Published: 28th February 2017
When work gets you worked up
Workplace anxiety is the stress with regard to your job functions or activities.
We might all have faced these feelings, that’s normal but when it becomes a part of your NORMAL behaviour it’s dangerous. Hence, I’ve decided to pick the topic of WORKPLACE ANXIETY for our conversation this week.
The subject of anxiety and anxiety disorders is vast. I’ll save going into details for when one of you ask me a query related to it’s dimensions and will focus on WORKPLACE ANXIETY as per the query.
Anxiety, in simple terms, is the feeling of fear or discomfort which in turn triggers other feelings. We all experience this. For example, feeling anxious when we’re about to enter the exam hall.
Workplace anxiety is the stress with regard to your job functions or activities. The irony is that it cannot be defined or ascertained that it will be present in your work environment only. In most cases, it spills over into personal lives and causes damage too.
Since the terms are often used in conjunction, let me clarify the difference. Stress leads to anxiety. Stress is one of the causes and anxiety is often the result.
Causes for workplace anxiety
As we progress toward becoming a developed nation we are facing competition in our professional front leading to more pressure in order to achieve. The main culprit is HIGHLY PRESSURISING JOBS (high workload, longer working hours, unrealistic performance indicators, etc). But that’s not the only factor. Workplace anxiety can be caused due to factors like lack of interpersonal skills, lack of time management, inability to resolve conflicts and other aspects. It may also be a result of low self confidence, lack of motivation, etc. In my experience, one main factor is the MISMATCH IN JOB ROLES. This is why I repeat MAKE YOUR PASSION YOUR PROFESSION. When we take up a job just for earning and don’t FIT IN or enjoy it, it leads to stress which in turn leads to workplace anxiety.
What to Avoid
STOP THAT COFFEE! It has become a trend to keep sipping on coffee to elevate our mood. Little do we realise that drinking more coffee itself increases anxiety levels. Switch to healthier alternatives like green tea or natural juice.
Next, avoid getting hooked to prescription medications. Focus on increasing the frequency of any form of exercises to NATURALLY REDUCE ANXIETY.
Ensure that you snack healthy. Eating more while working leads to more damage to our efficiency rather than help us cope. This could lead to a series of health related issues going forward. Men, need to cut down on smoking breaks.
Three tips to manage
Analyse the reason you are stressed. Is it the lack of rewards, recognition or other motivating factors?
Once you have this figured out, talk to your supervisor and discuss possibilities or other options. If nothing works, without hesitation look for another job! Sticking on in the same place also is a major anxiety factor.
The second tip is to BE REALISTIC! I’ve seen one third of people unnecessarily OVER COMMIT or OVER PROMISE and later realise that they cannot DELIVER but go through a lot of stress to keep up to their commitments. It’s OK even if you’re perceived as less productive, fill your plate with what you can eat.
The last but not the least is time management! If you have a deadline, set mini deadlines. Allot extra time to plan and prepare for each task so that you do it with utmost efficiency. Get into a habit of planing your day, making a schedule and sticking to it. Give enough buffer for factors like traffic.
My final word
One of the reason I have managed to enjoy, doing what I do isn’t just because I’ve made my PASSION my PROFESSION. I too have to meet deadlines and juggle a lot of responsibilities which turns out to be stressful. My secret — I always UNDER-PROMISE and OVER-DELIVER! Makes sense?
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj