3 Ways to Calm Work Anxieties
Anxiety is a drain on our energy and our productivity. It causes procrastination, poor job performance and decreases our quality of life. It is also common. Instead of letting anxiety destroy you, you may come to understand and overcome anxiety at work by using proven psychological techniques. Psychology Today offers useful tips and answers to questions about anxiety and productivity.
(Photo Credit:University of Salford/Flickr)
1. Remember to Collaborate
Ego and anxiety is all about you. Perfectionists tend to suffer from ego anxiety. They feel that they must give the most compelling speech, write the most eye-opening report, and shine in everything they do. This is a tall order.
Wanting to do well is a generally good quality, and it is inadvisable to simply lower your standards. However, anxiety will reduce your productivity. One way to curb ego anxiety is to remember that collaboration and cooperation are often keys to successful projects. Therefore, it’s not all about you. Allow yourself to share responsibilities on large projects.
Take an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. This is for your eyes only, so be honest. For example, maybe you are great at public speaking and giving presentations, but not so talented at putting together a visual display or PowerPoint. Instead of suffering anxiety over the things you don’t do well, allow other people who are good at developing visuals help you while you focus on the verbal part of the presentation. Knowing and accepting your strengths and weaknesses makes it easier for you to collaborate and reduces it go anxiety.
2. Work Through Discomfort
In general, people seek pleasure and avoid pain. When we are nervous or anxious about an event, we may avoid preparing for the event.
Discomfort anxiety hinders work productivity because workers avoid tasks that make them nervous, anxious, or self-conscious. Some psychologists recommend learning to work through discomfort instead of simply avoiding it. The first time is the most difficult. But when you push yourself to complete a task that makes you uncomfortable and anxious, you will likely come to realize that the discomfort was not as bad as you thought it was. Take note of that. The next good thing that happens is your work gets turned in on time. Discomfort anxiety causes procrastination, and working through the discomfort ends procrastination.
After you work through discomfort and finish the task, reward yourself. Something small and simple such as standing up and stretching, or reading a cartoon. Any small reward that will give you positive reinforcement will make it easier for you to work through the discomfort next time.
Anxiety over anxiety refers to the snowball effect. You are anxious about meeting with your boss. You know that if you are nervous and anxious during the meeting it will affect your performance. So you get anxious about feeling anxious. It just keeps getting worse.
Try rehearsing in your mind the points you wish to make when meeting with your boss. Consider what you think your boss might say, and think about your responses. You might even want to practice with a trusted friend. A little preparation may help you get over your anxiety.
In the end, we all have strengths, weaknesses, and we all sometimes make mistakes. Accepting your own imperfections may help you deal with some of your anxiety.
Tell Us What You Think
How do you handle anxiety at work? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.