Every single one of us experiences worries and anxieties. Therapists acknowledge that these feelings are natural and reasonable for us to have. However, worrying too much can become a heavy burden and negatively affect our mental health. The stress we get can spill over to all aspects of our life—including the workplace.
“Anxiety is often viewed as a gateway problem,” says psychologist Wendy Silverman, PhD. Our jobs take up about a third of our day, so we must find ways to manage our anxiety. Such is necessary to continue to be productive at our jobs. If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed at work, look at these tips to overcome your negative emotions before you clock out.
Don’t Forget To Take Breaks
Although the specifics differ per state or country, all employees are entitled to regular breaks. Going eight hours straight without any rest would be near-impossible.
During your break, spend some time away from the computer. The bright screen staring back at you can tire you out, making you more likely to experience anxiety. It can serve as a reminder of deadlines and unfinished work. Thus, stepping away from it can give you space to breathe.
Likewise, you can spend your break checking on your mindfulness. Spending a few minutes of silence can help you disconnect from stressors and focus on yourself for a while. 5 minutes of meditation can get you to power through the day.
Moreover, taking a break can also mean grabbing a bite or talking to friends. Laughter in the workplace can ease stress and anxiety and boost overall work quality. Also, practice breathing. “Breathing from your diaphragm oxygenates your blood, which helps you relax almost instantly,” says Robert Cooper, Ph.D. It’s practically a win-win for everyone.
Find Someone To Talk To
We don’t mean merely looking for anyone to whom to talk. Try to find someone who can actively listen to your worries. They should be someone compassionate and attentive. While they’re not meant to fix your problems, sharing your anxieties with them can lift a load off your shoulders.
Your workplace savior can come in the form of an employee the same rank as you, or even your supervisor. Likewise, HR is also open to hearing about your grievances and problems.
Delegate Or Ask For Help
It may be tempting to take on significant responsibilities because you want to show people that you can handle it. However, this often leads to burnout—the feeling of being overwhelmed, drained, and anxious.
“If many of us are struggling to cope, it’s hardly surprising,” says Auckland clinical psychologist Natalie Flynn. One way to handle this issue is to learn how to delegate duties and assignments. Especially if you’re working in teams, you need to share tasks. You shouldn’t have to handle everything alone in the first place. “No” is an acceptable answer when you think you’ve already got too many things to handle.
Likewise, asking for help should never be shameful. Nobody has everything figured out from the start. When you think your tasks are drowning you, ask for someone to help you out.
Don’t Take Work Home
As much as possible, leave your tasks at the office at the end of the day. If you’re already stressed out at work, then the thought of bringing it home will bring you further anxiety. This problem is why you need to learn how to set boundaries between work and your home life.
Although some professions are more likely to take their work home, don’t do it unless you absolutely have to. Not only will this disrupt your personal time, but it can also affect the relationships you have outside the workplace. For one, you’ll have less time to spend with friends and family. Furthermore, you’re more likely to stress them out with what you bring home when you take out your frustrations on them.
Write It Down
Although cliche, writing things down helps you manage many of your emotions. It serves as a cathartic way of expressing your feelings.
Those with anxiety often use this technique. The idea behind is for you to jot down your worries into a piece of paper and to leave them there afterward. It’s a sort of metaphorical way of leaving your worries behind. You can also see it as a way of setting them aside for a time when you can handle them head-on.
Everyone has certain expectations for their careers, and the workplace can be a trigger for your anxiety. But breathe a sigh of relief; there’s a lot you can do to manage your worries. Taking regular breaks, finding the right person to talk to, and delegating tasks keeps you leveled. Likewise, it’s best not to bring your work home and to jot down your concerns to leave them behind.
With these tips, you set yourself up to kick anxiety to the curb. You’re sure to power through those eight hours as the best person you can be.