Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from anxiety? You’re not alone. In fact, anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the Canada. Anxiety affects more than 20% of us at some point in our lives. While anxiety can be crippling, there are ways to manage it and even thrive in spite of it.
Here are 15 tips on how to deal with anxiety in the workplace:
Acknowledge your anxiety
The first step to managing your anxiety is acknowledging that you have it. Anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways, from mild nervousness to a full-blown panic attack. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, it’s important to take a step back and assess the situation.
Identify your triggers
Anxiety is often triggered by specific situations or stimuli. It could be anything from meeting new people to public speaking to working on a tight deadline. Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to take steps to avoid them or prepare for them.
When you’re feeling anxious, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. This means that your heart rate and breathing speed up and your muscles tense up. One of the best things you can do to calm your anxiety is to take slow, deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the sensation of the breath moving in and out of your body.
Talk to someone
Talking to someone about what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful . It can help to talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or even a co-worker. Just knowing that you’re not alone in how you’re feeling can make a huge difference.
Take a break
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, take a break from whatever is triggering it. Step away from your work, go for a walk, or just take a few minutes to yourself. This can help to clear your head and give you some space from whatever is causing your anxiety.
Make a plan
Part of what makes anxiety so debilitating is the feeling of being out of control. One way to combat this is to make a plan. If you know what you’re going to do in a situation that makes you anxious, it can help you to feel more in control and less anxious.
Challenge your thoughts
Anxiety often manifests itself as negative and intrusive thoughts. If you find yourself thinking things like, ‘I’m going to fail,’ ‘I’m not good enough,’ or ‘Everyone is going to laugh at me,’ challenge those thoughts. Remind yourself that they are just thoughts and that they are not necessarily true.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
While it may be tempting to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, this is not a healthy way to deal with anxiety. Not only can these substances make your anxiety worse, but they can also lead to addiction and other serious problems.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for managing anxiety. When you’re tired, your anxiety is likely to be worse. Make sure to get 7–8 hours of sleep every night.
Eat a healthy diet
What you eat can also affect your anxiety levels. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to keep your anxiety in check. Avoiding caffeine, sugar, and processed foods can also be helpful.
Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it can also help to reduce anxiety. Even just a moderate amount of exercise can make a difference. A combination of aerobic exercise and strength training is ideal.
Seek professional help
If you’re struggling to manage your anxiety on your own, seek out professional help . A therapist can provide you with support and guidance as you work to manage your anxiety . If your anxiety is severe, you may also need medication. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. If you reside within Ontario consider reaching out to Cedarway Therapy, a reliable psychologist Oakville provider that specializes in providing a multitude of therapy services.
Social media can be a trigger for anxiety . If you find that scrolling through your feeds is making you feel more anxious, limit your use of social media. Try to take a break from it for a few hours each day.
There are a number of relaxation techniques that can help to reduce anxiety. Some examples include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. Experiment with different techniques to see what works best for you.
Be mindful of your posture
Your physical posture can influence your anxiety levels. When you’re feeling anxious, you may tend to hunch your shoulders and tighten your muscles. Try to be aware of your posture and consciously relax your muscles.
All in all, anxiety can be a very debilitating condition, but there are things you can do to manage it. These 15 tips can help you to cope with anxiety in the workplace. Just remember that you’ re not alone and that help is available if you need it.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.