All work environments, even the most laid-back, can at times cause anxiety. Over time, the constant pressures from tasks and co-workers can even lead to anxiety-related mood disorders. Therefore, finding ways to manage stress and reduce anxiety at work is not only crucial to your productivity, but to your long-term health. Fortunately, no matter how stressful and demanding the work environment, overcoming anxiety is indeed possible. It requires motivation, constant self-reinforcement, and practice.
How to Reduce Anxiety at Work
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.
– Walter Anderson
Just do it
Tackling anxiety can seem like a daunting challenge for those who you are suffering it. The road is long, but you need to start, because nothing is ever accomplished without deliberate action. The very fact that you are reading this article is a sign that you are seeking out knowledge on how to reduce your anxiety, which is the first step.
It can be frustrating to start and not see fruitful results so fast. You can feel like the effort is for nothing. But you have to always remind yourself that improving your mental health takes time, and that it requires constant reinforcement, consistent practice, and frequent reminders to reach your goal. Always remember that the small steps along the way really count.
Do not take your nutrition for granted
There’s a general misconception that mental health problems like anxiety happen only in the brain or in our minds, and not in our bodies. That’s not the case. Our brains and bodies are not separate from each other, but are synchronized to work together as one. So when you have anxiety, the impacts go beyond your thought processes to affect all parts of the body. For example, when you suffer from anxiety, you might feel pains in your chest of stomach, or experience acid reflux. For this reason, you need to take good care of your body, which starts with your nutrition. This doesn’t go only for those who suffer anxiety. Proper nutrition is a bedrock requirement for good health, both physical and mental.
We often talk about exercise when we discussing weight loss or body building. But exercise is vital to our mental health, and is one of the most powerful cures for anxiety. Notice when you haven’t exercised for a few months, your body will start feeling pains, or you may have a hard time climbing staircases or even walking long distances.
This also goes for work. When you exercise your body produces endorphins, which transforms your state of mind and gives you the clarity and positive drive you need to sail through tasks that might otherwise feel grueling. So next time you get off work and are planning to binge on a two-hour series on TV, think again. Try spending a quarter or half that time jogging or working out, or even engaging in simple exercises at home. It will improve not only your health and mood, but also your efficiency at work. Exercise also helps release anger and tension that may be caused by stress. If you are looking for a major productivity boost, you won’t go wrong with regular exercise.
Avoid people who tear you down
Colleagues can be a cause of anxiety for many in the workplace. Be courteous to these co-workers, but do not seek them out. If possible, find a way to minimize your time around them, and if not, then do your best to think of them as dogs barking. Focus always on maintaining your own peace of mind, and try your best to not be affected. Most of all, you never need to bark back. This logic can seem downright mean, but the truth is that your life is too precious to be undermined by all that fear and anxiety. It’s not worth it. And this brings us to the next step.
Seek out positive influences
By getting away from the people who induce negativity, you make way for those that bring light into your life. Look for people who you want to pattern your life around. You don’t want to seek out a friend who has a bad influence on you just because that friend seems to be the alternative. You cannot settle for less, because it doesn’t work to your benefit in the end. Seek out the friends who give you inspiration and whose lives you want to learn from. And if you’re unfortunate enough to have friends who are just plain negative people, then it might be time for you to make some hard sacrifices. Wait for the ones who deserve you. Seek them out. And in the meantime, listen to speeches of positive influences — you’ll find many inspiring ones here on Goalcast.
You’ll find that the moment you start seeking out positive influences in life will be the moment you start to find them.
Fake it till you make it
It’s such a cliché, but did you know that holding a pen between your teeth as if you were smiling will induce a feeling of happiness? Such an easy physical gesture can influence your mind in a matter of minutes. So the phrase “Fake it till you make it” is not that far from truth. Stand straight in a way that will project you as a positive and happy person, and you will become that person soon enough.
Now that you know these simple strategies to reduce anxiety at work, try it. You may find that what you thought of as so difficult can actually be done in small and manageable steps. Follow these tips one by one, and you’ll start to notice how your life will unfold for the better.