mental health patient with anxiety
mental health patient with anxiety

Workplace Anxiety can come whooshing over you like a tidal wave when you’re at work or even when you start thinking about work. If this sounds familiar, you could be one of the millions of people dealing with anxiety in the workplace. 

According to a 2023 survey by Statistics Canada, around 4 million people dealt with high or very high levels of stress and anxiety in the workplace. The survey involved workers aged 15 to 69 years from all different demographics and genders, showing once again that workplace social anxiety can affect anyone.

These immobilizing feelings of unease and overwhelm can affect in-office, on-site, and remote workers. At Work to Wellness, since 1999, we’ve provided worthwhile tools, workshops, and consulting services that help diminish anxiety and foster a healthier and more functional work environment. Our virtual and in-person evidence-based workshops are delivered by experienced mental health specialists and are specially designed for employees of all levels, managers, supervisors, and company leaders.

What are the Symptoms of Workplace Anxiety?

If your anxiety seems to revolve around work and you feel much less anxious on your days off, you could have workplace anxiety rather than a generalized anxiety disorder.

Here are some of the anxiety symptoms and signs to look out for:

  • You feel a sense of dread and physical sickness when receiving work emails or calls or thinking about work
  • It’s especially difficult for you to focus on your work tasks  
  • You procrastinate on work tasks
  • You try to avoid work events and meetings
  • Head and neck pain
  • Sweaty palms
  • Nausea and stomach pain
  • Irrational or excessive worrying about work
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Tiredness
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling like you have a lump in your throat

What Causes Anxiety in the Workplace?

Factors like staffing shortages and workload play a big role in the development of workplace anxiety disorder. For example, in that survey by Statistics Canada, the most common cause of stress and anxiety in the workplace was a heavy workload. Workers also reported that a poor work-life balance compounded their stress. 

A multitude of factors can influence workplace anxiety disorder, including:

  • Imposter syndrome and doubting yourself and your abilities
  • A lack of a sense of purpose at work
  • Working long hours
  • Unrealistic expectations at work
  • A toxic or discriminatory workplace culture
  • A lack of proper training
  • An environment that’s too competitive
  • A lack of compensation, especially for overtime
  • A manager or boss who doesn’t prioritize your health, safety, or wellness

A lack of strong connections with coworkers and a difficult boss, manager, or coworker can also worsen or cause workplace social anxiety. You’re more likely to experience social anxiety in the workplace if you already have a pre-existing anxiety disorder.

How To Deal With Workplace Anxiety? 

Here are some top tips to help you overcome anxiety in the workplace:

  • Question your thoughts and fears
  • Be gentle and kind to yourself
  • Pinpoint triggers and patterns 
  • Exercise and stretch more
  • Spend more time in nature
  • Try to get more organized
  • Take micro-breaks from work 
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation
  • Set boundaries, like choosing at least one activity each week that boosts your mental and physical well-being.
  • Laugh more
  • Improve and personalize your workspace by adding items like family pictures and fidget toys.
  • Take a vacation or just a break from work.
  • Work on boosting your health in other ways, like better nutrition and sleep.

Read Also : 3 Phrases That Can Save Your Team During Team Burnout

Get in Touch With Experts To Cope with Anxiety and Stress

Professional support can be pivotal when you’re dealing with work-related anxiety to assist you in pinpointing triggers, making valuable changes and decisions, and improving your coping skills. When it’s time to call on the professionals, our compassionate Work to Wellness team helps employers make the most suitable workplace accommodations for anxiety so that workers can return to a healthier and more functional work environment. We offer useful links and resources and connect individuals to appropriate mental health support. 

Taking part in our professional mental health wellness workshops and consulting services means you’re taking action and implementing practical, realistic, and highly successful strategies to improve the work environment for everyone. Our goal is for employees and employers to return to work feeling more comfortable, connected, and valued. Reach out to our Work to Wellness team today.