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Workplace Anxiety: What should you do if you’re getting too nervous at work?

16th May 2023

Workplace Anxiety

Not everyone can control and cope with workplace anxiety efficiently. Many people deal with excessive concern about an array of everyday issues at work or in their private lives while attempting to complete their tasks.

This form of anxiety is usually out of proportion to the situation and can be crippling. It frequently causes physical symptoms like weariness and muscle strain, which can cause problems in both your career and personal life.


What is Workplace Anxiety?

Workplace anxiety is the existence of anxiety symptoms such as uneasiness, excessive concern, or fear regarding one’s job. These emotions may arise while you are at work or after you have left the office. Worries regarding your job efficiency, interactions with coworkers, working overtime, approaching deadlines, secure employment, or a bad office culture are all reasons for workplace anxiety.

Workplace anxiety, along with similar mental health concerns such as stress and depression, is a widespread issue in today’s workplace, with the Health and Safety Executive claiming that these conditions contribute to 50% of all work-related ill health incidents.

Anxiety in the workplace might substantially impair your capacity to do what is required in your job.


Workplace Anxiety Signs

We all experience stress and worry in our daily lives, so feeling nervous about your job is quite natural. Given the importance of our employment in our lives, it’s natural to feel apprehensive when workplace pressures are exceptionally severe or while starting a new career.

If you experience workplace anxiety, you may encounter the following symptoms:


  • A persistent sense of worry, apprehension, dread or hopelessness
  • Feeling trapped and unable to find a ‘way out’
  • Feeling fearful, paranoid and tense
  • Anger and impatience
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Panic attacks
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue

These symptoms may make it difficult for you to execute your job since you are unable to concentrate or feel unmotivated to complete the activities assigned to you. It may eventually lead to a reduction in your performance, a breakdown in your professional relationships, or you taking more sick leave.

If you have a number of these symptoms for several weeks or months, it is possible that your employment is leading you towards generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). If you’re having trouble in your professional life, perhaps you should consult your doctor or another mental health expert about getting an anxiety diagnosis.


Managing Workplace Anxiety

While you may be too anxious to work right now, you may find some of the following advice valuable when the time comes and you’re ready to return to work:


Prepare ahead of time

Plan your days and weeks ahead of time. You’ll have complete visibility of the things you desire and need to do. A well-structured strategy can help you feel in control of your employment and daily schedule, which will alleviate any anxiety.


Divide each activity into manageable portions.

While this may lengthen your to-do list, breaking larger jobs down into manageable action points will allow you to move through assignments gradually. In this manner, you won’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of completing the larger project. Being able to mark off each step you take can help enhance your confidence.


Set realistic deadlines for yourself.

Establishing ambitious project deadlines can only increase your stress. By dividing down larger activities into smaller sections, you may begin to gain a realistic idea of the duration a project will take; utilise this planning stage to set reasonable timelines. Make individuals aware of the various procedures that must be performed if necessary, to help them comprehend why you’ve set specific deadlines.


Ask for assistance.

We recognise that asking for help at work can be tough for someone suffering from anxiety, since you are concerned that others will judge you as incompetent. If your workload gets too much – or you require some assistance on a project – a good management will acknowledge you for being responsible and intend for you to have the assistance you require to complete the work.


Admit that you are going to experience some anxiousness.

Everyone feels anxious from time to time. It is a normal human reaction to feel stress. People suffering from anxiety disorders, who may experience anxiety more strongly or frequently than individuals without the condition, are required to have coping skills in place to help handle those overwhelming situations. Professional assistance and treatment can assist you in developing these future coping skills.


Take care of yourself.

Self-care is essential since it can keep your stress and anxiety under control. Take appropriate pauses throughout the day so that you may relax and refuel. Also, ensure that you are getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously, doing physical activity, and participating in social activities.


What can I do if work is triggering my anxiety?

If you have experienced feeling too anxious to work recently and want to start addressing your symptoms, the following steps may be useful:


Consult your primary care physician or a mental health professional.

A general practitioner or a mental health expert will be able to offer you with the anxiety counselling you require to begin coping with your symptoms.

Working through a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) curriculum is a typical treatment for persons suffering from anxiety problems. You will work with a therapist during these sessions to explore the root causes and triggers of your anxiety. You then study and apply coping strategies to help you handle triggers and symptoms in the future.

As soon as you have the correct coping abilities and strategies set up to manage anxiety, you will feel more at ease and comfortable about returning to work. Medications may be administered in addition to a therapy programme to assist you moderate your anxiety disorder.


Consider your previous occupations to assist you plan for the future.

Have a moment to consider what made you anxious in your former employment and, if you currently have a job, what has left you too worried to perform in your current position. Is there something you might try in the future to cope with these symptoms?

You may have noticed that your anxiety increases when you have to communicate with specific people or when you are overburdened with chores, obligations, or deadlines.

Consider the things you would like to see changed in your future workplace. Would you rather work with a smaller group of individuals or in a less time-sensitive, high-pressure environment? The appropriate work for you is going to be one that does not cause your anxiety to skyrocket.


Speak with someone you trust.

If you are too worried to work, it is very probable that your anxiety is affecting other aspects of your life as well. Don’t try to keep your feelings hidden from yourself.

Speak with the individuals you care about. Talking about your anxiety can help you process your overwhelming emotions. Furthermore, talking to someone you trust, such as a family member, close friend or even your work manager, will help you feel supported and understood.