How to Relieve Office Anxiety
Article brought to you by: Phillip Donaldson
For most people, work can be a stressful place for any number of reasons. High levels of stress at work can easily lead to anxiety on the job. To some degree both of these conditions are a normal part of the lives of the working class. The problem arises when office stress reaches a level where it becomes more than a momentary or occasional occurrence. Anxiety at work is a problem that can drastically affect a person's ability to function and perform his or her job efficiently or effectively. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 56 percent of people say that work anxiety and stress affects their workplace performance and 50 percent feel that it affects the quality of their work. In addition, office anxiety can reach such a level that it follows over into a person's personal life. Statistically, three-fourths of people who are affected by on-the-job anxiety feel that they bring it home and into their personal lives and relationships.
Anxiety is a natural and normal response to extreme stress. It is a part of the body's "fight or flight" response during extreme or dangerous situations. Anxiety only becomes a problem when it does not go away or it happens on a frequent, daily basis. For some people their level of stress reaches a degree in which anxiety is persistent and disruptive. There are different types of anxiety, which are called anxiety disorders. There are six of these disorders and they are general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, specific phobias, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These disorders affect roughly 40 percent of people who live in the U.S.
Work or office anxiety may be the result of any number of factors. For example a person with work-related anxiety may have a phobia of speaking in front of groups of people. His or her anxiety may be triggered because heading group meetings or making presentations are a part of the job. Any number of factors, however, can cause work stress and anxiety. In addition to a fear of public speaking, other common culprits for work anxiety include issues with management, perfectionism, concerns about failure to perform one's job, and taking on new challenges at work. Other work related problems that can induce feelings of anxiety at work include concerns about deadlines and relationships with co-workers.
It isn't difficult to recognize the symptoms of work anxiety when they appear. The most obvious symptoms are feelings of excessive fear and worrying to the point of being irrational. Additional symptoms may manifest in a way that they are either emotional or physical. Physical signs of anxiety include excessive sweating, a racing heart, difficulty breathing, tense muscles, headaches, inability to sleep at night, or an upset stomach. An emotional response to anxiety may leave a person with extreme feelings of dread, nervousness, irritability, or paranoia. A person may even feel as if they can't think clearly and that their mind is hazy or has gone blank. If a person's work stress has reached a certain level of intensity, it isn't unheard of for a person to suffer from a panic attack in which he or she experiences many of the symptoms above in addition to numbness, chills or hot flashes, hyperventilating, nausea, shaking, and a fear of losing control.
Once a person recognizes and accepts that they are dealing with anxiety at work they can take the steps to cope with it and eventually obtain some form of office stress relief. One of the best ways to deal with office anxiety is to face it head on. If a person know why they are having a specific reaction, they can take the necessary steps to prepare for it. Meeting fears head-on may seem difficult at first, but the more a person does so the less he or she will experience stress about it even if the fear does not go away. Staying healthy and relaxed is another way to reduce feelings of stress. Eating healthy meals at regular intervals and exercising on a regular basis can help combat anxiety and reduce feelings of anxiousness that are often associated with office stress. Maintaining a positive attitude and outlook is also effective and can go a long way in helping a person feel better about a situation. For some, it can be difficult to achieve office stress relief on their own. In these cases professional help may be required. Once it has been determined that a person is struggling with anxiety at work a therapist or doctor will make recommendations based on the specific circumstances. In some cases, behavioral therapy in the form of cognitive-behavior or exposure therapy may be recommended. These methods teach people how to control how they think and react to certain triggers. In other instances medications may be recommended. Anxiety medication may have certain side-effects that could affect how a person performs at work and aren't right for everyone. Use of medications may be short-term and combined with behavioral therapy.
Anxiety and office stress are often common feelings that a person experiences during the course of his or her day. Some people, however, may experience them more frequently than others, leaving them overwhelmed with fear, dread, and uncertainty. This can have a huge impact on a person's ability to perform his or her job. Fortunately, with the right knowledge about the issue, a person can relieve their office anxiety.