Psychiatrist Dr. Janet Smith Taylor says workplace anxiety is not unusual, but how we handle it can make all the difference in how we perform on the job.
What are some of the causes of workplace anxiety?
In this environment where people are worried about losing their jobs, how one is performing at work can cause anxiety. If you are unhappy at work, that can do it too. There are some work places where you have to be aware and on guard all the time, which can be stressful. How you get a long with your colleagues as well as issues that are troubling us from home can come to bear on us at work.
How can you maintain your relationship with your coworkers in a work environment where there is a heightened sense of competitiveness because of layoffs?
If you see people at work as your adversary, that’s not good. It’s not healthy to think like that. You may think that someone is your adversary when they may not see you in that manner. You have to work as a team. When people work in a team atmosphere, you work better.
Why do we feel anxiety to begin with?
Anxiety has a negative connotation, but it’s not always negative. It’s the body’s warning signal. Our brains are always taking in our surroundings to keep us safe. The body sends us signals and we interpret them. It’s normal to feel anxious, but it should not be long lasting.
What should you do if you begin to feel anxious at work?
Take ten deep breaths through your nose with your mouth closed. Exhale deeply and focus on exhaling the stress. Also, the more organized you can be helps. A lot of clutter can impair people’s ability to prioritize. To improve productivity, have an organized desk. Deal with things as they come across your desk right away. When you complete a task, you get that sense of accomplishment. When you have five tasks hanging over your head, you feel overwhelmed, and nothing gets done. The goal is to complete task so that you can move on to the next one without getting stressed.
What are some ways anxiety may manifest itself physically?
Before your mind is telling you you’re stressed, your body will tell you. Instead of just labeling a sensation, figure out how you really feel. Some people think that a constant state of stress is normal but it’s really unhealthy. Recognize when you are stressed. When you feel like you have nothing left, that means that your stress has completely burned you out. People don’t listen to their bodies cues.