How To Deal With Anxiety in the Workplace and Get Through It

a women at a desk with her hands over face

Simple Tips To Deal With Anxiety at Work

You don’t need to suffer in silence if you’re dealing with workplace anxiety.

Whether you have a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or your anxiety is related to certain issues at work, you can do something about it. This article is not intended to provide professional therapy but to offer the steps you can take to get the help you need.

Those troubled by circumstances related to work will find tips and insights and simple solutions to deal with those issues during work.

The Difference Between Workplace Anxiety and (GAD)

It’s important to identify if you’re experiencing anxiety from work only or if there are other areas in your life.

Typical examples of the issues that can lead to anxiety include:

  • Having trouble paying bills
  • Finding a job
  • Starting a new job
  • Before a presentation
  • During a performance review
  • When starting a big project
  • Before a social gathering
  • When meeting new people
  • Etc.

However, more severe reactions like an anxiety disorder produce a different experience.

  • Constant and uncontrollable worry that interferes with your daily routine
  • Experiencing random panic attacks
  • Recurring nightmares

It’s important to determine if you are experiencing anxiety with just work or other areas of your life. If the anxiety you’re experiencing is in many areas, then see the latest Google results: for, What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Dealing with GAD.

If all your anxiety is work-related, then keep reading.

Next, is your Anxiety from people, or is it from a certain work project?

Anxiety Caused by a Work Colleague Or your Boss

When you’re dealing with people, you want to determine if a certain person, a group of people, or do all your coworkers give you Anxiety?

It’s natural to become nervous before an important meeting, before giving a presentation, meeting new people, etc. However, there may be an underlying issue if you feel anxious all the time around people, and you may want to seek counseling to find a solution.

When you’re anxious around one person, it’s easier to find the problem and develop a solution.

Let’s go over a few things that may help you out.

You Are Anxious Around One Person In Particular

Are you the only one that is anxious around this person, or is it, everyone?

The Outcome is Everyone is Anxious Around The Current Boss

If the situation is the same for everyone. It could be the person is intimidating to all those he works with. If you need to work closely with them, then you have to study them to find out the following:

See what sets them off. For example

  • The boss becomes rude when asking for the numbers from yesterday’s production and receives a vague answer.
  • When your boss sees an employee that’s not busy and seems to be nothing.
  • When the boss comes under scrutiny from their boss.
  • When people are loud and chit-chatting in the office.
  • When the boss is late for a meeting.
  • Etc.

Your goal is to identify the triggers that set the boss off and make sure you don’t participate in any of those activities. Then, give the boss what they want, and the anxiety will start to disappear.

If you’re giving the boss information, you want to make sure it’s accurate and a couple minutes ahead of schedule.

If your boss is under a lot of pressure, see if you can do anything to help.

Being genuine and offering kindness are rarely returned with anger or backlash. However, even though you may not be welcomed with open arms, you can slowly change the working relationship.

The Outcome is I’m The Only One Anxious Around The Boss

Before assuming, make sure you are the only one being treated differently around the boss.

Could you be in a higher position, and your boss expects more from you and holds you to higher standards? If that’s the case, wouldn’t you see the situation from a different perspective? If not, then read on.

Let’s look at what you can do if it’s only you that’s being treated unfairly

For example, your boss is nice to everyone except you. You know it’s a-you-problem,” and you need to find out why. Is there something you did? Is it something you’re doing?

You need to find out what the problem is, and one way of doing it is to ask. You can’t just go up to your boss and say, why are you treating me this way?

Instead, wait and get specific information. For example, your boss was in a hurry for a report; once you rushed to get it to him, he threw it to the side and didn’t look at it.

Another time you gave a suggestion in a meeting, and it was welcomed by others but disapproved by your boss. Again, you need those specifics to give examples and ask your boss what you are doing that annoys him.

For more on dealing with a bad boss, see my article, 14 Insights and Simple Solutions for Dealing With a Bad Boss, which can make the situation better.

Feeling Anxious Around Coworkers You Don’t Report To

You may also be feeling anxiety due to coworkers that you don’t report to. This may be someone you work with directly or indirectly. In either case, you have to find out what the reasons are that are making you feel anxious.

