How to reduce mild anxiety in the workplace

Published February 17, 2015

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With its sometimes excessive demands and mounting deadlines, the workplace can often spike feelings of stress and anxiety. Work-related anxiety may be caused by the day to day pressure of your job or stressful elements, such as a looming presentation. Unfortunately, anxiety may not only affect your ability to perform on the job, it often stays with you as you head home for the day. If it persists, it can take a toll on your health, your well-being and your relationships.

Here are ways to keep your work life manageable and reduce symptoms of mild anxiety:

  • Learn how to relax – Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, Qi gong and yoga might help you cope more effectively with the stressors that contribute to your anxiety, which may help to lessen some of the anxiety symptoms.
  • Make time for fun – It’s important to engage in non-work related activities on a regular basis. Perhaps you have a hobby or like meeting up with friends. Also ensure you use up your holiday leave and take time off to relax and unwind.
  • Exercise – Just five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects and one vigorous exercise session can help relieve symptoms for hours. Go for a walk around the block at lunchtime and jog, walk, cycle, dance, join a group class or play team sports regularly.
  • Reduce caffeine intake – Caffeine may pep you up and help get you through the working day but it can also exacerbate anxiety in some people.2 If you’re experiencing mild anxiety in the workplace, limit your intake of coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks that are caffeinated, and try green tea instead. Green tea still has a small amount of caffeine but also contains theanine, an amino acid with calming effects that may reduce mild anxiety symptoms.
  • Establish boundaries – In today’s digital world, it can be difficult to switch off and you may feel the need to be available 24 hours a day, but it’s important to establish some work-life boundaries. This could mean not checking your work emails at home or turning your work phone off after dinner.
  • Reach out – If you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed or unable to meet the demands of your job, chat to your supervisor or human resources department. They may help to clarify what’s expected of you, help to ease your workload or offer you counselling or other resources to help you manage your stress and anxiety. Also enlist trusted friends and family members for support.
  • Consider herbal support – Some herbal remedies have calming properties and may help to relieve mild anxiety. For instance, SensorilTM may help alleviate the common symptoms of stress and mild anxiety such as flushing, fatigue, low of appetite, sleeplessness, headache, irritability and inability to concentrate. Chamomile has a soothing effect on the nervous system and may help reduce the effects of mild anxiety and nervousness. Try a chewable on-the-go formula that you can have on hand when you’re feeling anxious or stressed.

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