When Anxiety Spills Over Into Work
By Sandy Schroeder
After an incredibly trying year, many of us may be feeling the effects of anxiety.
Adjusting to all sorts of new situations and experiencing loss can create stress, anxiety and depression, according to the American Psychological Association. The experts say we should not be surprised if we feel on edge, but it is important to recognize how this affects our work.
RealSimple.com offered some suggestions. Most of us have adjusted with changing work patterns, work stations, and different hours, and now we are looking ahead. Meanwhile, it's important to see how anxiety may be showing up in our work.
When you are anxious, work may seem more demanding. You may worry about presentations, deadlines, or interactions and wish for better comfort zones. You may spot symptoms of anxiety such as rapid breathing, sweating, fast heart rate and unusual fatigue, reflected in constant worrying, nervousness or irrational fears.
When Help Is Needed
If this sounds familiar and you are having trouble coping, you may want to get professional help. See your doctor for recommendations for therapists who can help you work through the issues.
What Anxiety Looks Like
At the same time, here is what anxiety looks like, and what may help.
You may feel irritated or annoyed - If you find yourself reacting negatively to almost everything, anxiety may be at work. When I start snapping at my family, and complaining about small things, I know I have lost my center. Stepping back or taking a timeout for the afternoon or the weekend can generate a new happier perspective. Short biking trips, hikes or camping may provide needed relief.
You may feel scattered and disorganized - Your normal routines and work patterns may waiver as you struggle with daily deadlines, regular meetings, and pending projects. Regular mindfulness sessions can help control thought. Let thoughts stream by unchecked to subtract the power from negative ones. Try brief quiet morning and evening meditations or practice mindfulness with early morning walks or deep breathing exercises.
You may be looking for balance - When anxiety gets a grip, you may find yourself losing interest in daily projects or becoming overly aggressive as you plunge into projects. I do my best work when I let everything flow. When I begin to start, stop and begin again I know my worries are getting in the way. If anxious thoughts persist, consider seeing a therapist or looking for additional ways to regain your balance.
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