Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Managing Anxiety in the Workplace

workplace anxiety
Going back to work after recovery certainly has its own set of unique challenges – and, if you’re also suffering from anxiety, there’s yet another layer of stress.

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health disorders in the U.S.; they impact nearly 40 million adults each year. What’s more, many people mistakenly turn to alcohol or drugs to relieve symptoms of anxiety – in reality, this will only worsen the mood disorder.

When it comes to managing anxiety in the workplace, there are a variety of problems that can occur, depending on your employment and the type of anxiety you’re battling. According to a national survey on anxiety in the workplace, people with anxiety disorders often struggle with the following:
  • Conflict
  • Setting and meeting deadlines
  • Maintaining personal relationships
  • Managing staff
  • Participating in meetings
  • Making presentations
Types of Anxiety at Work
Most people experience stress and anxiety in the workplace – and these mental health issues even share many of the same physical and emotional symptoms like uneasiness, tension, headaches, high blood pressure and loss of sleep. But these conditions are very different. In general, stress is a response to an external cue (a tight deadline at work or an argument with a coworker) while anxiety is internal and is typically characterized by a persistent feeling of “apprehension or dread” that doesn’t go away after the concern has passed.

There are many types of anxiety that can occur in the workplace. According to Psychology Today, the most common ones include: 
  • Performance anxiety: “Am I doing a good enough job?” This can cause you to worry about your job security and create a cycle where you’re constantly craving feedback – no matter how much you’re already getting.
  • Status anxiety: “Am I keeping up with my peer group?” Status anxiety can cause the unhealthy habit of comparing yourself to others. 
  • Social anxiety: “Do people like me?” This can cause a fear of being disliked and excluded, making meetings or presentations feel like impossible tasks.
Tips to Manage Anxiety at Work
If you’re dealing with a co-occurring substance use disorder and anxiety disorder, it’s important to keep up with your current treatment and recovery plan, attend regular support group meetings and practice healthy lifestyle habits. 

In addition, here are a few ways to better manage your anxiety so it doesn’t interfere with your accountability and success in the workplace:
  • Identify your anxiety triggers: Similar to addiction recovery, knowing your triggers is an important skill when it comes to dealing with anxiety in the workplace. Although anxiety can begin with no apparent cause, over time it is possible for many people to recognize the situations and actions that lead to feelings of anxiety and panic.
  • Listen to calming music: We’ve spoken about the power of music when it comes to your recovery – and it can also be used to manage workplace anxiety. Music lowers cortisol levels and minimizes stress.
  • Inhale essential oils: Studies shows that essential oils like lavender and chamomile can help ease symptoms of anxiety.
  • Take a walk: Even a 10-minute walk can do wonders when it comes to coping with anxiety in the workplace.
  • Practice deep breathing: Deep breathing from the diaphragm is a proven way to relax and reduce various kinds of anxiety. This is partly because it helps you to avoid the "fight-or-flight" response to stressful situations.
  • Avoid toxic coworkers: Try to surround yourself with positive people and avoid negativity and gossip in the workplace.
  • Be healthy: Pay attention to your eating, sleeping and exercise habits and do your best to keep your mind and body in shape to better handle anxiety in the workplace.
Living Well with Anxiety and Addiction
At Haus Recovery, we invite men and women facing substance abuse and co-occurring disorders to embark on a journey to wellness and wholeness. To learn more about the Haus Recovery difference, call today: 888-551-4715.

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