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7 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Manage Anxiety at Work

Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:38 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

G U E S T  A R T I C L E

Anxiety is a serious condition and while the optimal solution to managing anxiety would be to take a break from work, it can be difficult to break away for financial and other reasons. In today’s modern world, anxiety is increasingly commonplace and needs to be addressed accordingly. Fortunately, workplace wellness and mental health are fast becoming integral parts to achieving organizational excellence. There are both standardized international and Canadian frameworks – see the guidelines here and here – in place to ensure that organizations adhere to and respect the wellbeing of employees in the workplace. Both employers and employees should participate in implementing and upholding these standards.

There are also several surprisingly simple ways that employees can manage conditions of anxiety and its accompanying symptoms at work. The list below provides seven methods that you can employ at work to help you deal with stressful situations that incite anxiety and panic. By following these simple methods to manage anxiety at work and ensuring that the international and Canadian frameworks for mental health are executed correctly, employees are better equipped to manage stress and anxiety in the workplace.

1

Find a support base

A support base at work could comprise trusted co-workers, as well as family or friends who you can call from work when you feel an anxiety attack coming on. Having one or even a few colleagues who you can confide in on days when you are feeling down provides a level of comfort – and oftentimes, colleagues will have gone through similar experiences and can offer meaningful advice for dealing with anxiety at work. If you are uncomfortable about opening up to co-workers, take a few days off to focus on your mental health and surround yourself with family and friends who can help you recover.

2

Stay organized

Organization is a simple but effective way to help manage anxiety at work. A clean desk, organized files and calendar planning can offer stability by helping you deal with crisis situations. This list provides several solutions to dealing with disorganization that easily lead to lost items, missed meetings and overall heightened anxiety. Strategizing and drawing up

lists for priority tasks can help you stay focused on getting everything done, while also helping you to plan for downtime and ensuring that you get enough rest.

3

Avoid negative and stressful situations

Situations in which employees gossip and badmouth co-workers in the workplace are detrimental to everyone and often result in stressful conflicts. Workplace negativity often serves to intensify feelings of anxiety and panic. Situations that involve public speaking and presentations can also be causes of anxiety attacks – learn how to deal with them here.

4

Set boundaries

Setting boundaries at work can help ensure mental health by preventing overworking and taking on a great load than you can manage. Be firm about working hours and find enough time to get rest. Overworking leads to stressful situations that can also result in conflict with co-workers and at home. Clear communication and confronting situations in which you feel uncomfortable go a long way in setting boundaries for a more structured work environment.

5

Ask for help

Reach out to trusted family members and friends when you are having difficulty coping with anxiety and panic attacks. Explain your condition and on days when you are feeling calm, tell them which methods of support work best to improve your condition in times of crisis. Things that friends and family could help with include taking care of daily tasks that you can’t deal with at the moment or gentle conversation to let you know that they are ready to listen at any time.

6

Take regular breaks

Get up and get active to work off feelings of pent-up anxiety and stress. For best results, try to go outside and talk a walk in a quiet area with natural scenery. Research shows that walking in natural areas away from urban settings and traffic can help alleviate anxiety by improving cognitive function and mood. Stretching exercises and meditation can assist in calming nerves and creating inner peace at the workplace. These 10 yoga poses help reduce stress to help manage anxiety.

7

Maintain a healthy routine

Establishing a healthy routine is a sustainable way to manage anxiety at the workplace and at home. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods low in saturated fats and sugars and decreasing your daily caffeine intake can help lower instances of fatigue, insomnia, mood fluctuations and anxiety. Regular exercise can help boost feel-good endorphins, while natural supplements such as herbal teas can help offset stress and feelings of panic.

In conclusion, these seven ways can help you manage anxiety at work in a surprisingly simple yet highly effective manner. Establishing a support base provides a good safety net on days when you are feeling panicked at work, while staying organized and avoiding conflict situations ensures a safer working environment. Set boundaries, take regular breaks and arm yourself with good natural ways to manage stress such as exercise and getting enough sleep.

 

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About the author:

Marcus Clarke

Marcus has a degree in psychology, a master’s degree in health psychology and has worked within the NHS as well as private organisations. Marcus started psysci a psychology and science blog in order to disseminate research into bitesize, meaningful and helpful resources.

From the Editor, ASQ Ottawa Valley Chapter:
There is an increasing focus on mental health  and wellness in the workplace.  There are international standards and frameworks that include mental health in the workplace.
Mental Health is part of the EFQM and Excellence Canada.  http://excellence.ca/assets/files/products/MHW-Overview.pdf
The Canadian Mental Health Commission provides resources for employers. https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/focus-areas/workplace
Employers are increasingly looking at wellness in their organizations. Our guest article provides some practical tips for individuals to supplement these efforts.

Copyright information: The article has been published with permission from the author. Title picture is copyright of ASQ Ottawa Valley Section and not associated with the original writing.

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