Feeling anxious at work is one of the countless mental health issues in South Africa that people face daily. However, it is not to be taken lightly simply because it is commonplace. Becoming too anxious can take a severe toll on your health, which is why you need to find reliable and effective coping mechanisms to alleviate your anxiety.
Mental health awareness is an integral part of this process. You should contact a mental health counsellor if you feel overwhelmed or unable to move forward. There are some techniques that you can use, which can help you to feel calmer and more relaxed in the workplace. Below we discuss how you can deal with anxiety in the workplace effectively.
Don’t Stifle Your Feelings
Understandably, you would immediately move to stifle your feelings at work, as you are likely striving to remain as productive as possible. This is a counterproductive move, however, and can often exacerbate your feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed. Instead, you should accept that at some points during your working life, you will feel anxious and stressed.
When you are feeling anxious, it is best to make room for these feelings. Often, these types of feelings are attempting to bring your attention to something, such as a task that you might not be able to complete on your own or a situation that makes you uncomfortable. You can render anxiety less debilitating in the long run if you accept these feelings rather than stifling them.
Always Ask Questions
You might feel uncomfortable when asking for help or asking for clarification from others, but it is better to experience discomfort for a few moments than have to struggle with a task for hours on end. It can help to decrease overall anxiety in the long run, as you will have better clarification about the task at hand.
Asking for help and clarification will also show your superiors that you are taking your role seriously and are attempting to perform to your best abilities. This will help when it comes to performance reviews and will also alleviate anxious feelings towards your performance. Having clear guidance about your work, tasks, and role can help you to feel more confident in your workplace.
Make Mindful Notes
An effective way to help in dealing with and managing anxiety in the workplace is to make mindful notes about the times it occurs and what situations might exacerbate it. For example, you might find your anxiety reaching its peak after lunchtime, as you have fewer hours remaining in the day, or you might become anxious before you have to make a presentation to your team.
Knowing what can trigger your anxiety is part of mental health awareness and will help you to keep track of what is causing you to feel anxious. You can then evaluate the situations and make changes to your environment or your reactions to different situations. Keep these notes close-at-hand while you are at work so that you can add to them when necessary, allowing you to manage your anxiety more efficiently.
Don’t Overdo Deadlines
More often than not, when you are feeling anxious, you will agree to deadlines that might be unrealistic and unobtainable. However, this can often cause you to become more anxious. It is better, to be honest upfront about meeting deadlines rather than to apologise later for not having met the deadlines.
You should only accept as much work as you can realistically handle so that your anxiety levels do not become too high or unmanageable. Spea to your supervisor about your workload and explain that you can only take on so many tasks each day or week. Your mental health is essential to the smooth functioning of your team, and so your seniors should be willing to accommodate your needs. By taking on fewer deadlines, you can maintain your work standards and reduce your anxiety.
Care For Yourself
Self-care is an effective method of reducing anxiety. Attending to your feelings and living a healthy lifestyle can help you to alleviate your anxious feelings. Some self-care that you can easily practice include choosing a healthy diet, achieving more hours of sleep, and introducing an exercise regime into your daily routine.
Practising self-care is not a selfish coping method. It is something which can help you to become more personable, professional, and able to take on more work. Anxiety can make you feel physically and mentally exhausted, especially in the workplace, so it is vital to look after your body and your mind.
Getting Help For Stress and Anxiety
You can still live a fulfilling life without the turmoil of untreated anxiety. Mental Health Professionals can help people with anxiety understand themselves and change their relationship with the condition.