Tip : Dont Skimp On Sleep
You may feel like you just dont have the time get a full nights sleep. But skimping on sleep interferes with your daytime productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to focus. The better rested you are, the better equipped youll be to tackle your job responsibilities and cope with workplace stress.
Improve the quality of your sleep by making healthy changes to your daytime and nightly routines. For example, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, be smart about what you eat and drink during the day, and make adjustments to your sleep environment. Aim for 8 hours a nightthe amount of sleep most adults need to operate at their best.
Turn off screens one hour before bedtime. The light emitted from TV, tablets, smartphones, and computers suppresses your bodys production of melatonin and can severely disrupt your sleep.
Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime such as catching up on work. Instead, focus on quiet, soothing activities, such as reading or listening to soft music, while keeping lights low.
Stress and shift work
Working night, early morning, or rotating shifts can impact your sleep quality, which in turn may affect productivity and performance, leaving you more vulnerable to stress.
What Can I Do Outside Of Work To Reduce Stress
Lifestyle changes can help you deal with the symptoms of stress and improve your day-to-day:
- Set aside relaxation time. Relaxation practices such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate the bodys relaxation response, a state of restfulness.
- Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress. Be sure to start your day with a healthy breakfast and reduce your caffeine and sugar intake throughout the day.
- Get plenty of sleep. Feeling tired can increase stress by causing you to think irrationally. Accidents are more likely to occur when you are sleep deprived.
We all respond to stress differently so, there isnt one solution to managing stress, but if you feel like the stress in your life is out of control, its time to take action.
Remind Yourself That Your Mind Is Not Always The Best Advisor
Sometimes, you can’t trust yourself.
“Our minds like to constantly tell stories, analyze, judge, give advice, and criticize,” Deibler says. “Sometimes these thoughts are supremely unhelpful to us. Observe what your mind does. Notice the thoughts. Note that they are not objective truths. You get to decide whether the thoughts are worthy of your attention.”
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When Changing Jobs May Be The Answer
Sometimes, despite all of your best efforts to maintain your sanity, its just impossible to deal with your work, whether thats because of a toxic work culture, excessive demands, or overwhelming pressure. If you have tried everything and are still stuck with anxiety at work, it may be time for you to rethink your career. Ask yourself:
- Do I want to change job roles and duties?
- Do I want to look for a job at a healthier and happier workplace?
Remember that no job is worth your physical or mental well-being.
Coping With Stress At Work
Working hard should not be confused with overworking at the expense of relationships and physical health.
Coping with stress at work.
Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelmingand harmful to both physical and emotional health.
Unfortunately, such long-term stress is all too common. In fact, has consistently found that work is cited as a significant source of stress by a majority of Americans. You cant always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.
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Remember That Its Ok To Have Bad Days
No matter how perfect someones life looks from the outside, everyone has bad days. Its important to remember that you cant control other people, things that trigger your anxiety, or even anxiety itself. Accept what you cant change, and remember to be gentle with yourself.
Its OK not to feel 100% all the time. When you get caught in an anxious loop where youre thinking negative thoughts about yourself, remember that you deserve grace, patience, and kindness, too.
How Common Is Anxiety In The Workplace
A survey conducted by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America found that while only 9% of Americans are living with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, 40% experience ongoing stress or anxiety in their daily lives.
You shouldnt feel bad about feeling anxious. After all, anxiety is often a sign of intelligence. The more intelligent you are, the more you are able to detect or anticipate threats around you, leading to more worries.
However, anxiety at work can affect your work performance, work quality, and your overall mental health. According to a 2019 study, mental health was noted as the reason 50% of millennials and 75% of Generation Z quit their jobs. Such a high attrition rate is detrimental to employees as well as employers.
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Have A Conversation With Your Manager About How Youre Feeling
Its important to let your boss know how youre feeling if you need changes at work to help your anxiety.
Be open and honest with them. It might feel scary at first, but itll be a weight off of your shoulders, and your boss may be able to decrease your workload, and be more sensitive toward what youre going through.
Speak To Your Manager
Not everyone feels comfortable doing this, but speaking to your manager or supervisor about your anxiety may help. They may be able to offer you accommodations to help you do your job more effectively.