Do you feel you’re bullied, or are you being abused?

When it comes to bullying and abuse at work, it’s unacceptable for anyone. And in those situations, you can speak with your boss or HR.

You want to create a strong case with specifics and make sure you have solid evidence of the occurring issues. Then, take the advice of HR and see if the situation improves.

That’s one of the HR tasks and the point of having an HR department. You may feel like you should take the matter into your own hands, but why risk your job if things get out of control? So instead, put in a formal complaint, secure your job, and let HR handle it.

Dealing With Anxiety With a Certain Task

You may be becoming anxious before working because of a certain issue or project you have been given at work.

I was thrown into a position I wasn’t qualified for. I was covering for someone that just quit without giving notice. I was familiar with some of the responsibilities, but I did not deal with a lot of them, and I knew I wasn’t qualified. It was a temporary position in the situation, and that’s tough because it takes about two months to learn the process, and I was only covering for three weeks. So, therefore, it wasn’t worth my time to learn the process, but at the same time, they still needed coverage.

I chose two people in the department who did have some experience in those areas where I wasn’t experienced, and I took care of the management part where I was confident. If I would’ve done it all on my own, I’m sure I would have failed and had three weeks of a lot of anxiety.

The whole point of the story is when you’re anxious about a certain task, the best way to overcome it is to understand the material and become good at it. Or like my situation where I had to perform on the spot. You can find the people that have the knowledge and experience and bring them aboard.

When I was younger, I was shy. I would avoid talking to people as much as possible. Now, I often run meetings and participate in a lot of them. I’m outspoken because I know my stuff, and I’m confident if I disagree with a point. When you are knowledgeable in your field, you have the advantage, and the same anxiety transforms into excitement.

The key to getting through meetings and uncomfortable situations when it comes to work is knowing your stuff. So, for example, let’s say you’re now responsible for a certain task that you know nothing about. You can try and get by and live with anxiety, or you can do your best to learn the information and become good at it. Trust me, once you do that, your anxiety will be minimized.

Another way to reduce anxiety at work is to play what-if. Think of your situation. What’s the worst that can happen? Will you get fired? Will you become embarrassed? Will you get a bad reputation as someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing?

Look at the consequences and determine what you can live with and what you can’t. If you’re not okay with the consequences, then figure out what you have to do to relieve the anxiety-like the example mentioned where you figure it out and get good at the task you’re anxious about.

Anxiety Because of The Job You Have

Sometimes you start to feel anxious, and it may not be the tasks you’re doing or the people you’re working with. It might be the job altogether. It may be a bad fit for you, and you feel like you’re trapped, and you’ll never get out of this line of work. With that situation, anxiety can appear. You feel like you’re wasting your life. You’re in the wrong career, and there’s no way out.

Even though you’re feeling anxious, it may be a blessing in disguise, and it’s your sign to find a different line of work. But, of course, adapting to change can be difficult, and finding new employment can have its challenges. But if you’re in the wrong line of work, you need to get into something you’re passionate about, your life will change, and so will your ambition.

The key to changing your line of work is to do your research to find out what it will take to get into the line of work you want, then it’s time to plan for a career change. It’s not something where you can walk into the boss’s office, put in your resignation, and expect to find your dream job the next day. It takes planning and preparation. You may need to go to night school or take online courses after work. It may be a few months until you start to gain any traction, but it will be worth it in the end.

Making the decision to move on will reduce the anxiety you’re feeling because you’re in the wrong line of work. Now you know that it’s just temporary, and you will be moving on.

More About Workplace Anxiety

The sections below offer more about workplace anxiety and resources to give you a strong overview of the subject. You may want to bookmark this page, so you use the references in the future.

The Definition of Workplace Anxiety

You can think of workplace anxiety as stress at work that is constant and leads to anxiety. This can be caused by how you interact with people you work with, the job you perform. For more on the definition of workplace anxiety see, An Overview of Work Anxiety, a detailed article brought to you by verywellmind.

What Causes Workplace Anxiety?

