5 tips to improve anxiety management at work

The work environment is one of the areas of life in which it is easier for us to experience anxiety problems.

This is no coincidence: at work, it is very common to be exposed to situations that force us to face new challenges, on the one hand, and / or to adopt a discipline to carry out tasks at hand. a precise rhythm, on the other. The need to take responsibility and take it on without haste but without pause is something that overwhelms some people.

However, in many cases the problem is not a lack of technical or intellectual skills to perform these tasks, but poor anxiety management. Fortunately, this has a solution, and here we will see different tips that will help you improve your ability to deal with anxiety at work.

    How does anxiety arise in the workplace?

    The first thing we need to be very clear about is that anxiety in and of itself is not a problem. In fact, it is one of the basic emotional phenomena for the survival of not only our species, but a wide variety of animals.

    The fact that basically all mammals are susceptible to developing stress and anxiety makes it clear that these are useful mechanisms from an evolutionary and survival perspective. This is so because by putting us in a state of psychological activation and sensitivity to potential dangers or opportunities that surround us, it helps us to react quickly at key moments.

    However, this does not take away from the fact that sometimes anxiety can contribute to general dysfunctional habits and behaviors. In fact, it is relatively common.

    For example, this happens in people who become so perfectionists that they learn that paralysis caused by anxiety about doing things wrong is the usual way to cope with challenges that arise. Or those who assume that interacting with people you don’t know well comes with anxiety. Anxiety can help us stay alive in the short term, but that doesn’t mean that in some cases it doesn’t take us away from happiness or our goals., If we do not handle it properly.

    How to deal with anxiety at work?

    As we have seen, anxiety doesn’t have to be a nuisance, but in some cases it gives way to a “snowball” effect of psychological problems when the way we deal with it is wrong. This happens especially in the workplace and in our way of rendering during working hours, because in the professional field, time is gold, and not using it correctly due to emotional lags produces complications. which become relatively important. A few days for the accumulation of pending work.

    While faced with this kind of problem, the ideal is to have individualized psychological support, there is practices and habits that help to better manage anxiety at work. Here we will see several of the most important summaries.

    1. Suppose it is natural

    Feeling uncomfortable with anxiety and tending to have it more often than others is not necessarily a problem. There are people who have a genetic predisposition to feel anxious, and yet this does not prevent them from living well and being happy; the key is in the way this anxiety is handled, the way we “try”. In some cases, this feeling can lead us to take action that is beneficial to us: moderate exercise, progress in labor, etc.

    2. Learn about the source of your anxiety

    To know how to manage anxiety and its effects on your professional life, it is important to know the type of situations and experiences that activate it.

    For example, feeling anxious about having a lot of accumulated work is not the same as having to talk to people you don’t know well. To achieve this, it is important that you keep a self-recording, such as a personal journal that you take with you, in which you write down what happens when you experience excess anxiety: both what is going through you. head and what you were. do or it happened to you just before you experienced this.

    Once you’ve been doing this for several days or weeks, you will be able to have an overview of these modes of expression of anxiety.

    3. Keep distractions at bay

    Poorly managed anxiety is a trap that can lead us to constantly seek to distract our mind from these unpleasant thoughts, with the collateral damage that delays us in dealing with our responsibilities or problems. That’s why your workspace is as distraction-free as it gets.

    4. Create a clear and written schedule

    Following a very clear schedule helps us focus on completing tasks at an appropriate pace and, therefore, makes us less vulnerable to anxiety, as this psychological phenomenon appears more frequently in our work when we feel we are wandering. , that we have nowhere to go. Just focusing on a task and seeing how we are progressing is a great remedy not only for eliminating anxiety completely, but also for constructively give it an outlet.

    5. Learn short relaxation exercises

    There are an interesting variety of exercises that can help you relax in a matter of minutes; they are very useful for periods of rest (and be aware that if you want to manage anxiety well, you will need several times of rest throughout the work day). Some are based on physical and physiological aspects, such as those related to conscious control of breathing, and others focus more on psychological tasks, such as the Thought Stop Technique, which is great for interrupting intrusive thoughts. and the anxious procrastination of the roots.

    Want to learn more about managing anxiety?

    If you are interested in doing your different theoretical and practical principles to better manage anxiety in your daily life, I invite you to attend the Anxiety Management Online Webinar held on September 30, 2020. I draw on my training as a psychologist specializing in clinical psychology and my nearly 30 years of experience with patients to teach practices and routines that help foster emotional harmony in different areas of life. On this page you can see my contact details.

    Bibliographical references:

    • Hofmann, SG; Dibartolo, PM (2010). Introduction: Towards an Understanding of Social Anxiety Disorder. Social anxiety.
    • Öhman, A. (2000). “Fear and Anxiety: Evolutionary, Cognitive and Clinical Perspectives”. To Lewis M, Haviland-Jones JM (ed.). Handbook of emotions. New York: The Guilford Press. pages 573 to 593.
    • Rynn, MA, Brawman-Mintzer, O. (2004). “Generalized anxiety disorder: acute and chronic treatment”. CNS spectra. 9 (10): pages 716-723.
    • Waszczuk, MA; Zavos, HMS; Gregory, AM; Eley, TC (2014). The phenotypic and genetic structure of symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder in childhood, adolescence and youth. JAMA Psychiatry. 71 (8): pages 905 to 916.

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