Some people may not want to disclose their anxiety to their supervisor or HR department for fear of appearing weak or unwilling to work, losing out on promotions, or having it on your permanent record. While these fears are valid, it’s important to know your rights: You cannot legally be discriminated against because of your anxiety.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects you from discrimination if you are qualified to do your job and able to perform duties with reasonable accommodations.
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If You Continue To Have Sleep Problems Not Falling Asleep Or Trouble Staying Asleep Consider Seeing A Doctor Or Scheduling A Sleep Study To See If A Medical Diagnosis More Than Just Stress May Be The Culprit
If you continue to have sleep problems, not falling asleep, or trouble staying asleep, consider seeing a doctor or scheduling a sleep study to see if a medical diagnosis more than just stress may be the culprit. Sleep is important to physical and mental health and ongoing sleep problems could indicate an issue that requires professional help or support.
Low Appetite And Binge Eating
Just as anxiety can lead to stomach issues, it can also impact your food-related habits in other ways. You may lose your appetite, a consequence of your bodys fight-or-flight mechanism. One side effect is suppressing the appetite.
Another side effect of chronic anxiety can be binge eating. Binging, or eating until you are well past full, can release dopamine, which soothes anxiety. However, the after-effects of binging, such as regret and shame, can spark even more anxiety.
Often therapy to treat co-existing disorders, such as anxiety and eating disorders, can assist with both low appetite and binge eating. Other strategies include waiting out the low appetite, if you suffer no other ill effects, and taking prescription medications that discourage binge eating.
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Talk To Trusted Colleagues About Your Worries
Talking to a trusted colleague about your worries is one tested and proven method to help combat workplace anxiety but this method requires some caution. Carefully choose one of your colleagues who you can trust and share your worries with them. Most times, a problem shared is a problem half solved. Just by talking alone, you will find yourself a little if not relieved of your anxiety.
Work With Your Anxiety Not Against It
For many, anxiety is seen as the enemy, holding you back from taking the action you need to get things done at work. What if you used anxiety to your advantage instead of seeing it as a burden?
Anxiety causes a surge in adrenaline in the body, which can help give you the drive you need to tackle your to-do list. Research suggests that moderate levels of anxiety can boost productivity and improve performance.
And while anxiety can feel like a weakness, you might find some ways to see another side of it. If it feels like you spend a lot of time fighting yourself, it could help to take a closer look at what your anxiety brings to the table.
You might be able to use your emotions as a guide to help you make positive change. For example, you may feel worried as you think about an upcoming work presentation. Sit for a moment with your fears, and then create a plan to deal with the sources of your stress. Your anxiety might ease up when you have a plan in place.
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Tip : Break Bad Habits That Contribute To Workplace Stress
Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behavior. If you can turn these self-defeating habits around, youll find employer-imposed stress easier to handle.
Resist perfectionism. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself, youre setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best no one can ask for more than that.
Flip your negative thinking. If you focus on the downside of every situation and interaction, youll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative co-workers, and pat yourself on the back about small accomplishments, even if no one else does.
Dont try to control the uncontrollable. Many things at work are beyond our control, particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control, such as the way you choose to react to problems.
Look for humor in the situation. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to relieve stress in the workplace. When you or those around you start taking work too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or funny story.
Clean up your act. If your desk or work space is a mess, file and throw away the clutter just knowing where everything is can save time and cut stress.
Nausea And Stomach Cramps
Roughly 10 to 20 percent of Americans suffer from the most common digestive disorders, and these can be linked to or worsened by anxiety. Chronic anxiety can cause serious gastrointestinal symptoms. Many people with anxiety feel a persistent urge to use the bathroom, and they can develop constant digestive issues such as:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If anxiety is affecting your digestion, consider implementing regular exercise to soothe your symptoms. Drop by the gym after work, sign up for an aerobics class, take an early-morning jog or walk off your tension whenever you have time. Exercises release endorphins, eases muscle cramps and soothes physical anxiety, including nerves and digestive issues. Sweating it out can help ease your stomach pains and your mind.
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Organize Workshops On Stress Management
Organizing workshops on different ways to manage stress can help your employees get rid of work anxiety. You can talk about different relaxation techniques and give your employees the means to use them. For instance, if you want to talk about yoga classes, you can pay a yoga instructor to come to the office two times a week and hold yoga classes for your workers.
