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Let us talk about work anxiety!

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

You can also listen to the Spotify version of this write-up by clicking on the link below. Use your headphones for the best experience. You have woken up an hour before your work. As you progress with your morning routine, a sudden gush of heaviness clouds your mind, with the thoughts being “I wonder how many emails I have got, "I hope it's going to be a good day", "I wonder if I have done that report correctly", "I am surely going to make some mistakes today", "What if I come across something that I don’t know”. These are just a few examples of thoughts that can cloud you and bring up your anxiety levels. The feelings may even be intense if you are someone who already has anxiety.

In simple terms, work anxiety is when you have extreme anxiety caused by stress at work. Work stress is not uncommon, however, when the stress and anxiety seep into your personal life is when you need to understand that this is a cause of concern.


A multitude of factors can contribute to work anxiety. A few of them include,

- Fear of making mistakes

- Having a lack of clarity of your tasks

- Working with unsupportive colleagues

- Unfriendly bosses.

- High workload

- Low pay, benefits, leaves.

- Lack of work-life control.

Symptoms and when to address it

While the causes of stress and anxiety can be as minute as frequent power cuts at your home during your work hours to major factors such as a boss who micromanages you, it is important to address it when you notice it in the first instance. Anxiety can cause physical and mental strains. These include:

- Reduced sleep quality

- Reduced job performance

- Effects on your relationships with your loved ones.

- Lack of job satisfaction

- Easily irritable

- Low self-confidence

- Body aches and pains such as headaches, neck pain

- Always tense

Seeing yourself in a familiar situation?

Here is what you can try to reduce the impacts of work anxiety.

-Positive affirmations

Take every day as an opportunity to learn. As cliche as it might sound, slow progress is still progress. You are more equipped in knowledge than how you were on day 2 (day 1 doesn't count ). So while things may seem tough, you can always reflect on how far you have come.

-Be mindful

While you feel like you are being swept away by the wave of anxiety, it is important to understand the feelings as it comes. This will help you give clarity on the emotions you are feeling. Ask yourself, " What are my thoughts when I get anxious," Trust me, it is easier said than done, however, it is not impossible. It takes a lot of practice to be mindful of your feelings and emotions.

-Talk it out

Sharing your feelings with a friend or a loved one will help you release the weight you are feeling with work anxiety. Talking to a friend can also distract your thoughts, take your mind out of it and make you feel relaxed.

-Take a break

Be it in the form of a day off from work, a cup of relaxing tea, or a short walk. Make sure to not any check work-related agendas while you are taking your short break. If you involve work in your break, you will be taking an anxiety-filled day off or a short walk. This may also distract your mind from work-related things, even if it is for a short while.

-Seek professional help

Anxiety issues should be addressed on priority when it starts affecting your daily functions and health. Seek professional help as therapists might recommend an appropriate intervention plan to overcome anxiety depending on the severity of the issue.

Be well. Take care.

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