How are you supposed to manage anxiety?
I don’t know if you have ever been there.
Where your chest starts to tighten, along with your lower back… your heart kinda starts beating and you feel trapped- and it’s all happening in the middle of the work day.
It’s not like you can just throw your hands up and allow the panic to dwell with you at your computer- you have crap to do.
I’ve had anxiety creep up at work at the worst times. It always seems to around a deadline, or when conflict starts arising, or simply if I just get bored and my thoughts start racing around- so pretty much any time, actually, and at work it’s just not fun.
Here are 4 different ways I manage anxiety levels at work in a healthy, non distracting way:
Sit With It and Write It Down
It might seem a little crazy. This is simply acknowledging the anxiety that is there and sitting with it for a little bit. Admitting that you are anxious and not trying to run away from the anxious feelings can have a world of difference in fighting it. Often times there are legitimate reasons why your anxiety was triggered. However, the chaos in our heads makes it so much bigger than it might be in reality. Take the time to admit you’re anxious, understand your anxieties, and write them down. This can take the chaos out of your head and on to an organized piece of paper. You can consciously control the never-ending circles of “What ifs,” and “Buts.” Try to understand your thought process in a linear fashion.
Take A Walk
This seems simple enough- and almost silly to point out, but it’s been a lifesaver for me. I was always allowing what I thought other people’s perceptions were dictate my actions. I would never walk around because I didn’t want people to think that I wasn’t working hard. I found that leaving my work space for 10-15 minutes would allow me to be more productive than if I just let myself sit in my anxiety. All it takes is briefly removing yourself from the environment to recollect your thoughts and return to reality.
I literally stand up from my desk and start stretching like I would if I was at the gym. Granted, I have my own office so its not distracting for anyone else, but there’s got to be a space you can escape to for a good stretch. Stretching requires (or at least encourages) deep, rhythmic breathing, as well as releases tension that is caused by sitting for long periods of time. Relieving the tension and increasing oxygen intake- and simply slowing down for a sec- will help take your mind off of anxious thoughts.
Pray and Meditate
Take a deep breath. Shut your eyes. Fold your hands over your chest. And evaluate what triggered your anxiety. It can be a life saver. Notice that I didn’t say analyze your anxiety. You don’t need to get anxious about being anxious. Acknowledge that it is there, breathe through the feelings, and talk to God about it. Remove yourself from whatever is triggering the anxiety and bring your head back down to what is real and secure. Anxiety is a lot of thoughts that just choose to run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Slow down and talk through it. That can sometimes bring light to a linear thought process that isn’t so chaotic.
Share with a friend who might need to hear this today! There are ways to fight anxiety at work!