Finding Treatment For An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders can affect the quality of your life and are more than ordinary feelings of stress or worry. Fear and repetition of unwanted thoughts influence behavior and can manifest in physical symptoms like nausea, trembling and sweating, to name a few. The American Psychiatric Association says approximately 33 percent of people will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
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While 15 Million American Adults Have This Disorder Only About 36 Percent Seek Help After Nearly A Decade Of Experiencing Intense Symptoms
While 15 million American adults have this disorder, about 36 percent of people seek help after nearly a decade of experiencing the intense symptoms. This long wait could be because others have told them theyre just shy.
Symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:
- Cant catch ones breath
- Lightheadedness or headaches
- Feeling detached or not in control
This disorder is selective for most people. While one specific situation could cause a panic attack, similar situations might not have this effect. Everyday activities like speaking to someone at work, participating in classes or having to talk to a stranger could make a person with panic disorder very anxious.
Healthier Habits To Reduce Workplace Anxiety
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
- Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants which means that they can subsequently increase your anxiety.
- Alcohol can make you feel low as it is a depressant.
- These substances can negatively affect your sleep thus leaving you feeling more stressed.
Get enough sleep
Stress and anxiety may be keeping you up at night which can make you more susceptible to stress. Having a good night’s sleep will increase your concentration, help you regulate your emotions and cope with stress more effectively.
If you find that you are struggling to sleep at night, sleep hygiene is a useful technique to build-up a healthy sleep pattern:
Make sure you are eating healthily as this:
- Improves mood
- Helps you think more clearly
- Increases your energy
Here are some tips:
Our mental health and physical health are strongly linked physical activity releases endorphins which naturally increase mood thus reducing stress. Try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day – this can be throughout the day if it’s easier than exercising 30 minutes in one go.
Big changes to your daily routine are usually not needed to achieve this, for example, you could get off at the bus stop before your usual bus stop when travelling to work.
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How To Be More Mindful
Mindfulness can help reduce stress during the workday, both in the short and long term. Here are some tips on how to be more mindful.
Observe your mind and body: Notice your thoughts, emotions and reactions to the world around you. Pay particular attention to any patterns that occur. This will help you to avoid taking your thoughts so seriously.
Don’t judge your thoughts: You might experience a lot of thoughts and worries. Mindfulness isn’t about making them go away, it’s about viewing them just as mental events. View these thoughts as clouds, coming and going without you having to engage with them. This is difficult at first but with practice it gets easier.
Label thoughts and emotions: Some people find it helpful to develop an awareness of thoughts and emotions by naming them, for example “This is anxiety”, or “This is a thought that I might embarrass myself.” You detach from the thought in this way because the label won’t produce an emotion. Note that the next step is to detach yourself from the labelling thoughts and be fully in the present moment.
Practice regularly: It can be a helpful to pick a time everyday where you will focus on the present until you get used doing this, for example, you may choose to be mindful on the journey to work.
- Setting an alarm
- Placing a note or image on your desk
- Associating certain activities with mindfulness
- Putting reminders in your calendar
What You Feel Is Real
When I had my first anxiety attack at work, I waited until I got physically ill to ask to go home. I guess, to me, it didnt feel like mental symptoms were as palpable, significant, or real as physical ones. Only physical symptoms could validate my troubles and make me feel less guilty and embarrassed about admitting that I needed some form of help.
Thinking that mental health problems are, in some way, not as real as physical ones is not uncommon. This year, millions of Internet users have asked Google if mental illness is real, and the Internet abounds with public awareness campaigns from the government and non-profit organizations answering with a resounding Yes!
Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes, write the ADAA.
Not only that, but Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States. In fact, the National Institutes of Health report that as many as 1 in 5 Americans are affected by anxiety disorders.
When I had my anxiety attack, my main worry was that my employer would think I was trying to skive my duties. If you feel the same, the good news is youre not alone. In fact, a recent survey on workplace stress and anxiety reports that 38 percent of those with an anxiety disorder do not tell their employers because they fear that their boss would interpret it as lack of interest of unwillingness to do the activity.
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