Anxiety at work is a common issue that can affect our productivity, happiness, and overall well-being. But there are ways to combat it.
In this post, I've outlined three practical strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety at work. By addressing stressors head-on, recognizing that stress is a sign that we care, and channeling the energy stress gives us, we can approach our work with greater confidence and focus.
If you're struggling with anxiety at work, give these tips a try and see if they help you feel calmer and in control. Remember, stress is a natural part of life, and it's how we respond to it that really matters.
1. Don’t Avoid Stress – Address Your Stressors
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to stress is they avoid it. When we see stress as the enemy and something to avoid then anything stressful feels like a problem, makes us feel overwhelmed, and like we’re failing.
When we’re stressed about work, we assume there’s a problem with our business. The reality is, stress isn’t a sign that we’re inadequate or that something is wrong, stress is just a normal part of life.
Rather than avoiding problems, the best thing you can do is problem-solve your stressors. It sounds obvious, but very often we stew in our stress and avoid our problems rather than addressing them. Unhealthy coping mechanisms like binge-watching TV and isolating from others only make things worse and contribute to stress continuing to pile up.
Think about how you have solved a similar problem before or who you can call on for help. Most problems have an easy solution when we take the time to look for them.
2. Realize You’re Stressed Because You Care
The truth is, we don’t stress over things we don’t care about. Stress is a natural byproduct of pursuing meaningful goals and roles in our lives.
Entrepreneurship is a perfect example – it can be incredibly stressful, but it’s stressful because we love what we do and care about making a difference in the lives of our clients. Our businesses are a big part of our lives and can be a source of meaning and purpose.
While entrepreneurship might bring us sleepless nights and anxious moments, I believe most founders would agree that our lives would be less meaningful without our goals, and that makes them worth pursuing. When we remember the context and meaning behind our struggles, our stressors can feel less draining.
The next time you’re losing sleep over a business proposal or client, remember the reason for your stress is that you care so deeply.
3. What if you don't need to calm down?
Most people believe their body is betraying them when their heart races and their palms sweat before a big moment like a presentation or sales call.
But what if, instead, your body is actually giving you the energy and focus you need to rise to the challenge?
That’s what research on stress has proven over the past two decades. We might believe that feeling anxious in a high-stakes moment will hurt our performance, but research suggests that feeling some stress can actually help performance.
Make use of the energy that stress gives you rather than wasting it trying to manage the stress. We don’t have to reduce stress and calm down, we can channel it and use it to our advantage instead.
The next time you’re feeling a little anxious before a presentation, sales call, or interview, don’t be concerned, just remember that the stress may actually help you perform better.
There you have it – three ways to tackle anxiety and thrive at work! The next time you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, take a deep breath, remember that you're not alone, and try implementing one of these strategies to help you make it through.
Your work is important, but so is your well-being. By prioritizing both, you can achieve success in all areas of your life.