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June 21 2022

6 ways to cope with anxiety at work

Person sits at desk with their head in their hands.

Originally posted by Virtuous Circle Counselling.

When anxiety strikes us at work, we can often feel as if there is absolutely nothing we can do except suffer through the negative feelings. Thankfully, there are numerous methods you can use to overcome and calm yourself down in these circumstances. Below are six simple but powerful tips that can help you out of that state of mind.

1. Don't ignore your stress

Anxiety is a fairly common condition that many individuals suffer from—and it's no wonder that it's also a common workplace problem. Workplace stressors like dealing with deadlines, job security, and other people can get under your skin and cause anxiety attacks that affect your health and performance. Recognizing stress and applying healthy coping strategies early on can make all the difference.

2. Learn relaxation techniques

It can be anything from meditation to deep breathing to yoga. The key is to find something that works for you and practice it until you can do it anywhere and feel calmer during stressful situations. If you're new to meditation, there are plenty of apps like Calm or Headspace that might help you get started. The more practiced you become at calming down on your own, the better equipped you will be to handle stressful moments as they arise in the workplace.

3. Accept uncertainty

When you're anxious about something and trying to control your world so that nothing terrible happens, you can get stuck in your head worrying about things that might never happen. You start thinking about every adverse scenario imaginable because what if they occur? It's easy to see how this could spiral out of control quickly. One way to interrupt this pattern is to stop trying to figure out what might happen.

4. Schedule regular breaks

When you have anxiety, it's easy to feel like you've got a "boss" that never takes time off. Don't forget to take breaks and give your mind some rest. Schedule 15 minutes breaks every two hours or so, in which you can step away from your work area and focus on deep breathing and relaxing. Or try having a cup of herbal tea, read a funny book, or take a short walk. It will help your body relax and might even give you some perspective on the source of your anxious feelings.

5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

It might seem like an obvious point, but it's important to remember that staying healthy is essential for coping with anxiety at work. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep are crucial parts of a stress-management plan.

6. Make Social Connections Outside of Work

Forming social bonds outside of the office will give you a support network you can lean on when things get tough. You'll also have people around you who aren't constantly worrying about work, giving you some much-needed relief from stress and anxiety. Plus, if you have your social circle separate from your coworkers, it will be easier for you to avoid being drawn into office drama.


Should you need help coping with anxiety, please visit us at Virtuous Circle Counselling. We believe mental health is important, and in knowing this, we provide Anxiety Counselling by our Registered Psychologists & Counsellors. Services are accessible with extended hours to offer in-person sessions, online therapy, or phone counselling.

Learn more about Virtuous Circle Counselling