11 Ways To Calm Anxiety At Work

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Career Advice, Entrepreneurship, Work-life Balance | 0 comments

Work is stressful. Whether you work for yourself or someone else, anxiety can flare up at work.

In the US, 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorders, yet how depression and anxiety play out in the workplace is rarely discussed, with less than 37% of those affected seeking treatment.

You’re expected- you expect yourself- to manage anxiety at work. You may think you don’t want to burden anyone else with this, or that this is something you have to deal with alone.

There’s nothing wrong with you, and you’re not alone.

Dealing with anxiety can have a major impact on your work life including self-doubt, lack of motivation, and loss of income. Learning tools to help manage anxiety in the workplace can improve your overall health and happiness! You can also improve your work performance and increase your confidence so you can enjoy your work and be paid more to do it!

Here are 11 ways to manage anxiety at work.

deal with anxiety at work

Take regular breaks

It’s easy to fall into the trap of being busy or thinking, “I’ll take a break after I finish this one thing….” Taking regular breaks improves productivity, fuels creativity and innovation, and helps you minimize anxiety before it gets too big!

Say no to co-workers, bosses, and clients!

You get into so much trouble saying yes when you should say no. Stop agreeing to things you can’t or don’t want to do. Taking on too much is going to damage your reputation and it’s better to say no!

Engage your senses

If your anxiety starts to rise, take a few minutes to engage your 5 senses. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you taste? What do you touch? Engaging your senses is a quick and easy way to be in the present moment and, as a result, reduce anxiety.


Once an hour, take 60-90 seconds to breathe deeply. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take several deep breaths, and with each breath, draw the breath deeper into your body, deep down into your belly. Notice the lower half of your body feels a little heavier with each breath as you sink deeper into your chair. These deep breaths will calm anxiety.

Get present in your body

When anxiety rises it’s common to disassociate from your body. It’s almost like having an out-of-body experience! A quick and easy way to get present in your body is to wiggle your toes. Try it- you have to think about wiggling your toes and this often instantly makes you more present to your body.

Stretching is another way to get present in your body- especially stretching the lower half of your body. Find a quiet space to stretch your legs- gently stretching into your hamstrings along the back of your legs, quads at the front of your thighs, and the muscles that make up your calves.

Manage expectations

When you live and work with anxiety, your expectations of yourself are most likely unrealistic. Adjust your expectations of yourself as needed and you’ll have a less anxiety.

Give yourself a break

While we’re on the topic of being hard on yourself, give yourself a break already!

Go for a walk

Exercise is proven to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. While you may not get a workout in during your work day, you can go for a 10-minute walk and engage your physical body to get the same benefit!

Be kind to yourself

Please be kind to yourself– not only do you deserve it, you need it!

Call a friend

Isolation and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Have a friend or two that you can call or text for a quick check-in when your anxiety is high. It works best when you have an agreement with this person and they’re willing and able to acknowledge you when anxiety strikes. Just having someone who knows what you’re feeling can reduce anxiety.

Practice positive self-talk

Negative self-talk and obsessive thoughts often come with anxiety. When you notice negative self-talk, try actively writing or speaking positive self-talk without apologizing or correcting yourself. Simply add a positive statement after the negative one.

Forgive yourself

You’re doing the best you can, and you are enough. Please forgive yourself as often as needed.

Learning to calm your anxiety at work will not only improve your health and happiness, it can also help you increase your income or get promoted!

It’s time to end the stigma and shame around emotions and mental illness at work. You can be capable and confident, even when you deal with anxiety. And workplace stress can make anxiety worse, so please consider how anxiety affects you at work and give yourself the tools and resources to manage anxiety effectively.

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