The cause of workplace anxiety depends on the person. Some people will experience stress due to one situation, while others will experience stress over another issue.

The stress someone may experience can be compared to how people can be offended.

For example, one friend jokes about how his coworker has no clue what he’s doing, even though he’s knowledgeable. The coworker laughs and understands its humor. While another coworker would take offense to the joke and would react differently. For more, see WebMD’s article, Workplace Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment,  for a detailed overview of the causes of workplace anxiety.

Workplace Anxiety Triggers

Triggers work differently with people. Some people can be triggered by certain events, while others won’t. Some of the common triggers include:

  • Public Speaking
  • Interacting With Authority Figures
  • Taking On New Challenges
  • The Need To Be Perfect
  • Dealing With a Task They Now They Can’t Do
  • Meeting New People

For more on anxiety, triggers see, Mary Franz’s article, Managing Workplace Anxiety Triggers: 20 Nerve-Wrackers.

Workplace Anxiety Symptoms

Some of the systems used by workplace anxiety include:

  • Fear of Going To Work
  • Avoiding Friends and Family
  • Worrying
  • Crying
  • Feeling Irritable
  • Feeling Tired
  • Always Tense
  • Looking To Be Perfect
  • Insomnia
  • Having Trouble Concentrating
  • Trouble Remembering
  • Losing Interest
  • Overeating
  • Eating Very Little

How Does Anxiety Work in the Brain

Over forty million people in the united states live with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can prevent your brain from dealing with fear and stress.

There are two parts of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Anxiety weakens the connection between the two. For example, when danger occurs, the amygdala contacts the prefrontal cortex to develop a solution.

Instead, with anxiety, you get the fear without a solution, causing the fear to increase. For more on how anxiety works in the brain, see, How Does Anxiety Affect the Brain? 4 Major Effects of Anxiety, by StoneRidge Centers & Pronghorn Psychiatry.

How Do Anxiety Medications Help You

Antidepressants and antihistamines (such as hydroxyzine) are medications that can help with anxiety disorders.

Benzodiazepines, clonazepam (Klonopin), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan) are used to help with panic attacks.

Naturally, with any medication, you want to consult with your family health care physician to determine if medication is the right treatment for you. For more, see WebMD’s article, Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder — Diagnosis and Treatment.

How Anxiety Affects Work Performance

Anxiety can keep you from performing your day-to-day tasks. It can make a normal task seem impossible. It’s like your trying to walk, but something is holding you back, and you have to struggle to move ahead.

When you are anxious, you can feel disengaged, unfocused, and irritable. You may also have an intense fear of failure, making any task a lot harder. For more on how anxiety affects your work performance, see How Anxiety Impacts Work Performance, Plus How to Manage Anxiety, brought to you by Realsimple.com

Anxiety Before Work Every Day

There are a few things you can do to reduce anxiety before you get to work. One of the main things you can do is prepare. When you’re prepared for the day ahead, you are ready for the day, and you know what to expect. People that don’t have regular anxiety can become anxious before a big day if they are running late and unprepared. For more tips, see

Lydia Smith’s article Why we get anxiety before work and how to handle it.

Anxiety Workshop Activities

Workshops are something you can participate in to reduce your anxiety. At times all you need is that one tip that can help overcome moderate anxiety. See the latest Google search results for Anxiety Workshops in your area that can help.

Anxiety Workout

Workouts are another technique that can help you reduce your anxiety. Some workouts include swimming, biking, running, energetic walking, tennis, dancing, volleyball, basketball, and other athletic activities. For the details, see How Exercise Eases Anxiety, By Diana Rodriguez featured on Everydayhealth.com

Prayers for Work Anxiety

If you are religious, you may want to try praying, which is something I would suggest. I feel there is always help for you out there. You are not alone. For me, praying is a way to get help. It’s customized to my needs, and that’s the power of asking and praying.

See the latest Google Search results, listing Prayers for Work Anxiety.

Conclusion

As you have seen from this article, there are different levels of anxiety. With moderate levels, there are several things you can do. While others may require professional help. You must be clear about your symptoms and what triggers your anxiety to help you find the right solution. Remember, you’re not alone, and you can always ask for help.