How Do I Manage Anxiety At Work?

Figuring out how to manage anxiety at work can be a very stressful process. Work stress is something we want to get rid of quickly. We need to focus and feel strong at what we do. With all the tasks in a given day the last thing you need is this lingering anxiety around. When anxiety hits strong it can feel like a rush of unwanted pressure that overpowers your body and mind. 

Unfortunately when we live with all the work anxiety we can see it affecting our lives in many ways. We notice the quality of our work goes downhill. Maybe you have some anxiety around what your boss will think of the work you do. Or maybe you have anxiety with the quality of your work and fear that someone may think you are a fraud. Possibly you get anxiety being around people at work or just fear of them judging you. Or maybe you don’t really understand what the anxiety is about but you know it’s there and it’s frustrating you. ‘

woman in glass working on her laptop at a table

Maybe your anxiety at work looks like this: 

During your commute to work you notice your heart beating quicker and quicker. Your thoughts are becoming a bit too rapid for your liking. You start to go over your to do list for the day. It just feels too much to get done. You think about your meetings and what others will think about what you have to say. You wish you weren’t on the way to work right now. 

Once you get there you try to settle it all down. It’s feeling a bit hard to do so since the anxious thoughts are rapidly entering. Physically you start to feel a bit ill. You notice the tension in your body and you just want it to stop. You try to get going but it’s hard. You manage to slow it all down eventually and get your day started. But you know that you could have been way more productive and just had a much better day if you were able to better manage anxiety at work. 

What ends up happening is a loop around not feeling good enough at work (and maybe other parts of your life). You end up getting caught in your head rather than focused on what it is that you need to do to actually feel good about your day. This can lead to feelings of helplessness. You want it so badly to get better but you don’t know how to stop this loop. 

But the truth is that many people struggle with anxiety at work. You are not alone in this. This doesn’t take away the anxiety in knowing it in of itself, I know. But rest assured that many people are able to calm it down and relieve their anxiety and so can you! 

It’s true that learning to manage anxiety at work can feel like an overwhelming task at first. However, if you learn to manage anxiety in consistent, more rooted (deeper, hitting the true anxiety) and different ways then you will be able to calm it down. When we make changes below the surface and understand what anxiety is trying to communicate to us then we have the ability to take control back in our lives. 

Let’s get into answering this question: How Do I Manage Anxiety At Work? 

Workplace anxiety->  How To One: Prepare for a successful day with your morning routine

What do I mean by prepare with your morning routine? Start by asking yourself how you typically start your mornings? If you are getting up straight into the hecticness of the day then you are setting yourself up for a huge disadvantage. Are you waking up to your kids needing you? Are you waking up straight into getting ready and rushing out the door? Are you snoozing in the morning? If you are answering yes to these questions then you are setting yourself up for a more anxious day. 

Having a morning routine that sets you up for success is crucial to help manage anxiety at work. What if you had YOU TIME in the morning. A time to reflect, visualize your day GOING WELL AND ANXIETY FREE, meditation, reading, exercising. All of these things can be a huge help in getting yourself off to a great start in the morning. In fact, the vast majority of successful people in the world have a strict morning routine to set themselves up. I don’t mean success primary in terms of financial. Success in terms of their relationships, mental clarity, confidence, and yes, financial success. Essentially in all parts of their life. 

the miracle morning book cover

I personally LOVE the book the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. He really helps you understand the purpose behind having a morning routine that is designed FOR YOU! 

Another great book is the 5am club by Robin Sharma. Reading books like these will help you not only develop a morning routine to limit anxiety in your day but will also help you live a more purposeful fulfilled life. 

In anxiety treatment, we help our clients set themselves up for success. We work with you on recognizing what it is you can do to visualize and start your day off right. 

Anxiety at work->  How To Two: Use your breath as a mindfulness guide 

When anxiety at work takes over it is important to have methods to bring you back to the present moment. We want to bring ourselves to the present moment during times of anxiety since this allows your mind to focus on what is real. What is not real is the overwhelm in our minds. This is our minds playing a nice little game with us. Whereas your breath is real and allows you to ground yourself. You are giving a really clear message to your mind and body when you recenter around your breath. 

The trick is to do it slowly and allow yourself to truly experience the relief before you carry on in your day. Count to 3 or 4 for each breath in and then another 3 or 4 for each breath out. Allow your mind to focus on what it feels like to have your stomach expand in and out. Visualize breathing in reassurance and acceptance and breathing out stress. This will feel hard to do at first. You have to train your mind to make the shift.  

In anxiety therapy, we work with you on slowing down and using mindfulness approaches to connect with your body. We help you learn to live a present life as this is where anxiety is at its lowest. 

man in a suit carrying a brown breifcase

Workplace anxiety->  How To Three: Use a specific mantra on a regular basis 

What can you say to yourself on a consistent basis that will reorient you? Something that will communicate to your inner self that all is okay. Come up with a mantra or a few mantras that you can repeat over and over. Allow these words to get ingrained inside. It can be something like “I’ve got this. I have control over anxiety. It doesn’t have control over me” or “I know that this is anxiety playing a game with me. I’m not going to play.” It can even be a simple work or phrase if that feels better. 

The key is to have it mean something to you. There is no one else that needs to be a part of this mantra. This is for you and only you. No need to judge it. Welcome it and allow yourself to feel some relief from it. Oftentimes, we can decide that something won’t work before we try. When we do this we are setting ourselves up for failure. We do this since the new thing we try is out of our comfort zone. Strangely enough even though we don’t like to experience anxiety at work it is in our comfort zone. And when something is in our comfort zone we tend to refer back to the same old ways of behaving and thinking that follows suit.

Our team of therapists and psychologists in Simi Valley, Ca work with you on understanding how powerful your mind truly is. We help you develop the inner dialogue and self talk to change up your programmed ways of thinking and allow space for self love. 

Anxiety at work->  How To Four: Have a certain spot and self care practice at work to collect yourself

It is important to note how many resources you can set up for yourself to help with anxiety at work. Know that when you teach your mind that you DO HAVE CONTROL this is a natural pure way to combat workplace anxiety. It’s when we feel out of control that anxiety sweeps us away. 

Have a certain spot you can go to to collect your thoughts, breath, journal down your mantra or whatever else is on your mind. The point is to make sure to take care of you when you need. When you teach yourself that YOU’VE GOT YOUR BACK then anxiety really does learn to slow down.  

At our Simi Valley Therapy office or in online therapy in Los Angeles  we work with you on developing those resources to help you through workplace anxiety. We know that you can take charge of your own life. We help ensure that you believe that too!

woman at standing at the head of a conference room table of people pointing at sticky notes on the wall

Workplace anxiety->  How To Five: Get the help you need to get your through anxiety at work

Such a common message people communicate to themselves is help is weak. The reality is that not getting help is just someone’s comfort zone saying stay here with me. When you choose to get the help you need you are communicating an internal message of “I matter enough.” I matter enough to go about things differently. Anxiety help can look differently. Read books by inspiring people that can help you ease anxiety and bring about success in your life. Get involved in support groups. And a very direct way to get the help you need is in anxiety therapy. Allow someone to be involved in your journey towards living that anxiety free and connected life you want. 

Written by,

Donna Novak, Psy.D. 

I specialize in working with anxiety and in helping adolescents and their families, adults, and couples better their relationships and find direction. Rather than shy away from the tough stuff in life, I prefer to face it head-on, together. I believe that challenges are part of being human and that everyone has the potential to become their own life’s navigator. So they never have to feel out of control or at the mercy of their circumstances. Learn more

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