think that you may be discriminated against due to your mental health condition, keep in mind that you do have rights. Legally, there are some concessions that your boss may have to make for you.
Find a Social Connection
If you have a tendency to isolate yourself when you are feeling anxious, try to change the way you do things. One of the most useful interventions is to find understanding people to talk to. So, if you have good work friends, don’t be afraid to lean on them every now and then. If you don’t want to do this, you can try calling up a close friend or family member when you feel that you are being overwhelmed by your workload.
As you can see, you don’t have to let your anxiety take over your work life. Instead, by following all of the tips mentioned here, you can get a better grip on your condition. This will allow you to flourish at work, and enable you to succeed in your chosen career.
If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.
Tracy Plunkett is a writer and blogger with a focus on health, wellness, and fitness. When she isn’t working, she can be found following her passion for music and photography. Check out her latest post about fidget spinners.
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