Managing your stress and anxiety at the office
Imagine being King and having to give speeches but suffering from a terrible stutter. Sounds familiar, I know. The Kings Speech features the life of King George the VI as he overcomes the anxiety and fear invoked by his stutter.
Not all of us are Kings, Queens, or really anyone notable in the celebrity realm, but that doesn’t mean that the pressure of work mixed with rising anxiety does not affect us. Just because we don’t have the stressful life of leading a country doesn’t mean a day at the office is not stressful.
When it starts
The stress and anxiety focused on in this article is not necessarily about jobs that ask too much of employees or put too much pressure, it is more the anxiety and stress that is already a regular player in your life that can occupy your life and interrupt your productivity at work.
What can seem like a normal day, can quickly turn to anxiety and a sense of being completely overwhelmed. In our younger years we can find easy ways to escape: ditch class, take an easy sick day and find our friends, but as we mature and take on larger more impressive responsibilities, easy escapes are not so easy nor are they sustainable.
Easy task list to manage your stress
Below is a simple list of ways to begin to manage your anxiety when it starts to peak at work. Overcoming anxiety is an involved process and takes time. However, it’s important to find tools to accompany our deeper work to help with the daily ins and outs of living with anxiety.
- Draw a square
Really, just draw a square. This sounds simple and silly, but it helps activate your frontal lobe which is responsible for higher cognitive thinking. It helps redirect your thoughts away from dwelling on the feelings of panic and toward problem solving, organization, and attention.
- Tell a colleague or friend
This is a strategy that I find is extremely helpful. Part of anxiety is feeling shame or a sense of feeling trapped. At work, we know we should be being productive, so when we start feeling uncontrollably distracted, we start feeling bad or useless. It triggers a vicious circle of only perpetuating more anxiety. When we reach out to someone we trust and just acknowledge our current status, it helps eliminate some of that self-inflicted stigma, and relieves our shame and stress in the moment.
Most of us have to sit and work on a computer during most of our work day. It took me YEARS to figure out that some of my anxiety was being triggered by my lack of movement. Take micro breaks every half an hour to move around a bit. If you already feel stress or anxiety, take a quick moment to walk and stretch.
- Look for humor
Finding something totally unrelated that is funny in the current moment helps interrupt the more disruptive thought pattern that is trying to dominate the mind. This can also be seen as trying to find positive outlooks. Taking a moment to write it out helps you visualize and internalize positive feedback.
This is especially useful if your anxiety and stress is triggered by work-specific issues. If you find yourself unable to focus because your mind is scattered, take a moment and actively write or type out a list to help you re-prioritize your work needs.
- Finding a sustainable practice
The above are small strategies and practices to help anxiety that is already happening to you. It is important, however, to fully address your anxiety and find ways to make you a more productive, healthy individual. One interesting technique that I have recently come across is BrainTap Technologies.
As the World Wide Transformational Summit approaches, more influential and impressive speakers are joining the roster of those to lead and teach at the summit. One of whom is Dr. Patrick Porter. Porter’s work focuses mostly on mind-based technologies that help individuals achieve personal improvement. One of the benefits of BrainTap Technologies is the ability to re-balance brain wave activity to help moderate and overcome the super stress often felt at work and modern life challenges.
According to Porter and his work, since we are constantly being stimulated to feel stress and work at a high-intensity level our body becomes accustomed to this level of stress. It then becomes more difficult to work ourselves away from the anxiety. BrainTap technologies helps address this negative pattern and rebalance you so you can grow to be more productive, focused, and overall healthy.