How to deal with anxiety and stress in the workplace

Americans are hard workers with a strong work ethic, and we’re often willing to sacrifice our personal lives in the pursuit of a career.  Unfortunately, this can often mean we place ourselves in situations that result in high levels of stress and anxiety.  How can you deal with stressors in the workplace?  Here are a few things to consider.

Pinpoint stressors

If you’re dealing with overwhelming stress and anxiety, there is a source.  You need to find out what is causing these feelings before you can adequately deal with them.  Sure, yoga and meditation on your own time could help, but if you fail to eliminate stressors in the workplace, you’re just going to end up in the same boat over and over again.  Pinpointing stressors is the first step to reducing work-related anxiety.

Communicate effectively

If you’re feeling stressed out at work, there’s a good chance communication, or lack communication, has something to do with it.  When you know what’s causing stress, you need to use that knowledge to improve communications, whether you have a conversation with coworkers about interrupting your work to tell you about their personal problems or you need to speak with your boss about overloading you with the work of ten people.

Create boundaries

One of the most stressful parts of any job is feeling like you have no say, but this is only the case if you refuse to speak up.  Every job is, at its heart, a simple contract where you agree to do work in exchange for pay.  This does not give your employer the right to treat you badly, walk all over you, and eat up your personal time.

That said, you are the only one who can put a stop to such stresses.  If you’re constantly being asked to complete tasks that aren’t your job, tell your boss you’re happy to accommodate if you are give the accompanying title and salary for the work you’re being asked to do.  If you’re expected to work late nights and weekends without additional pay, speak up. There may be the option to address the workload.  Or, you may decide to transition to a different role, or different company that aligns with your preferred work style and culture.

The truth is that creating boundaries can rub some people the wrong way.  You may have to prepare yourself for the prospect of seeking work elsewhere.  Either way, you have the power to reduce your stress and end up with a more manageable and fulfilling job.

Post by Sarah Harris

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