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Managing Anxiety in the Workplace

Most people face stress in the workplace when it comes to giving presentations, upcoming deadlines and more. Too much distress, bad stress, can become counterproductive and distracting.

Anxiety can show up as problems with your thinking—sudden difficulty making decisions, slowing down, becoming easily exhausted or you can be prone to making more mistakes than usual. When anxiety affects your relationships, work quality, productivity or focus, then you need to seek help. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get your symptoms under control and go back to life as it was.

There are a few strategies to cope with anxiety, such as mindfulness. Instead of running after every thought, mindfulness teaches you to pay attention to your mental chatter without judging it or allowing it to distract you.

Research also indicates that naming your anxiety when it affects you turns down your brain’s emotional overreaction and activates your brain’s ability to control your emotions.

The best thing to do with your anxiety is to reappraise or accept it. Acceptance allows you to observe the feelings that pass through you as passing sensations, not dangers. Reappraisal allows you to look at your feelings the other way and see the upside of your anxiety.

Workplace conflicts are stressful for many, but people with anxiety can become triggered by them. It can help to deal with the situation at a time of day when you feel calm or train your brain to interpret your anxiety symptoms differently.

Manage your stress at home to decrease your stress and anxiety at work. Home and work are connected, so don’t take on too much, prioritize what’s urgent, manage screen time and build exercise into your evening. This can help decrease your anxiety at home and work.

Anxiety can make navigating the workplace more difficult for those who have it than those who don’t, but it doesn’t have to destroy your career. If you remain aware and mindful, you can effectively manage your anxiety in the workplace. For additional guidance, you can talk to your clinician about coping strategies to manage your anxiety at work.

Copyright 2020 American Chemical Society (All Rights Reserved)

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